Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Is Your Virtual Showroom Friendly?

This morning, during a meeting of a local women's business network, we ended up discussing how a business' website is like a virtual showroom. In other words, it's a place where potential customers go to learn more about a business before deciding whether or not to purchase its products or services.

Like a physical showroom, your website is all about making first impressions. You want your site to "wow" visitors, to adequately reflect your business, and ultimately encourage visitors to become customers.

Thus, it's also important that your site remain friendly. And I mean more than user-friendly, though that is definitely important. For example, one issue that we discussed today was when you visit a site, and before letting you browse it, up pops a box requiring you to submit your information: e-mail address, phone number, etc.

That, well, isn't friendly. That's akin to you walking into a physical showroom, and an employee immediately strutting up to you and requiring that you submit your personal information before you're allowed to look around. Not only would that be frustrating, but it would create an air of distrust with that business. More than likely, you would turn around and leave, seeking a similar product or service elsewhere.

Remember: your website is a virtual showroom. Be friendly, and it will go a long way.