Why you should invest in your website during the pandemic
‘Yes, my website could be better, but I’m not spending on website development at the moment. Things are just too uncertain,’ said almost everyone I spoke to last week.
I understand, I really do. The world has undergone enormous changes since the pandemic began and uncertainty is rife. Why would you invest at such a time?
Websites are now more important than ever.
The proportion of online sales is increasing.
Ecommerce’s share of global trade went from 14% in 2019 to 17% in 2020. Digital transformation was already occurring at a decent pace, but the pandemic has increased it dramatically. So, if your website is not geared up for maximising sales you’re missing out, while others who do invest in website excellence take market share.
Buyer behaviour has moved to favour online business.
The pandemic has changed the way we do business in favour of digital. Lockdowns where businesses are not allowed to open to the public, combined with a strong push to avoid public areas and contact has forced customers and companies to converse in other ways – online being an obvious one. Rather than being a temporary hitch in normal operations, the forced change in behaviour has been going on for so long as to now be adopted as the new ‘normal’. So, the importance of digital in the sales process is likely to remain even if/when we can physically visit businesses. What this means is that having great online service and a good-looking website that’s easy to use is as important as having a great looking store, impressive office and excellent physical customer experience.
Economic downturn and uncertainty aren’t the end of business.
Even when people can’t physically visit your business, it doesn’t mean they stop wanting your services or offerings. In some cases, businesses need to adapt their offerings, and yes, some are not able to carry on. But, for many, the opportunity for business remains… if they adapt, which most often means developing or improving on digital presence. It’s likely that the behaviour changes COVID’s instigated are here to stay, so rather than thinking about a temporary solution, businesses need to ensure their website or online store is in top shape and provides an equally excellent customer experience for the long run.
The downturn in the economy is certainly not a good thing overall, but some industries are thriving, or at least carrying on as usual. What economic distress does provide, is a need to be competitive: better offerings, innovative sales, smarter marketing. Investing wisely into things that will help your business rather than staying still for fear of what might happen only provides your competitors with a means of overtaking.
A good website will help your business, a bad one will not.
Having a website is one thing, but whether it actually helps your business is quite another. User-friendliness, usefulness and attractiveness affect how successful your website is in aiding your business.
Your website is likely to be one of the first interactions a prospect has with your company, and you don’t get a second chance to make a first impression. According to an article by Kinesis, 75% of consumers admit to making judgements on a company’s credibility based on the company’s website design, and 38% of people will stop engaging with a website if the content or layout are unattractive.
Making positive changes to your website design can only help your bottom line by improving your sales through better traffic and higher conversion. ESPN.com revenues jumped 35% after they listened to their community and incorporated suggestions into their homepage redesign. Design, however, is not the only factor: according to a Portent study in 2019, website conversion rates drop by an average of 4.42% with each additional second of load time (between seconds 0-5). Making sure your site is optimised for speed, especially in regard to eCommerce will make a huge difference to your online sales.
Updating, refreshing or rebuilding your website may seem like an unnecessary expense, especially during times such as these, where uncertainty prevails. But, it’s those companies who push hard to survive, to rise above their competitors and take advantage of opportunities, that will have a higher chance of succeeding and thriving. With the digital space becoming an increasingly large part of a buyer’s interaction with your brand, making sure your website is optimised to win business for your company should be high on any business owner, or marketer’s list.
Contact Rock today for advice on how you can improve your website’s performance.