A local high street shop-owner recently said to me that they didn’t think it was worth having a website because his shop doesn’t sell any products online. I explained that having a website was like having a shop window to the whole (online) world, potentially reaching hundreds if not thousands of customers (or more). It doesn’t matter if you don’t sell products online – you still need a website.
If you work for yourself, a charity, have a band, write music, do photography or whatever it is – do not underestimate the power of having an online presence. There could be 100s of people right now googling your products/services in your area, and without a website how will they know you exist? Oh you’re listed in directories you say – not enough. Directories cannot detail exactly what you sell/provide or give testimonials, and even more importantly they say nothing about your brand. What do you want people to think about your business? Your own website allows you to tell everyone about your business through your eyes. It’s your chance to stand out and be different. Besides, how many people really spend a long time going through directories. I suspect many people often just pick the one that comes up first.
Still not convinced? A report published September 2012 says that:
- 80% of UK shoppers have reserved products online for collection in stores in the past year (up from 74% in 2011).
- 44% of UK shoppers always research purchases on the internet before buying offline.
- Only 4% never use the internet for product research.
Further, having a website gets you ahead of the competition. As that old saying goes, you’ve got to be ‘in it to win it’. Clichéd as it is I know, without a website you don’t have a hope of winning against your competitors.