Why Local Businesses Will Need Websites More than Ever in 2019
Think about it, how many times have you checked the yellow pages in the recent past to find something? I am sure that you don’t even remember seeing it for that matter.
This is the age of Internet where smartphones, tablets, laptops and PCs have taken the world by storm. It has not just united the whole world but also given access to Information and the ease of operating through machines. People have evolved from their age-old habits and have become more and more dependent on machines. For all queries, the very first place that most people refer to is the popular search engines on the Internet. Having an online presence is not just necessary to grow your business but it’s also necessary to build your brand.
However, despite realizing the importance of having a website, many small businesses still don’t have one. According to a research conducted by Telstra in 2018, only 50% of small businesses across Australia have their own websites. Which means, that the remaining 50% are still missing out on major opportunities to reach new customers across the globe.
When asked about reasons as to why they weren’t getting a website, the answers were unanimous. Some owners cited that the small size of their business didn’t need a website; some said they relied on word of mouth, local advertising and business listing sites; some said it’s costly and they don’t have the time to create and maintain a website. However, the fact is that local businesseswithout a proper website are missing out on so many opportunities. If you are also amongst them, and you have not yet decided, it’s high time you do. And, this post will give you all the reasons why your local business needs a website.
Reach out to new customers
When internet wasn’t there, most local business had competition from other companies catering to similar product and services in the same region. But, that’s not the case anymore. Let’s say for instance – if a person wants to buy a washing machine or TV or get his chimney cleaned, there’re only a handful of options available if he wants to examine them physically. On the other hand, if he searches the internet, he will find innumerous options from innumerous sellers/service providers out there. Searching for options online is convenient and easy, and he might just place his order online and get the goods or services delivered to his doorstep from anywhere.
Expand your horizons
If you have a website, you can also do business with the innumerous people searching the Internet for the same product or service that you are providing. You can expand your horizon and start catering to different regions as Internet also gives you the opportunity to sell your product anywhere. If you are selling toys in Sydney, you can also sell them in Brisbane too. You just need to set up a channel from the same. Having a website is like having a shop front to a much wider marketplace.
Communicate and advertise more effectively
Besides selling your products, there is a lot more that a website can do for your business. It can help you communicate with your existing and new clients. You can use your website to advertise events or sales, offer discount vouchers, send newsletters, run competitions, moreover you can update all of the important business details through your website.And, be sure that it will not just reach your existing clients base but also reach out to the others who visit your site. If you maintain your communication effectively in the long run, you can use this to significant advantage and generate new business as well as keep up with existing customers.
Build credibility, build your brand
It’s been proven in various studies that your consumer is more likely to stay with you if they trust you, and that’s even if they find something cheaper elsewhere. Your website is not just an online window for your business, but it also helps you to build trust. According to a data from Telstra Small Business Intelligence Report,62% of customers will stop considering a small business if they can’t find information about it online. In simpler words, having online presence also helps you build trust. Any viable consumer will be more inclined to do business with a company that has a proper website rather than one that doesn’t have any.
Your display window and selling tool
Your website isn’t just a display window, it’s also your selling tool. Modern websites allow you to create portfolios and display your best work online. For instance, if you are a jewelry designer or a landscape artist, you can display the best of your designs and projects over your website. Not just that, you can always update the best and latest of your work on your website immediately whereas it’s difficult updating product guides and catalogs in printed form. A website allows you to tell people about your product and services, show them your latest and most acknowledged work and even sell them directly from your site.
It is also important to consider here how Internet users behave while they are looking for something over the internet. If they want to buy something and they find all of the relevant information then and there, they might as well buy the product or service instantly. This is where the local businesses without a proper website fail. Imagine a viable customer sitting in an armchair at home and having the choice between driving to your local store or ordering something online without going anywhere, he’ll most likely go for the second option – even if it’s a little more expensive.
The role of a genuine feedback
One of the best features of a website that can help you develop your business and build trust with your consumers is ‘feedback’. Collecting genuine feedback from the end-user not just helps you to improve your service or product but also helps you to establish a strong credibility in the market. Giving customers the chance to post anonymous feedbacks also means that you will get genuine feedback. Positive feedbacks have a very good impact on viable buyers. It’s like ‘word of mouth’ coming from an unknown source.
You can collect data from surveys, ratings and other possible methods to find out what the consumer thinks about your business. This data can help you improve on important aspects like pricing, premises, delivery, service, or anything else that your consumers need to be changed.
The convenience and speed of online ordering
Have you ever wondered how the restaurant’s owners and food vendors have benefitted from takeaway orders? It’s a very successful business model. Think of any popular food venture like Dominos, Pizza Hut, KFC, Hungary Jack’s, etc. They offer their menus online so that the customers can choose what to eat, place an order, make payment online and get the food delivered to their doorsteps. And, because the food vendors have a local network, all this could be done very quickly. How else, would Dominos deliver a pizza within 30 minutes.
With any time anywhere access to the internet most customers is flocking to similar kind of services being offered on the Internet. Be it for booking tickets, laundromat services, buying curtains, repairing chimneys, repairing the roof, plumbing services, shopping for groceries or anything for that matter, customers want quick and easy solutions. This implies that you can also reap benefits of doing better business with a fully functional website that offers your services, takes the payment and schedules appointments or deliveries. Though you can do all this with a phone line and book, following the old school ways, but that won’t be as effective and successful in the age of the Internet today. It really needs to be offered online.
Work beyond the 9 to 5 boundaries
All those running local shops or service centerscan only offer their service for particular business hours, in most cases businesses are open 9 to 5. By the time your customers are back from work, you’ll have closed for the day. If you want to extent your business’ working hours, you would have to considera lot of things. However, with a website, you can do business with your customers 24/7, or at least for most parts of it.
If you have an e-commerce site, you can sell your products 24/7 and in case you offer local services, you can still do bookings through your website, even after you have closed for the day. Adding a contact form to your site would enable your customers to post enquiries and ask questions whenever they want to. All this would be possible only when you have a website.
Whether you are selling groceries or offering some kind of services, if you are running a local business you should get a website made for it. As more and more people are using internet services for getting things done, it’s high time you cash in on the benefits of hosting a nice website.
In case you still have any queries, or you want professional help for creating and hosting your website, feel free to write in to me.