Let’s start with a simple fact: 70-80% of customers does their research online before deciding to make purchases with a company.
That’s the case, whether you’re running a car repair shop, a food truck company, or a travel agency. Still, many small business owners do not realize the customer acquisition opportunities found in digital marketing. In fact, according to Blue Corona, only 51% of small and medium size businesses (SMBs) have a website today. If your business is among the 49% that does not, customers will eventually find their way to your competitors.
Your competitors have changed. They’re no longer the other small business located half a mile away. Maybe you should look at that other small business and think of them as being on your team. That’s because major corporations are taking over almost every market segment. The problem with this sort of take-it-all capitalism is that brick and mortar businesses are almost completely unable to compete, and for new entrepreneurs, entering these markets are even more difficult due to the high barriers to entry.
Here are some examples from IBISWorld of the combined market share of the three largest companies in each market segment:
|Pharmacies and drug stores||37%||67%|
|Home Improvement stores||47%||87%|
This issue is not only a result of a lack of digital marketing budgets among small and medium size businesses—as price, which is controlled by economy of scale that is almost impossible to keep up with, and brand awareness which also represent major difficulties in keeping up with big corp America—but staying out of it will only make your business less competitive.
So, how can a website help you stay competitive and keep or even increase your market share? Here are the key arguments.
Spread the message: Let visitors know why you’re the better choice
Since such an overwhelming majority of customers does research online before deciding which company to make a purchase with, letting them know why they should choose you is probably the most important message you want to communicate through your website.
When sharing this message, visitors will more easily reach you through search engines, and ads or postings on social media will become more effective.
Build your brand
Since big corporations carry powerful brands, you must build your brand as well. Branding is about much more than a logo or graphic design. Your brand is your DNA, and that is why your website’s engaging content, which includes the story of your company and its purpose, will be at the core of its brand.
Customers identifies your business through its brand—it makes them connect emotionally with your product or service—and your website will be a core tool and one of the most effective tools for communicating that message.
Stay ahead: Make sure you offer the features your customers expect
One key customer benefit, which may be fundamental to their choice of which company to do business with, is the ability to interact and purchase your product or service online.
It’s all about convenience. If you’re running a car repair shop, instead of taking every appointment over the phone, allow visitors to book an appointment online. If you’re running a restaurant, allow users to reserve a table. If you’re running a travel agency, allow users to chat with you online. You’re getting the point.
That does not necessarily mean that you have to run an e-commerce store when selling clothes. In fact, that may not be the right way to compete against Amazon and other major clothing e-commerce retailers. Instead, think of what you can offer that will engage your user. Maybe they’re interested in learning what’s going on with your business, in which case an email newsletter feature might be the perfect way to interact with them.
Let customers find you
If your business is located at the corner of 5th street and 3rd avenue, no digital marketing means your customers will have to simply walk by your store to notice it. But, since customers make their choice of where to go before getting down on the street, that might be too late.
In the end, having a website is really all about being accessible to your customers.
How done. can help you…
Now that you’ve learned why a website can be fundamental to your business’ survival, you might wonder how to get one. There are really 3 options:
- Hire someone and pay thousands of dollars.
- Build it yourself and spend hundreds of hours to learn how to build something truly effective.
- Have us build it for you at the price of a phone line.
With our service, simply provide some information about your business, and receive your first draft within 3 business days. Just pay a low monthly subscription fee, starting at $290 a year. There are no setup costs and no long-term commitments.