The digital economy is expanding rapidly and you’re either on board with it, on the course towards spreading it online, or you’re doomed to become extinct very soon. Companies who exist only physically are sustainable only in developing countries that are just discovering the possibilities of the internet, but you can be certain that their transition to being present online will be mandatory sooner or later.
If you are interested in a title like this, you’re probably one of those old souls that prefer the old ways and the simplicity of the times that existed before the digital age (if anyone still remembers that). And although that sounds poetic, it does belong in the past and it’s certainly not a principal you should apply to your business. Therefore, I will list seven very strong reasons why being connected to the world wide web is a precondition to the success of any business.
Internet Business Card
The legitimacy of your business will be checked online – whenever someone hears about your brand, the first thing they will do is ask around about you. Considering the fact that the digital age brought many rogue businesses with it, the average consumer is very cautious and no one is really anxious to give away money and hope for the best.
So, not having a website makes you practically nonexistent on the map. Your page will be the first thing an interesting customer will visit, but that’s only a start, because you can be sure that they will check for reviews and testimonials on other websites and social networks.
Contact with Target Audience
Communicating with your customers in that old-fashioned eye to eye method is truly most efficient if you’re a people person with highly developed social skills. However, people lead very hectic lives and they have less and less time to spend a whole day shopping, walking into stores, and getting physically tired from it.
The thing is that they can do all of that online and it will take a lot less time for finding the perfect product or the most quality service they are in need of. This ease of availability is something you need to use to your advantage – spreading out your business online and making yourself simple to approach will be wildly appreciated from your target audience.
Plugins and Software
If you’re thinking about the lack of personalisation that comes with online stores, agencies and companies, you are completely right. However, you’ll be happy to know that it’s the current problem everyone is trying to fix and is succeeding in it.
A website isn’t anything more than just a textual or visual source of information, but it’s slowly turning into a communication medium. Other than the contact card that’s absolutely mandatory on every online business card that contains emails and a phone line, there’s another big thing that you should definitely consider – live chat.
By introducing various pieces of software such as live chat and making them part of your website, you’re putting an effort to make yourself available 24/7, and that kind of attentiveness won’t go unnoticed. Work hours are a thing of the past – there’s something irreplaceable when knowing that you can order up something at 2am and not be forced to delay that responsibility for tomorrow.
Presence on Social Platforms
Everyone is on social media at this age and the fact is that people enjoy spending time on sharing, linking and posting – it’s even addictive for a significant percentage of platform users. Of course, this is something that every business should use because it’s a cheap way to conduct very efficient advertising methods which you even don’t have to develop by yourself because social networks will just offer you a list to choose from.
Data and Analytics
By tracking purchases, complaints, and interests into a list of products or services that come for visitors on your website, you’ll be able to collect valuable data when it comes to their preferences. Whether or not your business will be successful depends on the satisfaction of your clients – which is something I’m sure you’re aware of – and pieces of information like this that come directly from your target audience will be most useful.
Which brings me to my next point – that data you collect and analyse is exactly what should direct your business. In a market saturated as this digital one, you always need to be at least one step in front of your competition, which implies that you need to invest constant work into perfecting your line of products.
The greatest thing about the further development of your business which you base on the opinion of your target audience is that they are more than willing to share it with you. So, by being present online and by creating your website and social network accounts, you’re reaching out to your clients or customers and enabling them with various mediums of communication.
A new phenomenon is very appearing – many business owners are closing down their physical shops and investing all they have into virtual ones. Although this sounds like a bold decision and a risk, as a matter of fact, it’s basic math – leading an online business is cost efficient.
Running a product store for example requires from you to pay monthly rates to your landlord, constantly invest in interior design, and maintaining all the rooms you have at your disposal on a daily basis. Although building a website and registering the domain name of your business is necessary as well as finding a capable hosting company which is capable of maintaining your website, it comes down to doing double work, doesn’t it?
Being online is absolutely necessary, as we concluded, and the necessity of having a physical space of work really depends on the business niche you’re in. However, if you own a product store, making an ecommerce store that’s fully online may bring a return of investment that can make a huge difference.
Businesses who refuse to make this transition and make their brand available to the world wide web will have the same faith like dinosaurs, and the thing is that they will probably be studied as fossils sometime in the distant future.
A characteristic of a capable business leader is knowing how to defer personal from professional decisions, and the importance of staying connected and developing your business network continuously is truly mandatory if you want your company to survive.