If you’re like most people, when you hear the word menu your first thought is probably about a restaurant. But the fact is that anyone who offers products and services can –and should- have a menu that tells potential customers what you offer and how much it costs. Think about it this way, you would never build a website that didn’t say what you sold. And you’d never have people in your store without showing them your products. So why is it that so many local businesses don’t look at their online listings the same way?
In talking to small businesses, I see three primary reasons:
- They’ve invested in their website and want all of their traffic to go there. Anyone who has ever built a website for their business can attest to the fact that you have an emotional attachment to it. You’ve poured time and money into the site and you want people to see it. Which is all understandable except for one problem, it’s not a very customer friendly notion. If the end goal is to drive store traffic or inquiries, you want to reduce the number of steps involved between someone searching and taking action. The more information you can provide at the point of discovery, the better (even if that means lower visitor numbers to your web site.)
- They don’t have an easy way to digitize their “menu.” Most small business owners have outsourced their web development and the idea of paying hundreds of dollars to add or update what they offer is an unplanned and potentially unreasonable cost. With self-service tools (like SinglePlatform) available to update and integrate your menu on your website, you don’t have to pay a web developer every time you want to add a new item or change a price.
- They aren’t thinking about their online listings at all. We recently conducted research that shows 49% of small business owners have never updated their online listings. That means that they could be inaccurate and outdated, and almost definitely don’t include a digital menu of your offerings. That also means that most local businesses aren’t putting themselves in the best possible position to attract new customers.
The truth is that today’s consumers are less likely to truly “shop” than ever before. They want to find a place via online or mobile search sites and apps that has what they are looking for in the limited time that they have to get things done. Simply put, if you’re not creating a digital menu of products and services for your business, potential shoppers are more likely to choose someone who is.