Like nearly all brands, you’ll have established a strong social media presence in order to engage customers and boost sales. You can now sell through social networks, meaning that brand’s Facebook pages start to act as mini-websites.
Some brands have gone so far as to replace their website with an active social media page, or not bother creating a website at all when they’re just starting out. But is this a smart choice? Is this the future of online marketing?
For now, the answer is no. Ditching your website altogether could be a huge mistake. Research conducted by Ascend 2 last year revealed that the humble website is still the most efficient digital channel when it came to driving sales. Email and social media came a not-so-close second, followed by organic and paid search, mobile and display ads.
Why are websites so efficient for driving sales?
There are many reasons why brands still very much depend on their websites for sales. At a basic level, websites still act as the central online hub for the business. All other links and leads will point to the website, and this is where customers know they can find the information they need such as content details and ‘About Us’ information. They don’t need to send a direct message or call a customer service agent, as all the info they need is right there on your site.
Websites are also essential for:
- Trust and credibility. Consumers aren’t used to buying things through social media platforms, and they don’t necessarily trust them with payment information either. What they look for is a safe, secure website which uses an e-commerce structure and payment processor they are familiar with.
- Brand identity. You can personalise your social media presence to some extent, but it is your website that really says who you are. This is your opportunity to create and strengthen your brand image and identity, in a space that you have complete control over.
- There are 3.5 billion searches on Google a day, which adds up to a mind-boggling 1.2 trillion searches a year. While some of your customers may find you on social media, most will be finding you and crucially, your products or services, using search engines. People tend to search for products and gifts they want to buy using search engines, not social networks. You absolutely must have a website presence, and to work hard on optimising your website for search, in order to capture this audience.
- Analysis. You can of course analyse statistics relating to engagement and audience on social media sites such as Facebook, but nowhere gives you the kind of rich, in-depth analytics as your website. You can look at page views, goal conversions, bounce rate, how long visitors spend on your site, where they come through from and many more useful stats.
For more help using your website as a powerful online marketing tool, please feel free to get in touch with the friendly e-commerce team here at Ambos Digital.