Internet World Stats data shows that the number of people worldwide who used the internet in 2017 was at 54.4%. That’s more than 4 billion individuals. And, this staggering spike in number is expected to continue in the coming years.
Now, what does this trend mean to your local business? This implies that the market is shifting to a new landscape – the digital market. In other words, a big chunk of your business prospects are now online; and, therefore, if you do not establish an online presence, your business will lose quite a number of business opportunities. It is highly likely that your business will be left behind when its presence is not felt in the digital arena.
The question now becomes: how to establish an online presence?
While there are many platforms these days that allow you to showcase your business – your products and / or services – on the internet, there are a number of compelling reasons why establishing your own website plays a crucial role for your business’ survival.
Here’s why you need to establish your own business website:
Allows you to showcase your business 24/7. When you have a website, you are showcasing your products and/or services to customers and prospects round-the-clock; they can find information about what you are offering whenever, wherever they are may be. That means, you are optimizing your business potential as you are able to bring your prospects down to the sales funnel through your website.
Validates business legitimacy. There might be prospective customers who have heard about your brand but they need to see something that could validate your existence. In this regard, it is imperative that you present your business through your website professionally. Details about your products and/or services along with other business pertinent information (e.g. physical address, certifications, etc.) should be accurate and complete in order to convince them that you are indeed legit and reputable.
Remember, a business website that showcases your reputation as a legit product and/or service provider can help persuade prospects to convert into paying customers.
Full control of your business information. There are several online platforms that allow you to showcase your business information. However, such platforms usually offer limited accessibility. For instance, some free website platforms (e.g. WordPress) offer limited access to the backend. This limits your capability to add important information to your website as much as you want. In addition, limited access to a website’s backend means that you are not able to do website customization, which is important in order to set your business apart from competitors (i.e. branding).
Allows unhampered online payment processing. Payment processing that involves third party integrations should be done with full control. Again, having a full control means establishing your own website (instead of getting a free hosted website platform and/or just social media pages to represent your business). This is particularly crucial when your website is an e-commerce and you cater online payment through credit or debit cards.
Indeed, having your own website provides a significant advantage in today’s digitally-oriented market. It is crucial to your business’ survival.
As for my final note, I’d like to quote what Maile Ohye (a former developer tech lead at Google) once said: Even with great advertising and terrific marketing, valuable conversions still happen on your website.