Many online businesses aspire to one day have a brick and mortar location, a real address that customers can visit and interact with. While the digital world is created, shifting and perceived as temporary - a physical shop indicates permanence, presence and to a degree success.
But what about the other way around? Do real life shops and businesses want a digital existence and if so, what for?
The answer, plainly speaking, is yes. It’s becoming more and more apparent that physical spaces are being replaced by digital ones. What began as a gradual change has now increased to mach speeds as we face a global pandemic where safety and security is staying indoors and using online resources to work, communicate, shop and more. However, before recent events shifted society indoors, many changes were already apparent that removed the emphasis on physical spaces and placed them online.
This is why now more than ever it’s so important to have a digital presence. Customers are looking and wanting to support their local independent shops as well as using the goliath ecommerce platform amazon more than ever to make purchases. Having an online presence isn’t just about selling product but it also offers a bridge to that company: an insight into their objectives and ethos as a business.
Direct Link with Customers
Social media platforms provide a direct communication link with the business. This has created a unique instance where customers can share reviews, praise, complaints etc. and businesses can then respond quickly. By having a ‘voice’ online, companies appear to be more approachable and less of a corporate entity. It doesn’t work for every business but a lot of engagement is found via social media channels and using these correctly can lead to increased business, not just in terms of sales.
A website is the digital facade, advertising billboard and interactive tool of a company. As society shifts more and more towards a digital world, customers and clients often expect to see a digital presence not only as a form of confirmation that the business exists and operates but also to utilise as a resource: read blog posts, keep up to date with the field, learn insights from a trusted authority.
A website is a space where you shout about your achievements and tell the world what you’ve done and how you did it. Showcasing work in this way is a great way for potential clients or customers to see exactly what you can do. Finally, having a website or an online presence is like a shop front where customers can peer in and shop. It should also be a link to your physical address via google maps which is so important as mobile customers.
With the amount of time people spend online, maintaining an online presence simply creates awareness towards a business. More awareness equals more engagement and sales. That’s the essence of it but of course a lot goes into creating a well-designed and intuitive website
, along with maintaining and updating, it is of course time-consuming. Nevertheless there is reward with all the work being put in as there’s correlation between a regularly updated website and increased user engagement. Google bots like to see that a site is being updated and in return, the algorithm is more likely to offer the site up in search results.
Once you’ve set up the website it works for you, 24/7. Businesses and shops follow normal working week hours and of course the general public also follow these hours which can make getting to a shop quite difficult to fit into a schedule. Getting to something online is really a click away. Having a website or online presence opens up a permanent channel that’s always available for your customer to utilise and browse.
Generally speaking businesses want a lot of clientele and by incorporating an online presence into your company’s operations it inevitably opens it up to a much wider market: you can sell nationally or even internationally thanks to the worldwide
web. Commerce isn’t limited to a single (or multiple) location but can now be accessed globally. It’s not just a secondary revenue stream but also a way of exposing your business to new connections, new ideas and new possibilities.
It was touched upon very briefly earlier but a website is a form of free advertising. Once the initial cost has been paid for building the site, you can then develop it as much as you like to further promote and drive business. Adding content to your website or social media channels is a great way to market your business. It does take some time on your part but in return the rewards could be great.
Keeping Up with the Competition
In business it’s always a good idea to keep an eye on the competition; you don’t want to be left behind when competitors are making ground. And usually your competition’s online presence will include a website at the very least. Nowadays it’s expected that a business, small or large, has some form of online presence; normally a website as standard. In order to keep up with society at large (especially younger generations) maintaining an online presence is essential.
An online presence is a certificate of credibility and authenticity. In the past that very well may not have been true but nowadays google is very savvy to fraudulent websites so generally-speaking having a website is an indicator of reliability.
Improving Customer Service
Very often your website will be the first point of contact for customers so this presents a great opportunity to provide information or commonly asked questions to save time and money on answering calls or emails. There’s a reason that a lot of call-centres have become automated and it’s because a lot of the same questions are asked over and over. By including information in an FAQ section, you can cover a lot of bases to provide accurate and useful information.
Contact us at Grizzly
to learn how we can help you with your website.
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