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E-Commerce Bells And Whistles

A few add-ons can do wonders for your site.

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

I love shopping online! A major reason people shop online is forthe convenience. If you're building your online store, considerthe following features to enhance the usefulness of your e-commercesite:

  • Registration. You get valuable consumer data andcustomers can take advantage of convenient features on the sitebecause the e-commerce system "remembers" them when theyreturn.
  • Profile. Customers can fill out additional personal dataincluding hobbies and special interests that can help you market tothem more effectively.
  • Purchase history. Customers can access a list ofprevious purchases with ease.
  • Wish list. Customers can save items to a list forreference on future visits. A wish list can sometimes allow acustomer to e-mail friends and family with hints on gifts thatthey'd love to receive.
  • Order status. Customers can check online rather thancalling customer service to see the status of their order.

Having an e-commerce site with these extra features may cost youmore money initially, but the savings, particularly on reducing theneed 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.

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