A website is the digital version of a store front these days. Regardless of whether or not you operate a brick and mortar store, are in the service industry, or any other way you provide value to your customers, a website is often the first level of interaction you will have with them.
Your website will act as a central point for all your other forms of contact with customers. It will be where they go whether they are looking for your phone number or email, or are being directed from digital ads and affiliate sites. Having a nice and efficiently laid out site will allow your customers to easily get what information they need as well as receive new updates from you that are more in depth or more permanent than what can be put on social media. If you have ever, and I’m sure you have, gone to a site to look for a phone number to order dinner, or find information about hiring an electrician, then you know the longer and harder it is to find what you need the more likely it is you will go to a different site.
Beyond getting information out to your customers in an easily digestible and searchable way, a site can help you get information too. Setting up your site with analytics services will let you know who and how people are interacting with your site. This can be crucial data for your advertising campaign. If you know that people in a specific area, or demographic are the ones most interacting with your site, this will let you target ads more efficiently and save money on customer acquisition costs. The best part is this is a free part of getting the site up and running. There is no extra expensive software needed.
For local brick and mortar type stores that get most of their foot traffic from local word of mouth, you might be asking, is a site really worth the investment? The answer is resoundingly yes. It will allow you to compete on a greater scale with other giants of industry, with minimal investment. If you are a local coffee shop that wants to compete with the big guys (you know who I’m talking about, looking at you Starbucks and Dunkin) you likely have your roasts perfected, fresh bakery goods that would make the mouth water just from the smell, so what else can you do that doesn’t require spending millions on a national ad campaign? Online ordering, something previously only available to the guys with their own in house app development, can now be done for less than the price of many espresso machine. This can be handled right in your own site without the need to pay steep fees to a 3rd party app. If you are a boutique clothing store, investing as little as a couple thousand dollars in a site can bring your customer base from the thousands of people that live in the area, to millions across the country, and even around the globe.
While many if not all of these things are able to be done with other services, a website is a one stop location to have everything your customers need to make it a smooth and easy process to do business with you.