What’s The Impact of NOT Having an Online Presence? - The Social Julie

It’s hard to believe that here in the Web Age there are still hold-outs who believe an online presence is not necessary for their business, but there are still some. Frequently these few nay-sayers are smaller businesses such as mom-and-pop stores, local restaurants, and other small-to-medium-size retail and commercial companies that rely upon a local clientele for the bulk of their business.

While it may be easy to understand why these web-deniers feel this way, here’s the hard, cold truth: EVERY business needs an online presence.

That’s right. Studies have shown that 88 percent of consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations, 72 percent who did a local search visited a store within five miles, and local searches are twice as likely to lead to a purchase. Despite being called “worldwide” the Web does have a very real impact on local business.

The fact is, a rapidly increasing number of individuals rely upon their constant connection to the Internet via their smartphones to get answers and solutions for all kinds of questions and situations.

Looking for a last-minute place to meet friends after work? People are finding convenient coffee shops and brew pubs on their mobile devices. Need to know where you can find your favorite product locally? GPS apps are sending out a relentless stream of store, shop, and business suggestions based on location and proximity. If you don’t have an online presence you’re missing out on all of this. Not only will your product or service not get found, it’ll be completely invisible to a significant percentage of the shopping public.

And it’s not just that you’re missing out on this opportunity for increasing your sales, you’re also missing an invaluable opportunity to engage your target audience in a dialog that could reveal how, when, and where they like to do business; their opinions of your products or services as well as those of your competitors; and what new products and services they’d like to see that are not currently available. In short, you’re missing out the ability to conduct priceless, timely market research.

So if you’re one of the web presence hold-outs, it’s time to get rid of outdated ideas about the need to be found on the Web and embrace the concept of presenting a friendly, informative, value-packed website to potential customers so they can easily find you and spend their money on your products or services. After all, every minute wasted is a dollar lost.