If you want to compete as a small business in today’s digital world,  a website is a must, even if you are a brick and mortar store.

These 6 C’s, customer convenience, competition, credibility, control, connection, and continuity, explain why.

1. Customer Convenience- You want to reach your customers, and this is the easiest way to do that. Google receives over 63,000 searches per second. If your business does not have a website, you are missing out.

Some startling facts:

  • 91% of people go online to find a local business, so you want yours to be there. In fact, only 5% of people in this survey said they never searched online for a business
  • 89% of U.S. adults go online, and 77% own a smart phone. In 2016, mobile web traffic outpaced desktop web traffic for the first time. We want information wherever we are, as quickly as we can get it. Seriously, when was the last time you picked up a phone book?

2. Competition- If your competitors have a website and you don’t, you have just lost customers. 64% of small businesses have a website, and that does not include all the large businesses you have to compete with. To stay competitive in today’s market, a website is a necessity. It is also important that your website be up-to-date and well written. You have about 10 seconds to leave an impression on website visitors to tell them how your company benefits them and what it is about. If you don’t have a website, customers are taking their business elsewhere.

3. Credibility- 75% of people admit they judge a company’s credibility by its website. They are more likely to do business with a company they trust, and the website is one of the first places they go to make that determination. An April 2017 report, “The Digital Consumer Study,” Local Search Association found that 30% of consumers automatically will not consider a business that does not have a website. A well designed and well written website gains credibility with your customers, and a credible business gains more customers. The lack of a website not only makes you lose credibility, it can also make it look like you are out of business.

4. Control- You get to be in control. Websites are the easiest way for you to reach your customers. Customers search for your business, and it instantly pops up in front of them. You can control what they learn about your company, where they click next, what they see, and what they learn. The website analytics also provide you with valuable customer information. You can find out where they log in from, at what time, what they search, and how long they stay on a page. These statistics are valuable at guiding not only your website, but also giving you a gauge for your brick and mortar store.

5. Connection- Your website may be the first impression your customer has. You can create a connection before they even walk in the door. They have many of their questions answered and often have made some purchasing decisions. They chose to go to your site, so you have a captive audience who wants to learn more. Your website is the first place customers search for business hours, location, contact information, and services. This is a great way to make lasting connections. If they have a positive experience on your website, they will come back and also want to check out your business in person.

6. Continuity- Your website allows you to maintain customer contact and to provide continuity for your business brand. It is a great place for you to share information with your consumers, advertise new products, and set up an email contact so you can personalize your connection. It is a continuation of your business experience. For returning customers it is a familiar place to go for information and lets them stay in contact.

Having a well-designed and well written website can make all the difference in how your business is perceived. If you have a website and it has not been updated with new content, it is time to make the investment. If your business does not have a website, it is past time to make the move.