The Richmond Times Dispatch (RTD) publishes a consumer watch piece in the Metro Business section; Iris Taylor writes the column. About a month ago Iris contacted us for a few tips on e-commerce and later published the article, “Mistakes to avoid when setting up an e-commerce site.” Here’s an excerpt and link to the full story for those interested:
Think your small business is ready for an e-commerce Web site?
Don’t make the following mistakes, advised SCORE, a national small-business counseling organization, and Web site-designer Greg Magnus, a local counselor for SCORE in Richmond:
Making a hasty decision. Don’t say yes to the first vendor who offers to build or host your site. Contact about five vendors. Ask for referrals through business people you know — or ask SCORE for a recommendation.
Research the basics of starting an e-commerce site. “Try to find examples of sites that you like,” said Magnus, owner of Aim Custom Media (http://www.aimcustom.com), which sets up shopping-cart Web sites. They should be a similar business to the one you’d like to have, he said.
Be ready to tell what you like about the sites — color scheme, design, functionality — and what you’d like to accomplish on your site.
Neglecting customer service. You want to deliver personal service to your customers. Answer their e-mails promptly and address them by name.
Send an e-mail saying their order was received or shipped. Encourage them to contact you if your product doesn’t live up to their expectations. List your company’s physical address and phone number on the site. Read the full story at RTD here.
You can contact Iris Taylor at (804) 649-6349 or at firstname.lastname@example.org (RTD email address).