Websites were once an inherit necessity of starting your own business. Checking it off your to-do list was one of the first items one would complete. But today doubt has replaced necessity.
It is within the pages of your marketing strategy that most learn of the necessity of a website because its role becomes clear. Your marketing strategy is a top-level document that helps clarify your targeted audiences and defines your offerings according to the necessities of your customers and their needs.
Your product category determines if a business website is necessary and what its role should be for your business.
A convenience product is one that customers normally buy without much thought, comparison, and are often impulsive. Consider a convenient store that is full of convenience products.
Recently, Hershey released a new KIT KAT flavor, Duos Mint. They advertised its arrival in stores by broadcast tv and radio. In addition, they made sure there were plenty in stores since availability is so critical for these products.
KIT KAT Duos Mint has a web page on Hershey’s website. This brand page adds a bit of attraction to the new product since super fans explore the corporation’s website for recipes, tour information, and birthday celebration links.
Hershey’s individual products do not attract volumes of attention through their website. Its primary role is to keep current customers and brand advocates engaged with their brands. I’m sure KIT KAT devotees enjoyed learning that Duos Mint was a favorite Japanese flavor only recently available in the USA.
Shopping products are those that customers want to compare. They tend to be more expensive and are purchased occasionally. Moreover, they differ on a number of options such as quality, cost, and features. Therefore, this category need a-rich website because their consumers require research and comparison.
There are two types of shopping products.
Homogeneous products are those that cannot be distinguished from competing products from different suppliers. So you can substitute one for another. The common decision factor is price. Electricity is a homogeneous product.
Heterogeneous products are those that are readily distinguishable from competing products but can not be easily substituted for one another. Consumers determine which one to purchase based upon other factors, such as advertising, brand names, packaging, warranties and design elements, such as color, size and shape. Price can vary significantly since businesses could charge more or less for specific features. Automobiles are an example of heterogeneous products.
Speciality products are those with unique characteristics or brand identification for which a niche group of consumers are willing to make a special effort to purchase.
Specific cars, professional and high-end photographic equipment, and designer clothes are all examples of speciality products. These product types are not compared against each other and customers will travel a great distance to to buy one. Customers will take the time to reach businesses that carry the wanted product.
Speciality businesses must give particular care to accommodate potential customers. Personalized customer experience tools and quick communication methods are essential for these types of products. Social media platforms are great for these category types.
Perhaps it is this apparent ease of marketing and selling in social media have many believing that their business does not warrant the unnecessary expense. Portions of a successful and efficient online marketing effort is missing without a website.
Consider this truth. Subsequently only those customers that choose to become members of your particular social media platform, such as Facebook, feel that your business is accessible to them. Your marketing messages are only privy to those with accounts. Can you really risk “leaving money on the table?”
Pro-Tip: Utilizing only social media marketing could cost the business more in customer acquisition and customer retention costs, then the expense of a business website..
The role of your website in this instance is to provide convenience to contact information and a clear path to purchase. Next consider search engines, such as Google, as a convenience partner. Make sure you are part of the Google My Business platform.
Then the last category, unsought products, are those that the customer either does not know exists or never plans or hopes to purchase. Most new innovations are unsought. Pest control, pre-planned funeral services, and the newest smartphone are examples. By their nature these offerings require much more advertising, selling, and marketing efforts than other types of customer products.
A fully developed, content filled website with complimentary online marketing campaigns will add to the increased promotional effort.