Scary numbers time, but you probably already know them from first hand experience. Most business owners are reporting that gas prices are affecting their behavior, but most business owners won’t acknowledge that its time to invest in a better website or ecommerce functionality. So here’s the facts, numbers that you can beat yourself over the head with for not going online sooner:
- 64% of small business owners say gas prices have driven their revenue down.
- 25% say that they will be laying off more employees as a result.
- A single dollar increase per gallon takes an additional $750.00 out of the average household’s discretionary spending.
- 57% say they are reducing travel and vacation plans for the summer and foreseeable future.
- Almost 70% of consumers say they are more likely to make purchases online because of gas prices.
- Over 80% of consumers say they first research and make buying decisions online, before visiting a store.
- 72% of consumers expect businesses they patronize to have websites.
And the list goes on and on. Seriously, just do a Google News search and you’ll see what I mean.
This summer is threatening to be a punishing one on the American wallet as gas prices and food commodities drive some crazy inflation. From relatively previous experience, we know that these high commodity prices mean less discretionary spending, less travel, and modified buying behaviors. What is one of the biggest ways in which consumers are modifying their buying behavior?
Going online! Let me say that again. Going online, researching, educating, and purchasing. Most of you may even already be there, but haven’t bothered updating your site since it launched in 2007. Almost all of you probably have more visits to your site from direct traffic, then from organic or referral sites. (Means you tell more people about your website then the number of people your website tells about you).
The excuses are just a joke. They don’t hold water, and there aren’t any statistics to back up your reasons for not being aggressively advertising and marketing yourself online.
I don’t care, and your consumers don’t care, that you don’t know how to operate a keyboard and mouse combination. They don’t care that you’re one of the five people left on earth who use a phone book to look up businesses. They don’t care that Qwest threw in a free ‘web page’ that looks exactly like your ad in the phone book. They don’t care that you never ‘Google’ anything. They don’t care that you put out a half page ad in the Sunday paper, since its lining their litter boxes. They don’t care that you have a 30 second book end spot running during Oprah. Seriously, they were online, looking for someone who could help them!
Here’s another little fact just to help you see the light. According to Mastercard, in store spending fell 6% last month, while online spending rose 16%!!!!!!!! How many exclamation points do we need!
Get your business online, and your head out of your brick and mortar store. For modern businesses there are a myriad ways that you can reach your customers online, and we’ll run through some of them:
- Get a website! Make it informative, interactive, and mobile device friendly. This does not mean building a separate ‘business card’ or ‘brochure’ website that has less stuff on it. Have your web designer build you a website that displays properly on all devices.
- Claim your name space! What does this mean? Get your business represented in a number of different FREE social media circles and social networks. LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, and more offer free profiles that can help you build up your presence online!
- Think about selling online! Everyone can offer gift cards or certificates for their services online. Are you a LA retail store? Great- build a website that has full ecommerce functionality that can be easily updated or used for marketing. Average cost for a custom developed Ecommerce website is around $7,500. Some of you just gasped and grabbed your pocket books, but relax. If you have a $10.00 the hour employee working full time selling your products you are paying $1,600 a month in just wages. That doesn’t include liability insurance, that doesn’t include training, that doesn’t include the additional taxes your business incurs. In under 5 months, the website will have offset that cost and will have worked 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. And it will have reached thousands more consumers then an entry level sales person.
- Get your site ranking. And do it according to Google’s Guidelines. SEO and PPC are great ways to move you up the search rankings in Google, Bing, and Yahoo. For some of our Los Angeles SEO businesses this has meant literally hundreds of thousands of new client opportunities.
- Start some reputation management! All of those negative reviews that popped up after thirty years of business, some true, some an odd poor customer experience, and others created by your competitors, are the first thing that your customers see when they look for you online.
Obviously, we are a Los Angeles web design company. We also provide LA SEO or search engine optimization and PPC or Adwords services. We are also a full service reputation management company to help with nagging publicity or public relations issues, or to help simply protect your business from lies and deceitful attacks by your competitors.
The key to all of our efforts is that we know what we’re doing. Unlike so many of other Los Angeles webdesign companies, we don’t offer these as the add ons to our efforts. This isn’t the extended warranty plan offer. We’ve hired experts in each field who are dedicated full time to their specific service. Because of that, our efforts generate revenue for you. If that means you get new client leads, great. If that means you can sell man hours online, great. If that means you can sell more furniture or more jewelry or more clothing, fantastic. IF that means that you have an idea for a new social network, dating site, or music streaming business, then we can help. And we always do our work with custom solutions, with the best in practice and strategies, and with all domestic employees- we do not outsource.
Call us or use the contact form at the top left to reach us, and help your customers and your business survive the gas price jump and inflation.