Whether you sell products online or not, it is important for your business to have a presence on the web. With a professional looking, easy to navigate website, your customers can quickly and easily find out more about your business and the products or services you have to offer. Learn the top 10 reasons why your business needs to be on the web.
Everybody tells you that your business should have a website, but maybe they have not yet convinced you. They tell you it will help your sales but don't say how, they tell you it will increase your profits but don't say how, they tell you it will be the best advertising and marketing you could do but don't tell you why. Let's answer those questions and more. Here are the top 10 reasons why your business needs a website:
Your website is always on, advertising your company. It is larger than any print advertisement and can convey more information than any radio or television advertisement. And, unlike traditional advertising where you try to force yourself into somebody's consciousness, your web site will be visited by people who are already interested in finding out about your business and your products or services.
Internet sales are less expensive than a storefront - they are conducted by computers who don't need to be paid or earn commission. A properly thought out and designed business website is like having a 24hr a day salesperson who can deal with multiple customers simultaneously, who never takes holidays and that you have total control over.
You can use your website to provide articles and helpful tips about your industry or reviews of your products. If people come to your website looking for the information that you provide, they are likely to look at other parts of your site giving you the chance to impress them with your products or services. By becoming a resource for information you will have a larger audience for the products that you are selling. This can only be a good thing as people who are searching for the information you have may well also be looking for the product or service that you provide.
You can also use your site to provide information about your business such as background, policies and any other information that prospective customers may want to know. This allows them to easily and quickly find out about you, shows that you have nothing to hide, and builds their trust in you.
4) Customer Research
Customers like to research products before they buy, especially online. A shopper generally has an idea of what they want rather than having a specific item in mind. They will start by making a search for items that meet their needs by putting a general search term into a search engine such as Google. This will inevitably produce several results so they will look at the first few and compare them by features, price, popularity etc. If it's a service or complex and expensive product they are looking for, they may follow up with more general research to enable them to make a better informed decision. They then carry out more searches to narrow down the options to the one they want. Only then will they actually decide to buy a specific product. The next step is to find who is providing that service or product at the right price, in the right place, with the right quality and service. If you are one of the sources that they have used and your website was helpful and informative during the search and decision process without overbearing marketing hype, you have built up a level of trust from their previous experience of you and you stand a much better chance of them coming back to you for the eventual purchase.
5) Open 24 Hours
Your website is always available to provide information to your customers, publicize your brand and interact with your customers. It can take messages, make sales and gather marketing data while you sleep.
6) Your Competition
If you competition has no website then by launching one yourself you have an obvious advantage over them; internet users can find the businesses that have a web presence. If your competitors have their own websites and you have none, they have this advantage over you.
Utilizing Google Analytics, your website can gather data about your visitors constantly. Data such as what country are they in, what time do they use your website, how long do they stay on your website and which pages do they look at. Any customer that registers with your site either for a newsletter or through a purchase gives you further information and the ability to advertise directly to them by post or email.
Your website can take some of the load from your customer service by providing problem solving pages related to your products, sales terms and conditions including returns and refund policies and frequently asked questions. Providing solutions to the most common questions allows people to find the answer they want when they want it without you having to take the time answering the same question time and again to different people. It also shows that you are thoughtful, helpful and aware of what your customers need.
9) Up To Date
It is far easier and quicker to keep your website up to date than traditional print media such as catalogues and brochures. Any changes that you need can be done very quickly and published instantly.
A well planned and designed business website should repay the investment. The benefits from all of the above factors will make you more efficient, easier to conduct business with and enable you to maximize you takings while minimizing costs. Also, it is an asset to your business that has value of it's own, as it is a tangible resource that your business owns and if desired, can be sold or transferred just like any other business asset.
There are numerous benefits to having your own website but the greatest is the ability to combine all of those benefits into one package which is always available anywhere in the world. Nobody can guarantee that you will instantly become rich from adding a website to your strategy but not having one puts you at a disadvantage as you lose one possible channel for success.