Sorry that this is a negative post. However, it is important. there are newsagents and other small business retailers who have lured heaps of money into websites only to have them fail. By fail, I mean, not work, not deliver the additional revenue they sought.
I know a bit about this having run retail related websites for twenty years now – some successful, some not so successful.
Based on my experience and observations, here are the top six reasons small business retailer websites fail:
- The site design is poor: hard to navigate, hard to purchase from, not showing products in a good light, not up with current site design standards.
- The site is hard to find. Little or no thought has been given to what people search for, where and how, there is little or no promotion to get the site found through Google and other search engines.
- The site does not give off an impression of trust. If you want someone who has never been to your business before to buy from you the site is all they can gauge trust from.
- The site has no business goal and it is evident from the site this is the case.
- The site is out of date – in terms of content, prices and look nd feel.
- The site does not show what stock is available right now.
Business websites, especially e-commerce sites, are hungry beasts. They require considerable up-keep, daily attention. The data must be accurate. The site design needs to look fresh. Think of it as a shop but online. Just as you open your doors to your physical shop and keep it tidy, you need to do the same for your website.
As a rule of thumb, a retail business website needs a major look, feel and functionality overhaul at least every eighteen months. If you don;t do this you are felling behind in a highly competitive space.
Here is my newsagency management tip for today: if you have a business website, feed it, nurture it, keep it current … otherwise, take it down and save the embarrassment.