Many small businesses today are not leveraging the benefits Internet is providing. Many of them do not even have a website. According to a study by Nielsen online and WebVisible, 44% of the small businesses in the US do not have a website. Many of them do not know the potential benefits a website carries with it. They feel that their business is not so big that it requires a website. But big or small, a business loses a number of benefits without a website. In this article, we will see few of them.
Lacks visibility in Internet market
Being visible at a place where customers search for your products is critical in sales. This will determine how many customers get to know about your products or services and how many of them will purchase from you. If a business does not have a website, it lacks visibility in the growing Internet market, (according to a study by Internet World Stats, more than 30% of the worlds population are internet users) eventually losing ground in a strong media; thereby failing to capitalize on a potentially rewarding resource.
Effective sales tool
A website gives a business the twin benefits of showcasing information and selling products. Customers these days find it easy to buy from their home using the Internet. By not being able to sell online, a business loses those customers who prefer buying over the Internet rather than coming down to the store. This could lead to a decreased revenue generation.
Loses ability to share product and service information
Creating awareness about products or services is one of the important aspects of a marketing plan. Often the best of products fail to sell because customers are not aware that such a product exists! Small businesses with moderate investments can opt for a website to share information about their products and services with the customers.
Loses the chance to influence target group
Without an online presence, a business fails to grab an opportunity to influence its target customers. Using a website, a business can segment its wide customer base by using certain factors like zip codes, points of interest, age, etc. This will help businesses in providing customized products and services to its customers, which can influence them better in making a purchase.
Limited local exposure
A recent study by BIA/Kelsey has revealed that 97% of the customers in USA use Internet to search for products in their local area. Using online marketing techniques like SEO, a business can increase its visibility before the potential customers. Without a website, it becomes difficult for a small and medium business to make full use of the local market available, thereby losing out on a major chunk of sales.
Minimized customer interaction
Interacting with customers helps businesses in being up to date with the developments in their behaviors and preferences. Online presence offers a business an interface to interact with customers. By not having a website, it becomes difficult and expensive for businesses to maintain interaction and contact with customers.
Businesses can also communicate with customers using FAQs section in the website. This gives business a chance to solve most of the common customer queries easily.
Once a customer comes to know about the products or business, a website gives him further information regarding the contact details, availability of products etc. Moreover, the cost of owning a website is little compared to losing customers by not having one. With so many benefits on offer, that too with a nominal investment, businesses cannot ignore to have and maintain a website.