The challenges of 2020 have completely altered the economic landscape worldwide. Many businesses have just managed to survive, while others have floundered. Those who have survived – and even grown! – during the last year have one major thing in common: a strong online presence.
The COVID-Effect on Business
The global COVID-19 pandemic has forced all of us to change how we live day-to-day. How we enact our business has changed; the way we work has changed; even what we are buying has changed. More importantly, the way we shop has changed – and more consumers than ever before are seeking ways to get what they need over the internet. From grocery shopping to making appointments; from learning to service industries; from hiring a tradesman to having online consultations for medical concerns: without the internet, it’s hard to imagine just how much more difficult 2020 could have been.
The businesses and other organisations which move into 2021 in the strongest position have evolved to harness the power of the internet, as well as rolling with the alterations in consumer behaviour which have become the new normal.
Rod Wills is CEO of Australian-based web design and SEO company SEOcycle, which works with clients all over the world, including North America. He has firsthand insight into how the nature of business operations is evolving. He says, “If 2020 has taught us anything, it is that you need to be willing and able to adapt to circumstances outside your control. In 2020, traditional brick-and-mortar companies discovered that they needed to embrace the online world. Some of these changes will be long-term or permanent due to changing consumer habits and preferences going forward. It’s becoming even more important for your business to have an online model for future success and growth.”
Go Online to be Credible and Competitive
You need to understand that the majority of modern consumers base their concept of a business’s credibility on their website. Additionally, chances are that your direct competitors have an online presence – and with the internet opening up the entire world, competition has never been fiercer.
Having a company or brand website is just one aspect of an overall marketing strategy – but without a website, you literally have nowhere to start. People no longer go to the Yellow Pages or Phone Book to find the products and services they seek – they go online to find the right website to fulfil their needs. Will they find your business there? And if they do – what will they see?
Will the Online Shopping Boom Continue in 2021?
YES. This trend is true for people throughout the developed world. Australians, for example, have embraced online shopping and transacting like never before. According to Experian, a Global Information Services Company, at least one-third of Australians expect their online shopping habits to grow over the coming year.
This greater demand for online options brings with it greater expectations on the part of consumers.
- That their preferred brands can be easily sourced online
- That businesses offer superior online options
- That the digital experience is optimised
- That online transactions can be completed via mobile
- That online transactions are seamless and fast
- That businesses offer easy-to-access, relevant information via high-quality content and blogs
- That online reviews are attached to a business for full transparency
- That self-service options are prioritised
- That customer service is exceptional
- A social media presence
Is Your Online Presence Strong for 2021?
The vast majority of consumers (and most B2B businesses) now prefer to conduct their business over the internet. Having a strong online presence via an appropriate website enables you to:
- Showcase your products and services
- Enhance your customer’s experience with your brand
- Market to an almost infinite audience
- Be found in local search results on Google
- Generate new leads
- Share relevant content
- Position yourself as an authority or leader in your industry
- Compete in a crowded marketplace
- Engage with your customers and build relationships
- Boost customer loyalty and retention
- Evolve and grow for the future
If your business does not have an online presence – NOW is the time to adopt a new way of marketing, advertising, and engaging with your clients and customers. The right web design and web development team has the skills and insight to guide you and provide a stylish, unique, brand-specific site to suit your business and your customers.
If you do have an existing website, now is the perfect time to take a fresh look at it – what can be improved? The potential of a website redesign or refresh to reset and boost your business can’t be understated