COVID-19: How A Website Could Save Your Business
Ariane Alyerunga

Ariane Alyerunga

March 27, 2020

Businesses need websites, regardless of the industries in which they operate. The rise of smartphones and the growing prominence of the internet have made it more beneficial than ever for enterprises to have an online presence. Nearly half of all Google searches redirect to relevant local businesses. This trend is proof that customers are using the internet to connect with brands, and in light of the recent coronavirus outbreak, it is only going to grow. This article will help you understand the benefits a website brings to your business and how it can sustain your enterprise through the coronavirus outbreak.

 

Why your business needs a website

It is your face on the internet

Your website is a digital representation of your enterprise that lives on the internet, and its presence or absence thereof matters significantly for your business because it affects user perception.

Regardless of your industry, trade, or commerce, your business needs a unique brand identity to set itself apart from its rivals. A website will help you achieve this by advertising your brand through its theme, visuals, colors and other media. It also enables two-way communication with the target audience through features like direct chat. This will allow you to connect on a personal level and establish brand loyalty, a crucial prerequisite for business growth and profitability.

It will expand your reach

You may believe your small business can work just fine within the community without the need for a website, but remember; without it, your scope will always be narrow. This will limit the potential number of customers you could receive and hinder your businesses’ long term growth. A website will open your business up to new markets where you’ll find more customers who like your services or products.  A fully functional website is one of the easiest and most cost-effective ways to market your business, and it will get you sustainable leads

It conveys credibility and professionalism.

Every piece of written and graphic content displayed on your website will deliver crucial information about your brand and establish its identity before target audiences. It also improves credibility by nurturing trust for your products or services. It also enhances the credibility of your business by telling its story. Your website could display a compelling story about how your business started, what it offers, and how you are unique from your competitors. Your ideals, principles, and values are what make your brand credible and original, and your website will display them for the world to see.

On the other hand, a missing or poorly designed website would tell potential customers that your business isn’t professional. They may choose your competitors instead. Even though this assumption isn’t accurate, customers rarely give businesses that lack websites a second chance.

It will display your portfolio.

A website will allow you to win potential customers over. You can display the best samples from previous projects and even add case studies. This will improve your reputation, and provide customers with the assurance that you can get the job done. This would particularly ideal for small businesses because they are relatively unknown to the public.

Increased availability

Your business can’t run 24 hours a day, seven days a week, but your website can. Without a website, your business shuts down outside of regular working hours. With a website, your business can engage customers around the clock. It may also answer common questions through an automated Chabot. A website, in effect, will increase the accessibility of your business. Even when you are closed for the day, your website will keep drawing customers to your brand.

 

How your website will help you make money

Ecommerce

If you own a retail shop, then selling your products over the internet is an obvious way to expand into new markets. This strategy also applies if you own a restaurant or bakery. You can offer branded merchandise such as cups and plates and gift baskets along with your menu items. It will also apply even if you don’t have physical products. If what you sell is knowledge, then you could put it into an e-learning platform. This approach could prove beneficial if you are a tutor or educator stuck at home due to the coronavirus outbreak. You could start an online portal and deliver video classes for a fee.

The world is turning to electronic commerce. People from all walks of life are shopping online, or at the very least, researching their options on the internet. Online shopping is more fulfilling’s than traditional shopping because it allows customers to view and buy products from the convenience of their homes, through their mobile devices. The shift to eCommerce has gained even more relevance in the wake of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic; more customers are shopping online.

The results of a recent consumer survey show dramatic growth in preference for online shopping as opposed to in-store shopping. This, combined with the fact most people are working from home for the duration of the pandemic, will encourage online shopping. Even after the virus passes, it is likely consumers will return to their daily routines with an increased cautiousness about health, so there will be permanent changes in how they purchase products

Let clients make appointments online.

Your website will make setting appointments more convenient for you and your customers. Your team will have the time to focus on more pressing issues, and customers won’t be agitated when they can’t reach you. Booking online also lets customers schedule meetings at their convenience – they won’t have to wait for business hours to make calls. Bad things can happen when you force people to wait. Sometimes they forget or find competitors who allow online booking.

Affiliate marketing

Once your website earns a decent amount of traffic, you could use it to generate revenue through ads and affiliate links. Affiliate marketing is highly profitable, and almost anyone with a website can join in. It lets you earn a commission from promoting other people’s products on your website. Assume you own a bakery, and your store’s website runs a popular blog that offers advice on how to make cupcakes. You could register for an affiliate marketing program provided by a relevant baking supplies company and include links to their products in your articles. You’ll earn commission on each sale made when users click your links.

You may also run advertisements on your website. AdSense by Google is the most popular option in this category. Integration is straightforward, and it offers control over which kinds of ads appear. It also customizes ads to match your audience and content. Though it can take some time for your AdSense ads to produce results, as far as revenue streams are concerned, it is a low maintenance way to earn from your website.

Hopefully, you now have a better understanding of why a website is so essential for your business. It is the aspect many potential customers will evaluate while they decide on whether they should partner with your business.  It will generate high-quality leads that will grow your business. If you don’t have a website yet, there are several website design companies in Uganda you can consult to know which kind is best suited for your business. Understandably, you may not have the biggest budget, but investing in a website will definitely provide worthwhile returns.