When you want to buy a product or avail a service, it is quite obvious that you would first look for that product or service and its related information online. With the increased use of Internet in today's times, most customers prefer to research about what they want to buy, so that they are aware of the options available on the market along with their price. This helps the customer to make up his/her mind before actually coming to the store to make a purchase. Since searching details of the product on the web has become the first step to every purchase that customers make, it is very important for a business to have a virtual presence. This presence can be created by developing a website for convenience of the customers.
Many business owners underestimate the importance of having a website and consider it to be an insignificant investment. But the fact is, no business in today's world can create a global presence if it does not have a website.
Reasons to Invest in a Website
#1. Accessibility to Customers Round the Clock
If a business does not have a website, customers can buy the products or services, and contact the owner only during office hours. A website provides accessibility to customers even during non-office hours. They can obtain required information and carry out transactions from a comfortable location without actually coming to the office. As there is no time constraint, they can contact the business at any time. This helps in gaining new customers and retaining old ones.
#2. Increased Customer Base
A local store can fetch customers only from a particular area and other areas surrounding it. The customer base is restricted when there is no web presence. A website helps a business to come into light and enjoy a global audience. The chances of getting customer orders from other parts of the country, as well as overseas, is highly increased. This increased customer base adds to the overall profitability of the company.
#3. Increased Visibility
Having a website helps in creating visibility of the business and its offerings. There are numerous search engines on the web which help the customers in finding relevant search results. Getting a good ranking on these search engines brings a website and the business to the forefront, which in turn makes the products and services visible to the customers.
#4. Cost-effective Business Promotion
Methods of advertising like newspapers and other print media involve high recurring costs. Websites generally require a major one-time investment and small maintenance costs later on. The overall expenditure on business promotion via a website is far less than other media of promotion.
#5. Effective Customer Service
Customers not only look for good products, but also, quick and efficient customer service. Businesses which provide convenience to their customers generally, never fail to retain them. A website is one such way by which businesses can improve on this aspect. Providing answers to frequently asked questions (FAQs) and other sales-related information through the website, can reduce the efforts of customers. Customers also appreciate the availability of online forms, quotations, invoices, and proposals which saves their time. This kind of customer service is possible only when a business has a website.
#6. Platform for Product Sales
Nowadays, people have a very busy schedule, and this lifestyle leaves them with little time to go shopping. That is why, online shopping has gained a lot of popularity these days. Websites are a good platform to showcase products and sell them. This not only makes the product available to local customers, but to customers all over the world.
#7. Brand Building
Branding is a very important aspect for a business to do well. A website helps to make the brand visible all over the world. It reflects a professional image of the organization. All reputable businesses have websites through which they communicate with their customers. Email addresses with the company's domain name reflects genuineness and helps in brand building.
#8. Identification of Potential Customers
Customers who are interested in a business or its products, are the ones who generally visit the websites. With the help of online forms and surveys available at the website, customers can leave their comments, queries, and views about the business. Personal details of customers, like name and contact numbers, collected through these sources are valuable leads for the business and are crucial for striking a deal.
#9. Easy Recruitment
A website can be a good source of prospective employees. Job vacancies can be advertised on it, and interested candidates can either be asked to submit their resumes online, or send them to the company's email address. By doing so, the business reduces advertisement costs that are incurred by placing vacancies in newspapers etc. Also, the business is capable of obtaining a pool of resumes even when there are no vacancies. These can be examined later when the need arises.
#10. Increased Competitiveness
A small business with a website has a competitive edge over its competitors. Nowadays, businesses which are Internet savvy and capable of using their resources well, are the ones generating good returns. When the competitors do not have a website, all the online customers are shifted to the one having it.
#11. Faster Updates
A website can be updated on a daily basis. New information that must be shared with the public can easily be uploaded on it. This is fairly easy and less time-consuming. Pamphlets and brochures used for communication need time for printing, distribution, and cost a significant amount of money. A business saves time by directly providing all the required information on the website, that customers look out for. Providing this information face-to-face, over the phone, or through emails needs a significant amount of time. Customers save time by directly going to the website and extracting required information. As we know, time is money, therefore, a lot money is in turn saved by investing in a website.
#12. Generating Customer Feedback
Obtaining customer feedback is extremely essential for a business to understand whether it is able to satisfy its customers or not. Customer feedback can be easily obtained through websites because customers can provide feedback at their own comfort, without spending much of their valuable time. As this is quick, customers willingly spare time to fill online feedback forms without reluctance.
#13. Post-sales Analysis
A website can be used to launch new products and test their acceptance in the market. It can also be used to increase the sales of an existing product. This can be achieved by providing exclusive offers for online customers. By doing so, a business can either try to increase its sales all around the world or in a particular geographic area. This also helps in identifying the locations where a product is well-accepted and where it is not.
Hope these reasons are strong enough to clear doubts of business owners and trigger them to think about building a website. Starting a website is not at all difficult, and can be done with a small investment. The initial investment may seem large for small businesses, but once the website is online, it will surely fetch increased profits, which is the prime motive of any organization.