When we think of a business website, many of us see it as a digital business card or an online brochure – something we set up once and forget. However, a well-designed website can be much more than that. It can be an active tool that significantly streamlines your day-to-day business operations.

Here are THREE crucial roles your website should play, and they should all be interactive. Understanding these can help you understand the quantity of tools you have at your fingertips.

Very Important Role #1 – Marketing

Your website should showcase your products or services in the best light possible. It’s a visual elevator pitch offering solutions to the problems your ideal customers are facing. When customers land on your site, they should feel they’ve found exactly what they need.

Direct all your marketing efforts to your website, as it houses all the most engaging details of your business. Whether it’s a Facebook post, Google ad, or flyer, every promotional activity should point to your website for more enticing information.

A website should also feature Calls to Action (CTAs), guiding customers to take the desired steps—whether that’s to buy, book, or call. CTAs should be easily accessible on most pages, appearing as buttons or forms.

Very Important Role #2 – Customer Interactivity

With attention spans getting shorter, your website needs to be user-friendly and fully functional on both mobile and desktop devices.

Menus should be easy to navigate, ensuring customers can find the information they need effortlessly. CTAs, contact forms, booking systems, and payment gateways should all be intuitive and straightforward, making the customer experience seamless.

Very Important Role #3 – An Active Tool In Your Business 

A well-functioning website can be a low-tech tool that automates and streamlines your business processes. When writing your Business Plan, consider how your website can assist with daily operations—from product purchase to customer delivery.

If you’re unaware of the capabilities of a website, it’s challenging to leverage it for daily tasks. Once you know what’s possible, you can streamline activities, save time, and reduce costs.

Here are some features a simple website can offer without additional build costs:

Built In Website Tools

Contact Forms

Typical contact forms filled out by customers on your website will automatically get sent to your inbox.

You can utilise contact forms as booking forms for one or more of your services. Each “booking” form can have a customised title that only you can see helping you to identify which of your services a customer is enquiring about when it lands in your inbox.

You can also customise the contact form to collect extra information. For example if you’d like to send a birthday discount to your customers as part of a loyalty program, you could add an extra field to your contact form to collect dates of birth.

Build a Mailing List

Use a Newsletter Subscription Form to gather subscribers for future marketing.

Automatically send collected emails to your marketing software (like Mailchimp).

Chat Bots

A chat bot can be set up on your website allowing potential clients to instant message your Business Facebook Page. Chat bots can be set up with an automatic reply message with specific information. Some examples are:

  1. “How can we help you with your custom order?” for businesses that sell custom products where a conversation may be needed to finalise a sale.
  2. “Looking for a quote? Please leave your name and address.” This is great for Trade Services that need to manage customer enquiries when they’re busy on a job. 
  3. “Can’t find what you’re looking for? Check out our FAQs here.” This auto reply would have a link to the FAQ section of your website.

Payment Processing

Connect to payment gateways like Stripe, PayPal, or Square for direct transfers to your bank account.

Process Refunds

Easily refund orders with a click, using stored payment information.

Automatic Notifications Sent to Your Customers

Send invoices and shipping notifications to customers automatically.

Stock Management

Depending on your business type, stock management can be useful in different ways.

If you have limited stock of a product and know that you can’t get more, you can allocate specific stock quantities on your website.

In more complex examples; you can allocate SKUs to your products, manage stock quantities through your website or manage stock quantities through Square and sync Square with your website to update stock quantities on your website automatically.

Promotional Sales

You can create a sale with a start and end date for a specific group of products on your website.

This is perfect for seasonal occasions like Christmas and Easter, etc.

But you can also create a sale to clear out stock that doesn’t sell well.

Discounts

Create discounts for wholesale orders, first-time buyers, or loyalty programs.

Set automatic start and end dates for website product sales.

Blogs and Articles

Easily add and update blog or article content to keep your customers informed and improve your search engine rankings, all without needing to contact a web developer for every change.

Events and Workshops

Effortlessly add and update new events to keep your audience informed about upcoming activities and engagements.

Scheduling and Appointments

Integrate a booking system to manage appointments, reducing the need for phone calls or emails.

Analytics and Reporting

Use website analytics to track customer behavior, sales trends, and marketing effectiveness.

By utilising these features, your website becomes more than just an online presence – it becomes an active participant in your daily business operations. These tools can save you time, reduce errors, and allow you to focus on growing your business rather than getting bogged down in administrative tasks.

While not all features are necessary for every business, the websites I build for my clients come standard with many of these powerful tools. I take a tailored approach to constructing each website so it works alongside your day-to-day operations to ensure a productive and supportive partnership.