Who Should Have A Website?

 

Every business, big or small, new or old, should have a website.

 

You may think that you are receiving plenty of qualified customers through traditional advertising, or that you don't actually sell tangible products or products that people would buy over the Internet, so you don't need a website.

 

Just as you would list your company name and contact information in the phone book and Yellowpages, or have a brochure that states your product and services, you need a website to do the same thing. The Internet has essentially replaced the conventional phone book and Yellowpages.

 

Canada has one of the highest internet usage rates in the world with 84% of the population using the internet in 2008 (according to Stats Canada) and many people use the Internet as a source of finding businesses and information before they go out shopping. Shopping online has increased substantially in the last few years (visit the stats page for more information). If you have a retail business and sell tangible products, you should show the products that you carry, the retail price, and your contact information on your website. Even if you don't have the functionality for people to order online, at least they know the exact products that you carry and have in-stock, so that if they come to your store, they know you'll have what they are looking for. You will have an advantage over your competitors in that they will come to you first knowing you have exactly what they want because they've done their product research online.

 

A website is not intended to replace the in-store experience - rather it should enhance your customer's experience. People want to shop online and buy in the store. Although billions of dollars are being spent online, for some people the physical experience of coming into your store to feel, touch, or try on your products is a vital part of the process which the web can't replace. But the web does something that previously was next to impossible: It gives consumers a safe, anonymous place in which to gather information on their own time. It is much easier to convince your customers to find your website than to drive to your store. Some will buy online and others will come into your store if they find what they're looking for.

 

People expect everyone to have a website. Your customers expect to find you on the Internet. Even if someone hears about you through word-of-mouth or another form of advertising, they will probably look you up on the Internet to see your store, what you offer, pricing, your contact information, and anything else that your customers normally ask you.

 

For further insight, listen to the article published by the Wizard Academy, a non-traditional business school, titled 'Does my local business need a Web site?' or read the article titled ' Turn Web Traffic Into Foot Traffic' published on entrepreneur.com and written by Justin Kitch.

 

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