Covid 19 has prompted a huge number of businesses to move online. Whether you are developing your first website, adding ecommerce to your current site or refreshing your site as your shop front, online presence has taken on a new meaning.
But don’t think you have to suddenly setup a full e-commerce site, there are lots of options to get your business online. If you only sell a few products, get creative with a contact form. If you offer a service, set up online appointments booking. If you want to display your products or services, set up a brochure with contact information. If you are targeting new customers, have your email address and contact details easily accessible on your site. Have a contact email address and connect it to your website domain e.g. my email is email@example.com which is more professional than firstname.lastname@example.org.
Here are the top 10 reasons why people invest in a great website:
- The majority of major business purchases start with an online search.
- It allows you to show your unique offering and to be competitive.
- A professional website immediately sends the right message to your customers and can act as a hub for all other communication platforms.
- Businesses without a website, or a poor website, are seen as less credible. A good website helps build trust and credibility with your customers.
- Your website is ‘always on’ and works for you around the clock, increasing your availability to make more sales. You don’t need to actively engage with each customer as your website can provide the information they need to make a purchase decision. Responding to potential customer queries can be time-consuming and often repetitive. Your website can save you time by answering common questions.
- There is an expectation from customers. First impressions count with potential customers, sending strong subliminal messages.
- The internet has no boundaries so you have the potential to reach a much wider market. Search engine optimization is crucial for website reach and the elements that influence ranking change frequently and one to discuss with your web developer.
- A good website can enable a small business to compete with larger businesses anywhere in the world.
- Collecting testimonials and reviews from various sources to display on your website gives potential customers confidence about buying your products or services.
- Social media reach is diminishing. You need a website even if you have a strong presence on Facebook. It’s getting harder to connect with customers on social media as organic reach plummets with each algorithm change. Social media can help your website but shouldn’t be your only online presence.
Websites offer food producers an opportunity to engage with their customers through their website. Words and photos are no substitute for sampling a product but when well-written product descriptions are combined with artful photos it is possible to influence a customer to purchase your food without tasting it. Look for a professional photographer who can take close-up shots of your products to convey texture and colour. Show close-up photos of your product packaging, especially your ingredients.
If you are a food retailer grouping your products into categories is similar to organizing your in-store products in aisles, making it easy for your customer to find what they need. In addition, you can categorize products by ingredients, origin, size and even price. Displaying similar products is a way to encourage your customer to buy additional items.
If you are a restaurant business your website should complement your restaurant’s décor and provide the user with a sense of what they can expect from their restaurant experience. Well-lit photos are a must as well as photos of food. No matter how well written are your food descriptions a photo here is worth a thousand words.
Showing your food values is key to identifying with your ideal customer and promoting brand loyalty. Detailing your position on sustainability and ethics and what standards you work to can all be laid out in your website in a way to attract and keep your customer coming back. The design and feel of your website plays a strong role in your marketing strategy.
A blog is an excellent way to engage your customers and is an opportunity to share business news, new product launches, recipes, and reviews whether you are a major food manufacturer, coffee shop, or a craft food producer.
At its most basic, a website gives you credibility and is an easy way to introduce customers to your business. Take it a step further, and your website gives a voice to your business, helping you to compete in these challenging times
The price of having a good website is much lower than the price of getting left behind.