I also use GMail as a quick go anywhere word procesor. As long as I have internet access it doesn’t matter what computer or OS I’m on.
The comment above suggests to me just how thoroughly the internet is taking over the
world of computing. Where 20 years ago you may have fought for access to
your university or corporate mainframe, today you can access your own documents anywhere in the world, provided you can access the internet.
You don’t even need to have a computer handy – if you’ve got your cellphone or your PDA. You don’t need to "plug-in" if you’ve got satellite access, bluetooth, wireless access . . . the list goes on. How critical is it to get your business online? Well, it’s pretty important – and getting moreso every day.
I remember, perhaps only 7 or 8 years ago, when I would routinely go to the store to look for a gift, a book, or some tech gadget. If I found it, I was satisfied. I also know that today my shopping starts online. If your store doesn’t have a website – it’s out of the running. It’s not that I won’t go to a "real" store – it’s that I want to learn as much as I can about your store before I walk in the door. I want to have looked at your products, compared their prices, read reviews, and decided whether I want to buy before I EVER talk to a salesman.
But the issue isn’t just whether or not you have a website. It’s also whether I’m impressed by your website – and I’m not impressed by a beatiful, complicated, fascinating website. At least, not when I’m shopping. I don’t like shopping, so I want to find the information I need as fast as possible.
You wouldn’t design your store so that a customer had to go through some kind of maze of mirrors for each product they want to look at, would you? Consider that when you’re building your online store.
Your potential visitors may be anybody. They may access your store from anywhere. They might be using any number of different devices – and it’s all useless if your store doesn’t help them find and use its services.