As information rolls in about technological developments and societal trends we’ve seen in the last year, we’re learning 2021 is not just a good time, but a crucial time to upgrade your web presence. Why? Because nearly all sales leads and customers are coming through your website in some way. There is no more personal selling. There are no more walk-in customers. To not have a highly functional website with advanced lead generation capabilities is a decision to not participate in 2021. In a world that has recently experienced staggering changes in the way it operates on a daily basis, a high-caliber, strategic website design has become the critical component that determines success or failure.
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Here are five reasons why now, more than ever, you need a new website design.
1. Your customer’s website design needs are changing
2020 put the world on fast-forward. Experts from fields ranging from business to sociology have observed an acceleration of developments that were set in motion, but not expected to fully be embraced until as far in the future as 2030. Underused technologies became essential overnight, businesses pivoted their services, and everything from telemedicine to grocery delivery became the norm.
Those businesses and organizations that responded quickly to changing needs fared the best. But even if you were afforded the luxury of changing more slowly, it’s a fact that this year, your customers will be expecting to get a different level of online service than they were getting from you before. The ability to engage with your products or services remotely, with user-friendly web features and easy navigation, are essential. Even if you are providing in person services, it’s important to remember that your customers will still be anticipating a higher level of engagement with your business through your website. While a fast-loading, easily navigable site viewable from a mobile device might’ve allowed a company to stay relevant in the past, today it doesn’t even come close to meeting customer expectations.
So. What is it that they really need now?
In 2021, customers will be expecting websites to offer them everything that they once got from entering a physical space. They want to be able to learn about products and services, understand exactly what you can do for them, “sample” the product, and be able to connect personally with your team using interactive functions. Your website will need to put customers at ease by offering a version of the same conversational, intimate experience they would get buying in person, from the convenience and safety of their homes.
2. Your needs are changing
We know you’re focused on customer needs, but re-addressing your web presence is also about you. As much as your customers need to be able to easily navigate your services and access some or all of your offering remotely, you need to be able to streamline your processes for providing that offering. For example, say your organization once provided in-person training courses. A well-designed website that offers a platform for providing that training is beneficial both to customers or employees receiving the training, and the individuals responsible for conducting the training and keeping track of its results.
Another example of this changing need and attitude in both buyers and sellers comes from the B2B world. The shift from in-person to digital-based sales has been dramatic. According to an October article from McKinsey & Company, “70-80% of B2B decision makers prefer remote human interactions or digital self-service”–a sentiment that has continued far beyond quarantine . Websites must function in a way that facilitates this new manner and volume of interaction so the humans on either side are getting what they need efficiently.
When you can streamline any of your online processes, you deliver satisfaction to customers, ease stress on your employees, increase efficiency, and generate more profit. All of these add up to helping you and your team thrive.
3. You are in EVEN GREATER competition than before for your customers attention
We are online. Constantly.
“According to a survey commissioned by optical retailer Vision Direct, people’s average daily screen time has ballooned [in 2020] to more than 19 hours a day when accounting for viewing multiple devices at once,” says a recent Wall Street Journal article .
This means that for 19 hours a day, your customers and potential customers are being absolutely bombarded with messages, often multiple messages at a time. You’re not just competing with your competitors–you’re sort of competing with Netflix. How do you even begin to cut through that deluge of information and entertainment, much less get customers to respond to what you’re offering?
Well. There are ways. And the most critical method for getting through to customers is strategic website design and efficient storytelling. Your customers need to hear messages in a way that allows them to recognize immediately that what you are offering is important to them. If they are confused, unengaged, or unsure how to get what you offer, they will not stick around to find out more. You’ve probably had this experience yourself. But you’ve also had the other experience–that of a website design that you could easily understand and navigate, where you found exactly what you needed and could get it with ease. You have probably engaged with this business many times after your first experience. With strategic design and brand storytelling (which can work hand in hand with ad campaigns, social media, and other marketing assets) you become a powerhouse of customer conversion. It is possible to win the war for your customers’ attention.
4. The stakes are high
Speaking of conversion, there are two types of businesses in stressful periods of rapid development, such as the one we’re in right now. One type of business will seek to conserve all resources and hope to weather the storm. The other type will endeavor to take over market share from the more conservative businesses. They will tailor online experiences, streamline processes, and aggressively pursue more sales.
Which one of these sounds like you? Everyone has to decide for themselves, because only you know your organization’s situation, but this is one of those times where playing it safe is a risk in disguise.
A new, strategic web design is an investment. Though it may be difficult to spend money on…well, really, anything right now, strategically designed websites accomplish all of the goals that businesses need to accomplish in trying times: adjusting services to customer needs, streamlining processes, and generating more sales (without hiring more sales associates or overextending the ones they have). It’s an investment we’ve seen pay off again and again, and in this particular circumstance, it may not only help you grow, it might be the fundamental resource you need to stay relevant.
5. Your standard DIY website design isn’t equipped to handle 2021
It wasn’t that long ago that a well-established business might skate by with a basic website that was more a badge of legitimacy than a real tool for customers. This age was already coming to an end, but 2020 brought it to a sudden, screeching halt. It is no longer ok just to have a basic presence on the web.
The problem with getting a cheap, or DIY website is that its features and design, however aesthetically pleasing, can’t compete. An effective site will be tailored to the needs of your business, not built from a template. Here are just a few things that a custom website design can address that the standard cheap website cannot:
- Use buyer and design psychology to help customers who aren’t physically meeting you be comfortable making a purchase
- Use storytelling techniques to effectively show customers the value of your products and services
- FULLY leverage SEO to lead interested customers to your page
- Be an active component of a sales funnel that generates leads and powers customer conversion
- Engage your customers in conversation that helps connect them personally to your brand without physical contact
- Offer access to your products or services that completely replaces the in-person experience
Strategic website design has been crucially important for quite some time now, but analysts agree that 2021 will be the year that the digital world will determine businesses’ relevancy in ways we’ve never seen before.
Iconic Digital Agency has helped so many businesses and organizations build a web presence that allowed their business to thrive. We understand the different challenges each different organization faces, while being dialed into the ever-shifting landscape of modern digital marketing. Let us help you thrive this year. Schedule a call today for a free consultation and we’ll get started right away.
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WSJ; ”20 Ways 2020 Changed How We Use Technology Forever” https://www.wsj.com/articles/20-ways-2020-changed-how-we-use-technology-forever-11603479962
Finance & Development, June 2020, Vol. 57, Number 2
Marketing Dive, “3 months in, how COVID-19 has permanently changed marketing” June 2020, https://www.marketingdive.com/news/3-months-in-how-covid-changed-marketing/579594/
McKinsey and Company “These eight charts show how COVID-19 has changed B2B sales forever” https://www.mckinsey.com/business-functions/marketing-and-sales/our-insights/these-eight-charts-show-how-covid-19-has-changed-b2b-sales-forever#