Should You Go Online?
This page was written in 1999, have a read for a giggle of how the web has changed!
What Industries Should Go Online?
The Internet has different benefits for different industries and markets, and clearly isn’t going to suit everyone, however some industries are particularly more suited to having an online presence, and most of them for obvious reasons:
- Travel and Tourism Operators: There isn’t another form of advertising that can reach as many people, or present information in a better format than the Internet for travel and tourism related business.
- Real Estate Agents: Would you buy a property without looking at it first? Very few of us would, and the Internet is ideal for the real estate environment because it allows for instant changes to listings, and can provide fantastic imagery of any given property.
- Specialist Retail: Those producers that sell to a niche market undeniably benefit from being able to deliver to a broader market. Where location and exposure is a challenge, the Internet comes to the rescue.
What Businesses Wouldn’t Be Suited to the Internet
Although many critics would argue sternly against us, there are some industries can’t really benefit from having a website, other than having an online advertisement. Some examples below:
- Trades: People who need an electrician aren’t going to search on the Internet for a good one, most people will just go with someone they know. The benefits for trades people don’t outweigh the costs.
- Location-driven traffic: A fish and chip shop on a busy street corner. No business could be generated from a website.
If any of your customers or potential customers have asked if you have a website, there may be a need of your customers you are not meeting.
Benefits of Online Business
A website can provide a huge upsurge in sales, and a significant decrease in expenses, thus making it a clever and astute business move. A website:
- Acts as an inexpensive showroom, storefront and salesperson to your local market and beyond — 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
- Serves to satisfy the phenomenon of customers increasingly researching purchases before buying, thus leading to an informed customer who is ready to buy.
- Allows for mailing lists to send the same email message to hundreds of customers for the same cost as sending to one. No more huge postal costs, or licking envelopes.
- Can provide answers to frequently asked questions, which reduces the costs of staff having to answer the same thing over and over.
- Provides a shopping experience that is both convenient and timesaving. (And for women, satisfying!)
- Gives your business a great advantage over your competitors and consequently provides an opportunity to capture their market share.
- Doesn’t limit a business to its location; you can reach a wider and more diversified market.
- Makes it easy to collect and collate information on the purchasing patterns of your customers, thereby allowing a vendor to cost effectively alter their sales and promotion methods.
- Can accept automated orders and payments for products.
- Can facilitate an online database of products, which is quick and easy to modify; whereas traditional media catalogues cannot be altered without great expense.
Advantages of a Website
In the days of business where word of mouth advertising reigns supreme, customer service is an absolutely essential component of any business activity, online or otherwise. A website can help improve the service you deliver to customers by:
- Giving customers easy access to extensive information about your products and services.
- Allowing greater communication via email, eliminating the need for the ever-frustrating game of phone tag.
- Permitting one to review website statistics and reveal how many potential customers looked at your site, and what your most popular products are.
- Creating an opportunity for customers to browse and decide for themselves without the interference of pushy salespeople.
- Allowing customer feedback to occur without having to extensively survey and quiz a visitor.
- Answering frequently asked questions that a person might not have bothered calling to ask.
This list is not by any means conclusive, and the benefits of the Internet for any given business will change with the services and products they provide.
We will evaluate any business for its suitability to the Internet completely free of charge. If you would like to arrange a time when we may visit your business and evaluate its viability, we can be emailed at firstname.lastname@example.org or called on (07) 4033 7811.