Some of the biggest companies in the world were started in garages.
Apple, Google, and Microsoft were nothing more than a couple of university students coding out of their parents’ houses. They weren’t focused on making a website; they just worked and worked until everyone knew their names, you think to yourself. Why should I prioritize a website?
It’s because those companies were started before the massive global power we call the internet came into play. The internet is simply a library of every single piece of knowledge in the world, and if your brand isn’t in that library, you’re doing something wrong.
Web design is a very significant part of branding. It gives one the opportunity to get their brand out to the market before the product or service is even ready. Say, for instance, you decide to open a bakery. The fact that around 59% of restaurants fail within the first year scares you, but you continue to invest your resources into this bakery. How do you avoid becoming part of that 59%?
Benefits of an Online Presence (Bakery VS Optical Practice)
This is where web design comes into play. An optical practice isn’t the same as a bakery, but an online presence can go a long way for a startup in any industry. You can create the name, logo, and menu of your practice long before you even sign the lease agreement for the building.
Web development allows an entrepreneur to gain a foothold in the market long before they have a brick-and-mortar presence.
A website also allows you to go beyond just the physical location; you have the opportunity to establish a web order system so that customers who aren’t in the vicinity of the practice can have access to every frame available in your inventory. Web orders don’t necessarily have to be a priority, especially in the first year of operations, but it’s a highly recommended business decision once the brick-and-mortar location has been established.
Say it’s been a year since you opened your practice and business is thriving. Thanks to your decision to make a website six months before opening, most of the community already knew about your practice and your brand. You have a general idea of what your most popular frames are and which ones aren’t selling. How do you proceed from here?
Here’s another benefit of an online presence: consumer insights. Data analytics, conducted through your website, allow you to discover who your average customer is, what they like, how they found your practice, and how you can adapt your business model to maximize in-store and web orders. Social media has a massive role in the use of data analytics. Consumer feedback from websites like Facebook, Twitter, Google reviews, etc. will help you distinguish how social media channels can elevate your brand to its highest potential.
Two years into the opening of your practice, sales are thriving and web orders have taken over 40% of all sales revenue. Customers are beginning to complain about the increasing prices of your products, but increasing profits is vital to creating capital to reinvest into your company. How do you retain these customers while retaining profits?
Customer service is what seperates a good brand from a great brand. This is what will convince a customer to buy your product even though it may be more expensive than the alternative.
Online Reputation Management can create significant value for a brand.
A separate customer service section on your site will allow you to address frequently asked questions, answer specific questions, and even establish a loyalty program for frequent customers. An online presence will benefit you long after your business is thriving as you begin to shift your focus away from gaining new customers and instead focus on customer retention.
All in all, web development will help any brand in any industry from the inception of the business idea until you’re well into business operations. At the end of the day, no brand is too little or too big for an online presence. A website will provide your brand with a technological edge so that you, as an entrepreneur, can stay on top of your business and provide your consumers with the best possible products and services.