As we recover from the most recent storm it’s hard to believe that spring will be here before we know it, bringing visitors and demand for seasonal services.
For many local businesses, winter is a time to plan, with issues like inventory purchases, staffing strategy, and financial management top of mind.
What about your customers? Are you clear on who they are and why they chose you? And do their purchases provide a consistent and profitable revenue stream? In this article we’ll explore how a website – even a simple one – can help boost foot traffic and revenue per visit.
Are You Attracting the Ideal Customer?
Frequently, word of mouth is not sufficient to attract your ideal customer. Consider this hypothetical example:
Purl One, specializing in imported, high-end yarn, opened a shop in Boothbay Harbor. The owners felt their yarn’s quality, uniqueness and location would attract customers as they strolled downtown and via word of mouth.
After several months they are overwhelmed by the amount of foot traffic and glowing comments, but sales are far short of their expectations.
What happened? Potentially, Purl One’s visitors are not their ideal customer. Although knitting is a popular pastime, most casual crafters prefer durable and economical synthetics and blends which Purl One did not offer. Knitters who seek out specialty yarns are typically highly skilled and view sourcing their yarns as a key part of the creative process. Each piece is an investment, and they are willing to travel to find the perfect material.
Each business has unique variables that influence the impact of various marketing activities. For example, Purl One needed to inform skilled knitters outside of the Boothbay region about their specialized yarns.
Regardless of your product or service offerings, data has shown that a website is fundamental to getting discovered by your ideal customer. The table below explains why:
In summary, of 1,100 respondents, 77% used the internet at least once a week to find a local business – such as a doctor, electrician, or restaurant – to meet their needs (Dixon, Statista, 2023, https://bit.ly/48E3sr8).
What Else Can a Website Do?
Connecting with customers conducting online searches is a key website benefit, but there are a lot more. Here are three important ones:
Communicate Your Brand Values
Your brand tells potential customers about your business and sets you apart from competitors. For example, a lovingly restored, historic inn whose brand emphasizes charm, history and relaxation, might appeal to couples and singles. Proper website branding should attract their target audience who will have a lovely experience, while groups looking for to party into the night will stay elsewhere.
Attract the Ideal Customer
By outlining your value proposition, products and services potential customers can decide whether you will meet their needs. For example, by listing their specialized services, a commercial electrician can gain the confidence of business owners while minimizing inquiries from residential customers.
Provide Customer Service
With the accessibility of the internet, customers rely on website features – such as online reservations, up-to-date menus, and frequently asked question pages – to help them interact efficiently with businesses.
There are so many options to tailor customer service information to a specific business. Once in place, the result will be enhanced customer satisfaction and more time for your and your staff to focus on service delivery vs. responding to phone calls.
In our increasingly connected world, local businesses need a website to communicate their brand, get discovered and provide efficient customer service.
Creating a new site, or updating an existing one, might seem daunting but like many things in life, taking the first step is the toughest part.
Until next time, stay warm and safe,