What does it take to thrive in 2020? We hear a lot of buzz words like Imagineering and pivoting. And while that’s true, many businesses continue to overlook one simple asset that can be a game changer. Every business needs a quality website, especially amidst a global pandemic when shoppers are turning to online research and purchases in droves. Retailers are quick to use words like contactless check out as a euphemism for use our website to complete your transition.
But just don’t take my word for it. The statistics speak for themselves. According to the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Quarterly Retail E-Commerce Sales (August 2020):
- There was an increase of more than 31% in U.S. retail e-commerce sales from the first quarter of 2020
- E-commerce sales in the second quarter of 2020 are estimated to account for at least 16% of total sales – that is the highest percentage of e-commerce sales (out of total sales) in the previous eighteen months.
Both statistics speak to the importance of having a website as well as e-commerce capabilities. For those that may not know, e-commerce generally refers to the selling and buying of a product or service via the internet. And, in our present circumstance it can be utilized to pick purchases up locally. So, if roughly one out of six sales are e-commerce based, your company is missing out on profitable business if you do not have e-commerce capabilities. And you cannot have a solid e-commerce solution if you don’t have a wholly owned website.
The Top 3 Myths About Starting A Website for Your Business Dispelled
Companies that do not yet have a website in place usually have very specific reasons for not doing so. The catch is that they are not good reasons. Actually, most of them are myths like these:
- It is too technical to be worth it. If terms like HTML, mega title and domain sound alien to you, then building a website may be intimidating, but that does not mean you should take it off the table. While it may be too technical for you, it is not too technical for a professional website designer. Don’t toss aside a goal because you can’t figure out how to get there—find someone who can help you get there.
- Creating a website takes too much time. Let’s be honest, time is a commodity that almost always seems to be in short supply, so don’t make it the sole basis for big decisions. If you don’t have enough time to pour into a website, find someone who does and enlist their help. What might take you months to create can often be done in the space of just a week or two by an expert.
- Building a website is not in the budget. This one is a catch twenty-two for most people because websites do require an investment before they yield results. So maybe the question is not, “Can I afford it?” but, “Can I afford not to build a website for my company that can expand my revenue stream?”
Why Every Business Needs A Website
Now that we have hopefully dispelled all your reasons for not having a website in place, let’s talk about why you do need a website:
- It gives you credibility with consumers. We live in a digital age and a company that does not have a digital presence can sometimes raise a red flag for shoppers. Why does the store not have a website? Is it to avoid bad reviews? Is it because they are a fly-by-night operation? It can be a significant trust issue for many shoppers if a company does not have a strong website presence because honestly, your customers expect it.
- Customers can learn about your company twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week, even when your physical store is closed. This way, you never have to lose a customer due to your business hours.
- It is a valuable customer service tool. In addition to online sales, a website can be used for more than just online sales. It can also be a fantastic tool for describing the company’s history, answering commonly asked questions, and providing useful information via blogging.
- It can be a form of effective advertising. If a website is built by a web designer that also is proficient in search engine optimization, it has the capability to have a more promising return on investment than some of the more common methods of advertising.
- It enables you to be more competitive. If you are a small mom and pop bookstore with no online presence, how will people know you are there and be willing to spend their money with you instead of other mainstream bookstores? They won’t. Create a website for your business and give the big stores a run for their money.
How A Website with E-commerce Capabilities Can Expand Your Revenue Stream
While having a website for your company is a necessity in its own right, being able to capitalize on that by adding e-commerce solutions will grow your revenue stream even more significantly. Here’s why:
- Your revenue stream can be growing even when the physical store is closed. Many online shoppers have full days and often choose to do the bulk of their transactions in the evening after the day is done. By enabling e-commerce solutions on a business’ website, the company never misses a sale, even when it is after hours.
- It opens your business up to customers who are not local. With brick and mortar stores, your company’s customers are typically limited to local residents and visits from out of towners. However, by taking your sales online you can open up your business to national customers, and that can drastically increase your revenue stream.
- Customers can spend their money on you. A consumer cannot buy from a company without e-commerce capabilities. If they cannot buy a product or service from your website, they will go to another company’s website for a more convenient shopping experience. Translation? E-commerce equals sales conversions and increased revenue.
- It is a pandemic convenience consumers appreciate. At a time when venturing out to a crowded store may be a risk, your business will be creating a safe and convenient way for shoppers to buy online around the clock while in the comfort of their very own homes.
The Perks of Working with A Web Designer That Is Also an SEO Professional
There is one benefit from not having had a website for your company to date, and that is a clean slate. There are no errors to undo or changes to make. There is only a fresh start filled with opportunity.
For beginners, it may be more convenient and efficient to hire a company to help with building and designing a website. In the long run, this generally saves a newbie hundreds of hours of time that would have been spent learning a craft and then implementing it. While this is certainly an admirable goal, every hour spent preparing is an hour of online traffic and sales they are losing.
By hiring a web designer that is also skilled at search engine optimization (SEO), your website can be built in a way that makes it more attractive to the algorithms used by online search engines. This in turn contributes to your website ranking higher in search engine results pages, which can equal more online traffic and sales conversions.
In other words, working with a web designer that is also skilled at SEO should have a cha-ching result for your business that advertising alone never could. So why waste time depending solely on the temporary benefits of advertising?
Every business needs a website. Period. I know starting a website for your company can be a big step filled with lots of hurdles and challenges, but it doesn’t have to be with the right help in place. And trust me when I say it is worth it. Your burgeoning bottom line will be proof of it.
Beth Guide, President
Direct: 713-703-3030 ext. 701