So, you have a website but it just sits there, waiting for visitors?
“Static” websites should be a thing of the past. The fact that they aren’t is pretty sad.
It’s more than 20 years since the advent of the internet. Websites have now become an integral, essential part of your business’s credibility and a whole lot more. Despite this, it is obvious there are still a lot of people who have websites who have not yet embraced what they can do for business.
First, let’s clear up some myths:
Myth no 1: Good websites are expensive.
Yes, and no. Yes, some big, complicated websites are expensive. Most websites are not.
To get a feel for the cost of a website, compare it to the cost a full-time sales staff member. There is really no contest when you look at it in those terms.
Myth no 2: Websites don’t bring in business.
Again, yes and no. Old-style, static brochure sites are pretty much useless unless you are actively promoting them. There are almost 50 billion live webpages indexed by search engines now. Finding a specific one of them, without it being advertised, is almost totally impossible. You have a better chance of being struck by lightning.
This is what good websites do for your business.
1. Give Your Business Credibility
While $300 billion of retail sales were transacted directly through eCommerce sites in 2016, another $2 trillion of retail sales were directly influenced by internet searches and website information in the same year. These figures do not include the $2Trillion in B2B internet business for the same period.
Here’s the scary part: That $300B is the 3% of online retail transaction that were started and followed through to completion. The other 97% didn’t make it. If they had been completed they would represent $10 trillion. As for the B2B transactions; $2 trillion went through but there was another $18 trillion in transactions begun but not completed. The total of all transactions, globally, was just under $76 trillion.
Why don’t they complete? Slow loading times, mostly. 7% of users will abandon a purchase transaction after a 1 second delay. 40% of users will abandon a shopping cart and not return to a transaction if the website takes more than 3 seconds to load. 70% abandon after 10 seconds. So, the message here is to pay someone with real skills to design your website.
2. It Will Save You Money & Time
If you are using your website for advertising, measure the cost against newspaper, radio, magazine or TV advertising and see which one gives you the most bang for your buck. You might be surprised at just how much a well-designed website will save you, in just a year.
Then consider how a website is quietly working at night and on weekends and several thousand dollars or even ten or twenty thousand dollars is probably a serious bargain.
The average B2C transaction involves 4 searches before a sale is made. For B2B sales that figure rises to 12 searches. Having a website that attracts attention and is easily found in searches is essential if you want some of that business. Having staff answer all of the questions those searches prompt is going to be prohibitive, in terms of time and cost.
3. It Gives You Access to a Wider Market
If you think about the online purchases you have made in the past year, could you honestly say where the seller was located? The answer is probably “No”. With eCommerce sales it no longer matters. You can buy from Holland, India, China, Sweden and the USA in the space of 5-10 minutes, if you wish, and have those products delivered by courier in days.
Accessibility to selling markets means you also have access to buying markets. You can sell your invention / product / services to practically any one of the 3.6 billion internet users, if they can find you. Houses, horses, cars and ships are all sold online, every day. There are more than 2 billion internet retail sale transactions, and another 4 billion B2B transactions completed each year. Those figures are expected to grow at about 30% per year for the foreseeable future.
4. It Gives Your Clients Better Information
Have you ever played the game “Chinese Whispers”? You know, the one where you whisper a phrase or sentence into the ear of the person at one end of the chain and they then whisper it to the second and so on. By the time it’s been reprocessed by a dozen people the original message is totally unrecognisable. Imagine how that would affect your customers’ perception of what your business offered. Problem, right?
However, well written information on your website will take away a lot of the uncertainty your customers will experience when they’re looking for your products or services. You also take away the “human error” factor of customer service staff only providing half of the info they should. You can provide value-added information to clients about how to use products or about their recycling profile or tell them about your charity support program, too.
5. It Can Provide An End-to-end Sales Service
Choosing to develop a full service eCommerce site may seem like a daunting task but it need not be. Done properly, using RSS feeds from product catalogues, you can offer thousands, or even tens of thousands, of products to clients in an environment where they have practically no interaction with people at all. This is suited very well to sales of low-value / high turnover items.
When you consider the sheer cost of keeping sales people on staff, for 7-hour or 8-hour daily shifts, a website that does the job 24 hours/day, 7 days/week is a good deal.
6. It Can Be a Tireless Marketing Channel for Your Business
Your website should be the primary landing point for enquiries that arise from your efforts in Social media marketing; eBook marketing; Video sharing; Blogging; Webinar sharing and the various other channels you use to market your business. Designed properly, you can have landing pages integrated into the site allows you to keep tabs on how they are all doing.
This is an important function your website can provide, as an integrated marketing approach, across multiple channels, can be something of a juggling act otherwise. Additionally, your website forms a major marketing channel in and of itself, allowing you to manage and update information and offers on the fly, if it has been built properly.
What do I do next?
We have set up a group on Facebook, called Digital Go-Getters and Entrepreneurs, so you can find our workshops, etc. https://www.facebook.com/groups/dgaentrepreneurs/
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