I love shopping online! A major reason people shop online is for the convenience. If you're building your online store, consider the following features to enhance the usefulness of your e-commerce site:
- Registration. You get valuable consumer data and customers can take advantage of convenient features on the site because the e-commerce system "remembers" them when they return.
- Profile. Customers can fill out additional personal data including hobbies and special interests that can help you market to them more effectively.
- Purchase history. Customers can access a list of previous purchases with ease.
- Wish list. Customers can save items to a list for reference on future visits. A wish list can sometimes allow a customer to e-mail friends and family with hints on gifts that they'd love to receive.
- Order status. Customers can check online rather than calling customer service to see the status of their order.
Having an e-commerce site with these extra features may cost you more money initially, but the savings, particularly on reducing the need for telephone customer service, pays off.
Aliza Sherman is an entrepreneur and author of Cybergrrl: A Woman's Guide to the World Wide Web (Ballantine Books). She is currently working on her next book and new company.