Do I Need A Website?
8th August 2017 Charlotte Lynch, Modern Retail
For many brands an online presence can be argued to be a great investment. However, it can become time-consuming, costly and ultimately not the right strategy move for your business.
When you have a physical business, regular customers coming in and out of your store and you feel like your brick and mortar brand is a success, you might ask the question, "Do I actually need a website?"
This is especially true if you’re happy with the business you currently have.
Yet, for most businesses running in the digital age, it is an important and a seemingly obvious addition when building an omnichannel experience for your customers.
Deciding which of these routes is right for you brand presents a challenge for businesses. A good starting point is to research your direct competitors first. Do they have websites; it is standard for your industry to be online?
This will give you a good foundation in helping you decide on whether it is right for your brand. It can give you some inspiration from their sites on how to structure yours, take notes on what you like and don’t like, especially if this is your first website.
Let's now look through the benefits of building a website:
- Increase Your Credibility With a Website
There is almost an expectation now in 2017, for a company to be have an online presence. This can extend as far as potential new customers distrusting your business. If they search your name and nothing comes up, it’s a reason to search for somewhere else. The convenience of having a question they may have about a product answered whilst in their home can encourage the sale.
If it’s a great site, you’ll go up in your customer’s estimations and recommend you to a friend - and as every business is aware word of mouth is the best form of marketing! Answering their search for additional information or questions online can save your business time and money on customer service.
- Grow Your Customer Outreach
Maintaining an online presence gives you the potential to access people all over the world. Anyone from any city, region or even country can enter your website, meaning your prospective customer outreach grows.
- Maintain a 24 Hour 7 Day a Week Online Presence
Having an ecommerce website means that your customers are always able to find your brand. They can search for your product outside of working hours, their leisure time is also your leisure time and it makes it more convenient for them too. Being able to browse your products with no pressure to buy, in the comfort of their home creates a new customer experience.
Being able to click around can be are far more attractive experience than making a trip to a physical store, searching for assistance and waiting in queues.
- Potential Customers Already Out There
There is no doubt in the popularity of the internet; millions of users are online every day which means potentially millions of customers that your brand could be appealing to.
Someone might be using the internet for inspiration or searching for an exact item and if your product fits exactly what they want, they are much more likely to buy. Millennials are leading the way in online shopping and so being where the shoppers are is something you should be doing.
- Your Competitors are Online
Similarly, if you’ve noticed your customers are looking online it is very likely your competitors will be thinking the same thing, if they haven’t already set themselves up online. To remain competitive, you should be online too.
- Ability to Change Information Whenever
Having a website means you can promptly change the information about your business: from pricing changes, such as offers or discounts to location changes if you’ve moved or expanded. If being more economically savvy is a priority, then changing information on your website is more cost effective than continually printing and reprinting documents that become outdated.
- Use Social Media
You can add links and social share buttons to spread your message from your website to social. If you have a blog or a new item adding a “share it” button allows people to share your products with their audience and there is no better advertising than word-of-mouth. Alternatively, you can direct people from your social media sites to your online store.
If they see you on social media and click through to your site they’re likely to buy from you, especially if they’re already following you.
Is There Another Option to Having a Website?
Some brands just prefer being social. They maintain their online presence through their social media pages and are one of the only online way of getting contact. Some may find success in this but with the ever-evolving social media algorithms it can be a risk if these don’t work in your favour.
Creating your site can be challenging, rewarding and frustrating but once it’s done and looks the part you’ll feel like your brand is really coming together.
About the author - Charlotte Lynch is the Marketing & Operations Executive at Modern Retail which brings quality editorial from knowledgeable, respected authors to all those with an interest in forward-thinking, independent, high-street retail. The site holds a wealth of invaluable content for owners of shops, boutiques, and all retail outlets throughout the UK. Find out more at www.modernretail.co.uk