Insights / Website
In the age of modern technology, I think we can all agree that digitalization is a huge plus for any business. Hence, it's surprising that some are still hesitant about getting a website for themselves.
To counter that, it is important to understand WHY it's such a sought after asset in businesses, and what it can do if utilized at its fullest potential. In this article, we’ll address and debunk the common myths and misconceptions most businesses have towards getting a website in the first place.
1. "I don’t need a website because my business is already on social media!"
Yes, social media is a great way to make a company known or discoverable online. However, there is only so much it can do for them, especially in terms of acquiring customers, boosting bottom-line profits or even in building the brand image of the company.
To emphasize, let’s take a deeper dive.
a. Acquiring Customers
To acquire customers on social media, businesses can do it through paid ads or regular social media posts. However, businesses forget that people are often on social media to socialize and not to buy a specific product or service. They may engage with you by liking, commenting or sharing your posts, but will move on with their day and rarely purchase whatever you’re offering.
With a website however, clicks from consumers are strong indication of their buying intention as they are using search engines to actively seek out companies that provide the products and services they’re looking for. In essence, websites provide a platform for businesses to engage and acquire those customers through lead generation methods such as capturing contact details from a product or service inquiry form.
From there, businesses will be able to contact those users and convert them into paying customers, as opposed to followers on social media who may not even have any purchasing intent.
b. Boosting Bottom-Line Profits
Now, let’s say you’ve successfully acquired some customers via paid ads or through the organic method. Fantastic! But if you look back at the amount spent on ads, as well as the time and effort needed to create high-quality social media posts, you’re likely spending more than you’re making back in terms of ROI. And then there’s also the opportunity cost of spending your company’s finite resources on social media when it could have been used to boost profits through a website instead.
Compared to social media, the data analytics provided by a website helps you understand certain metrics such as:
- Which products (and pages) are the most popular among your users
- How much time do they spend interacting with the content on those pages
- What their actions are on those specific pages
Businesses are essentially getting valuable information about users’ interaction with their online store, which helps them better understand specifically what their customers are looking for. This allows them to prioritize and improve their website to fit those needs/wants in order to drive up profits.
c. Building The Company’s Brand Image
Social media is a good tool for brand building. But, it can only go so far because it restricts what businesses can fully show on their pages.
For instance, compare these two examples:
As you can see, the left side merely shows social media content produced by Coca-Cola, while on the right, their brand identity shines bright through their website. More than just posts, the website was able to fully display their products, services, company history and other valuable information. On their website, they were able to present their brand the way they wanted to, effectively building long-term brand awareness.
Another important factor to consider is credibility. New customers are often uncertain if the businesses are legitimate or just another online scam. With a website, credibility is more easily built as you’re able to display past customer reviews, in-depth case studies and video testimonials that help remove potential doubts from a new customer. In contrast, social media faces the danger of other users creating fake company pages, just like this:
2. "My business is too small to have a website."
Stop! This is one of the most dangerous misconceptions that businesses have, and here’s why:
a. Consumer Behavior Has Changed
Ever since search engines were born, consumers have become increasingly reliant on them for the solutions to their daily troubles. People expect businesses to be online as the demand for information and purchasing convenience increases. Hence, a company without a website will risk losing customers to competitors who have an online presence instead.
Additionally, consumers often partake in webrooming, which refers to doing research about a specific product or service before buying them. Without a website, businesses wouldn’t be able to communicate all the benefits they offer to win the customers over their competitors.
b. Rapid Shift to Adopt ‘Digital Solutions’
In 2020, COVID-19 forced many companies around the world to adopt digital solutions for revenue generation to survive long periods of business uncertainty. It was especially crucial for smaller companies who didn’t have a loyal customer base, as they had to shift to selling online or risk closing down instead. No business is too small to have a website in this age as we’re required to be agile and adaptable, navigating any risk and uncertainties presented to us at a moment’s notice.
c. Competitive Advantage Against Industry Giants
Having a website also allows you to compete with market leaders. With SEO, it’s fair game for any company to appear on the first search page and gain an competitive advantage. This essentially means you could be capturing a large portion of online customers as opposed to the usual consumer base near your specific physical location.
3. "It’s too expensive, I can’t afford to have a website!"
For some, the cost of building a website might seem like a hefty upfront payment. However, the investment made is way more valuable than the initial amount paid.
Put simply, its a 24/7 business asset that helps with:
- Sales - eCommerce, B2B sales, or both.
- Marketing - generates leads, allows product enquiries and even nurtures prospects.
- Branding - displays the company’s branding to build brand awareness and loyalty.
- Advertising - promote one’s products and services 24/7/365.
- Customer Service - FAQs, chatbots or live support.
And that’s just scratching the surface as businesses can effectively use their website for other roles such as HR talent recruitment, PR/corporate comms, newsletter publications, investor relations and so much more.
When done properly, it will also help the business in reducing cost through:
- Marketing - Execute digital marketing strategies like email direct marketing (EDM) to acquire new leads.
- Customer Service - Conveniently manage customer relationship through FAQs and chatbots.
4. "I don’t need a website because my industry doesn’t need one."
Similarly to misconception #2, regardless of a company’s size or industry, not having a website can result in various negative consequences for a business, such as:
a. Limited Business Growth
Without one, the company wouldn’t be able to capture large amounts of consumers who are searching online. They’re potentially losing out on additional revenue, possible loyal customers, and valuable market share to competitors.
b. Online Competitive Disadvantage
The lack of an online presence will only make it harder to discover new customer segments. Furthermore, the longer one prolongs this, the more likely competitors will gain an edge by solidifying their presence online which makes it difficult for small businesses to compete as they have to put in double work.
c. No Protection Against Physical Crises & Disruptions
As seen in 2020, not going online makes it difficult to run a business amidst disruptions and physical restrictions. Without a website, companies wouldn’t be able to operate normally, as they’d face difficulty with sales generation and customer communications straining various aspects of their business, especially in operations and financials.Thus, getting a website means preparing for the threats and opportunities to stay competitive in an increasingly digital globe.
5. "My products are good enough. I don’t need a website to display or market them."
As mentioned, the world is growing increasingly reliant on the internet, which indicates that businesses with an online presence will only stand to benefit as the ‘digital population’ grows.
Yogood is one of Malaysia’s leading FMCG brands who has distributed their products to major retailers across the country. In other words, it's already a pretty big deal. But they understand that having highly-marketable products in physical stores alone is not enough. They created a website to expand their reach to consumers all across the globe, which not only helps market the brand and its products, but also helps to get their hands in the global share of the health and wellness industry.
Put simply, a website is built to become a powerful asset for the company to help them scale, grow, and thrive upon its existing business.
6. "I already have enough business. I don’t need a website."
Just like the previous point, getting a website helps businesses further improve on its already thriving endeavours. Even if companies “don’t need any more customers”, one can argue that a website can be built for other purposes as well, such as:
a. Brand Awareness
Being online keeps the company on customers’ minds whenever they consider buying products and services related to their business.
b. Community Building
Maintaining constant contact with customers, interested prospects or even people outside the business’s usual audience segment fosters strong brand loyalty.
c. Digital Readiness
Ensuring the company’s online operations remain functional to maintain internal and external communications amidst physical disruptions (i.e. lockdowns).
d. Revenue Expansion
Creating additional sources of generating revenue (i.e. restaurants with delivery and pick-up options).
7. "There are too many things to worry about. It’s just not worth my time."
Running a business is not easy, especially when there’s a long list of things contending for priority. But if the company constantly delays the building of a website, it’s likely that they’ll push this idea further and further behind and never actually experience the benefits mentioned.
If you’re worried about spending lots of time on the technical side of managing the website after its built, you could always get someone from a web design agency to help with running and managing it on a regular basis. That way, your company can focus more on what truly matters and less on the technical side that requires expertise to operate.
If you want a bite sized version of info to take away from this article, it would be that a website can help businesses in:
- Customer Acquisition
- Sales & Lead Generation
- Brand Building
- Business Growth
- Ability to Compete with Industry Giants
- Protection Against Physical Disruptions