You’re on a mission of self-gratification and as you drive you are thinking of how much you will enjoy the product or service. You’re psyched about the deal but more importantly you have found that one product or service that will “complete” your life, at least for the moment. As you near the store your high expectations have turned into a shortening of breath and a more rapid heartbeat. Momentarily you will be gratified and it is going to feel really good.
You’ll need to park your vehicle and walk a bit to reach the store. That’s o.k. as you can enjoy a few more minutes of reckless anticipation on the way. Your pace picks up as the store is now only two blocks away and within one block you are almost sprinting to find the correct address. Half out of breath and covered in sweat you reach your destination only to find iron bars covering broken windows, trash piled in and near the doorway and a very hungry pit bull standing at the store entrance.
For a moment your heart stops. The anticipation you were feeling turns to anxiety and fear, and not only because of the pit bull. You’ve now got a huge decision to make. “Is my self-gratification worth trying to get into this place and if I do go in what is behind that door?” You resolve to take a moment to consider your options and after some careful thought and some encouragement from the now drooling pit bull you turn and begin jogging toward your vehicle. Talk about a “buzz kill”!
Despite the overly dramatic nature of this vignette this scene is all too familiar – online. Think of it. Your web site and e-commerce engine is your storefront on the Internet. It is the digital version of your brick and mortar operation and your potential customers have the same expectation of your site as they do your shop. It’s really a very simple concept yet many business owners will spend much more money on just the sign for their brick and mortar business than they will on their entire online operation.
The quality of your online storefront is as important to converting shoppers into buyers as it is in your non-digital business. In fact it is likely more important. Numerous studies have proved you only have a very few seconds to make a strong enough impression to draw the potential customer into your online store. If they see the “bars”, a “pit bull” and an overall nasty environment, don’t expect too much traffic coming into your online store. What works in the “real world” also works in the “virtual world”.
So here’s a few tips…