The Yellow Pages were the go-to solution a decade back for anyone looking for a local business. Now it is Google or any other search engine. Very few people even look at the local newspaper or the yellow pages for information when they need to find a business in their vicinities. People usually log on to a search engine, type out their queries and look at the first few results that come up. This is why having a website is very important for local businesses. Nowadays, customers are directed to local establishments due to their search efforts on online search engines.
Small, local businesses are of the utmost importance to local and national economies but still many local entrepreneurs are wary of having their own websites, preferring instead to rely on word-of-mouth advertising. Websites are not expensive to create at all and local businesses are not obligated to make transactions online. Even having a basic website with proper store addresses, phone number, email addresses, etc. can improve the number of footfalls to their establishments and their relationships with customers.
Benefits of having a website
- Meet customer expectation
Customers are bound to be internet savvy and have certain expectation from businesses. A business without a website can come off as being too old-school or people may even think that the business is failing and cannot afford even a simple website when that may not be the case. Also, consumers use the internet to research about companies and products and they will not know anything about a company without a website, which also reduces the level of trust they have in that company.
- Improve customer relationship
Most people don’t like talking to salespeople or calling up representatives of a company to gather more information. In fact, calling salespeople and getting more information is the last thing most people want to do. Having a website allows customers to obtain company information at their convenience, which many customers appreciate. They can also get information 24/7 from anywhere. Also, customers often have common questions about companies and an FAQ section on websites can answer all their questions without them having to call up a company helpline or going to a retail outlet and asking the salespeople.
- Inform potential customers
People want to make informed decisions and do not like to be told what to do. This is why customers are averse to trusting advertisements and would rather do their own research about a product before buying it. Even if the establishment is nearby, they would rather look up the products online before walking into a store. With the help of websites, companies can describe their products, pricing, availability, etc. and customers can then walk into the store with the sole purpose of buying the product. Also as more people read about the product, the number of footfalls to the local outlet increases.