How the Other 26.6% Shop

Not everyone requires your business to have a website to do business with you. As promised, here’s the flip side of the issue we discussed in How to Increase Your sales 73.4%. Here I have included quotes and commentary where respondents replied ‘Yes’ when asked if they would do business with a company that didn’t have a website.

No need

Simply, not every shopper has a need.

As a customer: Yes, absolutely. Companies who do not have websites simply don’t need them. I’m sorry, but I don’t subscribe to the school that demands it as being essential to every business, as it is not. I would search around on Google for comments from customers on other sites about the company, or I would trust friends / family / workmates and purchase from the company on their recommendation and experiences, or I would buy from such a company if they are my local supplier for whatever it is I need. -Johan de Lange (CEO Transsmart Holdings Limited)

Mr. de Lange also had other interesting points from an e-commerce consultant point of view. This space will be updated with a link to them in a future post.

No Substitute

Others require more tangible proof:

The internet is not a substitute for “kicking the tires” on purchases. For instance, when buying a home, it far more important to have the customer walk through the home than view the virtual tour inline.

Granted, the comps, tax records and background research would come from the internet. But the listing company would not have to have a website. Paul Gruenther,Vanguard Realty

I absolutely agree with Paul on this one. There is no way that I would purchase a house unseen. However, several real estate investors that I know have done so in the past at auctions. I would also personally think that the website of a listing company that also provided comps, tax records and background research on-line be in better position to make a sale? Maybe that explains the popularity of Zillow. I know I’ve seen a lot of Realtors moving over to that platform recently.

Perhaps a better question in this kind of instance is whether having a website could drive more potential buyers to schedule viewings of a house or test-drives of a car. After all, anyone is 100% more likely to buy a product once they know it exists!

It is a Matter of Trust

Several people responding to the poll listed trust in their answers. Can you trust a website? Can you trust Google?

Presence on the internet should not be used as a substitute for good judgment and “brick & mortar” world experience. You don’t trust your spam and you should not trust a website’s content just because it exists. Plenty of websites are just the internet version of the “back of a truck” attended by a either shady character or friendly looking character who is in reality shady. Google is not synonymous with truthful search results; it’s simply “this is what we found based on what you asked.”
Alfred Wheeler

I would trust a company that hasn’t a web site if they have a physical presence I can see and visit.

On the other side I wouldn’t trust a company that has a website but I cannot double check a real physical existence.

In the web is very easy to get fake and unreal identity that can be used for any kind of fraud. With a real presence you cannot avoid it but it is easiest to establish if you can trust or not.

Anyway I would consider unwise the company that hasn’t a website. Even if a company doesn’t sell online, they can take advantage of a web site as a business card, a brochure, lead generation or just to be found through search engines. Diego Colagrosso

Conclusion

I had a snappy summary all drafted up. Then I read Tyler and Kelly’s responses. There summaries were better:

When it comes down to it I think you go with your gut. If you’re already skeptical about the company, the absence of a website will probably be the last straw. If you’re heard only positive things about the company and have personal relationships with people who’ve done business with them, I can’t imagine that not having a website will deter you from working with them.
-Tyler Starrine VP, Campaign Development DEI Worldwide

I do not think that just having a website means you are legitimate. After all there are tools that almost anyone can use to create a website. I rely on additional sources like D&B, Hoovers, referrals, BBB members, Chamber members, etc. to investigate more especially with large purchases. With today’s market issues though, it seems as though there are no guarantees even with “highly trusted” companies. We must refer to gut instincts in the end. –Kelly Gomez, Marketing & Advertising Consultant Connecting You To The World!

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