We have heard from another retailer who has been ripped off by someone for website development. This is happening too often, with small business retailers carrying the cost of the rip off financially and operationally.
In this latest instance, they were promised the world and delivered a mediocre website that is not POS software connected.
Based on years of experience developing POS software connected websites and decades of experience developing POS software, we have advice for small business retailers considering having a website developed for their business and connected to their POS software:
- Choose a local web developer. Choose a person or business who is local, in the same country (and state even) as you.
- Be careful. Some businesses may present as local when they are not. Sometimes, an offshore business will use a local agent who comes across as the web developer.
- Look at recent sites. Ask for a list of websites they have developed in recent months. Look at the sites. Talk to the business owners to determine their happiness.
- Know what is included. Get a list of exactly what will be delivered with the website and any costs associated with choices you will be asked to make along the way.
- Be clear about what you want. The site is a key tool for your business. It is essential that you are clear as to your requirements, clear about what you want.
- Know what you like and don’t like. It can be very helpful if you have a list of websites you like and a list of websites you don’t like.
- Get it in writing. Ensure that what is agreed is documented, fully documented. Do not sign off to proceed until you have happy with the documentation.
- Be in control. The website is your shop window. Control your images and text to ensure this window on your business is what you want to see.
- Pay on completion. While paying a deposit is important and, indeed, fair and essential, holding a portion of payment for completion is important. It keeps the web developer focussed.
Getting the best website for your retail business depends on your level of engagement before starting the project and through. Our encouragement to retailers is that they engage because it is this engagement that will deliver the commercial outcomes you seek.