Online retail: Create a 2017 checklist

Q. I spent a lot of money and effort on my website. How can I judge its effectiveness?
 - 
Monday, January 30, 2017

A. A website is a must-have to market your business, draw new visitors and inform your customers. The bigger question is, “What objectives are you trying to achieve with your website?”  It’s the beginning of 2017 and a great time to honestly compare what you have with what you want. Here are three website features to consider:

Does your website look good? Is it easy to navigate? How does it look on a tablet or smart phone? Does it properly communicate your brand? You have one chance to make an initial impression—make it a good one.

What about social media? Does your business have a Facebook, Twitter, YouTube or a Google+ page? These are low cost/high reward methods to communicate with your existing customers, attract new customers and let your community know that you are an industry expert. You need to give your customers and potential customers a reason to come back to your site, so keep information fresh, current and relevant.

Can your customers buy products from your website? People who need HME products also need accessories (aka “retail” or “cash sale” items). What are you doing to guide them toward making the right decision? Patients that need a bed, oxygen or wheelchair probably need bathroom safety. You are in a position to recommend specific items that will give them a better quality of life. You should be able to use your online catalog to educate your customer, then sell those items at retail from your physical store or directly from your website.

It’s 2017. Your website should have these features and be a profit center.

Kamal Haddad is CEO of Health Mobius. Reach him at khaddad@healthmobius.com.