Did you know that more than 1/3 of small business owners still don’t have a website? Whether they don’t want to invest the money, or they feel that they can get by with a Facebook page, many small organizations are of the opinion that a website isn’t relevant for their business, especially if they don’t sell any products or services online.
These misconceptions aren’t doing small businesses any favors. The truth is, a website can benefit pretty much any small business. Here are 7 reasons why:
1. People Spend A lot of their Time Online
According to a Nielsen Company audience report, 81% of adults in the United States use their smartphones to consume media at least one hour and 39 minutes daily. Additionally, 88.5% of people in both the U.S. and Canada are internet users.
Know what that means? There are a whole lot of people that could be visiting and interacting with small businesses online through their websites.
2. The Internet is Used the Way People Use a Phone Book
Almost everyone these days uses the Internet to get information—even when that information is local. In fact, potential customers use their smartphones and tablets to decide where to shop.
Small businesses that don’t come up in a local search run the risk of losing potential shoppers to other local businesses that are showing up in the search results.
3. Websites Give Small Businesses More Credibility
Just as consumers expect legitimate businesses to have a physical business address, they assume businesses will have their own websites.
Businesses that don’t have a website make customers question their credibility—something no business in this day and age can afford.
4. A Website Provides Small Businesses With Another Marketing Channel
A website gives small businesses an automatic online presence—like an online billboard. It’s another way to introduce people to their products and services, as well as find their business.
Of course, the number of eyeballs that website attracts will depend on the business’s online marketing efforts, which can be accomplished through search engine optimization, social media, and blogging, etc.
5. Websites Help Businesses w/ Data Collection & Lead generation
Trying to get people to write down their email addresses and hand them in at a physical storefront isn’t easy. It’s much easier to get them to type their email address into a form on a website, especially if they think they’re getting something out of it, like a free download, or a newsletter with exclusive offers.
And the great thing is, once email addresses have been collected, small businesses have an effective method of reaching potential customers through email marketing campaigns.
6. Online Spending is Increasing
Clearly, consumers want online options and small businesses that accommodate these desires will stay competitive and relevant.
6) Webrooming Increases Foot Traffic
Having a small business website can increase the offline profits of brick and mortar stores because of the popularity of webrooming—where customers research items online prior to purchasing them in-store.
With over 90% of global purchases happening offline, providing consumers with the option to “window shop” a business’s website before heading to its physical location allows them to engage in their preferred method of shopping.
As SCORE points out, there is a great divide between small business owners who have business websites and those who don’t. A website serves as a digital business card, providing online searchers with vital information on small business that might have the products and/or services they need.
Business websites need not be complicated. In fact, they may consist of only a few pages containing basic details (hours, address, phone number), as well as testimonials and links to information elsewhere online (social media, reviews, etc.).
The important thing to remember is that a website can benefit nearly any small business—even those that don’t sell products or services online. Websites direct people to small business locations, get their company in front of more eyeballs and potential customers through search and establish credibility for their brand.
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