Wrath: Do You Hate Your Customer?
Want to really drive customers from your site? Use frames, require registration, provide no site search engine, and ignore international customers.
Let's take these one at a time.
Framed sites are bad news. Most search engines can't find your site because the frames hide your real content from the search engine. Visitors can't bookmark the page they're actually interested inonly the framed page they're on. Also, customers can easily get lost navigating your site through frames. Oh, and don't throw in a lot of small pop-up windows giving a pitch after each mouse clickthat really drives shoppers nuts.
If you want to irritate visitors and measure their time on your site in milliseconds, force them to register before using your site. How would you like to visit your local convenience store and, before you can enter the front door, you have to fill out a registration form? How much time would it take before you're on your way down the block to a competitor? The same goes for web sites. Ask visitors to register after they have purchased from you.
No search engine on your site? You might be saying goodbye to half your sales. Unless you're selling a highly customized item or service, remember that potential customers can get it elsewhere. If you don't help the customer find what he's looking forand quicklyit's easy for him to hop to another site that will.
Don't forget that the first W in World Wide Web (www) stands for World. Think globally. Remember that users from other countries can easily access your site. If you want your e-business to be truly global, respect other cultures and keep in mind that they might not be familiar with American expressions or respond to American advertising.
Finally, be considerate of your shoppers. Tell them which web browsers to use to best view your site ("This page is best viewed by Netscape 3.0 and above"). And though techno-speak might be familiar to you, many newbies to the Net might not understand it. Don't confuse shoppers new to the Net by using techno-jargon.
If your site commits any of these cardinal e-commerce sins, immediately say your mea culpas and correct them.