Designing a simple web site or and advanced internet business system, begins with understanding your business goals. Here are some questions that we have found helpful in working with customers to define precise features and business objectives for their web site.
How does your new web site fit into your business?
- What are the critical success factors for your business?
- How should your web site contribute to achieving those objectives?
- Who is your audience?
- Is there just one audience or are there several?
- Why will they visit your site and what do they expect to gain from their visit?
- What image do you want your Web Site to convey?
- If you had to reduce the whole impression of your site to a one-line message, what would it be?
- What graphic elements (such as colors, fonts, logos, or slogans) from your print media do you want to incorporate into your web site?
- What site is most like the site you want? What do you like most about that site? What do you want your site to do better?
Which of the following are business goals for your site?
- Public Relations, Corporate Presence
- Publish basic information about who we are, what we sell, where we do business, and how to find us.
- Sales Support
- Educate customers, by providing background information.
- Present product offerings
- Provide a search capability to help the customer find product information quickly.
- Present detailed product information, and technical specifications.
- Smart Sales Support
- Generate inquires and refer them to appropriate members of our marketing staff.
- Notify customers of new products and services via e-mail.
- Publish news via RSS (Real Simple Syndication).
- Solicit customer feedback via e-mail.
- Solicit structured customer feedback via forms.
- Build a customer community by providing a list server facility (Discussion Forms and Topics).
- Customer Service
Which of the following features would you like your site to provide?
- Frequently Asked Questions.
- Problem reporting.
- Sell access to a private (members-only) section of the site
- Sell information packages (e.g., standards, images, newsletters, database lookups, reports, etc.)
- Sell products from a catalog
- Register customers for classes or events
- Help the customer configure product or service options.
- Gather customer profile a data and use customer preference information to inform customers of new product offerings or sales.
- Cross-sell products and services, that is, sell auxiliary products that are complementary to a particular purchase.
- Do follow-up cross selling, that is, contact customers and suggest replacement, maintenance, or service options for previous purchases.
- Do affinity selling (suggest products to customers based on their preferences or past buying patterns).
How will you measure and judge the success of the site? Here are some options.
- Total Number of visits per month.
- Number of visits per month to certain information pages; each visit to one of these pages counts as a cost effective alternative to a telephone call.
- Number of people who register to receive product updates.
- Number of people who signup for premium, "members only" services.
- Monthly dollar volume of subscriptions.
- The number of leads generated per month.
- Monthly sales volume.
- Number of sale per month of selected, complex products that usually have a very high cost of sales.
- Average transaction size.
How will you use your site?
- How long do you anticipate using this site without a major renovation that would give it an entirely new look?
- How frequently do you anticipate adding a new button or category of information on your site?
- How frequently do you anticipate adding, deleting, or changing the information on your site?