In our last article, we proposed compelling evidence for why your small business needs to have an identity online. Still not convinced? Here are four reasons why it’s absolutely essential for your business to establish it.
1. An online presence establishes credibility and trust Online website builder Weebly surveyed several million consumers. The results? About 56% of consumers don’t trust a business that doesn’t have a website.Think about that for a moment. Consumers prefer that a business have a website. Beyond that, more than half of consumers won’t trust your business if it doesn’t have an online presence. You need consumers to trust your business in order to become your customers.By creating a website alone, you will make your business more appealing and trustworthy to a wide group of consumers. But, more than that, you can leverage your online presence to create a trusting relationship between your business and potential customers. As Jes Gonzalez of Scibendi puts it, “The beauty of having a site, blog, and social media accounts is that they enable reviews and comments about your products. As an expert in your business, you’ll be able to answer any queries quickly and thoroughly. Any glowing praise that is publicly available will build your online presence and show even brand-new customers that you’re a reputable business.”
2. Having an online presence gives your business a voice “Brands have less control over what is said about them online. Users have access to the opinions of other users, which heavily influences their purchase decisions.”says Ryan Davies of Media Vision. Your business may not have a website but that doesn’t mean that it isn’t visible online. Site like Yelp allow consumers to review and discuss their good and bad experiences with businesses. If you’re not a part of that conversation you’re missing a huge opportunity. By having a website you can have a voice for your brand on the internet. Your website should effectively say what your brand is about, who your company is, and what you do. The Internet gives you the opportunity to literally take part in the conversations happening about your business by responding to customer praise and complaints on your business’s reviews. Jes Gonzalez of Scibendi argues that: “It’s better to know about an unhappy client so you can make amends and carry your name forward, rather than having an angry customer sharing their distaste for your business without you even knowing they were unhappy in the first place.” Through your website, social media profiles and online reviews, you can give your business a voice to speak directly to consumers.
3. You can improve the customer experience by putting your business online By keeping your customers happy, you can often prevent bad online reviews. That’s why it’s essential to create a website that can act as an ambassador for consumers when you’re not physically able to. In a recent Entrepreneur article, Sherry Grey wrote about a business that is benefiting from how their online presence is improving their customers experience: “Cowboy Charters in Key West is a family-owned charter boat business with a small staff, but you can chat directly with the owner any time. When the website loads, a LiveChat window pops up and invites you to chat. If you respond, your chat goes directly to the owner’s cell phone for instant response. Captain Mark told me that that it’s super cheap — $20 per month — and incredibly effective. Their customer service is so impressive, they book two out of three people who inquire on the spot!Cowboy Charters created a unique customer experience that is only available online, and their business has thrived because of it.”
4. E-commerce is growing What is E-commerce?E-commerce is commercial transactions conducted electronically on the Internet. Your business may greatly benefit by having this option on your website. Online sales have been growing for years and they will continue to do so. A recent report from Forrester forecasts that “US online retail sales will reach more than $500 billion by 2020, up from $373 billion in 2016”. Considering this vast potential for revenue, you owe it to your business to get online and start competing for your share. Here are some actionable tips to help you get started.
Plan your branding strategy
Start by considering what Jon Acuff of Knowledge Center calls the 3 C’s: Clarity, Consistency, and Commitment. He asserts that keeping these three guidelines in mind will help your brand stand out from the crowd: Clarity– know who your business is and communicate that identity clearly. Consistency– maintain your branding and messaging between all platforms (online, in print, and in-store). Commitment – give consumers time to get to know your brand.
Build your website
Establish a social media presence
Don’t forget the importance of design.
Small businesses have so many compelling reasons to create an online presence. With so much to gain, we hope you find this article helpful in getting you started with building an online identity. Ready to get started? It’s not as hard as you think! Contact GmapsRocket Web Solutions to create professional, unique website designs for your business. GmapsRocket’s Web Design Service has designers with will go over your business’s needs and create a customized, cutting edge website that will propel your business to the next level. Call us at (800) 651-7181to speak to a member of our team.