|FAQ - Definitions
Successful Online Businesses Keep The Information That Require From Their Customers To A Minimum.
When you design your online business, one of the most important things to remember is that your customers interaction with your web site should be as close to a non-web transaction as possible. Think about the things that annoy you about going to any brick-and-mortar retail store. Don’t repeat their mistakes. One of the most annoying and unnecessary things that retailers can do is to ask you for more information than you are prepared to give.
For example, one very well known retail chain used to ask all their customers for their address and name so that they could be sent catalogs. Even if you went in there to just a buy a single battery, before you checked out, they wanted to know where you lived. That was an inconvenience and often perceived as intrusive. After several years this retailer stopped doing this and ended up saving a lot of money on mailing and printing costs and had happier customers.
The internet version of this type of intrusion is gathering someone’s email address for inclusion on an email list. Many online shopping carts will ask their customers, ‘Would you like to get our Newsletter?’ before they can check out. Many people read this as ‘Would you like to receive more spam?’ If you have a newsletter, make subscribing to it an option on your home page. Do not ask people if they want a newsletter or electronic catalog when they want to check out and make a purchase.
It should go without saying, but some online businesses still think that a ‘Quick survey’ after checkout is a good idea. Again, if you have a survey that you think would help in your marketing efforts, turn it into a link on your home page.
You will find that an extremely small percentage of you customers will actually take a survey – something like 10%. Only about 20% of your customers will want you to mail them a catalog – although this number increases slightly around the holidays. The number of customers who will sign-up for a newsletter varies a lot and it depends on the type of web site you have – the range is from 5% to 30%.
These figures show that only a small fraction of the visitors to a web site ever want to participate in these types of ‘promotions’. If you put these things on your check-out page, you might lose a customer, or at least make them hesitant to return to your web site. Successful online shopping carts streamline the checkout process and only ask their customers the minimal amount of information needed to complete the transaction.