How a Business Can Benefit from a Website
How a Business Can Benefit from a Website
by: Brad Seefeld
With over half of all U.S. households shopping online, the internet has become a massive market for small businesses to sell their products and services to consumers. The Internet is quickly becoming the ?world?s market place?. Businesses benefit from websites because it saves money and time, reach a wider consumer market, gives customers what they want, and it will help keep up with competitors. Customers will enjoy better support, not be hindered by store hours, and a sense of professionalism from your company. In today?s age, all businesses that want to go somewhere should have a website.
A small business web site can save a company money and time. Real-world advertising today often costs thousands, or millions for television ads, of dollars to produce and distribute to the intended audience. Internet ads are usually free or less than $25. This means that businesses can advertise more, spend less and ultimately make more money by getting new customers to see ads. Ads that are placed on the Internet usually last forever too. This makes online advertising far superior than real-world advertising.
Websites reduce the cost of printing. Most businesses distribute catalogs, brochures and/or fliers to their customers and their target market. These papers cost the company money each time one is used. By replacing these with a web site, businesses can store all their necessary information and refer customers to the site. This means that businesses can display and organize a far greater amount of information then they could on paper. Information is also updated regularly, putting all previous information out of date. When this happens all paper materials must be reprinted with the new information. On the other hand, information on websites can be updated instantly for free. Businesses will enjoy this as a cost effective convenience, saving them time and money. Websites reduce the cost of printing in more than just one way.
Businesses can offer online support through instant e-mail communications. The most important part of any business is customer support. A company with good customer support sells more than a company that does not. E-mail is quickly rising as the preferred method of communication by customers. E-mail provides customers with the use of communicating on their own time. Most businesses aren?t open 24/7. Customers have busy lives and don't always have time to call about the question before closing hours. With e-mail, customers can type the question in their free time and send it straight to a customer representative. In turn, the customer receives an even better response because the representative has enough time to research the question more in-depth or could forward it to the appropriate person. In addition, e-mail is much cheaper than conventional communication methods. Businesses often spend hundreds of dollars providing toll free phone numbers to their customers. E-mail comes free with websites. Email is more convenient for your customers, allows better responses and is cheaper.
The internet allows businesses the opportunity to reach a wider consumer market. There are currently over half a billion people connected to the internet and that number is growing double-digit rates. Conventional brick-and-mortar stores would never see that many people in an entire lifetime, but on the internet it?s only a click away. With a website businesses will be opening up shop in front of millions of people. Purchasing items online has also grown in popularity. Online purchases were reported to account for almost a third of all purchases made this last holiday season. Online shopping has become more secure and reliable so customers feel safer using it. This is good for businesses because they will be able to rely more and more on their online stores.
Internet users are online looking to shop. ?If you build it, they will come.? They are often on a mission to find something. They are ready to spend their money. This makes it easy for businesses because customers will find them. Real world shops can be hindered by their location. If a certain area does not have a strong economy and their business is located their, they will not receive as much business as they would if they opened in a booming area. On the internet, everyone has an equal chance to sell. What makes this even greater is that the people coming to the businesses? website have put in some effort to find it. They are looking for a particular product and want to find the best price for the most quality. All the business has to do is have a website that offers this. The customer will do all the work in finding it. A web presence will surely draw more customers to your business.
Businesses shouldn?t be secluded by geographic boundaries. The common saying goes: ?Location, location, location!? On the internet, every location is made equal. That means every business will have an equal chance at marketing their products. This may sound like there is more competition online but the truth is that since there are so many people online there is even less competition for business than there is in the real-world. This means that an online business could potentially receive more customers than their actual brick-and-mortar store! Internet businesses are available to anyone around the world!
Businesses will be marketing products to people around the globe. This will open doors for networking with billions of other people. A small business could become very large just because an international dealer wants to become a redistributor of that product in their own country. In addition, just having an international market will increase your own sales. If people are enjoying your products and services here, their will unquestionably be a desire for them elsewhere. Opening shop in another country can post a difficult task. A website is a good solution to this. Businesses won?t have to build more stores and find employees in a foreign country. They resume work here and still sell to customers around the globe. Websites can increase business potential and amplify profits.
Many businesses rely on their online shop as a means of staying alive. Over 50% of small businesses using the internet believe it has helped increase their profits. Profit growth on average was 23%. If a business was lacking in sales and needed an extra boost to stay alive, a website could do the trick. The extra traffic and increased sales could save a company from closing. In addition, if a company just wanted to make some more money a website could easily bring in the extra customers. Businesses that were just making thousands of dollars could be making hundreds of thousands. Websites are a huge selling medium.
Give customers what they want. Customers are smart educated people. Times are changing fast and customers are changing with it. The internet was introduced long ago but is now becoming standard. Customers expect a place to visit the store online. If they see that the business doesn?t have a website, they will look down upon the business as unprofessional. Websites not only serve as a way to make more money, they enhance the company image. A business looks more established when they have a website.
Most all businesses have an internet presence. More than 2.6 million small businesses are online and almost all large businesses are online. If a business does not have a website by now, they are surely being left behind and missing out on huge potential to earn money. U.S. small businesses have more than tripled the amount of goods on the internet and now consumers spend billions of dollars annually. This is an enormous amount of money that a business could be profiting from. In this advanced day in age, all businesses should have a website.
Websites are a convenient place for customers to shop and review products. Customers are looking for convenience. What is more convenient than shopping in your pajamas on a Sunday morning inside your very own home? A business will receive more customers because websites are a convenient place for people to shop. Customers buy more when they pay something other than cash. When the money is not physically being handed over, the customer feels as if they haven?t even spent anything. By accepting online payments via debit and credit cards, customers will often buy more than they would in a brick-and-mortar store. Customers will see everything they want in your online shop and simply add it to their shopping cart. Since they don?t have to have the cash in hand upon purchase, they will more likely purchase everything that they wanted. In addition, this is also much more convenient for customers since the entire order process can all be done online. Websites offer the ultimate in convenience for customers.
The internet is not just a popular fad. It is here to stay. Online growth has been growing at double digit rates and will continue to that way for at least the next five years. Businesses that are cautious because they are unsure of where the internet is going should get online now. An investment in a website would not be a waste of money. With the internet growing this fast, the return that a business would receive would be far greater. The internet is here to stay and is only going to get bigger.
In conclusion, websites can be a tremendous advantage for a business. Websites save time and money. They are cheap to develop and virtually free to maintain. The business will reach a wider consumer market by not being secluded by geographical features and will also be able to reach an international market. Websites will provide better customer service by offering frequently asked pages and email support. Customers want businesses to have a website and frown upon those don?t. Businesses need to keep with the changing technology by empowering the internet Think of a website as another storefront that is accessible to anyone, anywhere. Imagine the amount of customers that will visit daily. Every business should have an online presence!
This article was posted on April 03, 2005