When customers come to you with a problem, they are vulnerable and, in their own way, broken… You need to fix the customer as well as the problem itself. Fixing the customer means empathizing with him and recognizing the inconvenience he’s gone through.
Nobody likes it when things go wrong. Don-t make it worse by acting like they're a nuisance. Plus, when people have problems with your product, that's one of the best opportunities to find out how to make it better.
The users’ purpose is to transact, so let them. No marketing information is worth asking for it it prevents your users from becoming customers. What good is additional marketing information if it means losing customers? Every piece of information asked for must have meaningful purpose to support the current task.
Helping someone buy is damn close to selling! The point is the customer needs the right information to make the right decision. Don't forget to give them everything they need to make the choice on their own. Those cheesy gimmicks that might work in person don't translate to the web very well.
We shouldn’t be defining our users strictly according to their age, occupation, and shoe size. Instead, we should define users by whether they are at the site to browse or they know what they want and want to transact right away. By designing you site to enable your users to find what they need at their particular decision stage, you can be more effective in meeting their needs and converting them into customers.
If I'm at site that doesn't seem targeted towards the early-adult-male demographic, but everything is clear and usable I'm probably still going to buy. The right look and feel helps the idea spread--proper execution gets the job done.