Edition 50
Message from the Editor - Website Design
by Laura Nixon, Editor, RL Magazine, Reverse Logistics Association

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Did you know that you only have a few seconds to engage a user who is browsing through the internet? With billions of web sites out there, how are you going to stop someone when they are at your web site, get them engaged and interested? The majority of people will visit a web site and if they donít see something they like, they are gone within a few seconds. Thereís a need for visually appealing websites with quality content to gain an edge over the competitors. This leaves a very short window for you to bring a customer or prospect to your site and stay. There are a few optimal factors to take into consideration when choosing a specific design or theme and the end goal in mind for your business.

Depending on the type of business you have, the consideration of accepting sales online is very important. We are no longer in the age of making phone calls to place orders, although this option is still readily available. Many companies have websites that allow for these transactions. The end goal of an e-commerce site is to drive sales with high conversions.

Another important aspect is having online customer service such as chat sessions. A website provides an interactive gateway for communication between client and company. The first perception of this live chat is as a selling tool. I have seen this in many occasions where a customer service representative is available to ask questions on certain products or when help is needed with the checkout process. The operating costs are much lower in comparison with phone call center agents.

The content of your website will help to enable the search engine rankings. This will play into building a powerful brand for your business. A website should present all the information in an organized and sophisticated way. Visitors will be more comfortable with navigation when the information is presented in a self-explanatory and obvious manner. Good navigation should be provided so that customers can access the intended information on your website without confusion. The last thing you want to do is to confuse the user.

A website should reflect your persona in addition to instilling confidence in the potential buyer that yours is a solid, stable and reliable business. In this Internet age, to be successful in any business it is vital to have a web presence. The target audience will ultimately determine the success or failure of your site.

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