In the past, online presence has been more luxury than necessity.
In an evolving market place where customers are becoming ever more demanding and educated, it is no longer an option. Businesses must have an advanced and easy to use online interface or they simply will not be able to compete with companies that do.
There are several reasons to go online, with five major ones that stand above the rest.
#1. Open all the time
Online stores are open twenty four hours a day, three hundred and sixty five days a year. There are no holidays or off days for an online store. It is an automated machine that can run with very little direct supervision. Although there must be safeguards to prevent downtime, with the proper structure and foundation these sites are now very reliable.
#2. Advancement of technology
The technology is now very easy for smaller companies to use. It used to be a difficult effort to get online server space, a domain name and technical support. Now, a simple site can be built for a fraction of the cost with bundled support services. With the advent of overseas programming and software support services, everything has become cheaper and easier to use. This gives small businesses the chance to be able to afford an online site.
#3. Operate a nice more effectively
The internet allows a small business to maintain an online niche in a much more reliable fashion. There are an incredible amount of niches that need to be filled on the internet. Small businesses are more flexible and responsive to these niche markets, and by going online they can take advantage of the needs of the marketplace.
#4. Larger audience online
Small businesses can occupy these niche markets and then gain a larger audience by going online. There may not be suitable demand in a geographic area for their product, but going online creates instant access to a larger customer base. More customers, when targeted and served with efficiency, usually translate to higher revenues and growth. Going online can give you this access without much risk.
#5. Creative, instant feedback system
Finally, going online offers an instant way to get feedback about your products and services. Although feedback in person is also possible, people are much more likely to rate an online provider with a simple menu then fill out a review card by hand and send it through the mail. The quicker the better, as far as customer surveys are concerned. With online shopping, people are able to rate their experience and give valuable feedback on where the company can improve. This can provide a small business with the opportunity to fine tune their operations and improve customer satisfaction.
All five of these are great reasons for a small business to take their business online. There is no doubt that businesses that do not have an online presence are at a serious disadvantage!