Far from the madding crowd

Corporate life has altered, perhaps forever, over the past 12 months. Perhaps now is the time to reflect that in your website?

How many of us has been watching a film on television recently, only to be momentarily taken aback as the lead character hugs somebody or people wander round a shop without wearing a mask… We’ve got so used to keeping our distance and following the various Covid rules, that ‘normal’ life almost seems a little alien now.

Covid-19 has made the way many businesses approach what they do in a different way and it’s altered how they want to be seen. Now, as Covid restrictions are slowly being lifted, it could be a good time to look at your company’s website and see if, with this in mind, there are elements which need refreshing.

This could involve both your business’ brand and how you want to be seen and it could also cover how you now do business. Whatever those changes are, they probably need reflecting in your website.

Firstly, consider how your business has changed over these past 12 months. If you are a retail outlet, the chances are that you might now have an online shop on your website or be offering deliveries or click and collect. While your physical shop could be opening again, it’s more than likely that you’ll continue offering these alternative ways to shop. In that case, how are they represented on the website? Do you need to make these options as visible online as your bricks and mortar shop?

Arguably, Covid-19 has seen an end of the 9-5 culture of many businesses and they have become more flexible about how their team members work – particularly those who have been juggling home schooling during this time. Does this mean that you are now offering appointments or services outside of the usual office hours? Perhaps it’s time to make this clear on your website too?

Some businesses have found, while remaining professional, that they have softened their approach somewhat. We were talking to a lawyer recently, who said that, pre-Covid, her client meetings were always quite formal office-based affairs and she generally wouldn’t talk about home-life, trying to keep everything business-like. Now she says that it’s the norm to have ‘meetings’ online and for children and pets to be wander past the screen. At the same time, she’s discovered herself having more conversations about a client’s family and has found out things about both clients and, indeed, her team members she hadn’t known before. This shift, she said, is refreshing and she doesn’t now want to entirely return to the old way of working.

If this sounds like a culture shift that your business has also noticed, then it might be appropriate to almost soften your image online.

Some businesses have felt an increased tie to their local community over the past 12 months, so it might be good to highlight that online. You might want to add a CSR element to your website, with photos showing how your company has supported people or other local businesses during the pandemic?

In this case and for the other examples we’ve discussed, a lot can be achieved by running a critical eye over the imagery and photography used on your website. Here are some ideas you might want to think about:

* Do your photographs now look too formal? Perhaps there are lots of shots of your shiny offices and people in smart attire? Maybe, if you feel it’s appropriate, include some images of your team working at home or in a less office-based environment?
* Does your website include lots of images of the inside of your shop? Maybe include some of home deliveries or customers enjoying your click and collect service?
* Do the images on your website show people close together, shaking hands or crowd scenes? Maybe replace these if they don’t feel appropriate now?

If you’d like to know more about how Lake Solutions can support you in updating your website, then get in touch.

Article Details

Ian Jepp
01 March 2021