My husband is a ham radio operator. He was perusing websites recently looking for some equipment to further his hobby. He was looking at sites here in Australia as well as overseas. He found one based in Sydney that had what he wanted BUT, they had no shopping cart set up for their long list of accessories and once you were on the list, there was no link to get back to the site itself. The list was in a PDF format. Some Australian businesses are complaining about customers shopping overseas via the web, but if they make it hard on their customers, why wouldn’t the customer go elsewhere?
Another site my husband saw was from the US but it was hideous to look at, working with frames (a very old concept of web design) that didn’t work too well and the colours clashed. He went on to find another site.
This brings me to think about our own websites for our industry. Do we make it easy for our customers to buy from us? Perhaps we don’t have product so therefore don’t have a shopping cart. But what about accessing the information they want to find out? And how easy is it for them to move back to a previous page? What if they want to contact you? Is a phone number visible? What about a contact form or even a postal address? Don’t make it hard for people to make decisions – give them the information they need and make it easily accessible. Otherwise they’ll move on to someone else’s site.