Having a website in today’s ever-evolving online world is a must- especially for small businesses selling products and services. If you plan on having a lot of customers, you need an online presence to give your clients information at the click of a button. If you don’t; you’ll fizzle out in no time without an accessible platform as the backbone of your brand.
If you are considering why a website is so important – we’ve broken it down for you in the list of advantages below:
1. Builds Creditability
Just by simply being online, your small business will gain creditability. Think about when you’re looking for a specific item; you have a quick google search and find a website that’s competitive and has great reviews. That being said, you need to make sure you stay current, look professional and come up in search engines otherwise you’ll lose that status in no-time.
2. Simple to Set Up
Many small business owners spend hours trying to build their own rookie site because they don’t want to splash the cash. Building and maintaining a website is easier than ever before with a online website builder, you can have a proficient and speedy network set up in hours. You don’t need to rely on anyone to update it for you; you can use their expert database at any time to keep your site intact.
3. Cuts Costs
Having an online business can cut the cost of staff, shop rent, tax and utility bills. You can liaise directly with the consumer and arrange the delivery for a fraction of the price. On the other hand, if you’re a larger company and have an internal forum you can interact with your staff members eliminating the need for endless meetings and large travel bills.
4. Improves Customer Service
It’s a known fact that having a web presence will help you improve your customer service. If you’re a store owner and have staff-members, you can’t oversee them 24/7 to observe how they are interacting with clients. In the online world, however, nothing stays secret; you can monitor your staff’s work and ensure your customers are receiving a speedy and helpful reply.
5. Makes Your Business Accessible at All Times
A website is available to you and your customers 24/7, 365 days a year. If they are awake at 1 am and are thinking of purchasing something from you, they can click on your site and do this instantaneously –a win-win situation for all. Having an online presence also provides them with the convenience of reviewing your products and services when your store or office is closed.
6. Targets Larger Markets
Whether you provide products or services, an online website is an alternative location to sell them. You can reach clients that are in another town or country just by simply having a web presence. With our busy lifestyles we are reverting to browsing online – gone are the days where hours are spent in physical shops checking out products. A website can promote your products 100 times faster than a store-front, window display.
7. A Medium to Showcase Your Work
No matter what type of industry you’re in; a website is a great way to showcase your work. You can do this through an online portfolio, image gallery and customer reviews. You can demonstrate why your business is unique and offer feedback about your work. Take eBay for example – most shoppers base their opinion on the seller after reading recent testimonials.
8. A Time-Saver
It’s a great time-saver for the customer and yourself – you don’t have to lug products to and from your warehouse to a store and the client doesn’t need to walk around aimlessly looking through racks or shelves for their desired purchase. “Studies show that once a consumer has an idea of what they need or want, they start researching, and 72 percent of them go online to find educational material, reviews, and testimonials” according to a recent buyer journey report.
9. Allows You to Stay Current
A web presence is a great platform to help you stay up-to-date; you can update your information and add or remove items at the click of a button (faster than you would be able to in real-life). Whether it’s breaking news or the latest trend, if you’re swift, you can beat your competition and release it first.
10. Helps You Beat the Competition
Following on from the previous benefit, a well-marketed site can help you can gain market share at the expense of your competition. In order to do this, you need a great website that offers users a unique experience.
11. Gives You an Online Presence
A 2015 study performed by Verisign reported that “84% consumers believe that small businesses with websites are more credible than ones without an online presence. It also concluded that 65% of consumers consider a company branded email to be more credible than a generic email account such as Gmail, Outlook.com, AOL, or Yahoo mail.” In today’s technical world, you need to have a strong digital brand - as well as a site; you’ll need social media profiles to connect with your users on another platform.
12. Interaction With Your Customers
Another reason for you to move your business online is that you’re able to interact with your customers whenever and from wherever. This could be through news updates, live chat, email conversations or comments on your page. You’ll be available to offer your expert advice and prove your creditability at any given moment.
13. You Can Create Return Business
Anyone can easily lose a plumber’s business card or forget the name that their neighbour recommended. However, if you have a website, they can easily store you in their favourites and return to your site whenever they need information or your services.” According to webdezign: “The use of interactive media, helpful information, questions & answers and forum software can maintain a high level of dialogue and thus help in securing customer loyalty.”
14. A Great Marketing Channel
By simply having a website, you can market your service and reach thousands of people. By staying up to date with the latest digital marketing trends, you can push your page and climb search engine results. The Guardian commented that: “It's a crowded and highly competitive field, with small companies fighting tooth and nail to attract the attention of would-be customers. At the risk of stating the obvious, a quality website is essential if you want your business to punch above its weight.”
15. Build a Readership
Publishing news, content and information on new products and services will help you to attract a keen audience. Through email marketing, you can reach out to your clients and offer them discounts and exclusive access that new consumers wouldn’t have.
To really reap the rewards of having a website for your business, it needs to serve as a professional online presence making it easy for people to find and contact you. It should be optimized so that people can find it when they search online and it should be easy for you to update your content every time you need to make a change to your site.
Are you a new business and haven’t created a website yet? If so, let us know if you have any questions in the comment section below…