The Importance of a Website for Small Businesses
Several misconceptions surround small businesses and websites. It is estimated that around 50% of independent companies do not have a website presence and do not think it is a worthwhile expense. This is a massive misnomer in the current climate. If we consider lockdown as an example, people were confined to their houses, and everything they needed was sourced online. While you will never stop the domination of market leaders like Amazon, internet shopping is fast becoming the go-to for practically everything purchased, and there is still a ‘shop local’ movement as well as a worldwide audience that will never know a small business exists if they do not have a website.
So, here are three reasons why a small independent business needs a website.
One - Building Brand and Trust
The biggest argument against a website I hear as a web designer is ‘I have a social media presence. There is no doubt that social platforms are great, but the brand remains with the hosting company (Facebook, Twitter, etc.). As a small business, building your brand, gaining trust, and establishing credibility are essential, and to do this, you need to have a personalised look and feel. Websites offer more credibility than a social media page, and customers are more likely to make a purchase when they can see what you have to show on your website.
Two - Bigger Reach
As mentioned above, consumers now use the internet as the first port of call for everything. Looking for information, making purchases, banking, every aspect of life can be carried out from a phone, tablet, or computer. The reason why brick and mortar shops all congregate in one place, a town or city center, is because it makes much sense. The customers are all in one place, and it is often the outliers tucked away in side streets that go out of business first.
The same principle applies to websites; your competition and your customers are online, so you need to be there to be found. It is that simple. Your website and social channels should be linked, and with this full coverage, your reach should naturally expand.
Three - Be an Open Book
According to the Office of National Statistics, over 87% of people in the UK make purchases online. 63% of them use a mobile device because smartphones and tablets offer instant access no matter where the user might be. Consumers are getting savvy when shopping online, researching products before they purchase. The convenience of online shopping delivered to their door outweighs going to a shopping center as long as there is plenty of information on the item or service.
Having a website gives you the perfect stage to help prospective customers make an informed choice. In terms of competition, you cannot hope to keep up if you do not play the game. The combination of your brand, the quality of your products, and how well you inform your customers combine to give you the edge.