Establishing a company website is much more than simply putting your contact info online for others to see. Your website is the virtual version of your business, providing an attractive and inviting medium, through which to reach a larger number of customers faster and more efficiently. After all, recent studies have shown that 69 percent of Americans regularly buy products online, and 16 percent of all shopping is done online. This represents a huge portion of our economy’s commerce, and opens the door for many small businesses to drastically expand their consumer base and increase their revenues. No longer are companies confined by their physical, brick-and-mortar location; heck, you don’t even need an actual brick-and-mortar location! You can run a global, multi-million dollar business venture out of your garage by simply utilizing the power of the internet.
So how does one go about this?
The key is effective marketing, and the first step in this process is a solid website. Just like an inviting store front draws customers into the traditional brick-and-mortar establishments, a well-designed website has the same affect. Good design is everything. Intuitive and responsive layout, appealing aesthetics, and effective, communicative content is key for catching a customer’s eye and holding their attention. That is, after all, how all sales start.
How does this work?
The internet is unique in that it provides opportunities simply unavailable in a traditional store. For one, the internet never sleeps, which means you can be making sales while you sleep. Literally. Having an online presence means you are not confined to traditional store hours and employee availability. Customers can purchase your products whenever and from wherever they please, and this convenience and accessibility cannot be understated.
Second, your consumer base automatically grows exponentially. A small business with a healthy online marketing presence can have as much of an impact on the market as a business three times its size, because it is not confined to regional boundaries. A strong brand and well-designed site are incredibly powerful marketing tools, and in some cases, are more appealing to consumers than traditional marketing ploys. This is because, as the adage goes, people like to buy but don’t like to be sold. In other words, many consumers are turned off by blatant attempts to sell them on a product or business. A well-written piece of content on your beautifully designed website allows potential buyers to peruse your offerings in a more relaxed, pressure-free environment, leading to a higher likelihood of customer satisfaction and positive overall impression of your business as a whole.
Clearly, building and maintaining a healthy online presence is a key factor in today’s economy. It can even be argued that it is absolutely vital for the success of small businesses. It’s not necessarily feasible to go toe-to-toe with the big market leaders in your particular industry. They’re too strong. Their influence is too deeply entrenched. It’s a David and Goliath scenario. The internet is the stone that levels the playing field.