There are many reasons why any business should have a website which include:
Convenience – these days access to the Internet and familiarity with its use is commonplace. Every day over 20 million people search the Internet to find products, compare prices and find information. Using the Internet to find information or to shop is faster and easier than ever before.
Exposure – you can advertise your business in the local phone book or newspaper, but the Internet can give you access to a much wider audience. You will no longer be tied to a geographic location, but be able to offer your services or products nationwide or even internationally. The National Retail Association forecasts that in 2009 the value of retail sales over the Internet will reach $204 billion dollars, whilst the rest of the retail industry is expecting slow growth. This represents a 17 percent increase on the previous year. America has 220,000,000 Internet users and in 2008 global spending over the Internet was $6.8 trillion, 15 percent of the global GDP.
Information – you can provide much more information via a website than you can in a phone book or even a brochure. TV/radio advertisements are limited by the amount of time that you can afford to purchase, but with a website there are no time restrictions.
Cost – a website is an inexpensive and effective form of advertising. Customers can browse through the information on your website at their own pace. In 2008 $65 billion was spent globally on Internet advertising. Printing and posting fliers, brochures, newsletters and other mail costs money. Internet advertising is more cost effective as it is a better way of reaching your target market. A website is a one-time cost other than the nominal hosting fee.
Branding – a well-designed website will become an extension of your brand. It becomes part of the experience of doing business with you and a good professional online image will set you apart from the competition.
Availability – your website can be available 24 hours a day, so if customers want to search for information or place an order outside of normal shopping hours, they can. You will always be open for business.
Time – a well-designed website will provide customers with information about your company, services or products, meaning that you don’t have to spend so much time answering questions on the phone.
Measurable results – with a website you are able to track the number of visitors to your site and also record how they found out about your company. The number of inquiries and the number of sales can be recorded. The ratio of inquiries to visitors is known as the conversion rate and you can use this information to improve the ratio and increase your sales.
Testing new ideas – a website is one of the quickest ways of publishing new ideas. Trying out new content can be done within a matter of minutes and at no cost. This allows you to try out new advertising material before committing to a costly print campaign.