Help your customers reach you online or risk losing them

We are witnessing the exponential growth of large USA based coorporations like Apple, Amazon, Google, Facebook, Microsoft etc. and wondering how it came that a handful of companies are now dominating hundreds of sectors across world markets. In this process they have become so large that they are threatening every company that touches anything in their sector with extinction. But is there a way to fight back?

Much of Europe has been plagued by the misconception that simply having a website is a god-send gift for your customers. Every business has done the work of putting one out there, but with little consideration for quality. Business people smile and sometimes laugh when they hear the price of a proper well thought-through website. But why? Does the price of a proper house or a proper car make us smile?

What is the mamouth called Amazon? A huge supply chain? A sharp delivery service? A trustworthy company? Sure all of the above, but first and foremost Amazon is a website. A good one at that. So good that it is changing the landscape of the high street. So good that it almost monopolises online sales on a number of categories (and we are well past book sales).

That amazingly successful website was developed by hundreds of people, spending countless hours deliberating solutions and testing findings. They did this because they were building a money-making machine. A website like no other.

Of course we cannot all build Amazon. And indeed a few years ago, the internet was still developing and the ‘anything goes’ culture of website design and development bloomed. Those days are gone. Consumers have become hugely demanding, their attention span is diminishing seconds every year and competitiveness on the internet is reaching pick levels. But not for long.

The constant neglect of the refined website experience, basic usability features and lack of trust building are costing small and medium size businesses their existence. A website is a vehicle to generate revenue. It is a mirror of our professional soul. It needs love and occasional attention or else it will die (see MySpace). A website is a technological vehicle build to transcend style, ethos and our business principles.

So we cannot hide from the fact that if you depend on your website to generate a large part of the business, then you are only as good as your website.