How to Win Buyers and Succeed in Overseas Markets Part II - Website is your face to the world Internet

In the virtual world of cyberspace, often the only way your customer can evaluate you is your communication - your language, presentation and style. Your e-mail/web-site/ presentation etc. are your faces to the world - and these must inspire sufficient confidence in your customer to transact business with you or at least take you seriously. This is a marked difference from traditional business and you should be aware of this feature of e-commerce.

You may be well known in your own country but the overseas customer has no way of knowing how true your claims are. The only touchstone he/she has is your communication - you must make sure they are really professional looking. The professional visitors must immediately know from your offer that it has been written by another professional.

I have written quite a few articles on communication style, language, format etc. Please check previous issues of FAIDA (

 In this article, we focus on website - that virtual entity representing you to your customers.

But I do not have a website

If you take e-commerce seriously - please get a professional website at the earliest. In today's market, it is not only important but ESSENTIAL. A well designed, professional looking website conveys a positive image about your company and helps buyers locate you through search engines. It is also much more economical to have website rather than mailing printed brochures.

In early days of Internet, website was a costly business. It also required special skills available only in major cities. So, most companies did business with only e-mail or a few pages in free sites like geocities. Possession of website was not considered necessary for evaluating a company or assessing credibility.

Not anymore ! Today you must have a full-fledged website with URL like or - nothing less. And it no longer costs the earth - you can get a reasonably fast, professionally designed website with advanced features like interactive forms, CSS etc. within Rs. 10,000 (USD 250) all inclusive (i.e. domain name + web-host + design). Besides building credibility, attracting customers, and promoting products - it will also give you a lifelong e-mail address that no ISP can take away.

If you need advice or want our professional help for your website design - please feel free to contact me.

Virtues of Professional Website

A website is not enough - it must be reasonably fast and designed professionally. Please consult a skilled and experienced professional rather than giving the design job to your son or nephew or friend who has just done a computer course. We have written many articles on features of a professional web-site. Please see earlier issues of FAIDA. There's also plenty of resources in the Net. Here, let's examine the features of a messy website.

How to Design Web-sites all wrong

Some of the purposes of a messy website are:

  1. Make it excruciatingly difficult to reach
  2. Thoroughly confuse hapless Columbus who could reach it
  3. Drive Away Customers
  4. Project a negative image about the company

Some Suggestions on how to accomplish above

  1. Make the first page 500 Kb or larger. Splash all kinds of images, colours and fonts. Your purpose is to make every visitor wait for at least a few minutes before he/she can have a glance of your deadly design.
  2. Look for a cheap and slow web-host. It will make your job easy.
  3. Confuse people about the company, so that they get no idea what kind of product or service you offer, much less what they cost or how they work.
  4. Never reveal contact details of the company. If you must include contact details, bury it deep inside the site with links only from irrelevant and seldom visited section.

Related Links:

Source: FAIDA - Newsletter on Business Opportunties from India and Abroad Vol: 3, Issue 25 October 10' 2002

Author : Dr. Amit K. Chatterjee
(Amit worked in blue-chip Indian and MNCs for 15 years in various capacities like Research and Information Analysis, Market Development, MIS, R&D Information Systems etc. before starting his e-commerce venture in 1997. The views expressed in this columns are of his own. He may be reached at )

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