If you’ve been paying attention to the last several posts here, you know that more than 550,000 new businesses start each month. While that sounds like a lot, an even greater number of businesses close their doors each month. That’s right. The US economy experiences a net loss of operational businesses each year. That’s one reason business websites are so important.
Business websites should deliver what customers want
Consumers (and B2B buyers) overwhelmingly prefer to use business websites when considering or making purchases. There are many reasons for this, but businesses that don’t accommodate this particular consumer preference may be losing out on sales and customer contacts regularly enough to impact their bottom line. This alone underscores the importance of having well-designed business websites. When customers can find what they need online, they’re more likely to make purchases. More purchases means more income, and more income can go a long way toward helping a small business survive.
Well-designed business websites reflect the unique positions of both the business and its customers. Solid site navigation, product and service descriptions, directions (for retail businesses), sales information, secure shopping cart functions, photo galleries, informational videos, local dealer information, product inventory/availability and product location services (again for retail businesses) all go a long way toward helping consumers connect meaningfully with providers through business websites.
Often, this “connection” aspect is missing when a business uses a website template as a substitute for a functional website design that truly meets the needs of a business and its customers. The best way to ensure that both businesses and consumers get the most from a website is to work with a professional website designer who can identify needs and incorporate useful functions into business websites at the design stage.
Website template designers can’t possibly know the unique needs of any business that uses a template-based design. Instead, they need to make broad assumptions about what a business and its customers might find useful. As a result, businesses can miss out on opportunities to engage their customers, provide high levels of service and fill niches that their competitors don’t. In addition, specific functions (like shopping carts, database queries, forms and secure transactions) need to be integrated by highly knowledgeable programmers only after the website design has been adopted. When these functions are provided for during the design stage, the process of creating functional, useful business websites is shorter, more efficient and more effective.
If you would like more information about creating business websites, or would like to consult with a professional web designer about your business websites, please contact our Creative Director, Dave Ramsell or give Dave a call at (330) 243-0651 to set up a consultation.
Photo Credit: budgetstoc, via FreeImages.com