Today’s consumers are online more than ever across all demographics. Physical foot traffic is losing importance, and having a strong online presence is now vital. Even small and local businesses must take their online presence into consideration so they don’t lose business because of a lack of convenience. Like it or not, today’s younger consumers are used to a great level of convenience. Growing up with the existence of online shopping, specifically Amazon, these consumers have everything they could ever need right at their fingertips. The click of a button can send any and every necessity or luxury right to their door in an incredibly short amount of time, and that amount of time is still shrinking.
It’s clear that smaller businesses have a rather high bar to reach in terms of convenience thanks to the technological advancements of businesses like Amazon, but this bar is certainly not out of reach. Many great innovations have come with the ubiquity of the internet, and any business can now offer the incredible convenience and ease of use that consumers have grown to expect.
Today’s consumers have a low tolerance for poorly executed web pages. This means that they expect websites to look polished and operate in an incredibly streamlined fashion in order to take a business seriously. Your website is now likely the very first impression you make on your potential customers, so if your website looks like it hasn’t been updated in years, consumers are going to wonder what else is being overlooked in your business.
How do smaller businesses compete?
Building a great-looking and highly functional online storefront no longer demands the time and effort of a coding or website building expert. Everything from great-looking, customizable page layouts to easy-to-use ordering system software can be found online and used by business owners without any level of computer operating prowess.
In today’s market, small local businesses that know how to go about it can compete directly with bigger businesses like they never have before thanks to the abundance of online shoppers. Whether it is a small business selling clothing, handcrafted goods, or a restaurant offering deliveries, online purchasing and delivery functionality is incredibly important. This specific element is incredibly crucial. Consumers must be made to feel safe when they are putting payment information online. Any issues with payment processing or the smallest of bugs in online ordering systems can lose a customer for life.
Although there are great expectations from today’s consumers, the necessary tools are all available to any business owner in need. This also opens up many great opportunities for those who have always wanted to run their own business but have found too many roadblocks along the way. People now have the opportunity to get their business started and reach customers all from the comfort of their home, and they can do so on the same playing field as their biggest competitors. A local business owner who could never hope to furnish or decorate a physical storefront to the same degree as a big chain can now let their products do the talking.