If there was any doubt that now is the time for you to grow with online sales, it’s no more evident than it is today – with the constant reminders in the news of the closure of high street stores.
It is clear that in today’s “always on” digital environment, having an online presence is essential. The internet offers a platform for your business to be found, to be competitive, to have a mean to innovate – and ultimately excel your returns.
“Businesses with a website were 51% more likely to grow than those without”
Yes, that’s right – 51% more likely to grow than those without.
The internet has become the backbone of everyone’s purchasing decisions, with consumers now conducting pre-purchase research in their droves.
The good news is, you can grow your business with an online presence whilst maintaining a budget. An effective online operation doesn’t have to break the bank, our affordable UK web hosting plans include a free .uk domain name and a powerful online website builder. You can further enhance your online visibility through strong SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) and building a strong customer base by utilising social media, a powerful online business can be created on a shoestring.
How can a website help my sales?
Two thirds (67%) of UK consumers look online for information before hitting the high street and it’s no secret that consumers are now becoming more reliant on using the internet to search and shop for products and services.
If your business isn’t online, it’s not visible to the majority of your potential customers. It also means you can’t compete effectively, as your competitors are likely to be online already and will be displayed when customers search for similar products and services to your own.
Customers expect to find businesses online
In an era when people can video chat on their mobile phones, or order a product at 10pm and still get next-day delivery, customers expect to find businesses online. Businesses that have yet to adopt an online presence also risk being perceived in the minds of some customers as less trustworthy and credible.
This also means that customers now expect to be able to shop, anytime, anywhere, 24/7. Even if you run a business from a physical space, such as a high street shop, being online is an easy and effective way to tell customers where your business is, what times you’re open and what products or services you offer.
This is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the importance of being online. Not only will you improve your business’s visibility but you’ll also have some great opportunities to talk to all your customers. Got a new product? Received some great feedback from a customer? Being online gives you a great platform to shout out about your business through a variety of channels, tools and techniques, not all of which require a massive budget.
Getting a website
Starting and building a website is an essential step towards getting your business online an despite what you might think, it doesn’t have to be difficult!
Securing a great domain name (the string of letters or words that identify websites) is the best way to own your brand online, we include a free .uk domain with all of our annual web hosting plans.
Once you have a domain name, the next step is to build your website. We offer an easy-to-use website builder that requires no technical knowledge, enabling you to get started with building your website in minutes – it’s included free of charge in all of our web hosting plans.
Engaging on social media
Social media is a great tool to raise brand awareness and engage with customers, and getting set up is free – you’ll only need a budget if you venture into advertising.
Social media isn’t just a customer service tool: you can use it to drive more traffic to your website, gain valuable insights into your customers, share great content, gain customer feedback and improve loyalty to your brand.
Do you need help getting online?
We’re here to help and we’re passionate about helping small, local businesses thrive online. We know that the entire process can be difficult, simply contact us and we’ll be delighted help you along the journey to online success.