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Rule #7: Take advantage of the unique strengths of the medium

The Internet provides new capabilities that the smart investor learns to capitalize on. Some of the unique strengths introduced by the online medium include:

  • Interactivity—The web excels in getting customers involved. It allows for high information selling and provides multiple opportunities for collecting customer information and preferences. Use brief, compelling capsules of information to pull surfers in, and in-depth knowledge to sustain their interest. Incorporate feedback mechanisms into your web design to create many channels for customers to talk to you and tell you what they want.
  • Convenience—Web technology can be used to organize and automate key shopping and product educational processes for customers. As technology makes vast amounts of information available to all, there is an increased need to filter and digest the information, making sense of the quantity for readers. Web design should organize the information-gathering process for customers, giving them checklists, cheat sheets, and downloadable or printable reminders that they can take away with them from your site.

Accessibility—Both time and location limitations become irrelevant on the web. Use greater accessibility to extend your reach and availability to your customers.

Since 1984, Laura Brown has helped businesses and technical managers deliver systems solutions, and has worked as management consultant and senior technical advisor to Fortune 500 companies. She is President of System Innovations, a consulting firm specializing in enterprise application integration, data warehousing, and Internet design.

Laura is the author of Integration Models: Templates for Business Integration (2000, Sams Publishing ).

Laura can be reached via e-mail at lbrown@systeminnovations.net, or on the web at www.systeminnovations.net/.

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