Want to know how your online
store did last week? Here is a quick
way to estimate your sales: How much time have you spent working
on, and promoting, the site over the last couple weeks?
Overall, the more time a company spends on its online store, the
better it tends to do. I doubt anyone can say now
what the perfect online store should look like.
The whole business of Internet commerce is barely three years old.
You are unlikely to get things exactly right on the first try.
Like most sites, yours will evolve.
So you should be constantly improving your site. And even if you
think your site is perfect, you should still change it regularly.
A Web site that has not changed for months is boring. It feels
Have you ever visited a store in a remote area where the turnover
is obviously very low? Where the items on the shelves are faded,
or have dust on them? Do you want to buy from a store like that?
Big department stores seem to know
that a certain amount of bustle
is necessary to show that they are alive. They are constantly
changing their displays. Change is even more important on the Web.
Especially since so many of your competitors don't know it, and
leave their sites unchanged for months at a time.
Regular change in a Web site is a form of high
Having high production values means, in short, looking expensive.
And a site that changes regularly looks expensive: for most online
stores it is expensive, because the site is maintained by
Web consultants who charge by the hour.
Fortunately, with the latest generation of store building tools,
it is easy to change your site regularly. Many of our users edit
their sites several times a week, and some do every day.
One easy way to make your site change regularly is to list featured
items on the front page, and to rotate them every few days. In
Yahoo! Store, at least, you can do this in under a minute.
Another slightly more laborious approach is to have some kind of
news component to your site. For example, Softpro Books has a new
arrivals section, which is updated every weekday. This is a big
attraction in a site selling technical books, because customers
always want the very latest. By taking this extra effort, Softpro
has made their online store into more than a store. Customers
return to the site regularly as a source of news, and that is one
of the main reasons Softpro is so successful.