Consumers today are more informed than ever. Increasing online connectivity through mobile devices such as tablets and smartphones present a significant challenge to the traditional brick and mortar stores — after all, why would you pay more for something at a local shop, when you can order it online in just a few seconds, get it cheaper and have it shipped to you in just a few days? It is the unprecedented challenge of online retailers and constantly-connected consumers that is causing the traditional mom and pop businesses to see a decline in overall sales. The best way for these businesses to stay relevant, is to evolve with the ever-changing trends of the consumer.
The Internet, and the way it’s utilized by its users, is an evolving trend among consumers. Consider the recent study by Forrester Research — online sales are expected to grow from 7% of overall retail sales to close to 9% by 2016. It’s trends such as these that force businesses and organizations to hire web developers who specialize in custom web design services and online marketing, in order to keep up with the every-changing trends of the consumer. Because the consumer, and the trends of the Internet are constantly changing, the best website designs are constantly changing too. There’s an old saying among web developers — change or die — and it couldn’t be more true. Unfortunately, many business owners, especially those that have been around well before the Internet became so powerful, are timid to spend money on web development. This could become a huge mistake — change or die, remember? It’s all about adapting to your surroundings, and when your surroundings involve the Internet, you better keep up with it.
Another consumer trend, such as over 39% of all of customers coming from online searches, force businesses to keep up with Internet marketing tactics. Take search engine optimization (SEO), for example. SEO is an online marketing tactic that works to improve the online visibility of a website in order to generate more qualified website traffic. SEO typically improves a website’s search engine rankings in order to appear on the first search engine results page, receive more qualified web-traffic, and ultimately convert that qualified traffic to sales. Businesses are starting to learn about the value of marketing over the internet; in fact, about 30% of businesses outsource at least a portion of their social media marketing.
By 2016, over 50% of the dollars spent in the U.S. retail sector will be influenced by Internet marketing and web presence. It’s understandable when businesses fail to realize the importance of keeping up with online trends; after all, we tend to avoid concepts that we don’t fully understand. But the issue here, is that when you hire a web developer to customize your website or manage an online marketing campaign, you’re making an investment to improve your business, and more often than not, it works.