Sales Versus Customer Oriented Websites
Should Generating Revenue From A Website Be The Prime Motivator?
A pure sales site has only one purpose... to generate as much revenue as possible at any cost. In other words, your experience--good or bad--is inconsequential to the ultimate goal of the site and may well sacrifice customer satisfaction to make a sale.
How many times have you gone back to buy from a website you've had a lousy experience with? My guess is not very often. I know I don't. How many times have you gone back to buy from a website you've had a great experience with? What was the difference between the two experiences? Do you think the website you had the great experience with was a customer oriented site? And, might it be the other website you had the bad experience with was a sales oriented website?
A business can't survive very long if it's prime motivator is purely focused on sales and revenue. Sure, it may last for a while, but not long-term.
As webmasters and marketers, we must strive to create a long-term business relationship between ourselves and our customers so that they will continue to buy from us for as long as they have a need or desire for our products or services.
No One Does It Better Than Amazon.com
Arguably, http://Amazon.com is one of the largest customer oriented and successful website businesses on the planet. They're proof that "build a customer oriented website and they will come." They go out of their way to personalize the shopping experience for every single person.
When I visit Amazon.com, I see a very different selection of products than Linda, my wife, sees when she goes shopping. They know what I've purchased in the past and understand my buying habits. They also understand that my buying habits are different than Linda's and are different than yours. So, they tailor the individual experience for each of us. It makes us feel like the site has been designed around our specific desires.
Amazon.com has gone to a tremendous amount of effort to individualize our experiences. Why? Customers are their prime motivator. Would it have been easier and cheaper to build a strictly sales oriented, sales motivated website? Sure. Would they be the most successful website on the planet if they had done that? Do I really need to answer that?
Customer Oriented, Customer Motivated Website
Okay, so you get the drift of where I'm going with this. You may not be out to kick Amazon.com from the top of the ladder, but the principles are applicable to any website whether you're selling one product or millions of products.
With that in mind, you've decided that your website is going to be customer oriented whereby customers are the prime motivator and your business will revolve around their satisfaction.
You already know from your past experiences that customers will go back to websites where their experiences have been positive. You also understand that the web's a finicky place and it's a "one strike and you're out" business environment. Therefore, you're going to develop your website using your own experiences as a customer as your guide.
What did or didn't you like about the websites you've done business with in the past? What brings you back to the ones you've had good experiences with time after time?
Give Your Customers What They Want
Customer oriented websites will win out over sales oriented sites every time and for the long haul. Develop your customer oriented website to ensure them a satisfying experience and they will tell their friends about you and so the word gets around. Pretty soon your site will be flooded with friends of friends of friends who will all become life-time customers. Lots of happy, satisfied and paying customers means a long-term, profitable and prosperous business. Enough said?
John Wright is the co-founder and vice president of Your Site Solutions (http://www.YourSiteSolutions.net) and has many years in the Internet industry. John's experience covers website development, copy writing, deployment and marketing.
Your Site Solutions is a single source provider of e-commerce software, hosting, products and services to meet the needs of tomorrow's Internet businesses.
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