Your Order Page
For #TBT -- originally published May 13, 2003
You've always had a great product, and now you have a web presence with an eye-catching front page that invites your customer into your site where you can really showcase that product. (see our previous article "Your Site's Front Page") Delighted, your customer clicks the button that says: "Buy!" It's a done deal, right? Money in your pocket? Maybe not!
As backward as it may seem, some sites make their customers jump through hoops to place an order. You have probably seen these sites yourself, and may have decided it just wasn't worth the effort. Don't scare your customers away! Make it easy and pleasant for your customers to place their orders by following a couple of tips.
Your ordering link should be easy to find, and on every page of your site so that you are ready to do business when they are ready. Offer complete descriptions and specifications, make it clear in which currency you are dealing, and prominently post shipping and handling charges as well as your prices.
Studies have proven that sites which allow online credit card transactions do more business than those who require payment by snail mail. You will need to set up a merchant account, which is usually worth the expense as your sales volume will increase. If you simply can't budget for your own merchant account right now or if you anticipate your sales volume will be low, there are online bill-paying services that you can use. These can be more affordable as there are no set-up charges and the per-transaction fee is lower, but you lose some prestige and add to the effort of your customer.
Obviously you'll need information in order to ship the product, but don't ask your customer to fill out a lot of unnecessary fields when they only want to complete the form quickly. Give them delivery options, delivery schedule and return policy information on this page as well.
Nothing turns away your clients more decidedly than an order form that won't work. Pretend to be a customer and test the form thoroughly. You know the old joke about how "to err is human" and what havoc a computer can create. With reams of code powering your web site, it only makes sense to check that every bit and bite does what it's supposed to do.
Now all that's left is deliver the requested merchandise in a timely fashion, and you have one happy customer. You also have that customer's email and shipping addresses for your files so you can keep them posted on sales and specials!
If you are ready to begin your Internet venture, or if you just need some assistance on your current journey, let us be your guide.
Contact us now and let us outfit you for the wilds of the world wide web!