If the past year has proven anything, it is that e-commerce will likely dominate the market in the coming years. With consumer spending for online shopping rising up to $861 billion in 2020, it can be observed that due to the COVID-19 pandemic, retail trends are changing rapidly. A huge number of people are now willing to purchase products and services online and they primarily interact with businesses through their websites or social media pages.
Despite this shift towards e-commerce, there are still quite a few companies who don’t do business online. This brings us to question about whether or not all businesses need a website, even those that are inactive in the digital world. Well, as a business owner, if you are not selling your products or services online, having a web page is still incredibly important for your business.
Here are a few reasons why you need to have one even without doing business in the digital market.
Market Your Business To A Wider Consumer Base
Paul Cookson once said, “Websites promote you 24/7: No employee will do that.” If you think about it, promotion and marketing is one of the biggest reasons for having a website. As more and more consumers research products and services online through their phones and computers, you can take the opportunity to promote your business to a wider consumer base.
A website will help you create awareness about your business and give an advantage in branding as well. Look at it this way. With a web page, you can tell your audience about what you have to offer. This is why it is worth the effort to invest in a good brand identity which you can get from any professional custom logo designer and also make your audience familiar with it along with your brand message and mission.
Later on, when consumers come across your products or your physical store anywhere, they will have a higher chance of recognizing it. By having a web presence and a well-designed website, you can pitch your business to your target audience as well as to consumers browsing on the internet.
They might not know about your products or services otherwise but with a website, you could help them gain an insight into your work.
Gives Credibility to A Business
Basically, a website gives people the idea that a business is credible and authentic. When consumers are looking for products or services online, they usually make their decisions based on reviews, recommendations and website design. According to a report, around 75 percent of potential customers make judgments about the credibility of a business through its web page.
If you don’t have one, whether or not you sell anything through it, consumers might have a difficult time trusting your business. Consider this for a moment. In this day and age, when almost everyone is online, a brand without a website could give the wrong impression.
So, in order to avoid such a situation and turning away potential customers, you need to have a convincing website that features all the trustmarks and testimonials you can get that makes your business appear credible.
Influence Buyers’ Decisions
Be it a B2C transaction or a B2B, quite a lot of business owners as well as consumers make their decisions based on the content they see online. Even in a situation where a business you are selling to does not operate digitally such as those in construction or manufacturing, you would still need a website.
It has been established by a study that around 62 percent of buyers in the B2B sector have their purchasing decisions influenced by the content on the web. It isn’t just the average direct consumer who expects your website to be detailed about your products or services but also other businesses.
So if you are a vendor looking to attract a buyer, you should have a website that tells them how you can be of service to them. They will most likely look up your website first to find the relevant information and then contact you. With an attractive web page, you might be able to engage more businesses and consumers, and increase your sales physically.
Convey Important Information Quickly
With a quick search on Google or any other search engine, people can find the answers to their questions in seconds. When people are researching products or services on the web, your website could be the fastest way to get the relevant and important information across to them.
Think of it this way. A website that has a clear description of the business, its products and services, mode of payment and ways to contact, then it could bring in more consumers. People want to get their answers in the shortest possible time today and your web page can answer some of the most basic queries that a consumer would have.
This way, you could encourage them to check your products and services in the market and even make a purchase without thinking too much. Since they would already have the most essential information, consumers and even B2B companies could easily do business with you.
Give a Competitive Advantage
In the physical and digital markets, the competition is getting tougher every day. As a business owner, if you want to connect with your target audience before anyone and engage them, you have to try and get their attention from the beginning. With an attractive website, convincing website copy you can gain an advantage over your competitors and attract consumers in a short span of time.
Compared to other businesses that do not have a web page, you will be able to reach out to the audience quickly and convince them to buy from you. This would reduce the chances of your competition diverting the consumers towards them.
Otherwise, a website can also make you prominent in front of big brands. For example, if you are brand selling affordable sportswear to people, a website could help you compete with Nike or Adidas as well. You could have some of your best-selling products featured on the web page and list the price range too. This way, when people go through your website, they might compare the prices with different brands and consider purchasing a few items from your business.
Provide Good Customer Service
Your in-store or face to face interaction with a consumer is not enough for establishing a good reputation in customer service. With a website, you can focus on being more available to potential customers and provide them 24 hours support. In order to do so, you can look towards services which enable the chatbot feature in a website.
This will allow you to communicate with your customers at any given time and answer their queries or send help if they require it. Take the example of the Shademaster website here. The roofing company does not only have a very interactive and engaging web design but also makes it very easy for visitors to talk to the support team.
Through their customer service, they can convince people to get quotes, ask about roofing structures and materials, and eventually establish trust with them. Similarly, your website might also be critical in engaging potential customers and helping them make a decision.
Boosts Brand Visibility
This is basically something that is also linked to branding and marketing. While your message may be getting across to consumers through billboards, magazines, brochures or even social media networks such as Facebook or Instagram, a website can make it better. It can help you slowly build your visual brand identity and become more visible in a highly competitive industry.
Think of it this way. When people come across your website, they will get to know your brand identity design, brand colors, fonts and typography. Eventually, the audience is going to start associating your brand with these elements of design. According to a report, it can take the average consumer around 5 to 7 impressions to recall a brand from memory.
If you optimize your website in search engines and invest in SEO (search engine optimization), you might be able to effectively boost the visibility of your brand. This way, there is a higher chance of more people remembering your brand. It will make it easier for them to spot your products in the market by recognizing the logo and colors on the packaging.
Improves the Social Media Experience
Sometimes, people may require a link to your website even if you have a social media presence. So by linking your website to your social media accounts on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, you can send out a convincing message to the consumer. You could direct them to your website for more information and give them a better idea of your products or services.
Basically, your message could get lost on social media or may not have the desired impact on the consumer. By giving a link to your web page, you might gain an advantage in getting through to the audience and convince a few people to make purchases.
You can feature high quality images, interactive pages and videos on your web page to engage consumers. While a potential customer could get a similar experience on social media, a responsive website can go a long way in making your case stronger to the consumers.
Keeps Consumers Up to Date
During holiday season or special occasions, people can be overwhelmed with a lot of discounts, sales and offers being sent to them from various businesses. It can be easy for them to make a choice and keep up to date with the latest ones. Your website can be a good way to tell people which sales and special offers you might be giving during New Years, Christmas or Valentine’s Day.
All you have to do is update your page regularly and have all the relevant information on it so that potential customers can keep track. Look at it this way. If you are about to have a 50 percent off on a certain line of sneakers for example, you can have that featured on your website for your customers.
This will also allow you to benefit from email marketing as you can encourage people to sign up on your website to get updates on new discounts or sales.
Provide a Channel for Digital Marketing
You might not be making sales online or interacting with your customers on the web, however, a website can still make for a beneficial digital marketing platform. If you think about it, you will be able to market your products or services in a better way with a web page. You could make use of advertising through Pay-Per-Click ads to generate traffic to the website and help spread brand awareness.
Now, you may be thinking how it would put you at an advantage if you have nothing to sell. Well, it certainly can. You can promote your products or services locally and tell more people in the same city or state about them.
Your website can provide them with further information such as contact details and exact address of a store or shop. You might have come across quite a few educational institutes marketing their short courses or certifications through PPC ads. Similarly, you can also advertise a consulting business for example or services in construction to people located near your business and otherwise as well.
Track Payments and Orders
It is commonly believed that Shopify for instance can only be efficient for online stores or e-commerce platforms. Well, that is not entirely correct. You can use e-commerce platforms to create your own website and even build a blog for engaging customers and spreading brand awareness.
You might be able to use e-commerce platforms to track orders on the websites, take payment details and even charge cards everywhere with its Point-of-Sale (POS) application. While these are best suited for businesses looking to make sales online, you can still use their card reader and process payments from anywhere across the globe.
So, if you think about it, you can make sales physically and via your store but keep a check on all the order and payment details through the website from your administrative account.
To Sum Up
These are some of the reasons why you need to have a website even if you don’t make sales online. All of these can put you at an advantage and help you establish a name in the market, be it physical or digital. In today’s day and age, the survival of businesses who do not have a web presence can be difficult and having a web page can be good for overcoming such challenges.