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Recently, I was talking to two different artists, one painter, and one jeweler. Both were apologizing for the dismally outdated state of their websites.

The painter regretted making the decision to do her own website. Her in-person business was booming, but the paintings on the site were out of date — she’d moved on to a new style that was not reflected at all online.

I’ve long held that small business owners can’t, and shouldn’t do everything. You must farm out some of the work. For me, I’ve chosen to outsource the web design. I don’t have the time, or frankly, the interest, to become a professional web designer and programmer.

Now, an article in Fast Company has vindicated my position!

B) How does an online retailer cultivate trust with a shopper? By looking good, say Yu-Hui Chen and Stuart Barnes in Industrial Management & Data Systems. Chen and Barnes write that concerns about poor security and vendor unreliability are the largest deterrents to Internet shopping — and site design matters more than one might think in overcoming those fears. They found that consumers feel more comfortable making purchases from “impersonal and anonymous” sources if they are easy to navigate and search, and provide “full and detailed information about goods.” A highly functional Web site doesn’t just help customers find the product they’re looking for, but it also makes them feel comfortable about being there in the first place.

Source: Fast Company, April 2008
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