The concept of business as we know it traditionally has come a long way from being a local activity to becoming a global affair. The market has been growing byleaps and boundsever since it came into being, long, long ago. This evolution has given the entrepreneurs new ideas to flourish and expand to gain markets both domestically and internationally. We are fortunate to be witness to the advent of online trading which was, by and large, an alien conceptjust a couple of decades ago.
Today almost every individual is familiar with the internet and with the use of computers. Everybody wants to be visible online. Internet has ushered in a new way of life with regard to how businessis conducted. Most of thetransactions arenow completed using the internet. Therefore, the thumb rule to have a prosperous business setup in this decade is to have a prominentonline presence. Social media now plays a very important position in our lives. We now use the internet extensively for just about everything frompurchasing goods to subscribing to services by accessing the internet on computers and mobile phones. In short, business has gone online and has become a lot faster than before.
Consequently, the businesses now focus on online presence so as tomeet the customer’s expectations as fast as possible before the competitors convince the consumer to opt for their competing products or services. Today the scale and type of business is not an issue when somebody thinks of going online with their business. Various factorshighlighting the need to have a website are given under:
- CUSTOMER EXPECTATIONS: In this age of information technology, people have realised the need to be significantly informed and stress the requirement of such information to be readily available. Today’s consumersaremore aware aboutthe purchase they want to make. They will research before actually buying anything.So,if an entrepreneur is catering toall the requirements of its end consumers,he/she stands to gain in the long run in form of recurring profits from the business.It opens up the scope ofdirectly interacting with the customer in getting to know exactly what needs to be done in order to solve the problem of the customer by providing what he or she needs.
- ROUND THE CLOCK ACCESS: Increased online presence ensures a wider outreach to the potential customers while doing away with the geographical and time constraints. The website’s accessibility 24/7/365 is an importantfactor influencing the behaviour of the regular and potential customers,many of whomwould be more inclined to make the purchase at the time most convenient to them.
- EASY TO PROMOTE NEW PRODUCTS: The websites act as online inexpensive brochures or catalogues that take away the otherwise necessary need to spend money to market new products. Furthermore, the new products and services can be easily updated in a much faster way here than in print material. The website is always more effective inpromotingnew products, upcoming events, special promotions, etc.
- CREDIBILITY FOR BUSINESS: Today the consumer is getting internet savvy by the day and wants to know more about the product or service he or shewants to buy. A professional website helps create a credible image of the business in front of the customers inspiring greater confidence. It establishes a brand image for the business in the market.
- POSSSIBILITY TO TARGET A WIDE MARKET: The business may or may not have a fixed place to sell its products but a website is alwaysavailable tothe customers. For a retailer, e-commerce is a great way to promote and sell to a wider market, which implies access to the global market as well. Internet is a world wide web of network that connects customers across the globe. The more promotion is done on the web, the greater thepossibility of capturing potential customers.
- EASY ACCESS TO CUSTOMER FEEDBACK AND PREFERENCES: Under normal business circumstances, getting customer feedback about the business and its services is quite a tedious and expensive affair. However, having a website solves that issue largely. The website acts as an openforum for customers to discuss their views and provide feedback to help the business improve their products, and also help other customers to make more informed choices.
Owing to the ever-growing population of net users today, a new world of opportunities isopen for exploration if the business has an online presence. It greatly helps in closingthe gap between the buyer and the seller taking the idea of free trade forward like never before.