In 2017, a study showed that 47% of people visited a company’s website before making a purchase, and 55% of people will search online for reviews and recommendations. That means over half of consumers out there will search for your business online before deciding to buy a product. But with the high street and brick-and-mortar stores continuing to thrive, does your business really need to be online?
When operating a business out of a physical store, you’re restricted to the opening hours of your shop and the geographical distance of your customers. But, when moving your business online, your customers can view, buy, and compare your product or service anytime, from anywhere.
Rather than building or buying multiple stores, your business can have a global reach without expanding financially or physically. Moving your business online can improve your sales and increase your customer reach. For example, in 2020, Unilever made one of their brands, Ben and Jerry’s, available online and saw their overall ecommerce sales increase by 76%.
As well as increasing your sales and customer base, your customers can receive a much better customer support experience when your business is available online. For some, it may seem counterproductive to move online for better customer service as your customers have less face-to-face interaction. But, no matter the time of day or where your customers are, they can access your website and voice their concerns with ease.
You could take advantage of the readily available chatbots so your customers can speak with a representative of your company 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
When growing your business in a brick-and-mortar site, you have to factor in rental costs, purchasing new stock to fill your store, and paying employees to run each of your locations. By the time you have spent the time and money reopening new stores to grow your business, the opening of a new store may not be as profitable as you would hope.
But, when expanding your business online, your initial costs are minimal. You simply need to buy a domain name and invest some time in uploading content and getting your site up and running. It couldn’t be easier.
Building a Website
For some companies, the idea of moving your business online may seem daunting and out of reach. Where do you even start? Well, nowadays, it actually is easier than ever to create your own website. There are a number of companies that offer free, easy to build websites, so you can get your business online in no time.
Of course, as well as creating a website to promote or sell your products, you should always make the most of the other free advertising you can do online. Make your company social media pages and use this free tool to engage with your customers and advertise your products.