The new store, – same as the old store

Recently we had an opportunity to do a bit of consulting on an ecommerce site. It’s not uncommon for us, we work on a lot of sites that require commerce. No matter how many times we do it, we’re always surprised at people’s perception of selling online.

It seems that people have a perception of ecommerce as something different than normal retail. The same person who is a savvy owner running a successful brick-and-mortar store can be a failure at selling online. Why? Because they permit themselves to assume that the online world is different than the real world.

Although the interface is different, the online world is absolutely no different from the real world. Customers are looking for the same types of things. They’re susceptible to moods, atmosphere, purchase pressure, and all other forms of retail process. If you can think of a technique that fails, or works in a physical store, -there is an online equivalent.

Our advice is to approach online sales the same as in real world sales. If you’re willing to spend thousands of dollars for signage above your real world store to make sure traffic notices you, then why would you be less willing to spend an equivalent amount for your online store? If you analyze the way your lobby, or show-room floor might impact your customers buying habits, – then why not your home page? If you are picky about the attitude and tone of your sales staff, – then why not the way your checkout system works?


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