Being present online is vital in today’s market. Having a website is an investment you can make to have the best return. The buying cycle has now changed from awareness and consideration of physical products to awareness through an e-commerce site and searching online to consider if the need of the customer can be fulfilled by that site.

What is the buying cycle?

Buying cycle is the process or the steps which a customer goes through before making a purchase or a decision to purchase. It has five steps, the first being awareness, which is the customer’s recognition of a need, for example, a dress for a Christmas party. Second step is consideration. The customer here evaluates whether what you have on offer can meet her needs. For example, if she is looking for a long maxi dress of a certain material and colour, she will definitely scour the web to see which shops have similar, if not, exact matches, for that dress. Third step is the intent to making the purchase. So if your shop, say X, has similar dresses, she will preferto buy it from you. Fourth step is the actual purchase; this is very important. If you have a website but no online buying option, you lose a sale there itself.

Real scenario

Maybe one or two customers will choose to visit a physical store but most just choose to press a button and input credit card details. If she can successfully do that, provided you have an online presence designed by a bespoke web development agency Singapore, suiting to every need of a potential customer, there is more and more chance that she will refer your site to friends and colleagues, and definitely return to buy any other office clothing or causal dresses she want from you. Studies have found out that more than 97% customers go online before buying a product. So unless you sell to the customers of a bygone era, you must work on your cyber presence.

Characteristics of a good web design

Just being present online is also not sufficient. Your site must be easy to find. It must “load” quickly. It has been found out that people lose interest within the first seven to eleven seconds. This is a very narrow time window. Therefore your site must have smooth navigation, easy process to “add to cart”, checkout and payments made simple and be optimized for mobile. Recent studies reveal that more than a third of all online sales are done through a mobile device. If a customer has to wait for a long time until the site is launched or if things get messed up while making the payment chances are you will never see that person again.

Remember that you need the customers and not the other way around. You must make sure they feel at ease and eager to do a purchase, both online and offline.