June 13th, 2013
Most online shoppers are wary the first time they are visiting an estore. If you have an ecommerce website, building trust should be one of your priorities. Does your ecommerce website have the answers to these questions? If not, you have some work to do.
- Who is this company?
- How long have they been in business?
- Where are they located, and where do they ship from?
- What does shipping cost? (Don’t ask for anything but my zip code before telling me.)
- Is my credit card safe?
- Is this product description accurate? Where are the details?
- What happens if something goes wrong?
- Where is the phone number (and business hours) and other contact information?
- My Privacy. Do they respect it?
It all comes down to building trust. If your website doesn’t have the answers to the questions above, it doesn’t matter how great your products and/or prices may be. No trust. No sale!
May 28th, 2013
Monday, May 20 UW Professor Andy Lewis, Broadband & Economic Development Specialist at the Center for Community Technology Solutions, UW-Extension, led a group visiting the facilities at Uplands Cheese north of Dodgeville, Wisconsin. The group included three members of the Parliament of Victoria, Australia, who are members of the Rural and Regional Committee. They were Mr Paul Wellner (Chair), Mr Geoff Howard MP, and Mr Andrew Katos MP. They were accompanied by Lilian Topic, Executive Officer of the Rural and Regional Committee. I was privileged to participate in this event. Mike Gingrich of Uplands Cheese graciously acted as tour guide. He was a wealth of information and ended the tour with a tasting of the multiple-award winning Pleasant Ridge Reserve cheese.
The Rural and Regional Committee members were in the United States as part of their Inquiry into the Opportunities to Use Telecommuting and E-Business in Rural and Regional Victoria. After touring Uplands Cheese, the members of the committee, Andy, and I continued with discussion of the pros and cons of telecommuting and remote working. We also discussed entrepreneurship challenges in rural areas, including broadband access and costs. I related my experience of bootstrapping a small business and over seventeen years of running WebWise Design & Marketing in a small community in southwest Wisconsin. We discussed how a committee of dedicated members (including Andy and me) helped establish local dial-up Internet service availability in 1997 to nearly everyone in Grant County, WI. That local access grew from the city of Platteville only to covering nearly everywhere in Grant County in approximately six month’s time.
We concluded the day with a bit of a hike to a rocky point with a panoramic view overlooking Wyoming Valley, followed by dinner at a local restaurant, where our Australian visitors enjoyed their first taste of fried Wisconsin cheese curds. Thanks to Andy and Mike for making this wonderful exchange of conversation, information, and ideas possible.
May 9th, 2013
First impressions matter. In today’s world, the first impression of your business is made by your website. Does your website present your business as professionally as you do when you are meeting someone for the first time? Before meeting or greeting prospective customers, most of us generally take a look in a mirror to make sure we don’t embarrass ourselves. We check our smile, our hair, and our clothes. We polish our shoes or in my case, boots. Sometimes we practice our greeting. Why? First impressions matter.
When was the last time you seriously looked at your website? How does it look? How does it read? How does it navigate?
First impressions matter.