msr-siteDuring conversations with dealers at NAMM, it was interesting to hear comments regarding the overall performance of their Web sites. Many want to develop plans to have their Web sites draw new business; others focus on building repeat business. There was a common concern that many do not know how to review their Web sites accurately and develop a game plan.

The following questions will help you analyze the strengths and weaknesses of your Web site. The goal is to continue building on what’s working and pare away content that does not interest visitors.

1.    Do you view your Web site as an advertising expense or treat it as a destination?

Some dealer sites are nothing more than online business cards, barely providing details about what they sell and how to be contacted. Others are information-only sites that resemble a dating profile. This approach does very little to drive traffic, and there are no measurable results to gauge its effectiveness. Smart retailers treat their Web sites as a destination and include the same information, products and services that a customer would find when visiting their brick-and-mortar store.

2.    Does your Web site portray your brand properly?

In today’s vernacular, the term “brand” is not the logo on the sign that hangs over the entrance to the ranch. Rather, according to the American Marketing Association dictionary, a brand is a “name, term, design, symbol or any other feature that identifies one seller’s goods or service as distinct from those of other sellers.”

A brand is a company’s face to the world. It’s what shoppers look at when placing value and trust in your business. From a music retailer’s point of view, your brand is a promise for a good experience when dealing with you. It reflects your values, your quality of products and your services. It’s how shoppers perceive your overall business.
Your Web site has to mirror exactly what you’re doing in your store and reinforce your brand. Customers have to feel confident in your Web site in order to trust you with their hard-earned money. Every music store loves the

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