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Practical Techie: Set up a virtual showroom for your wares

Any commerce page on the web must sell well. It has no other use. Convert visitors into customers.  

Ensuring this functionality requires basic design strategies, superb content, and certain artistic magic, like that of top showcase decorators in real stores.   

BROWSE — The first approach is to ensure navigability. The word “browse” is used in Internet culture to designate content exploration because cyberspace is considered a kind of ocean of data. A navigable page is one in which everything is in plain sights, like a well-marked bay with route buoys. 

We have already shown in previous columns how impatient netizens are. If in a minute they do not “see” references to what they are searching for they go somewhere else. On a digital page, if we visualize it as a showcase, the buoys are replaced by navigation buttons so that the visitor finds everything diligently. Remember, most people who visit an e-store have never been there. You must make everything easy, comfortable, and fast. Use this tool to test the speed of your portal on the Web.   

MAPPING — Another good strategy is to have indicators of where visitors are always within your portal, or where they can go to look for different merchandise. Most importantly, how to return to the initial page. All this is done by place “back” buttons on each page. Also, by using active navigation boxes or so-called “hot frames”. All these elements are available for free on the design apps of most Web portals. 

REGISTRY — Upon arrival, do not immediately ask the visitor to register on your page. It’s the real-world equivalent of requiring a new customer to hand over their credentials, before letting them into your store. Registration is a great tracking tool, but it should be at the end of the visitor experience. More effectively, after achieving the sale when you have gained the customer’s trust. If you do not buy, always provide an incentive to encourage registration, such as offering to send notices of special sales or discount coupons. 

DESIGN — Some pages have too much text, too many photos, or excessive animations and sounds. So many that a visitor needs a digital machete to break through the mishmash. Other pages are so washed out that it seems that a virtual hurricane went by and left everything in disarray. 

The logic for organizing your store’s digital display case depends on the products or services you sell but use common sense. Place everything in order of relevance and categories. Products that relate to each other need to be together, as also similar services and price orders, etc. 

Avoid bombastic fonts or on the contrary, light gray or very sparse color that makes it difficult to read. Use a font size proportional to the size of the page, neither too small nor large. Blank backgrounds are the least distractive

A search button should never be missing in any well-designed website. 

CREATIVITY — In terms of artistry, use the rule of showroom decorators. Place a “hook” product as a centerpiece and unfold the others around it, always in relevant order. Another little magic is to present your products through visuals but with interesting angles, not in a flat, front view and boring sense. 

LOGIC — Offer a brief and accurate explanation about each product under each commodity section.

There are only two basic goals in the true logic of a sales page. 

One is to guide the visitor to click on a product, view it, and get enticed, or emotional about it. The other is to easily allow for the new customer to “place” it digitally in the virtual shopping cart and pay for the merchandise. Therefore, each of these actions must have corresponding buttons, visible places, and logical positioning. For example, a “checkout” button should never be before the point on the page where the merchandise is exhibited. The one that should be there is the “buy,” or its equivalent in Spanish. This again is also excellent navigability. 

PAYMENT — The process for paying should be step by step, not all in one action so that the client does not get cluttered with the procedure. The price of each merchandise and shipping charges must be clear.  

At the crucial moment of paying, the new customer should see signs everywhere on your portal that you are reliable. This is achieved with “privacy” agreement buttons, “confidentiality” ­­­­­­­buttons and with express and clear guarantees of refund of the transaction money if there are disagreements. 

Another crucial tactic at this stage is to never require clients to give personal information because it scares them away. Questions such as if they are married, live alone, drink, smoke, dance, exact income, etc. 

Offer, without delay, your contact information or for your company, so that the customer can feel there is effective two-way communication with the firm. If you add an 800 number to the portal, all the better.  

SOCIALIZE — Finally, if you are a super optimistic merchant, hang social media buttons on your online showroom so that those who are happy with your dealings will recommend you to their peers.

At a glance, all the above make for a good business page. Not difficult, at all.  

Author Details
Author Rafael Matos is a veteran journalist, a professor of digital narratives and university mentor. He may be contacted at cccrafael@gmail.com.

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