Gone are the days when simply having a successful brick and mortar location, or surviving solely off word of mouth was enough. Modern consumers expect you to have a website, and many are not even willing to do business if you do not.
If you still don’t have a website, and want to know why it makes sense to invest in one, here are the 5 reasons why a well-designed website is a must have for any business.
A Significant Percentage of the Market Requires One
As hyperbolic as it may sound, a significant number of potential customers won’t even consider a business if it doesn’t have a website. In the digital era, where people spend many hours every day connected to and browsing the web, your online presence is important.
The reason for this is likely a combination of trust and convenience. People definitely want to be able to thoroughly check your business out and evaluate you before they make up their mind about spending money with you. They also expect you make it easy for them. The 21st century consumer has gotten used to gratuitous convenience, and no one wants to call a brick and mortar store to ask for a price, or find out if you have something in stock.
Take Advantage of Online Purchases
If you have an online store, it is much easier for people who do not live in the immediate vicinity of a brick and mortar store to make a purchase. Not only do people prefer buying from the comfort of their own home or wherever they may happen to be; they want to be able to make a purchase from a business that would otherwise be geographically impossible for them to get to.
Think about all of the people out there who might live hours from your location. They may want what you have but have no way of getting to your store, and don’t want to call and place an order over the phone.
Having a website makes you visible to the world. This kind of exposure is simply not possible offline. You could be a mom and pop in a store on the side of the highway, hundreds of kilometres from the nearest commercial centre. With an internet connection and a website, you’re able to do business anywhere around the world.
A website, therefore, is not just a matter of establishing trust with your target market, and making buying from you more convenient. It’s about expanding your reach, building your reputation, and attracting customers outside of your immediate geographical area.
Your Competitors Likely have a Website
Doing something because someone else is, is typically never a good justification for doing anything. However (and this is not to support a herd mentality) there are some things that simply need to be done, because not doing it puts you at an extreme disadvantage. Having a website is one of those things.
If you don’t want to lose market share to the competition, and the competition is spending a lot of time and effort building an online presence, you have to compete in an arms race, it’s as simple as that. You will lose business if everyone in your industry has a strong website and yours is either an afterthought, or is nonexistent.
Another convincing reason to invest in a website (and with free platforms like wordpress, the investment can simply be your time), is that you can use it to cross market. This is to say that, if your business has a Facebook page, or an Instagram profile, and you want people to visit them and engage with you there, a website can help you direct that traffic. As a side note, a social media presence is also vitally important in the 21st century.
You can write blog posts that hyperlink to your social media profiles, or post multimedia on your Facebook page that links back to products on your website, increasing your marketing capabilities, which hopefully results in more traffic and more sales.
If you are new to web design, or building a website, and worry about the learning curve, the process and costs has become quite straightforward and cost effective. Best of all, the cost of designing a website has come down significantly. According to Baljot, creative director at Web Sharx, you can now hire a web developer for a fraction of what it used to cost a couple of years ago.