- 5 Reasons Your Idea Needs A Website Must
- 5 Reasons Your Idea Needs A Website For A
- 5 Reasons Your Idea Needs A Website Page
- 5 Reasons Your Idea Needs A Website Idea
Having a website for your company instantly creates an official presence on the internet, so that you don’t have to depend on others speaking for you. And you can make it look exactly the way you want, with your own logo and company branding. Check out our Beginner’s Guide to Customizing Your Jimdo Website for more ideas! 5 Reasons Your Idea Needs a Website 1. Add a blog to give your business and your ideas a voice. Your business is about you and your ideas. On Weebly, adding. Include a portfolio that shows off your work. Weebly is a visual website builder in that it uses elements you can. Open a store to.
Not so long ago if you wanted to check when a movie was playing, you'd consult your local newspaper. If you wanted to find someone to remodel your bathroom, you'd open the yellow pages.
But for an increasing number of consumers, those habits are as dated as a pair of faded bell bottoms.
'Today, consumers across all age brackets use the Internet and, particularly for computer-savvy users, the Internet is the first place they'll turn for information about a vendor,' says Sadie Peterson, president of SDMarCom Inc., a San Diego-based marketing firm that specializes in working with small businesses.
'The Internet offers an opportunity to introduce yourself to consumers exactly when they are searching for your business-by appearing in the major search engines,' Peterson notes. 'For niche businesses, the Web presents an opportunity to reach the nationwide or global community, where geographic limitations might otherwise force you out of business.'
Nicci Blanke, who started a dance studio in southeast Michigan, is a believer. Her Viva! Dance Center site, created with Microsoft Office Live Small Business, had more than 1,000 hits in its first month.
'Everybody has the Web now,' Blanke says. 'And I think keeping up with technology is just like keeping up with dance steps. People appreciate that and our Web site allows us to do that.'
A Web site can be as much about customer service as it is about selling products and services. Blanke says she has limited office hours, but uses the site to stay connected her young dancers' parents. 'The Web site allows us to be available to them 24 hours a day, seven days a week,' she says. She posts paperwork, maps to dance competitions, even pictures.
Looking like a serious business
Paul Gryfakis, who runs Parking Padding Solutions out of his Chicago home, thinks a professional Web presence helps potential customers take his business seriously. 'Having a Web site does give me some credibility,' he says. 'I'm not just somebody on the phone or sending you a mailer about my product.'
When people go to his Web site, which was also created with Office Live Small Business, they can see pictures of his product, they can see specs, they can learn about the ordering process and they can find out how to get in touch with him.
For Gryfakis, that Web site is the core of his business since products are shipped directly from his supplier to his customers. 'I don't have a storefront. I don't need a storefront,' he says. 'I just need my Web presence.'
Clearly there are numerous reasons why even the smallest of businesses can benefit from a Web presence, but here are five key considerations:
- Visibility: With more and more consumers logging onto the Web to research products and services, if they are going to find your business, your business needs to be on the Web.
- Reach: With a Web site, you are no longer limited to a customer base that is in physical proximity to your shop. Your place of business may be in Boston, but your customers can be in Bangkok.
- Customer service: When customers can log onto your Web site and easily find the information they want-when they want it-their satisfaction increases.
- Competition: A professional looking Web site can level the playing field for smaller companies trying to compete against larger enterprises. It's also a way to stay in the game; even if people can't find you on the Web chances are they can find your competitors.
- Credibility: When you can point customers, partners, even potential employees or investors to a Web site, it tells them you are a serious business.
Getting on the Web quickly
At one time having a Web site would have been out of reach for many small businesses, with the cost of hiring programmers, designers and writers and paying for hosting services and the time commitment involved in keeping the site updated.
But the time and expense once associated with having a Web site has been replaced with template-driven software services that make it a quick and relatively painless process to build a Web site.
Microsoft introduced Office Live Small Business specifically to meet the needs of small businesses eager for a Web presence but without the resources and skills to build one from scratch. Utilizing easy-to-use tools and a wide variety of pre-designed page templates, small business owners and managers with absolutely no technical or design skills are now able to create professional looking Web sites with minimal effort. And with the Office Live Small Business service-which includes a domain name, hosting, company-branded e-mail accounts, and project and contact mangement services-you can get started online for free.
Another concern that makes some small businesses reluctant to make the move to the Web is the need to put up a site with lots of different pages. But a Web site today can be a work in progress. At the very least you can start out with a 'business card' Web site that contains very basic information about your company:
- Contact information
- Brief description of products or services
As time and inspiration permit, you can expand the site.
There are plenty of compelling reasons why small businesses today should have a Web presence. But with the advent of free, easy-to-use services, it's difficult to come up with a reason not to.
Hear how more about the successes Nicci Blanc, Paul Gryfakis, and others have had using Office Live Small Business to create their Web sites on our Customer stories page.
If you aren’t selling on Amazon today, then you’re probably missing out. Because Amazon’s marketplace is so large, it’s pretty straightforward to make money selling physical products if you know what you’re doing.
What’s also nice about selling on Amazon is that they do most of the heavy lifting for you. All you have to do is source product and Amazon handles the rest by providing you with an endless stream of traffic to your listings.
In fact, a bunch of students in my Create A Profitable Online Store Course are all making significant money in a short period of time simply because Amazon’s reach is so large.
But here’s the thing.
As with anything that sounds too good to be true, it usually is. And the problem that I’m seeing is that more and more entrepreneurs are abandoning their own websites to go all in on Amazon.
Now on the surface, going with Amazon 100% doesn’t sound like a bad idea and it often makes business sense to do so in the short term. After all, why should you waste time on activities that won’t generate you revenue as quickly?
But if you do go all in, you do so at your own peril.
Now I’ve already written about the dangers of selling on Amazon and other Amazon horror stories. So today, I thought that I’d tackle this topic from a different perspective.
Did you know that there are many strategies that you can implement on your own website that you can’t do on Amazon?
Did you know that there are certain types of products that you can only sell on your own website?
Did you know that your own website can be superior to Amazon if you are willing to put in the effort?
Today I’m going to show you why your own branded website is a must have in the long run. And hopefully you’ll realize that starting your own online store is a much better play.
Are you interested in creating a strong, defensible brand for your products? If so, I put together a comprehensive package of resources that will help you launch your own online store from complete scratch. Be sure to grab it before you leave!
You Can Build Brand Equity
The other day I was chatting with my mom and she was gushing about how awesome and convenient it was to shop on Amazon. (She had recently signed up for Amazon Prime.)
Here’s how the conversation went
Mom: Did you know that you can buy everything on Amazon and have it delivered within 2 days free? You really ought to try it.
Me: Uh Mom. We’ve been buying on Amazon using Prime for a long time now. And we’ve been selling on there too for the past year!
Mom: Really? Wait…You can sell your own products on Amazon too? I didn’t know that regular people could sell on there.
5 Reasons Your Idea Needs A Website Must
Me: **Head** **Table** **Head** **Table**
I then proceeded to educate my Mom on how Amazon is built up of many individual sellers selling under the Amazon umbrella and she was completely shocked!
5 Reasons Your Idea Needs A Website For A
Frustrating as this conversation was for me, it illustrated a very important point.
People who shop on Amazon think that they are buying from Amazon even though it’s your products that they are buying.
When someone shops on Amazon, you have zero brand equity!
To summarize, this means that
- Amazon is getting all of the credit for your sales
- You can never build your own brand on Amazon
- Customers don’t care who they are buying from as long as they find the product they are looking for
Have you ever looked for your brand on an Amazon listing before? Look at how tiny the link is…
And to make matters worse, you don’t even have access to your customer list!
You Can Build An Email List And A Solid Customer Base
Probably the number one disadvantage of selling on Amazon is that you can never have access to your customer base. And by not being able to access prior customers, you are missing out on huge revenue opportunities.
Have you ever heard the saying that getting a repeat customer is infinitely cheaper and easier than acquiring a brand new customer? Well it’s 100% true.
For example if I want to generate instant sales for my online store, all I have to do is send out a single email to my list and customers will come a running.
But on Amazon, I have no such list.
In fact, I have to claw and fight for new sales in the midst of new competitors popping up every day. Did you know that just in the past month, I’ve discovered 7 new competitors piggy backing on top of my Amazon listings?
With your own branded site, you have a complete database of every single person who has ever purchased from you.
You know what they bought.
You know how much they spent.
You have their contact information.
You know what they like.
You know their shopping patterns.
As a result of having this information, there are a million strategies that you can implement. For example, here are some cool things you can do off the top of my head
- You can create a special promotion for all customers who purchased a specific product
- You can alert customers of an upcoming sale
- You can create a lookalike audience in Facebook and advertise to demographically similar customers
- You can build trust by sending your customers useful content
The possibilities are endless. And most importantly, you are sending customers back to a web property that you own and control!
You Can Advertise And Increase Your Reach Beyond Amazon
While Amazon is definitely a juggernaut in the ecommerce space, by no means do they have the majority of the ecommerce market. So if you are putting all of your eggs in the Amazon basket, you are missing out on a huge percentage of potential sales.
When you own your own website, you can buy your own advertising, drive traffic directly to your own website and keep 100% of the profits.
Now one could argue that you can buy ads for your Amazon listings as well but here’s the thing.
If you were to buy ads for Amazon, not only would you be building up Amazon’s brand and not your own, but you would also have no way to track your conversions either.
By having your own website, you can take advantage of the following customer acquisition platforms while simultaneously building up your brand equity
- Google Shopping And Google Adwords
- Bing Shopping And Bing Ads
- Comparison Shopping Engines – Shopping.com, Price Grabber, NexTag, ShopZilla etc…
- Facebook Ads and Facebook Retargeting
- You Tube
Today, roughly 30% of our sales are directly attributed to these advertising and social media platforms and we track our sales very closely.
You Can Generate B2B Sales
A large part of our online store sales also come from our business customers. For example, every year 30% of our revenues are derived from wedding planners, event planners, hotels, bed and breakfasts, airlines etc…
Now these customers would never buy their goods from Amazon because they need consistent quality and a little extra hand holding.
For example if you were planning a wedding, would you take a chance and buy linen napkins for the most important day of your life from a random Amazon seller? Or would you buy them from a business that you know and trust?
I don’t know about you, but when I shop on Amazon I often have problems getting consistent quality from what I buy. In fact, I have a lot of problems finding and purchasing the exact same product from month to month.
Just the other day, I was looking to buy new electrical pads for my TENS unit and I could not for the life of me find the exact same product that I purchased a month ago!
By putting all of your eggs in Amazon’s basket, you are pretty much throwing all of your potential B2B business out the window. And the worst part?
B2B customers are the most valuable customers that your business can have. They buy product from you at consistent intervals. They buy in bulk and they provide stability to your sales.
For our online store, we have a database of all of our B2B customers and we treat them like royalty.
If a wedding planner calls us and needs the exact same quality napkins and linens as their last purchase, we’re on it. If they need their napkins embroidered with a special monogram or symbol? Done!
By providing an extra level of service for these special customers, we are rewarded with consistent and valuable business from month to month without even trying.
You Have Much More Product Flexibility With Your Own Shop
If you sell on Amazon and run your own online shop, you’ve undoubtedly noticed many limitations with Amazon’s selling platform.
For example, a large part of our business is selling customized and personalized goods. But if you sell using Fulfilled By Amazon, there is no way to offer personalization because Amazon’s warehouse simply can not handle it.
The same goes for any type of product that requires a little extra hand holding or customer education. When you list a product on Amazon, you have to follow their canned list of procedures and fields.
For example let’s say that your product sells much better with a video alongside the listing. You can’t do that with Amazon.
Let’s say your product requires different customization options that change dynamically depending on what options were already chosen. You can’t do that with Amazon.
Let’s say you need a wizard to help customers choose and customize the right product. Sorry! You can’t do that with Amazon.
Because all of Amazon’s listings are uniform and designed to give your store zero brand recognition whatsoever, you have to obey their rules when listing your products.
But when you have your own shop, you have the ability to do whatever you want.
If you want to sell personalized products, so be it.
If you want to add extra elements to your listing to enhance sales. Do it!
If you want to add photos within your product descriptions. No problem!
Most people that I encounter often understand the need to have their own branded website but they are scared off by the prospect of having to generate their own traffic.
The truth is that starting your own website is a longer term project than selling on Amazon but the rewards are far greater. So if you take anything away from this post, it’s that you need to spend at least a little bit of time on your own web property.
5 Reasons Your Idea Needs A Website Page
Amazon is like a drug that provides you with instant sales but they can be taken away at any time. In the long run, you need to think about building up your brand and creating an ecommerce business that is built to last.
photo credit: handshake
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