Any business will no doubt get phone calls every week from web design companies telling them they have to have a website because they are missing out on customers. Whereas this is undoubtedly true, it can sometimes take more than a sales call for the business owner or manager to really catch onto the fact they do need a website and actually take the plunge and get one.
Although there are many reasons why you should have a website, below we look at our top ten reasons why you simply must have a website for your business.
Online Marketing – The Internet has opened up a new audience that can be contacted within seconds, rather than waiting for your newspaper advert to appear or your mail shot to be delivered in the Post. Within 20 seconds of sending an email you can have people on your site or as soon as you update your Facebook page you can direct people to your new product within seconds; no other form of advertising is this immediate.
Customer Service – A website allows your customers a much easier route to find out more information about you, your company and your products and also allows you to offer an immediate point of call for any customer that has previously purchased from you or might want to buy from you in the future.
Repeat Business – With high street shops, you might only use them repeatedly the next time you are in the area, which means that although you will undoubtedly get repeat business, this can be very infrequent and adhoc. When using the Internet, you can be on a site for a business you know and trust within seconds of opening your laptop, which means business can be much more repeat and return than the average high street sale.
Accessibility – Your website is a shop that is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, with no closed signs or lunch breaks needed. This means that you are practically allowing your customer’s access to you and your business all of the time, rather than forcing them to come back during opening times or when you have “staff” on your premises.
More Product Focus – Compared to the high street, your website can be packed full of information about the products on offer, rather than just a small label with bullet points and a price. Your website allows you to sell the product in full, with lots of images, examples, descriptions and FAQ’s, something a shop with all the staff in the world simply could not do.
Increasing Audience – You have two audiences, one that shops in the high street and one that shops online, but with the Internet, these two often cross. Even if you do 90% of your shopping in your local town or city, you will still end up doing the remaining 10% online in most cases, because you know that things are often much cheaper online or you have more of a choice. If you do not have a website then you are missing out on millions of people that either need your services or want to buy your products, as they will only go to your nearest rival or competitor that does have a website.
Personal Approach – Your website allows people to get to know you; no matter how high you are in the business or how often you actually work in the shop. For example, you can let your customers know all about your team, staff, directors and even the company dog and this in turn allows your clients and customers to really get to know you and trust you.
Expectation – Generally, people expect you to have a website and often think that if you do not, you are not a big company or that you are slightly behind the times when it comes to product range. When there is a level of expectation, no matter how hard you try to fight it, you sometimes have to just go with the flow and try to make sure you match this level of expectation for your customers and clients.
Reduce Overheads – A website can cut down on the amount of staff you need to run your business and also can reduce things like shop rental fees, business rates, utility bills and the list goes on. Although you should never cut all your ties, you can really look at running your business much more efficiently because you can focus your money in other areas, rather than fighting fires you might not need to have fought.
Future Proofing Business – Where as the high street might be dying a slow death, the Internet is continuing to grow in terms of usage, age range and locations, which means having a website pretty much makes sure that you are the forefront of the future when it comes to marketing and advertising your business. With more and more people going online to find a plumber, order their groceries and book holidays, no matter what your business offers or sells, having a website is the only way to make sure that you going to catch this ever increasing audience.