The 20th centuries internet boom showed us that even the smallest of business needed a website to compete in the market. As we entered the 21st century, this became even more apparent as everyday people gained internet access and started searching for products on services online. Over 90% of all American families have a home computer, and some form of internet access, whether it be dial up or high speed broadband. Out of those 90%, over 65% will search online first when making a new purchase or hiring someone’s service. If those numbers alone do not convince you to build a website for your business, then these reasons should:
1) Sell your products online- The ability to sell your products online, typically using an online shopping cart or eBay, could greatly increase your sales. Just thing, your products will be seen in more then one place, give you greater exposure. Plus, the overhead of displaying your products in an online shopping cart is FAR less then in a conventional store.
2) Give information that you would not normally be able too- You do not want to clutter your physical store with posters that talk about the history of your business, your mission, policies, etc. If your physical store looks cluttered, then it will hurt your business. A website can be organized in a neat manner with any and all the information you want displayed. Plus, providing information about your business will make the customer feel more informed, which in turn will make them more likely to do business with you.
3) Websites are global- A website is globally accessible, provided your domain name is known or searchable. Can you name one of form of advertising that is available to anyone in the world, 24 hours a day? You may gain clientele that you would not normally be able to market too in the “real world.”
4) Website are cheap- Sure, initially it will cost you some money to create and setup your website, but once your website is up, it will remain up as long as you keep paying for hosting and your domain name, which averages about 6 dollars a month. You cannot place an ad in the local newspaper for 6 dollars a week, much less 6 dollars a month.
5) Clients will be able to view your store and contact you 24 hours a day. You business probably has set hours in which you are open. Once you close your doors for the day, no other customer can come in and make a purchase. With a website your products are available for purchase 24 hours a day.
6) Minimize customer problems and questions- Again, this goes back to the information situation. If a client has a problem or question about your products or services, instead of tying up your phone line and time, they can go online and read the information that you have provided, or at least direct them to a website that can help them (ex: If you sold them a Sony walkman, you can direct them to the Sony website for any troubleshooting.)
7) Chances are, you completion has a website- The amount of businesses with a website are on the rise. With numbers reaching 80%, you cannot afford to NOT have a website, because chances are your competition already has a website.