A lot has been said about migrating from the traditional offline mode to doing business on the internet or or “putting your business online”. To many, it may just sound too complicated or too risky. But there are many good reasons to begin selling or running your business online.
Here are the top reasons:
1. Improving Your Company Image
This alone should be enough reason to start a new website and begin selling online. It’s an extremely important factor considering that in this age, when you don’t a website, blog, or online presence, prospective clients could begin to wonder how serious you are about business
Today, companies of all sizes and industries are establishing a successful online presence.
2. 24/7 – 365 Hour Availability
While some businesses manage 24-hour service, it is impossible for some others because they do not use the internet.
A key benefit to having an e-commerce website, is that your clients and prospects can read about your products and place orders at anytime— day or night. On regular business days or holidays.
3. Better Customer Support
The internet allows you to answer questions, give sales webinars, and solve customer problems—all without taking any of your time.
Create a video, a product spec sheet or a FAQ (frequently asked question) section once, and you can direct clients to that information for years. Not only does it save you time, but you’ll be providing better service.
Your clients and prospects are looking for specific information, with an online presence, you can give them just the information that they are looking for, and just when they are looking for it. This means less phone calls with technical questions and more sales.
4. Very Low Start-up Costs
Starting out online means very low startup costs. You have no buildings to construct, no vehicles to buy and few (if any) staff to hire. Simply build your site and start selling. If you are already selling offline then the transition can be very smooth. You continue selling the same products that you know and have a good supply of.
Using a free platform like a self-hosted WordPress blog and a professional quality premium theme that doesn’t cost a lot, you can build a professional site by yourself. Some web hosting companies offer free site building tools.
To get started on a shoestring budget, expect to pay anywhere from a few thousand naira. The basic expenses include web hosting, WordPress theme, domain name, and email marketing autoresponder service.
5. Live / Work from Anywhere
As long as you have a solid internet connection you can live virtually anywhere while you conduct your online business. Many people live in one continent, have their hosting on another and their warehouse on yet another. The world has gotten very small and you can take advantage of this. You could even move to a new country, and still continuew doing business online.
With few exceptions the internet reduces your need to “be” somewhere. Live where you want to, and let your business adapt to your lifestyle instead of the other way around.
6. Reduce Operation Costs
Just one single task can make a significant difference in cost savings. For example, receiving orders online reduces the need for customer service staff. With comprehensive sales and product information online, you’ll simply receive purchase orders and payments via email or into your database. Staff numbers can be reduced, thus office space and related office expenses.
Making use of various online service providers you can now take all aspects of your business online, such as purchasing, billing, order fulfillment and shipping. Other functions can include pre-emptive customer service—such as answering client questions via a FAQ section or a customer forum.
7. Target the Global Market
With your brick and mortar company, you are limited to the amount of individuals who can visit you at any given time, let alone find you. With a good website, you can literally have thousands, even tens of thousands of people visiting your online store at once. Imagine the potential for your company, if you could expose your products and services to a potentially unlimited number of interested people.
Being able to have thousands of visitors and actually having them are two different things. The success of an online business depends on the same thing as any off-line business: marketing. Learn how to increase blog traffic. Content marketing is a great way to increase traffic to your site / online store. Social media can be a powerful and inexpensive (free) way to drive qualified prospects to your site.
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