IF YOU'RE A BRICK-AND-MORTAR STORE OWNER, YOU MAY BE WONDERING, DO I EVEN NEED A WEBSITE?
The first thing to realize is that trust is key to turning a shopper into a paying customer. Most shoppers these days are very savvy, so before they even step foot in a brick-and-mortar store, they will research it.
A website, even if it’s just an informational site with your store hours and some basic information about your business, can lend a ton of credibility. Simply having a website with a vanity URL will make your business not only look more professional but will also begin to establish credibility and trust that most shoppers will need before they think of making a purchase.
You don’t necessarily have to have an e-commerce solution in place. As long as the website delivers quality content that helps answer basic questions such as your store hours, the types of products you sell, and helps to establish your brand, that’s enough to get you started.
Remember, a good website can grow with you. It can go from just being an informational website to having an e-commerce platform that gives you an extra sales channel. As long as you take the first step in building trust and confidence with the shopper, that’s the number one thing.
A 24/7 SALES AND MARKETING ASSISTANT
The second thing that’s important here is that with a proper website, you’re basically getting a 24/7 sales and marketing assistant. A business website not only serves to answer questions about your business, but it’s also one of the key marketing tools for your business. Your business website can and should become the hub of all your marketing efforts.
It’s a lot easier than saying, “Oh yeah, my website’s on facebook.com/something, something, something.”
A proper business website with a vanity URL is easier for you and the user to remember.
Another thing to remember is that even when you’re sleeping, your website is working for you. It’s always on the job. And if you have an e-commerce solution, you also have the ability to make a sale even when your brick-and-mortar location is closed for the day.
A VALUABLE DATA RESOURCE
Now let’s expand on that.
We’ve already established that your website provides credibility and is like a 24/7 sales and marketing assistant. But your website can do even more.
The more customers who visit your site and the more shoppers you have can turn your website into a data-gathering machine. A website set up with Google Analytics and Facebook Pixel can begin to gather amazing data not only on the users of your site but on those who make purchases as well. You begin to get data on their interests, other products they like, their gender, their location – all kinds of data that can help you identify your target audience.
This happens every time a potential customer visits your site. Not only do you have a 24/7 sales and marketing assistant, but now you have a data expert as well.
With a properly functioning website, what do you get?
So, to answer the question, if I have a brick-and-mortar store, do I need a website?
The simple answer is yes. A proper website is the best investment a small business can make that will not only help in the short term but can also grow with your business in the long term.