Customers shop online for many reasons (see the preceding section to read about some of those reasons). But you need to recognize another underlying difference between real and virtual shoppers: Online customers have great expectations for your e-tail location. Sure, all customers are particular and — dare we say — demanding, but the Internet has raised the bar. It's up to you to make sure that your online store performs. In the following sections, we talk about what online customers expect of you.
Most customers expect your store to be open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Granted, meeting this need seems like a cinch. After all, after you put your site out on the Web, it's … there. Right? Unfortunately, running a store 24/7 involves a little bit more work. Your customers are used to having 100 percent access to online stores, whether it's midnight or midmorning. Here are a couple of site-related tasks that you may want to consider: