Running your own business is no easy task. Most days, it feels like your “to do” list is much too long, and there aren’t enough hours in the day to get everything done. Perhaps a website is one of those tasks you’ve been putting off, wondering if it’s something your small business really needs. If this is you, and you’re still on the fence, rest assured that the answer is easy. Unless you’re simply not interested in growing your brand, your small business needs a website.
In 2017, nearly 30 percent of small businesses reported not having a website. (SmallBusiness.com)
Obviously, eCommerce is a huge incentive to take your business online. Digital Commerce 360 recently reported that US eCommerce sales grew 16% in 2017, and market research giant Forrester predicts that online sales will account for 17% of all US retail sales within the next 4 years.
However, having a website isn’t just about selling your goods and services. It’s about providing a valuable service and relevant content to your customers. Still not convinced? Read on for 6 reasons why your small business needs a website…
- Expand your audience
Long gone are the days when you had to rely on foot or drive-by traffic to attract customers to your business. A quality website can take your brand worldwide — increasing your sales exponentially. The Internet boasts a much larger footprint than the several miles local to your brick-and-mortar store or office. Your presence on the web allows you to reach out to anyone passing by your virtual doorstep, whether they are next door or around the globe.
- You are in control of the narrative
While you can’t always control what other people (customers included) are saying about you online, you CAN influence consumers’ perception of your brand by writing your own story through your website. For example, TOMS shoes inspires us all to do better and make a real impact on thousands of lives worldwide. If you’re not familiar with the brand, for every pair of TOMS shoes you purchase, a pair is also donated to a child in need (One for One). Their entire brand (from advertising to website design) focuses on building the story behind doing good and helping others. It’s an inspiration!
TIP: While your company may not be donating a pair of shoes or product to every purchase, you have your own story. Share it! Consider including a blog on your website, as this will allow you to communicate your brand’s mission, vision and personality to your potential customers more effectively than any traditional advertising.
- It provides proof of performance to potential customers
It’s no secret that consumers’ shopping habits are changing. A recent Harris poll reported that more than two-thirds of US consumers regularly “webroom,” or research a product or service online before visiting a store to make a purchase. And, according to a survey conducted by Dimensional Research, an astounding 90% of consumers say that online reviews influence their ultimate purchase decision. Testimonials from satisfied customers or clients will help ensure you make a positive first impression on your potential customers.
- It allows your business to be “open” 24/7
You may not want to work at all hours of the night, but there are plenty of people out there who prefer to shop at those hours (not that we’re speaking from experience, of course). A website allows consumers access to your business 24/7. Whether they want to purchase that snazzy product they just saw on an infomercial (“But wait, there’s more!”) or email you with a question about their latest order, your website is a great place for customers to turn to. By having information readily available to your consumer, it decreases their chances of changing their minds. What type of information would you want to know as your target audience? Answer those questions for them!
- Increase your search engine presence
Let’s face it — we live in a world where people “Google before they go.” Consumers regularly check reviews, “check in” on social media, and research various goods and services as they go about their day. If your business isn’t showing up high in search engine results, you’re likely to get skipped over for one of your competitors (ahem, see next point). Maintaining an up-to-date website with regularly updated content, such as a blog, is one of the best ways to move up in search engine rankings.
- Your competitors all have websites
If all of these benefits aren’t enough to convince you, this one should be — if you’re not utilizing a website to increase awareness, increase your audience, and land more sales, your competition will. If you’re not staying competitive in your industry, you’re giving consumers a reason to buy from another brand.
Need Help Setting Up a Website for Your Business?
At Jarrell, we build websites that work. Your website is a representation of who you are, so why not build one that best exemplifies what you have to offer? What we do best is work with you to deliver a website that you’ll be proud of for many years to come.