With an estimated 53% of the world’s population using the internet, and the rate steadily increasing, the need for businesses to establish an online presence is ever-growing. The convenience offered to users by the internet leads them to seek information about businesses from the comfort of their homes or work without having to physically locate a store or shop.
Let’s say you were in search of a Web development company in the USA it would be extremely difficult to physically locate every single company through the entire country to find the one that suits your needs. Even if we were to narrow down the search to a Web development company in Houston, Texas, the third-largest city in the USA, the task would be daunting. Potential customers know this and therefore their priority when seeking information on businesses is the internet.
Why not seek alternatives to websites such as social media?
Without a doubt, websites aren’t the only means to create an online presence for your business. There are several other platforms available such as the recent Facebook feature supporting online businesses released during the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic. This was announced by Mark Zuckerberg on 19th May 2020 as highlighted by a blog post from CNBC’s website. Instagram and What’s app for business all have features that can facilitate online interaction with customers. An advantage to this could be that you don’t have to invest in infrastructure to scale your growing business, also setup and maintenance require little technical knowledge. However, there are some major drawbacks to these solutions that would make you think twice. They include:
- Lack of specialized services. Making use of social media platforms greatly limits your business’s growth and expansion beyond the capability of the platform. For example, it may be difficult to integrate custom payment solutions when conducting business through such platforms.
- Divided customer attention. Social media platforms aren’t primarily intended for business. Therefore, your potential customers could easily be distracted by messages from friends or even ads imposed by the platform. This could lower your conversion rate and as a result, your business could lose many potential clients.
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Using social media, websites, and other online tools to gain customers
The above drawbacks lead us back to websites as the best way to facilitate the growth of your business in this highly digitized world. It is however good to note that social media and custom websites can work hand in hand to help you increase traffic to your website and gain customers. Websites, Social media pages, and other tools such as Google places can be search engine optimized and are therefore made more likely to show up when a potential client searches for a business. If a potential client searches for a Web development company in Houston, Texas, results from Google places and social media have a high chance of showing up therefore they could be a great gateway to act as a link to your business website as well as provide a greater online presence.
Benefits of having a website for your business
Let’s highlight some major benefits of creating a website for your business, which could potentially lead to business success.
- Online transactions: The ability to conduct transactions via your website through various payment gateways such as PayPal could greatly boost revenues rather than relying solely on cheques and cash. This way customers can purchase items remotely. It also ensures a faster check out, for the process is fully automated for customers and therefore enhances the user experience.
- Accessibility: Websites enable your users to access your products or services regardless of the devices they use. This gives you a greater reach to a large client base as websites are independent of devices whether Android, iPhone for mobile or Windows, and Mac for desktops. Any internet-enabled device can easily access it.
- Advertising: The ability to optimize websites for search enables your business to be easily located by potential clients. This is in a sense free advertising that could be gained through search engines such as Google.
- Branding: Building a brand is crucial for any business and therefore have a website with a rich set of customized features such as domain name and UI design, all contribute greatly to portraying your business brand.
- Contact: Potential or established customers can easily contact you through your website, you can link to various social media platforms, email as well as phone contact. This can enable you to provide consultation services to potential clients (Which can also be capitalized upon as a stream of income.). Also after-sale services, by helping you keep in touch with your clients.
- Virtual Space: Utilizing digital space can help you showcase your products, without having to overstock your store. Through this huge savings can be derived, for you will not need to rent a large space to display all your commodities. Customers could easily find exactly what they are looking for through search features in your online store.
- Easy set up: It costs far less to set up a website than it does a physical shop. Many businesses today are built solely on websites and as a result, save on costs for setting up a shop. This is how major e-commerce businesses such as Amazon operate. They only need to account for storage. For a small business, this means you could completely overlook setting up shop and investing in delivery. This could go a long way to increasing your returns.
- Trust: Through your website, it is much easier for you to communicate the nature of your business, its reach, and also plans for growth and expansion to both existing and potential clients. This communicates trust and can help boost the credibility of your organization in the eyes of clients.
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Websites can greatly contribute to business success in several ways with the few highlighted above. It would, therefore, be wise for your business to invest in a website as it is guaranteed to yield great returns. The ability to automate payments is among many other features that will boost productivity all to the benefit of your business and your clients.