Place and the Website

For small businesses that sell online or hope to sell online, the company website “places” the

product or the service in the hands of the customer. As a result, there are several decisions that

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must be made to facilitate the process so that customers can have a good online

experience [22] and be less inclined to abandon their shopping carts and leave the site without

making a purchase.

• Better sorting and searching. Make it easier for shoppers to find what they are looking for.

• Multibrand combinations in a single cart. If multiple brands are carried, make it possible to

combine shopping carts across brands and apply promotions on the entire cart.

• Clarity on price and delivery rate. Prices and delivery rates should be marked clearly, with no


• Multiple payment options. Offer more than credit cards.

• Check-out options. Do not require a customer to register before completing checkout.

• Provide a product search engine. The larger and more complex the product selection, the more a

product search engine is needed. Shoppers can search by product name; product type; price; product

attributes, such as color, size, or material; or brand either alone or in combination.

• Two clicks to buy. The fewer the number of clicks to buy, the greater the chances that a shopper will do

just that.

• Customer support. Offer customer support throughout the buying process. Make it easy to

communicate with a real person; spell out the company’s warranty, refund, and return policies; ensure

privacy and security; and let shoppers know if you put cookies on their computers.

• Fulfilling orders. Ideally, send each customer an e-mail confirming when the order is completed,

remind the shopper to print the order details, and provide a tracking number with a direct link to the

carrier’s website so that the shopper can follow the progress of shipment.

Shopping cart abandonment, or leaving a website without buying any of the items in the

shopping cart, is something that affects almost every Internet retailer, including small

businesses. Cart abandonment estimates range from 20 percent to 60 percent. [23] An

understanding of why shoppers are abandoning their carts should lead to some serious thinking

during website design and operation.


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