7 Reasons why your Offline Business needs to be online... like immediately
If you are business owner, manager or a just someone looking to get started on their new business; one of the most pertinent questions that you would have is whether your business needs to have an online presence. First, just think about these facts: 1) Almost 90% of consumers use search engines for purchasing decisions (Griwert, 2012) 2) By the year 2040, it is estimated that over 95% of business will be through eCommerce (Kitonyi, 2017). If that was not enough to convince you, keep reading these seven reasons why your business needs to get online immediately
1. Open Up a Larger Market Base:
Your business may be doing great as it is, but have you stopped to think of the potential? Should it be opened up to a larger market? Currently your business can only reach a limited number of customers, across a certain geographical region. By opening up online, you completely remove these locational constraints, and enable your business to access a greater regional, national or even global audience. If executed effectively, with a mobile responsive optimized online store, coupled with a strong content marketing strategy, this can translate into significant increases in revenues and profit.
2. Demonstrate Your Brand Credibility:
Just over a few decades ago, having a business meant that it was almost imperative to have a brick and mortar presence. You needed to be present at a physical address, this was how customers interfaced with your business and how they gauged the legitimacy of your brand. Things have now completely flipped; customers may not care whether your business has a physical presence, but strong online presence is critical towards demonstrating your credibility. In the digital age websites and mobile apps are primarily how potential customers discover your products and services and decide whether your brand is suitable to address their needs. To put it bluntly, if your brand does not have a professional online presence, potential customers won’t consider you seriously enough. If there is one key take away from this article, this is it.
3. 24/7 – 365:
Whatever type of business you are in, whether it be a retail consumer operation, B2B supply business or a professional services business, an online presence gives you the ability to keep running 24/7, 365 days a year. An online store will generate sales, a corporate website will generate leads, even when your business is actually closed, thereby helping you to significantly boost revenue potential. This potential can be augmented even further though emerging technologies such as Chatbots. which helps customers engage in conversation with AI powered support assistants that will communicate details about your products and services.
4. Changing Consumers:
The consumer of today is a radically different creature than to one just over a decade ago. This consumer is focussed on connectivity, community and collaboration. Organizations have to gear their products, services, supply chains, and sales channels to meet the changing needs of this new breed of consumer. The once ubiquitous, telephone directories are now relics of the past; consumers now find brands through social media, search engines and understand more about products through peer review sites. A product is finally purchased through an online sales platform, or by navigating directly to your physical store.. Your business needs to have strategies to tackle each of these stages effectively or you risk being left behind by consumers utilizing new platforms and channels in the future.
5. Your Competitors Are Already There:
I am going to go ahead and take a punt here, chances are, regardless of the industry you are in, and the size of your business, that your direct competitors are already present online in some form or the other. It’s almost guaranteed that they will have social media presence, and many others are augmenting that with a web presence. If they aren’t, then even better, this gives you the chance to gain a first mover advantage in the online space.
6. Increase Product / Service Awareness (significantly):
An effective web site will you give your business a great opportunity to truly educate your potential customers about the company’s offerings. Unlike traditional physical stores, you are not limited by the constraints of space, material costs, technical capabilities etc. Businesses are able to give consumers as much information as they desire in order to make an informed purchased. If you want to witness a great example of communicating product information effectively, check out Apple’s iPhone page. It gives you an unparalleled, intimate product experience, that would not be possible offline, even with a hands-on experience. There are many ways a business can exploit their online presence to increase product and service awareness; it is only limited by creativity.
7. High ROI
If you've wanted to expand your business, chances are you’d thought about the extremely high costs that the expansion would entail. From the extremely high costs of either building or renting a store to paying wages for employees and utilities. Opening up another physical sales channel is a very expensive endeavour; one that will take a long time to bring return on your initial investment. With an online sales channel, the set up and running costs are a fraction of what it would be for a physical sales channel. If executed properly, it can enable your business to gain a high ROI (return on investment) within a relatively short span of time. Quite often though businesses fall into the trap of investing too little into their web presence, and therefore unable to garner the results they desire. You should always be careful to understand realistic budgets, and select a development party that will be capable of meeting your desired goals.
If you’ve been thinking you need get started on creating an online web presence for your business. Encyte offers a free initial consultation for your business to brainstorm about creating a digital presence for your business. Feel free to drop us your requirement click here and we will get in touch with you to discuss your requirements in detail. If you’d like to do some brainstorming on your own, feel free to check out our portfolio click here of work we’ve completed for organization of varying sizes. This can give you an idea of the type of solutions developed for many types of businesses’ we’ve worked with personally in the past.
Griwert, K. (2012, February). 89 percent of consumers use search engines for purchase decisions. Retrieved from Brafton: Click here
Kitonyi, N. (2017, March 14). UK Online Shopping and E-Commerce Statistics for 2017. Retrieved from Nasdaq: Click here