As a brick and mortar business owner, one of the key aspects that may concern you is how to attract customers to your physical storefront. In today’s digital era, where things have gone online, it is important to get recognised. Gone are the days when flyers and pamphlets or a mention in the Yellow Pages would bring in customers. Today’s reality is that, if you don't have an online presence, your business doesn't exist. Customers have gotten smarter. They don’t feel the urge to go out and look for particular services or flip through rusty old phone directories to find a business. All they do is pick up their shiny smartphones and run online searches until they find a service or product that fits their needs. It is that simple for them. But as a brick and mortar retail business owner, appearing in their online searches is the key and requires a lot of work.
This is where the need for a website arises. Even if you are not selling products or services online, you simply cannot afford to skip the process of creating and launching a website. A website is vital for local SEO, and it is what makes you stand out from your competitors. In the last couple of years, the growth of ‘Near Me’ searches has surged dramatically. Google’s Consumer Insights reports that there is a 900%+ increase in “Near Me,” “Today/Tonight,” and “Where to Buy” searches in the last two years.
This shows how important Local SEO is for a brick and mortar business.
With that being said, in this post, we will discuss some feasible reasons why your brick and mortar store needs a website.
#1 Website helps in attracting new local foot traffic to the store
In the majority of cases, a brick and mortar store relies on window shoppers and local residents to stay in business. While you may not have to attract people across the entire country or even the globe, many of your neighbourhood residents may not be aware that your store exists. According to a report, there was an increase of 250%+ in mobile searches for “stores open near me.” Because you may not be the only store that offers the same products or services in your locality, it is easy to lose business from your potential customers. A simple, well-designed business logo about your service or products will go a long way. You can also include all the necessary information like contact details, where you are situated, services and products you offer, and a little about yourself–these can prove to be a game-changer.
#2 Website helps in legitimising a business
Long before the internet became an indispensable part of our lives, brick and mortar store owners used to hand out flyers and pamphlets, printed large hoardings, and hung out shingles to let the crowd know that they exist, they are open for business, and where they are situated. In this digital age, where the importance of print media has diminished, a website holds the same significance and relevance equivalent to this tradition. Having a website is not just about creating an online presence, it also ensures that your business is visible to the world, is trustworthy, and credible. You can also create a social media page of your store and link it to your website to help make customers more aware of your business.
#3 Website helps in managing your reputation
Whether or not you own a website, there is already a lot of information about your business on social media, in reviews, and in directory listings. So, instead of someone else controlling your reputation, why not take charge of your online reputation? A website is an ideal place to post customer reviews and testimonials to let others know what people are saying about your business. Also, you can create specific web pages within the website dedicated to your products and offerings. You can explain your products or services in detail and address any questions or concerns regarding the same. So, a website helps in controlling your reputation online.
#4 Website is the first step towards achieving marketing success
Digital marketing is the key to a business’s success. Whether you are trying to expand your reach or introduce new products or services to your local audience, having a robust website is integral to your business marketing strategy. A website can effectively increase the chances of your marketing efforts being a success. Whether it is email marketing, social media promotions, PPC ads, sponsored ads, etc, a website helps back up all the claims you advertise.
A website for your brick and mortar store holds many benefits. From building customer relationships to increasing customer reputation, building a solid brand, and more, all it takes is a little effort, and it is more affordable than traditional marketing tactics. Just make sure that your website contains all the necessary details about your business that your customers find helpful.