It’s a common enough question, especially for businesses that don’t get involved much in technology or customers might not be online. The Internet is for those geeks, right, and not the common small business, sole trader or anybody else outside of the tech industry, right? If you think that way in 2015, you might want to rethink things. The Internet is much easier to use than the Yellow Pages, not only because it is faster, but also because it is in your pocket. Consumers are much more likely to search the web for a business to suit their needs rather than to pick up the phone book. Beyond that, here are 6 reasons to consider why you need a website for your business:
The website remains vital and, depending on your business objectives and audience needs, very well could still be the most critical of your digital properties.
It’s vital across many dimensions, too, from initial awareness to ongoing customer loyalty. Here are a few examples:
Think of the last time you heard about a new company. If you’re like most people, you went straight to their website. For an established brand, perhaps this is less important. But with less dominant brands, particularly in B2B, your site very well might be the first—and most important—customer touchpoint.
For a digitally-minded organization such as Amazon.com, the website is a keystone of customer experience. But even for traditional organizations, it’s critical. For example, websites often are a primary source for customer service, an often neglected but essential part of customer experience.
For customers of one of our clients, a large health care provider, website content is often the first step in addressing health concerns. And with social, most content engagement beyond the first 140 characters happens on a website.
Few organizations can rely on mobile apps to fully address mobile engagement. In fact, research has put mobile browser usage at double that of mobile apps. So for most organizations, mobile web is primary, with needs that go beyond smaller screen size to mobile-specific functionality.
In e-commerce, the quality of the online purchase process is linked directly to sales. In short, abandoned carts equal lost revenue. But even for complex B2B organizations, the site almost always plays a key role in the sales journey—during initial investigation, of course, but even much further along in their purchase process.
So the site isn’t going away, that much is for sure. But it is changing. It’s becoming a critical component for ongoing customer engagement and service and is no longer just a marketing tool. It’s becoming both more robust and simpler to use. By incorporating data, algorithms, predictive analytics, and mobile capabilities, it’s becoming smarter and more targeted.