Web Design Guru Points Out the No 1 Reason Why Brick-and-Mortar Businesses Need to be Online
Tech speaker, business owner, and website designer, Ollie Brooke has been developing websites since the nineties. He says that one of the biggest mistake smaller businesses make is in thinking they don’t need to have a website.
He often hears it. Business owners with an established business and client base in a good location often don’t understand the need for a website, but Brooke says that these businesses could be missing the point.
Your Website Isn’t for You
According to Brooke, thinking a website is for the business owner is a mistake that a great many businesses make. “Your website isn’t for you, it’s for your clients’ convenience,” he says. “Yes, your clients like buying from you, but if they aren’t sure if you have the stock they need or offer the service they want, they probably won’t drive to your store to find out. This slightly different perspective can have a major impact on how useful a website can be.”
“Nowadays, people want information at their fingertips. They won’t visit your store to ask a question to which the answer could be: ‘No, sorry, we don’t have that.’ They’ll take their mobile phones, and they’ll make their enquiries online. If you don’t have the answers, you don’t get the business.”
Even corporates often make the mistake of being too inward-focused in their website design. “It’s as if they think it’s all about image-building,” says Brooke. “I’m going to be brutal here. Your customers like a good image, but they like useful information better. They’re not interested in you; they’re interested in what they can get from you. Once they know that you have something they want, they’ll look at your business’s image to see if it looks professional.”
A Phone Call Away Might as Well be a World Away
Today, Generation X is dominating the workplace. It’s the generation with the most money to spend, and it’s not a generation that likes to talk. Those who joke about young people sitting side-by-side texting each other might not be far off the mark.
A lot of the information available appears to be anecdotal, but survey after survey seems to indicate a preference for text over voice calls, ATMs over tellers and apps over physical stores. If that assumption is accurate, expecting people to call a business for information might lose that business a substantial volume of its potential sales.
“Just about everyone has a smartphone these days,” says Brooke, and it’s the first thing they reach for when they want information – but they’re not making calls. They’re browsing. If we’re to assume that a call or even an email are the second option for those seeking a business to buy from, then the first option is the internet. If you aren’t there with conveniently presented information and someone else is, you just lost the sale.”
Give the People What They Want
Brooke is confident that the customer journey begins online. “If there’s one reason why you need a website, that’s it,” he says “It’s the place they go when they’re looking for your business or one like it. But you’d better be sure your website is giving your customers what they want too. What they want is convenient access to information, and without that, there’s no real point in having a website at all.”
Ollie Brooke is director of a full-service website design company, Cloud Concepts. He applies his philosophy of putting customer convenience first to the websites he designs. If you’d like to contact Ollie Brooke about website design or learn more about Great Websites For Small Businesses visit his website. After all, it’s the best place to begin.
Syndicated by Baxton Media.