If it takes too long to load, they're hitting the back button and moving on to your competition. Think 20K or smaller. If you have a full-page jpeg that you want to use, that's great, but make sure that you compress it at about 20%.

The way Yahoo Store does graphics is that if you upload a full-screen .gif or .jpeg file, the software automatically generates a thubnail at 45 x 45 pixels for the section page, and then it automatically generates at 180 x 180 pixel image for the item page. The way you can see the big graphic is to then click on the item page and it will just load your full-page graphic. This is good for higher ticket items, or products where you need to see detail

Also use the icon feature. ICONS allow you to use a separate thumnail for an item. So instead of showing a one-inch graphic of a Ford Thunderbird, you can have a one-inch FORD logo and when you click on it or the link then the item shows the "full" photo. Again, if you uploaded a "full-page" graphic then you can add Click the photo to see a larger picture.

Have your 1-800 number, regular number, fax info, a baby company logo, mailing address, contact name, an e-mail link, and your company slogan on the bottom of every page. Make use of the variable FINAL TEXT. Whatever you place here is on the bottom of every page. You can also have links to your specials or most popular pages

Take a product every week or two and run a special. That gives you an "excuse" to contact your e-mail list on a semi-regular basis, and it may motivate your potential clients to buy something to test you. We've noticed that many of our client's customers make a small order before ordering a large ticket item.

Even if you don't have a catalog, have a mechanism for collecting the names & addresses of your prospects. Yahoo Store has the request catalog option which you can customize to some degree. This can be a most valuable resource in that it works 24-7 like your webstore. We have done past promotions to give away samples or to have a drawing to give away products with no purchase necessary (check local laws) to motivate folks to give their name, address, and e-mail address.

Put a "last updated" date on your site if you update your site regularly to show people that you do update your site regularly.

You can include this on the task bar by including the search button in the list of activated buttons or by including a link to http://www2.viaweb.com/cgi-bin/nsearch?YOUR_ACCOUNT_NAME which will take you to your search page, OR you can actually call the search button by using this code:


which will look like this:

Use salesmanship in print. With each product list the features and then explain why the customer needs to buy it. List customer benefits, not just product features, and then ask for the sale.

Turn your Order button into a Click Here to Order button or an Add to Shopping Cart button. All you have to do is look under variables and change the parameter ORDER BUTTON.

Selling collectible porcelain dolls? Instead of "Amanda" for the NAME of a collectible doll, name the product "Amanda - Collectible, Hand-Painted Porcelain Doll." This will help with the deeper search engines like Alta Vista.

Remember, the whole point of this is to give your potential customer every reason to do business with you. You want to give them the information that they need in order to buy from you. Whether you do it yourself, or hire a designer to do your Yahoo Store, the Livestore software makes it easy to make stores that are easy for your customers to use.

-- Rob Snell