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Sloth: Neglecting Security and Customer Convenience

Visitors need to be comfortable while they're shopping on your site. You achieve that goal by making your site easy to do business with, and offering a safe and secure way for shoppers to buy with their credit cards at your site.

People are concerned about sending their credit card numbers over the Net. Sure, they're getting more comfortable with the idea every day, but you still need to soothe the fears of your visitors by telling them—and I mean tell them—that your site is secure and that they can safely send credit card numbers to you over the Net.

Tell customers up front—on your home page—that their credit card purchases are secure. Direct them to a page on your site that explains how credit card numbers are protected when used on your site. To make them customers more secure, promise to pay the $50 liability that the shopper would incur from his or her bank if the card number happened to be stolen while used on your site.

Make it easy for customers to shop around your store by adding an online shopping cart. Think about this. You just selected a product to buy at your neighborhood store. To get another one, you need to pay for the first one, leave the store, and enter again. Sounds silly, right? Well, without a shopping cart on your site, that's exactly what you're asking your customers to do.

Here's another problem. If you really want to drive customers away from your site, make it hard to navigate. According to a research paper by Creative Good, Inc., "Thirty-nine percent of test shoppers failed in their buying attempts because sites were too difficult to navigate." Make your site navigation simple—not cute. Use labels such as Contact Us, About Us, Our Catalog, Services We Offer, or Shop Now. Forget naming sections Joy Ride, Buzz the Bean, or Cool Stuff.

Don't be lazy with security and convenience. Place your web store on a secure server and provide an easy-to-use shopping cart and site navigation system for your customers.

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