Growth Customer Experience Productivity Business IQ Trends Success Stories Tech Solutions Subscribe Tech Enquiry
Customer Experience

Is your website hurting your business?

David Binning
Smarter Writer

David Binning is a media advisor and journalist with more than 20 years’ experience covering the digital and innovation sectors in Australia and throughout the world.

David Binning
Smarter Writer

David Binning is a media advisor and journalist with more than 20 years’ experience covering the digital and innovation sectors in Australia and throughout the world.

Highlights
  • Outdated information, bad user experience, and inability to handle online sales can push customers away from your website.
  • Increased mobile connectivity and social media engagement in the e-commerce space means there is more competition than ever.
  • New, low-cost content management systems allow your website to handle greater complexity with ordering, payments and inventory.

Many small businesses in Australia may find that their websites could actually be doing them more harm than good.

Running a small business means juggling many balls at once – and one of the most niggling can be the company website.

At first, just getting ‘something up’ and running is often the best you can manage amongst all your other priorities. Maybe you hoped to find more time to perfect things later or maybe it becomes increasingly neglected as other opportunities demand your attention.

Woman using laptop looking concerned. An outdated website can push customers towards your competitors.

Problems like outdated information, poor look-and-feel, and an inability to properly handle online sales and queries are among the many reasons potential customers might choose to click-away from your website and seek a competitor’s offer.

And with so much innovation in the e-commerce space – particularly from mobile connectivity and social media engagement – there’s every chance it won’t be long before they find one. Indeed, recent research reveals that online consumers are more fickle than ever when it comes to engaging with online merchants.

According to e-commerce specialists Web Marketing Pros, 60 per cent of consumers won’t buy from SMB websites that appear outdated or neglected, with a quarter making this criticism of sites not updated in the past month. Almost 30 per cent of consumers said they would click away immediately if it seemed six months had passed since anything had been updated or changed.

Ready to launch your website?

Reach out to the Telstra Online Essentials team. The first month is free!

Find out more

But it’s not just the customer-facing front-end of websites companies need to pay more attention to. In fact, it’s poor work at the back-end that can do the most serious damage to a company’s digital fortunes.

Web Marketing Pros also reports that many small businesses still use superseded programs such as web code editor Dreamweaver to manage their websites. This is despite the rapid improvement and lower-cost of modern content management systems (CMS) designed to handle greater complexity – especially around ordering, payments and inventory – while integrating with core business systems such as accounting or point-of-sale. 

Many consumers now also expect websites to offer a more personalised experience; for instance, presenting pricing and delivery information based on their location and preferred currency. If you can’t offer these increasingly standard features then you need to review your website.

The term ‘future-proofing’ may be overused, but it’s important that your online presence is aligned with your plans for growth. Otherwise you run the risk of forfeiting future opportunities that may not yet be apparent to you.
 
You’ll also be limited in your ability to quickly adapt to new market and/or technology trends, as your more-agile competitors continually improve their website and e-commerce experience, ultimately achieving better sales. 

Businesses running their websites with outdated software are also at far greater risk of security breaches. A common reason for this is that older software programs tend to no longer be supported by the vendors that developed them, which means worrying vulnerabilities can go unchecked and therefore unpatched.

It’s critically important then that small businesses commit to regular reviews of their websites and online strategy, including conducting frank assessments of the technologies they’re currently reliant on, and exploring what other options might be appropriate and available.

In most cases it should be clear that the benefits of switching to a newer, more feature rich CMS far outweigh the effort – and fear – associated with doing so.

Find out what customers want from your online store
Read more

Indigenous community members participate in a BIG hART project.
Success Stories
Success Stories
The power of hART

2018 Tasmanian of the Year Scott Rankin developed an innovative community-based arts model combining creativity with social justice. He tells Lachlan Colquhoun how he’s using i...

Envato Co- Founder Cyan Ta’eed accepting her 2015 Telstra Business Women Award
Success Stories
Success Stories
To Achieve Success Be Prepared to Fail

Refusing to be discouraged by her previous failed business attempts, Ta’eed instead learned from them. As a result, the former Telstra Business Women’s Awards winner and co-fou...

Five tech trends for small business
Trends
Five tech trends for small business

In an increasingly connected world small businesses need to embrace technologies and tools that can make them stand out from their rivals, according to a Telstra Business Award...

Social media pages give small businesses a platform to show their products to a global audience of potential customers.
Growth
Growth
Not Perfect, but Small Business Still Needs Facebook

Privacy scandals and algorithm changes may have signaled the end of Facebook’s “golden age” as a marketing platform, but for most small businesses it is still an indispensable ...