How to Stop Annoying Customers
Shopkeepers of Neopia, pay special attention to my words. Whether or not your shop is your main source of income, you can learn how avoid annoying potential customers. All it takes is a little time and common sense.
Less Is More
Backgrounds in a shop can make or break you. I am not one of the Neopians gifted with coding, so I've never bothered with giving my shop a background. This has never prevented my customers from buying things.
There are other users who not only have a background, they have a banner, ads for the malls or directories they are part of, fake RE's, random tips, and a long shop description that only bored users read. This shop is a prime candidate for losing a customer moments after they find you.
Most users enter your shop knowing exactly what they want to buy. They will spend ten seconds or less within your store. Long enough to click on the item, hit okay, and exit the store. During those ten seconds, don't try to make them a repeat customer. Just try not to scare them away.
Take a look at your shop background. If your background is a tiny image plastered over and over along the page, make sure it won't give anyone a headache if they stare at it too long. Busy backgrounds will not make customers happy. Unhappy customers leave.
If a user has to scroll down more than half a page JUST to get to the item they want to buy, chances are said customer will walk away.
The less you have going on in your background, the more chance you have of keeping the customer long enough to buy your item. Please keep in mind that not everyone has a super fast computer. The longer it takes your shop to load, the more unhappy it makes your customer.
We're Not Coming Back
While I was shopping for Edna's Quests, I found several shops that assumed I was a regular customer. I had to scroll through banners that would have been helpful if I had been on a Faerie Quest. I was not, so it was annoying. Most users will not go to the same shop if they're on a quest. They will post on the boards and wait for their friends to link them to a shop. Neopian users are generally lazy. We don't wait for the lowest price if it's within a certain range.
Don't waste time and energy trying to get your customer to remember your shop for their future needs. Assume they aren't coming back. They might, but chances are good that they won't. As long as they don't run away from your store screaming in horror or aggravation, you've accomplished your goal. There will be more customers. They may not remember your name, but they can remember they got a good deal and the shop was decent.
No Ranting or Pleading
You would think this would be an obvious point, right? While I was shopping to expand my plushie collection, I ran across a shop with a description in capital red letters. Naturally, it caught my eye and I read it. The user was telling everyone not to bug them to lower their prices. That was basically the gist of the two or three sentences. I was not impressed that the shop owner was shouting at everyone who walked in the door (remember - all capital letters is considered shouting on the internet).
Admittedly, this did not stop me from buying things, but it did annoy me. And since this article is about NOT annoying customers, I thought I would include it as a good example. Don't tick someone off who has wandered into your shop by shouting about something that has nothing to do with them.
Another issue I will address is pleading. Begging isn't allowed on Neo, but you have several users who have decided to share their goals they are saving toward. This can be interesting for friends of the user, but mostly I've found such information either irrelevant or annoying. The first thing I want to see when I enter your shop is the item I'm buying, not an image of the paintbrush you're saving for. Shop descriptions that tell me you're saving for something indicate your prices are inflated. Don't make a customer rethink buying something.
Don't Sound Like a Noob
If the things in your shop stay there for days without moving, it's time to either re-price things or advertise. Heading over to the shop boards can be profitable, but it can also induce headaches. There are far more people looking to sell than to buy. And there are far more people who have not developed an effective advertising technique.
Bad example: Please by from my shop! I'm saving for a Halloween PB and I still have a million to go! PLEASE buy SOMETHING!!!
Good example: Looking for furniture? Visit Ace Neohomes! We have everything you could possibly need to furnish your home away from home!
Develop a slogan. Include the link to your shop. Highlight the strengths of your shop and advertise on the boards that want your ad. If someone is looking for books and you have some, advertise. If someone is going on a shopping spree, post your ad. Don't talk about what you're saving for, emphasize that you have what they need.
Please make sure your ad is spelled properly. It annoys some people, and it doesn't look professional. We're talking about not annoying customers. Spelling matters to a lot of users.
Keep in mind that certain users want specific things. If they want food and you know your shop does not have any, don't advertise there. It will only annoy the shopper.
I would also like to point out that boasting of the lowest prices in Neopia screams "newbie" to me. Yes, with a bit of research, you can price your items lower than the average. But as soon as your prices go live, someone else will be pricing the same thing and undercut you. It's just how the Shop Wizard works. It's far better to just say you have low prices.
One More Thing...
While I have your attention, visit my shop!
Plushies, clothes, toys and more!
Nice items, decent prices!