In light of the recent COVID-19 pandemic, many businesses have been forced to take a step back from their usual brick-and-mortar storefronts and focus more on their online presence. Though brick-and-mortar stores give a reliable location and gathering point for customers and employees, it is essential to remember that your online presence is just as important as your physical one.
Similar to how a business’s brick-and-mortar store is a gathering place for all customers, a business’s website is also considered a digital gathering place for customers. Maintaining a clean, organized, and up-to-date presence on your online store is just as important as keeping your physical store clean, fresh, and up-to-date. Your website is crucial for making sales outside the brick-and-mortar store’s walls, but it also shows customers what you are all about—explaining why you’re different from all the other vendors on the market, and why customers should choose you over another business. Websites set the tone for how customers view and perceive your business and can show them that you are the better choice for their needs.
When searching online, customers often have a wide selection of businesses they can choose from. Catching their eye and giving them a reason to keep digging deeper into your website can help set you apart from the rest of the crowd and prevent them from searching elsewhere. Put yourself in your customer’s position and write down what questions you would have if you were looking for a business like yours. Make sure to include the answers to those questions in your website content. Help them understand what they can expect from you by sharing your portfolio and story. Your online relationships are just as meaningful as your face-to-face ones, and having a website that reflects this helps attract more customers, especially in the face of a pandemic.
Your online relationships are just as meaningful as your face-to-face ones.
When searching for products online, people often are not allowed the chance to meet with you face-to-face to gain trust through personal interactions. Lack of face-to-face communication is why it’s essential to make sure you share what you can do for them through your website. For example, say you were searching for a nursery to purchase new plants for your garden. Would you choose a nursery with an outdated website with very little information, or would you prefer one with a more up-to-date website that answered all of your questions and concerns and even showcased their products? Though the other store may be just as qualified, the one with the more updated website will gain the customer’s business.
When customers search for products online, they’re looking for someone that they feel they can trust. They want to feel secure in spending their money. If they see that a website is outdated with little information, it can give the impression that the business doesn’t care enough to update their website and won’t provide a high-quality final product, even if that’s far from the truth. You can gain consumer trust through answering questions they may have, showing them examples of what they can expect from you, and making them feel like they are a friend to you already.
Consumers gravitate towards things that they can understand and relate to.
It is also essential to communicate clearly and concisely. In other words, keep it simple. Consumers gravitate towards things that they can understand and relate to. In a recent study by Harris Interactive, information gathered through a website influenced 36% of purchasing decisions. Only 22% was affected by face-to-face interactions. This shows that what you share on your website matters and can significantly impact your customers’ purchasing decisions.
Just like maintaining your brick-and-mortar store, managing your online presence is all about attracting customers and convincing them that you are the best business to fill their needs. You can’t neglect either, as they are both a representation of your products and services. Maintaining an updated and friendly online presence will help you show off just how great your business is and help convince customers of it as well!
Not sure where to start? Atwill Media is here to help! Check out our services to see how we can help you get set up with a website that reflects your business today!
Mary Vasek is a Marketing Specialist and writer for Atwill Media. She graduated from the University of Arkansas with a Bachelor of Science in Marketing with a Minor in Business Management.
When not working, she enjoys spending quality time with friends, attending music events, and hiking.