When you ask most people born in the previous generation about their idea of success, that image usually starts with the vision of a man in his perfectly tailored three-piece Armani suit with a matching tie, a spit-shined dress shoes and a Rolex watch strapped on the wrist. Or this could be an image of a woman in her stylish Versace dress, Chanel handbag, and Gucci heels all accented by a classic piece from Tiffany’s.
This man or woman then enters a building on a prime address and opens the door of an office lobby with pristine tiles, glass walls that are kept squeaky clean and with a logo or name stenciled on an Oak frame or a well-lit panel with a metal finish. He or she then sits on a luxurious leather chair behind an imposing large desk where a business empire is run and the next conquest is plotted.
This image of success has been with us for as long as we can remember. It has been instilled in our consciousness for years and we continue to dream of and aspire to reach. However, in this day and age, this image is very different. The dreams of success may have endured but the image of this man or the woman and the throne of his success has drastically changed. Because today, this man and woman can now amass power and fortune dressed in his pajamas while sitting in the study or the kitchen table with fingers pressed in a keyboard or a touchscreen.
The internet changed many things. Arguably the biggest innovation it started though is the introduction of online shopping. Now, people can purchase goods and gain access to services with just the use of their computers or mobile devices. This means that the market and the day-to-day dealings between the business and its clients have now migrated to a space that knows no time and boundaries. It is one of the biggest revolutions of our time no doubt. But while it offers a lot of advantages to all entrepreneurs, unlocking the power of this new marketplace requires them to solve two major problems — legitimacy and efficiency.
Doing business online means there will be no physical interaction between the client and the seller. Now that all transactions are done virtually, there are reasonable questions regarding the credibility of the business and the quality of the product or the service. Also, since not all customers are tech-savvy, a good number of clients find the experience troublesome because of the complexity of the process to order and difficulty in complying with the payment options available to them. While social media platforms have optimized their services to allow entrepreneurs to maximize their service for selling purposes, these are still not enough to assuage doubts and plug loopholes that might arise in the transactions.
Due to this, while there are a number of platforms both free and paid that businesses can use to participate in this booming online market, the need for a well-designed and highly efficient website is now more pronounced. This is why, now more than ever, companies are investing a considerable amount of time and resources to create a website or even make this the focal point of their operations.
Here are a number of reasons why they pull off all the stops to create and maintain an impressive website:
First impressions last.
The first two to five minutes a customer spends on your online platform can spell the difference between the customers buying from you or not much like how they would decide to go ahead with the purchase once inside a physical store. While social media pages and accounts can provide enough information about your business and products, an impressive website says to the customer that you are a serious business and that you and your brand can be counted on to deliver on your promise to give nothing but the best.
Use of Social Media.
It is a good strategy to spread your marketing and advertising efforts across all social media platforms that your customers have a heavy presence. But at some point, all those customers must be funneled to a central hub where all engagements can be centralized and all clients can be offered the same quality of service. The website serves as the boat where all the fish caught by your social media nets can me hauled into so that each customer can all benefit from the same experience.
Different social media platforms have different interfaces and are bound by limitations brought about by the nature of their service. With a website, however, your interface can be designed to house all the information about your products and services and be customized fit in all the functions necessary to make the user experience efficient and complete. The buttons alone, the way the links are situated and how they all function together will already tell the client about what kind of product or service they will get even before the sale is made.
Social media accounts are perfect message boards that will keep clients updated about your latest offerings and other updates relevant to your business. But the website makes the customer seek doing business with you because it gives them the assurance that your business can be relied on and they have a place where they can continue to do deal with you. This cements your brand’s reputation and forges a long-term relationship with the client.
It is understandable why an online presence is a necessity these days. The survival of your business in the internet age depends on it. It is also understandable why most entrepreneurs turn to social media as their band-aid solution to plug the online marketing challenge because it is cheap and accessible. But we must not underestimate the need for an impressive website because only this platform can establish your legitimacy and reliability as a business. Therefore, at some point, your business strategy must lead you to develop one. Only then can you tell the world that you are serious about the customer and your promise. This one small move may be what is left for you to reach the heights you wish to reach for your business and for yourself.