Today I got a great parking spot near a resale shop I really like. Before I left the car, I looked up to see the door was closed and it looked dark inside. Feeling disappointed, I started my car and pulled out, but as I was passing the store I saw people inside.
It was really open.
They lost my sale.
If you want people to come in, ALWAYS ALWAYS ALWAYS make your store welcoming. This is not negotiable.
Here's the best practice for web usability...
Even if just a few people pass on proceeding on your site because they didn't know how it works, fast enough you've lost money and they've lost an opportunity. How can you help them? Take one of these approaches all of which make it very easy for both the computer and person to succeed.
- Strip away complexity : People get too much information already and many don't have time to get involved with your site as it is!
-Walk them through it: offer intense help at sign up with a customer service agent on chat
As you go, listen to what is working and what isn't (aka: do user testing of any sort). This basic principle of user centered design iteration, allows you do remove the pieces of the design that cause customer hesitation.