To start off with this post, I would like to remind a figure which seems to me rather revealing: 9 Internet users on 10 use internet to look for products or services. For companies, it represents an important growth driver and nevertheless in 2015, 42 % of Small and Medium businesses were unfindable on the Internet.
But then why this absence, either because they don’t have the necessary skills, or because they do not see the interest, or because they don’t have the budget to do it.
However, small and medium-sized businesses can take diverse advantages of having a presence on the Internet:
I – Reach new customers
If you are a local business, you certainly have a shop, an office or any other type of point of sale allowing you to receive your clientele; you therefore reach a local audience which may satisfy you but how much opportunity are you missing because of your absence on the Web ? Taking in account that your competitors are not only local but also international, your company have to adapt to widen their audience and reach other markets.
II – Sell on the international stage
You sell a product or a service locally, but thanks to the internet you could certainly develop your sales beyond your borders. A good use of the Web levers could help you achieve this objective.
III – Optimize the return on investment
Unlike traditional levers of communication , the web allows to know precisely the profitability of a website. Thanks to Webanalytic tools, it’s possible to have insights about the performance of your trafic and optimize the pages according to an ROI ( return on investment) objective.
IV – Have a 24/7 Point of sale
Your business opening schedules may not match your potential customers availability. Having an online presence allows your customers to be able to learn about your products and services. You can go even further with a booking tool, a quote generator or a purchase funnel, making your website an automated point of sale and allowing you to continue meeting your customers needs while sleeping.
V – Provide potential customers with a way of contacting you
Some customers prefer contacting you through your form ,getting called back or making an appointment online . It would be a shame to miss a business opportunity because these means of contact were not found by your prospects.
VI – provide detailed information about your products and services
Having a website is an opportunity to make a good first impression. Help your clients find all the information they need to make their purchasing decision.
VII – Highlight customers’ testimony to demonstrate your credibility
Reinsurance elements are part of the levers that can trigger a sale. Highlighting the customer satisfaction through testimonials or reviews on your site, allows to demonstrate your expertise and add trust between your customers and your business
VIII – Highlight promotions , special offers, new products / services
Having a web presence is a great way to keep in touch with your customers or prospects. Web levers allows businesses to have a more straight forward communication, making it possible to broadcast their offers easily.
IX – Increase the perceived value of the company
When you decide to go online, you must be very attentive to the substance and form of communication. A proper implementation of these two principles could demonstrate your expertise and provide the trust a prospect or a potential business partner may need.
X – Avoid the intermediaries between a company and its customers
The web is an interesting channel for brands , craftsmen, designers or any other company needing an intermediary to get in touch with their customers. Those type of companies could create more value if they could avoid a certain amount of links in the chain of intermediaries, creating that way a real relationship with their customers.