In the 21st Century, it is nigh-on impossible to avoid technology in any day to day capacity. In the first and second fiscal quarters of 2019, global sales of smartphones totalled over six-hundred and ninety-five million (1). To put that into some context, the population of the UK is estimated to number around sixty-eight million, which is less than 10% of the total sales of smartphones worldwide in those six months alone.
For those unaware, a smartphone is defined as ‘a mobile operating system [that] functions like a mini-computer’ (2). To fall under this category, phones must include several functions including web access through Wi-Fi and Data Network connections, receiving and sending emails and being able to communicate through text and voice-calls. According to Deloitte’s Mobile Consumer Survey 2018, 87% of the UK adult population either owns or has daily access to a smartphone (3). An unprecedented amount of the population is surfing the web every day.
Who needs a website? Huh?
Whether you are a blogger, a teacher, an accountant, an author or anyone else in the professional industry then a website is a necessity.
Let’s consider two of the key reasons to own a website.
‘Money makes the world go round’Liza Minnelli, Cabaret
Money feeds us, houses us, clothes us, entertains us and much more so it’s unsurprising that this is an important factor in many decisions. The internet has brought a whole new dimension to capitalism and it’s now possible to earn money through just about anything.
Social media plays and important part in this. There has never before been quite so many possibilities to earn revenue doing what you love. For instance, Kayla Itsines is regarded as one of the most popular social media influencers in the world and focuses solely on fitness and training. Kayla started as a Personal Trainer who updated her clients progress through Instagram and a Blog. Over time, these gained popularity and allowed her to expand her business to include a dedicated fitness app and various other campaigns (4). According to Women’s Health Magazine, early in the year Kayla and her fiance joined the ranks of the wealthiest people in the world with a combined net worth of over two-hundred and sixty-four million pounds (5).
To take a wider view, consider the retail sales for the UK over the last thirteen years. In 2006, online sales accounted for only 2.8% of the total revenue for retail sales. Compare this to November 2018, however, and it’s a different story with online sales accounting for 21.5% of the total revenue for retail sales. This shows a growth of over 650% in thirteen years and there is nothing to indicate this is slowing down (6).
Credibility and Reputation
Having a website helps to create and maintain trust with consumers. It gives them a dedicated platform to view the services or products that you offer and to keep up to date with your business. A website also allows you to sign up to various review sites, such as Trustpilot, Trip Advisor, Google and others. All of which allow your customers to comment on your service and products and provide you with a rating. This helps to create competition between business with the intention of keeping the quality high and the cost low.
To understand the importance of these sites, consider the top ranked websites within the UK. According to Similar Web, in August this year the top 50 UK websites included a large proportion of websites that are either dedicated to offering reviews or have the capacity to do so. (7) These included the following:
- Google came in at 1st place.
- Facebook came in at 3rd place.
- Amazon came in at 4th place.
- Trip Advisor came in at 23rd place.
- Booking came in at 33rd place.
Trustpilot may not be included on the list but does offer something that other dedicated review sites do not; they have the capacity to review any business whether this is a hotel, a restaurant, a labourer or a retail store. Having launched in 2007, Trustpilot are now included within the top 1% of websites worldwide and currently have over sixty-five million reviews (8). This allows consumers to compare websites that are typically offering very similar products or services to make an educated decision on which to use. In turn, this encourages websites to offer the best overall service to beat the competition.
“9 Of The Biggest Social Media Influencers On Instagram”. Digital Marketing Institute, https://digitalmarketinginstitute.com/en-gb/blog/9-of-the-biggest-social-media-influencers-on-instagram. Accessed 1 Oct 2019.
“About Trustpilot”. Uk.Trustpilot.Com, 2019, https://uk.trustpilot.com/about. Accessed 1 Oct 2019.
“Global Smartphone Market Share: By Quarter – Counterpoint Research”. Counterpoint Research, 2019, https://www.counterpointresearch.com/global-smartphone-share/.
“Top Websites In United Kingdom – Similarweb Website Ranking”. Similarweb.Com, 2019, https://www.similarweb.com/top-websites/united-kingdom. Accessed 1 Oct 2019.
Bode, Lucy. “This Is Fitness Star Kayla Itsines’ 2018 Net Worth”. Women’s Health, 2018, https://www.womenshealth.com.au/kayla-itsines-net-worth. Accessed 1 Oct 2019.
Lee, Paul. “Discover The Latest Trends Via Our Mobile Consumer Survey”. Deloitte United Kingdom, 2018, https://www2.deloitte.com/uk/en/pages/technology-media-and-telecommunications/articles/mobile-consumer-survey.html. Accessed 1 Oct 2019.
Office for National Statistics. Comparing “Bricks And Mortar” Store Sales With Online Retail Sales: August 2018. Office For National Statistics, London, 2018, pp. 3-4.
“What Is A Smartphone And Why Do I Need One? | Lenovo UK”. Lenovo.Com, https://www.lenovo.com/gb/en/faqs/pc-life-faqs/what-is-a-smartphone/. Accessed 1 Oct 2019.