If your web presence includes the ability for your customers to order products and services, you should be aware of how their minds work when they are using your site. Start by thinking about the way you shop on-line. Have you ever heard yourself ask these questions while deciding to purchase something on-line:
1. I don’t know who you are so how can I trust you?
2. What are you going to do with my precious credit card and personal information?
3. How can I contact you (and be assured I’ll reach someone) if I have a problem with my order?
4. How do I know that my information will be secure?
5. What if the product I buy doesn’t work right or there is something else wrong?
6. Why should I buy from you rather than another site?
7. I’m having trouble finding information on your Web site, how do I know I’m getting what I need?
8. I can’t buy the way I want to. I’d like to talk to a person before placing my order
9. Are you a serious business or is this just a hobby site?
10. I need shipping options. Why don’t you have more options?
Taking a test drive of your site is the best way for you, the owner of the business, to know what’s going on and what your custmers might be thinking as they use the site. Log onto your site periodically and place an order. Take notes and screen shots (ask someone how if you don’t know) of what you saw and how it made you feel. Then sit down with your technology group and/or web developers and brief them on your experience.
Be watchful during the technology debrief. Don’t let the “experts” dazzle you with jargon. For example, if they tell you the technology won’t let them do something, ask them why that technology is being used. If cost becomes an issue, quantify things – how much revenue are you missing because of a poor web experience.