5 Reasons You Need a New Website Yesterday (and because of COVID-19)

Nearing a month of full-pandemic mindset, social distancing and staying away from public areas has become the new norm. It is even more important for all aspects of our society to go digital in regards to communication, sales, and information. People are no longer visiting stores or interacting in the same way as they were before the pandemic, but have transitioned even more to digital sharing platforms, such as Zoom and Facebook. The following is a list of 5 reasons why your business should invest in its online presence and most importantly your website.

1. Social Media is even more important now.

The public is turning to the internet and social media even more as a source for information, resources, and interaction. This can be shown in a 2020 survey by Similarweb regarding the usage of social media platforms pre-Coronavirus and post-pandemic.

6 Trend Lines for social media use before and after the pandemic
Note: Averages are calculated with traffic numbers from each date and the six days preceding it in order to smooth out weekly variations (recreational internet use, for example, often spikes on the weekends). Percent change is from the average on Jan. 15 to the average on March 24. Daily app traffic is measured in sessions — the number of times the app is opened — and one user can have multiple sessions in a day. · Sources: SimilarWeb, Apptopia

2. Hesitation at entering your storefront will continue for months.

Overall trends towards more consumers using social media during this pandemic are clear. Clients and patients are also less likely to be willing to come by your physical store location any time soon. As many patients in the Montana medical marijuana community may have suppressed immune systems, there will continue to be hesitancy about entering storefronts. Although your physical location may play a huge role along with your products and employees in your overall sales, this is quickly taking a back seat to internet-driven traffic as more people exclusively shop online.

3. The Internet is your largest tool to connect to your customers.

The current pandemic is only a small part of the need to have a built-out digital persona; from 2000 to 2018, there was a 38% increase of overall internet users nationally, according to a PEW study. The need to have a robust and modern online persona has become all the more important with the sudden need for social isolation brought on by COVID-19. In Montana, almost half of the state population uses the Internet regularly. Below is a break down of Montana’s most popular sources to get news and information.

Montana's modes of news consumption
Montanans’ modes of news consumption. Source: Statewide Media Habits Survey, UM BBER, June 2015.

4. Your website could probably represent your brand and business better.

Having the same imagery and feeling that is present in your storefront reflected on your website and social media is vital for brand cohesion. Having a well-developed site is just as important as the inside of your shop or how friendly and knowledgeable your employees are. A good website is an extension of your physical location and can funnel all of your social media traffic to one location. Having your site act as a hub for interaction and knowledge that is dynamic and able to be updated easily is essential in quickly-changing times and markets like the cannabis industry.

5. Montanans use their phones, not computers. Is your website mobile-responsive?

Another essential for any well-developed website is its mobile-responsiveness. Just having a good-looking and well-formed site is not enough; that site also must hold up if you are on a phone or other mobile device. In Montana, the majority of all internet traffic is via mobile devices with smartphones alone taking up a whopping 74.5% of the overall internet access.

Bar graph displaying the different devices Montanans use the internet with
Tools Montanans use to access the internet (% of all internet users). Source: 2016 Internet News Sources and Use Survey.

Ensure You’re Providing Safe Products

There is no guarantee that the Coronavirus will go away any time soon and the extended mandatory shutdowns have reinforced the rhetoric that this is the beginning, not the end, of the pandemic and shutdown. Because so many are online and your online presence has, for the last decade, been becoming more and more important especially on mobile devices, it’s all the more vital to update your digital persona now. Investing in your website now will increase your exposure to the general public and potential patients in this digital environment. Give your clients something else to google other than “did Carole Baskin kill her husband?” and “when will we see the stimulus money?”. 

Planet-3 is a dynamic business consulting company that, among other things, specializes in building the most interactive, modern, and responsive websites. We work heavily with Montana cannabis businesses. Planet-3 can help take your business to the next level with assistance in rebranding to designing full digital experiences developed to get you in front of the largest amount of clients using modern SEO tactics. If you need help with your site or have a question for our team of industry professionals, contact us for more information.

References:

Baldridge J. How montanans get their news. . 2017. http://www.montanabusinessquarterly.com/montanans-get-news/. Accessed Apr 14, 2020.

NW 1LS, 800Washington S, Inquiries, DC 20036USA202-419-4300 | Main202-857-8562 | Fax202-419-4372 | Media. Demographics of internet and home broadband usage in the united states. . . https://www.pewresearch.org/internet/fact-sheet/internet-broadband/. Accessed Apr 14, 2020.

Taylor Ange

Specializations: Extraction Processes Compliance Product development Taylor has maintained a passion for finding unconventional solutions for problems in the biology and medical fields. From a young age, he was heavily invested in the emergency medical industry as an active member of King County Search and Rescue in Washington State. Taylor attended college at the University of Montana as a terrestrial ecology major. As a field researcher and a lab technician with the US Forest Service, he conducted e-DNA testing on fluvial systems in Montana, Idaho, Washington, and Oregon. In the lab, he conducted mitochondrial DNA synthesis and analyzation which taught him how a large scale science and research laboratory is laid out and operated, along with what control measures are used for both personal and product safety. He has been involved in projects spanning beverage, cannabis fiber and extraction, and clean technology. He has been a part of developing various technologies including carbon dioxide reclamation equipment, hemp bioplastic formulations, and semi-autonomous control systems.



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