Websites Need to Provide Thorough Answers to Customers.

Retailers that wish to survive the current economic downturn need to pay extra attention to their online presence. Even local specialty stores that depend on loyal customers must not neglect their websites. They must anticipate the needs of the shopper.

Recently, I was speaking on the phone with my sister about a family event we needed to host. I had picked up a brochure from my local supermarket about food platters. I was highly annoyed that the brochure did not have prices with it; why didn’t they give me the prices to go with the pictures?

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I also wanted my sister, who lives in another town, to see the food platters so I thought they might have the pictures and prices online. While on the phone with her, I went to the computer and quickly found the store’s website. But the only information about the store was directions, a map, and a phone number.

By that time, I was so annoyed I didn’t want to pick up the phone and call. We decided we would go with Costco; we knew the prices were good there without picking up the phone.

My local store lost the sale. We were completely predisposed to shop there, but they lost the sale because they didn’t make it easy to get the information: first, by not providing prices with their printed brochure; and, second, by not having that information online.

Many retailers (chains and locals) are guilty of the above sins. Keeping products and prices up-to-date on your website is a chore, but taking care of these things will help you gain customers and weather the storm.

Easy Web Tip #19: Stressed shoppers don’t want to have to do things twice. Having once asked for product information, we don’t want to go back and have to ask for a price sheet or anything else. If we go online, we want to find exactly what we’re looking for just as if we were in the actual store.

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