How NOT to Make a Web Page

Looking for some twin wall polycarbonate to make a shower door. Found a greenhouse company online. This plastic is often used for greenhouses.

Prices? Not on their web site. Bzzt!

Contact info? No physical address. No idea if they are 10 km from me or across the country. For anything that is shipped this is a big deal.

Instead there is a form that wants name, address, phone number, email address, name of my first puppy, two units of blood, and my last three year’s tax returns. There is no plain and simple email address anywhere. They do have a phone number. I may call them later this morning and be rude.

Meanwhile on to another search result. Click on the link. Click on twinwall. “I’m sorry but that product cannot be ordered online. Please call us.”

Fume. Why can’t you give me the pricing before I order it. May be another phone call in my future.

Next Link. This company specializes in plastics. They have 97 different kinds of plastic, in hundreds of shapes, colours and finishes. No way to search. No prices.

Mouse over a type of plastic. It’s a link. It’s styled as text. I discovered this by accident. Click.

No change, except a ‘Live Chat’ clickable button slides into view.

Aha! A chat link. Click. “Chat is unavailable at this time” Then why do you show the link at this time.

And so it goes for two hours.

Pointers for selling on the net:

  • Have your prices online. There may be discounts for large orders, but at least have a base price for a given item.
  • Have multiple ways to search for things. Keep in mind that your customers won’t all know the difference between lexan and plexiglass, so make it possible to search by what you do with it, as well as what it is.
  • Teach your customers. Give them enough knowledge to decide between different products.
  • If you have a large number of similar items, have ways to filter it down. One place had 47 different size sheets of 3/8" thick plexiglass. And had those sizes for 1/16, 1/8, 3/16, 1/4, 10 mm, 5/8, 3/4, 23 mm, and probably decicubits too.
  • Where are you? You should have a page that has your physical location, and a mailing address.
  • Don’t make me fill out a form with a bunch of information you don’t really need.
  • Don’t show links to resources that don’t exist.