We who are doing business online love it. We reap the benefits every day, and enjoy the fruits of technology, sometimes without knowing it, maybe even without being as grateful as we should be. Some parts of doing business are just so much easier online than they were in the brick and mortar days, and there is no way anybody is ever going back.
But that doesn’t mean things are perfect here and now. Over the years, and until this very day, we are involved in a process of streamlining our methods and ways of doing business online. In this process, we find out a lot about ourselves and our customers and human nature in general.
If you want to have a successful online business today there are things to keep in mind, both things that work well with human nature, and things that have changed as society itself has changed in the two decades plus since the internet became popular.
A great example of this would be back in the day, we would tend to make customers fill out tedious forms. These forms were often counter-intiutive and/or didn’t inspire trust on the part of the customer. Many online sails failed at the exact instant a form had to be filled out.
Nowadays, you would want to do something like this online sign up sheet instead of just some convoluted form. These types of things are easier to read and navigate, much less prone to data errors, and most importantly of all, friendly to the customer and his or her online shopping experience. All of this is simply accomplished by adopting a tone of a normal conversation with someone, asking for one piece of information at a time, and eliminating unnecessary formalities.
Website design is another key issue; it can no longer be clumsy and ugly like it was in the past. It has to look natural, and all the elements of a website need to flow seamlessly into each other. However, it still is a good principle to try and not make websites too flashy and showy, as we don’t want to confuse the customer. It’s also important to not include too much animation which may crash phones and computers, or cause them to slow down too much when accessing the website.
In general, the guiding point here should be that we need to remember at all times that we are dealing with humans here and not machines on the other end, and design accordingly.