The Ultimate Purchase

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Retailers have websites for numerous reasons.

Some stores exist only online. Others are in addition to their brick-and-mortars parent company.

Online stores, of all types, should ideally be built to sell. Products should be presented clearly, the site should be searchable, checkout should be painless.

The selling of products is a measurable matrix. You can see how many of each product was sold, how much revenue was generated, the conversion rate, average order size. Bottom-line sales, in other words, are easy to assess based on statistics.

But, as all retailers know, there is more to sales than exactly what is sold. Brand awareness, customer experience, the more esoteric dimensions, are also important.

In fact, as it turns out, particularly so in the world of online shopping.

A recent Neilson Online Study found that 80% buy from a store whose site they previously visited. That is a HUGE conversion rate.

The online/offline connection is especially driven by the fact that nowadays, many consumers do initial research on the web. They may ultimately make a purchase in a bricks-and-mortar store, but it is very likely that the final purchase will be based on information gathered online.

So aside from the fact that you want to be straight-up selling online, if you are indeed a multi-channel retailer, you may want to make sure that your web portal is as informative as possible, providing potential customers with all the types of information they desire, prior to making a purchase.

This includes up-to-date inventory, good product descriptions, interactivity and customer feedback functionality.

Your website is at minimal, another face to your business, if not your business in its entirety.

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