If you are a San Francisco Web Designer, there are several ways of taking your business online. You can put up your own website, and then market brand, your contact info and location, and the nature of the products and services you offer. You can use your website to provide useful articles and reviews, or interact with potential customers through chat, email or forum posts. You can even set up an ecommerce website, so that your customers don’t have to go to your brick and mortar shop. They can purchase what they want online, on your website.
All these are part of the online experience. And they’re all crucial to your business success. Just in case you didn’t get the worldwide memo, here are the advantages of taking your business online:
- Without any sort of online presence, people will think something’s wrong with your business. They may think you’re not a serious business or that you’re involved in something illegal. Having an online presence is expected, much in the same way that a business is expected to have an address and telephone number.
- Many people (potential customers) are online. More than 2.4 billion people are Internet users (37.3% of the world’s entire population) and 70% of them use the Internet every day. That’s more than 1.68 billion people. In North America, 78.6% of the population uses the Internet.
People advertise on TV because people watch their shows, and they advertise on newspapers because people read the news. Billboards are set up because people are on the road. Now people are online, and so you go where your potential customers are.
- You can sell your products online. While you can direct your website visitors to your physical shop, you can just sell to them directly online. In the old days the number of online shoppers was perhaps negligible, but these days that’s no longer true.
One study found that in 2013 there were 191.1 million online shoppers in the US. Deloitte released a survey showing that by the 2012 holiday season, online shopping had become the first choice for shoppers, with 47% of respondents going online to buy what they needed and wanted. Only 37% of shoppers preferred physical stores.
Almost 70% of smartphone owners use their smartphones for online shopping, and 45% say that they use social media to assist them.
- You can help your potential customers and in so doing, boost your reputation. You can post useful “how to” articles and videos, answer FAQs about your products and your industry, and respond to complaints. Posting these articles and responses can help save you time and effort, since once you provide the answer you won’t have to repeat yourself.
- You can spread word about your various marketing campaigns like discounts and sales.
These are just a few of the advantages of taking your business online. But they should be enough to convince you that going online is absolutely essential. If you’re not online, you’re not really a business at all.