Create A Bad Online Store in 10 Easy Steps

Who wants to create a successful online store that actually makes money? Not us! All sarcasm aside, we’ve all seen plenty of sites that make us cringe, and many of them share the same terrible traits. Learn from their mistakes and create a webstore that makes customers buy, not run away!

1. Hide The Buy Button

Make it difficult for customers to buy your products. Hiding your buy button all the way at the bottom of the page – or better yet, not having one at all – is a surefire way to a bad Web site!

2. Flash Them

A beautiful Flash site is sure to entice customers to buy, right? There’s nothing you would rather do, as a customer, than wait in anticipation until the page loads to be presented with a somewhat cool video that lasts 5 seconds. Then, despite your busy life, you’ll wait for each and every page on the site to load, and you won’t even think about going to the competitor’s fast-loading site. Right?

3. Search Engine Optimization is the Devil

You’ve heard from “savvy” webmasters that Search Engine Optimization (SEO), the process of tweaking certain internal and external factors on your site to better rank in the natural search engine results, is the devil’s work. Shouldn’t Google just know you’re a great online store? Who needs to work for results? You can just buy 100 spammy links and submit your site to 100s of directories!

4. Click Click Click…Click…Click

Other webstores have just a few seconds to engage customers, but not yours. You can create a Web site that takes 10 clicks to place a single product in the shopping cart. You know your customers just love tapping that left mouse button.

5. We Love Clutter

You know that room in your house where you have the old toasters, furniture, and everything else thrown all over? Wouldn’t that make for a great site? Just throw tons of product pictures on a page – the more the merrier. K.I.S.S. simplicity goodbye!

6. People Click on Popups

Popups are wonderful tools to yell at your customers to buy. Be sure the popups are as obnoxious as possible, blinking and mimicking the look of a Windows error message. That’s the only way customers will ever notice your products!

7. Don’t Let Them Find You!

You don’t want those pesky customers to find you. I mean, what happens if, heavens forbid, they call or email you about a product? Including your contact info might make customers trust you more. Scary thought.

8. Webstores Are Really Just Fun Mazes

Webstores are cleverly disguised to appear like they sell something, but the best Web sites are designed so customers can figure out a maze. If customers can find the path from the landing page to the checkout in a minute or less, you’ve failed!

9. Hmm. What Is This Store About?

Remember, your online store should be a puzzle. In addition to the maze you’ve created, make sure no one can actually pinpoint your industry in three words or less. Sell so many different products that your online store rivals Wal Mart.

10. Branded Shopping Carts Are For Losers

Branded shopping carts insult your customers – why would they ever think that a blank shopping cart section means their credit card info is now in the hands of criminals? Customers automatically trust you with their credit card info the moment they land on your webstore, and a shopping cart that matches the look and feel of your site won’t entice them to hit that “Checkout” button. Absolutely not.

Ok, our sarcasm is getting the best of us. We’ve seen our share of bad online stores and we’ve got some pent up frustration to express. Here’s a real tip – don’t follow any of the above tips.