Websites are important. It is definitely one way to ‘influence buyers’, as suggested by Huizingh & Hoekstra (2003). However, what if your company does not sell items over the internet?
Find your website objectives
implies that it is imperative to find the objectives that your website needs. For example, if you are a local bakery and you wish to have a website, a few objectives could be to have the following; your best cakes, meet the team, local news in the area.
also suggests to define what you would see as a successful visit onto your website.
Make sure conversation on your website makes money
suggests that it is useful to find out how much money your website is making (if it is not e-commerce). This could be useful for local businesses because if the website is purely for making yourself known within the town, without analyzing, it could be difficult to know how useful it actually is.
Image from Arunimashah (2016)
How can you see if people are actually visiting the website?
One clever way to do this, is to have a printout voucher (only available from the website), which customers use to buy a certain product or have a certain percentage off in store. To reclaim this discount, they hand the printout in with their details. You are then able to see how many people are active from your website. It can also mean that if you have regular offers, they will regularly look at your website and therefore visit your store more. One word of caution here though would to make sure that you do not focus too much on slashing prices too heavily. You don’t want to be seen as cheap.
An example of a print off voucher, Delhi Brasserie (2016).
If you do decide to make a website for your local business, what MUST you include?
The Ecommerce Blog (2016)
suggests that there are five things you have to include on your website if it is for non-e-commerce;
- Opening Times
- Contact details
- Address of Stores
- Products and items that you sell
- Vouchers and useful codes
These core aspects of the non e-commerce website are vital for customers if they are interested in visiting your store or stores. However, I would suggest to have a few more ‘vital’ things to be included for local stores. Such as:
1. Meet the team
If you are a local store, you want to pull on the fact that you are a local business which is there to support the local economy. People are more likely to want to visit a purely local shop if they are able to get to know the team who works behind it. Have a meet the team section which is able to introduce your team members in a fun and informative way (perhaps including a few fun facts about them).
Image from Ingenuity (2016)
2. Mention other local stores you are partnered with- offers/deals
If you haven’t already, you may want to join with another local store, who offers a complimentary service to yours. For example, if you are a newsagents, you may want to have a discussion with a local coffee shop and offer customers the chance to get a cheaper coffee when buying a magazine deal.
So we get that websites are useful for non-e-commerce stores but what about the cost?
Money can be an issue. When deciding whether to have a website or not, it is important that you list the advantages and disadvantages to it. Will it really increase your revenue? How much by? How much will the actual website cost to be made and then maintained? The best thing to do here is research. If you do decide to go through with making a website for your local business, always make sure to shop around with website builders. Don’t just go for the first one that comes up on a Google search. You don’t want to be caught with a cheap up-front cost but a huge maintaining cost.
Image from PSDgraphics (2015)
Here are a few examples of website builders;
Thanks for reading!
Arunimashah (2016) The Beauty of Conversations
[Online] <http://ww2.arunimashah.com/?folio=7POYGN0G2> [accessed 19 January 2016]
Burby, J. (2006) 'Define Success for Non E-Commerce Sites'
Click Z, 28th March 2006 [Online] <https://www.clickz.com/clickz/column/1697849/define-success-non-e-commerce-sites> [accessed 25 January 2016]
Delhi Brasserie (2016) Delhi Brasserie Special Offers
[Online] <http://delhibrasserie.com/special-offers/> [accessed 25 January 2016]
Huizingh, E. K., & Hoekstra, J. C. (2003) Why do consumers like websites?. Journal of Targeting, Measurement and Analysis for Marketing
, Vol. 11, No. 4, pp350-361
Ingenuity (2016) Meet the Team
[Online] <http://ingenuityuk.com/meet-the-team/> [accessed 25 January 2016]
OptimizeSmart (2016) How to determine Monetary Value of Non ecommerce Conversations
[Online] <https://www.optimizesmart.com/determine-monetary-non-ecommerce-conversions/> [accessed 25 January 2016]
PSDgraphics (2015) Gold Pound symbol
[Online] <http://www.psdgraphics.com/3d/gold-pound-symbol/> [accessed 25 January 2016]
The Ecommerce Blog (2016) 5 Things your retail (non-ecommerce) site must have
[Online] <http://www.ecommerce-blog.org/archives/5-things-your-retail-non-ecommerce-site-must-have/> [accessed 25 January 2016]