Anyone planning to sell online should start by shopping
online. Next time you need to buy something, look
for it on the Web.
When you put yourself in the
consumer's place, you'll find it is not hackers you
worry about, but the merchant.
Almost anyone can set up a Web site. So visitors need to
be reassured that they are ordering
from a real company, and not just a teenager running
the site out of his bedroom.
Anything you can do to
show that you are real will help increase orders.
Include your name, phone number, and street address.
Toll-free numbers are especially good.
If possible, include an image of your
or even a brief company history.
The best way to show that you mean business may be
to include a full selection of products. One of the
things that distinguishes winners like
CDNOW is their huge
inventories, which show that they are serious about
A surprising number of companies have online stores that
send the opposite message. Some don't even have
ordering working yet.
It makes you wonder, do these guys actually want your business?
A lame Web site is better than no Web site, but not much better.
Especially since the latest generation of Web tools make it so easy
to build sites with online ordering.
Text copyright © 1999 Paul Graham. Feel free to reproduce any of this text on your own Web site, so long as you reproduce it verbatim, and include this message. For any other use, please contact the author. Yahoo! and Yahoo! Store are trademarks of Yahoo! Inc. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners.