Surprisingly, many brick-and-mortar businesses don’t have a website, but why should they? Hairdressers and barbers cut hair in their salons not online, food and drink business owners don’t serve food online. So, there is no reason for a website, right? Wrong. Whatever your business type, a website is vital to its success.
Still not convinced? Well, let us present to you 6 reasons why your independent business should have a website.
1. Almost everyone uses the internet
It has never been easier to connect to the internet; with a click of a button you can be cruising down the digital highway. The phrase “I’ll Google it” has become the norm when looking for quick answers to queries and questions. Consumers are using the internet to find products, places to eat and services, especially in their local area, and if you do not appear in their search engine result pages (SERP’s) you could be missing out on a substantial amount of customers.
2. It’s an extension of your business
Think of your website as an extension of your business, an online brochure. Your website should act as the information hub for your business. It should include:
- What type of business you are
- What products or services you sell
- Your location
- Your opening hours
- How your business started
- Links to your social media accounts
- Additional information
3. You can sell 24/7
Due to COVID-19 restrictions, some businesses have had to reduce the amount of people in their shops or even shut their doors completely. By selling on your website, you could keep selling your products even when your shop is shut. Accepting payment methods like PayPal or credit cards makes it even easier to sell online, while click and collect is another great way to promote your physical store and sell online.
What if you don’t sell a product, or it isn’t possible to sell your product online? Having a website can still help you promote your business. If you run a barbershop, why not give customers the ability to book their hair appointment online? That way, they can get an appointment at a time that suits them.
If you run a food and drink business, such as a restaurant, you can use your website for customers to book tables, order takeaways and find out about the latest menu.
4. It takes your customer service further
Your customer service doesn’t just start when a customer enters your business, nor does it stop once a transaction has been made. Your reputation and the customer service you deliver marks the very beginning of the customer’s journey. Customers will want to know the best place to buy a product, eat or get their hair cut, and your website can help give them peace of mind by showcasing testimonials or positive reviews from previous customers. You can also post blogs or articles about your industry to show your customers that you are an expert in your field.
Once you have made a sale, follow-up emails can be used to drive people back to the website, show them other items they may be interested in and present special offers or incentives for them to come back. Just be mindful of General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) around how you collect and use their data.
5. It gives you the competitive edge
Straight away, if you have a website and your competitors don’t, you are already at an advantage. Reviews and testimonials will demonstrate to potential customers how good you are compared to your competitors, and it is worth linking your website to your Google My Business account to increase your customer reviews. If you don’t know where to start with this, check out our step-by-step guide by clicking here.
6. It’s not as difficult or as expensive as you think
Many businesses won’t have a website but will have a Facebook business page instead, mainly because it is free and easy to set up. Many people think that websites are difficult and expensive to create, but there are many platforms and programs that make it quick, easy and cost-effective to build and start your own website, such as WordPress, Shopify, Square Space and Wix.
The Retail Mutual is in your corner
The Retail Mutual has supported independent businesses for over 20 years, providing them with support, security, peace of mind and financial protection when they need it most. The UK economy has had some knocks in recent years and many independent businesses have felt the brunt. We want independent businesses to know that The Retail Mutual is in their corner, with our Stronger Business, Stronger Future campaign. We have co-created an in-depth marketing promotion guide to show businesses how they can use digital marketing to attract more customers and increase sales. Why not download your free Digital Marketing Guide now and help get your business back on track?