Almost every small-business owner understands the necessity of a website in these Internet-powered days, but for those who don’t sell online, the need to have a stellar website can seem less pressing. After all, how important can a website be if your sales happen in person as it does for retail shops, restaurants, coffeehouses, and the like? Well, it turns out the Web fuels lot more than online sales, and if your site isn’t up to snuff, your bottom line is likely losing out. Here are five reasons your small business’s website needs to pack as much punch as an online seller.
1. It’s How People Find You—Even if You’re on Their Block
The primary reason you need an amazing website—even if you don’t sell online—is because even the potential customers in your neighborhood are searching the Web to see where they should take their business. Their search isn’t just about locale, either. Many customers want to look at your inventory before they head into the store in order to have a more efficient visit, such as knowing which questions to ask before they arrive. Others want to know if a trip to your location is even worthwhile given what they’re looking for. From price comparisons to finding out who has the most convenient hours, your walk-in customers are deciding whether or not to shop with you by looking around your website. So take advantage of that reality, and give them a great website to look over. You can even build that great website yourself—try the software or templates at Top10BestWebsiteBuilders.com.
2. A Great Site Builds Loyalty
People are spending more and more time online on an increasing number of devices. If you have a website that’s easy to maneuver and a pleasure to browse that is also being routinely updated with interesting and engaging content, your customer base will reward you with visits—online and off—and with their loyalty. Because of the Internet, customer desires are shifting. If you respond to those shifts better than your competitors, you’ll be rewarded with an expanding and dedicated customer base.
3. All That Low-Cost Marketing
Marketing, traditional and non-traditional, is expensive. For any number of small businesses then, a great website is a marketing ace in the hole. The Web has the most expansive reach of any medium ever, and with a great website, you’ll not only show up higher in search engine rankings, but every time you work your social media or email lists, you’ll also drive people to your site, which, in turn, will drive them to your business.
4. It’s Open 24/7
Even though your physical storefront or business location isn’t accessible to your customer base at all times of the day, every day, your website is. When you have a thorough and well-made website, potential customers can browse your products, services, mission statement, industry expertise, and the like from a late-night coffeehouse or the comforts of their home or hotel room. They aren’t dependent on your hours of business to learn more about you and what you have to offer. Your website is an ambassador to anyone, anywhere, at anytime, and that 24/7 accessibility will result in more sales during business hours—provided you have a site good enough to take advantage of it.
5. You’ll Add to the Customer Experience
Concerns about customer experience have reached a fever pitch, and it’s no wonder given that the efforts to produce a positive customer experience lead to increased customer satisfaction, higher sales numbers, less churn, and even improved employee satisfaction. But how do you accomplish it? According to the Harvard Business Review, you need to remember both the forest and the trees.
Focusing closely on specific experiences—call-in service, guest/customer interaction when they first step into your place of business, etc.—is important, but every step along the way is a vital one—regardless of when it happened or in what medium. For companies who lack an amazing website, then, there’s little chance of delivering an exceptional customer experience in today’s Web-centered world. You may be doing everything else just right, but if your customer can’t find you on the Web, or she can’t maneuver your website with ease, the customer’s overall experience of doing business with you will suffer.
Give your customers what they want: A great website that’s engaging, informative, and easy to use so they can’t help but be drawn into your physical store.