It’s 2018 and you ask do brands still need website? The answer to that question is Yes… and No.
Well, I don’t know if personal/fashion brand/ecommerce website is still relevant at this time and age.
I spent like a decade making them for other brands, across industries, and I honestly feel it’s fast becoming irrelevant. Especially, when you can simply open an Instagram account to create your online business and start selling.
That’s why I’m dead reluctant to make a website for Domus Novem. I can just list my products on the so-called online marketplace or just selling them in Instagram and Facebook.
Website no longer serves as the main display of your products and services’ to the world like it used to be. There are other services for that purpose, especially the marketplace I mentioned earlier.
Not only the visitors of those marketplaces are someones who are looking for something and are ready to buy (hopefully, the brands’ products), brands can also benefit tremendously from the ads power and exposures of the said marketplaces.
That being said, for many brands, website’s function is now degraded into:
- A mere repository for your business’ data (pics etc), for instance, a place to host those files you then use in, or link to, other interfaces.
- Payment getaway for your transaction
- a token for branding sake
No longer it becomes the first touchpoint with your customers. This is extremely true with product-based brands. , Their service-based counterpart, meanwhile, can still survive the website onslaught.
Search Engines Kill Website
Search engines kill websites with their ridiculous ever-changing optimization rules and algorithm. Just think about it. There are ridiculous amount of websites in the world and Google is still adamant to serve users like it’s still 1998!? Ten per page based on their “rank”?! Let that sink in your brain for a while.
How a new street wear brand is able to compete with Supreme or Palace for the keyword “streetwear” that way?
Meanwhile, users kill website with their impatience and tendency to bounce away. It’s something punishable from search engine perspective. There’s a twisted logic behind it as well.
When a user typed “leather messenger bag”, let say on Google, Google would feed him those archaic search results. He then clicked on one of the results, arrived at your product’s page and immediately left because that’s not the bag he’s looking for and Google then deemed your page was less relevant for that keywords. If it happens quite often, needless to say, your page will sink deeper into the abyss.
What about apps?
Apps can kill website, but they lack the vigor to do the final thrust. They become irrelevant quicker than the thing they suppose to replace.
Apps download and install are dwindling. Which makes sense. How many times do we need to install the same app?
The Future of Website
Its death will be even faster only when the big guys succeed to push messaging-based service as a commerce and service interface. Mobile-first mentality will get us there quickly, especially in providing for smarter AI and smoother data exchange.
Payment is another thing to overcome before that day arrives. Once they solve how goods and services can be exchanged with ease across devices and platforms and nations, it will be final. Yep, we’ve seen it. Startups are working hard to make that happen, but it’s still fragmented at best. Once there’s one universal method of paying and receiving payment and that’s it.
On the other hand though, website is like email. Everyone tries to kill it, but they’re just too tough to take down.