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Chapter 7. Winning Webstores

What does it take to have a winning webstore? Customers can tell you. A customer's preferred shopping process is a one-to-one mapping to predetermined expectations. Customers tolerated poorly designed websites in the early years of Internet shopping, but now they've come to expect a base level of usability. Each day, as websites improve and provide new customer conveniences, the bar is raised.

What customers say, however, may be different from what they actually do. The key to these communications is in the interpretations. You must both listen and observe. You must also add other dimensions and opinions from Internet usability experts who've listened and watched thousands of Internet users, shoppers, browsers, customers, and surfers operate and vocalize their online behaviors.

In the opinion equation, however, don't overlook your own insights. As an influencer of web design or of an e-commerce business, you are also a consumer and no doubt have opinions of your own about what makes a winning website. Take a fresh look at your website through the eyes of the consumer instead of only through the eyes of the merchant to avoid a business bias. You may be surprised at what you see. It may be a humbling experience, or it may be a satisfactory one.

Ultimately, customers are judges who vote for winning webstores with their dollars. Analyzed information from customers—and from people who watch and listen to customers—becomes powerful, actionable customer intelligence. Applying this intelligence to web design creates websites from which people want to purchase.


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