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Thursday, February 3, 2011

Benefits of having a business web site

Can you believe that just about fifteen years ago most people had not even heard of the Internet? We have been involved with creating business web sites and e-commerce site 1997. We have watched it grow from a very simple way to send email to a sophisticated communication medium. Today everyone is at least aware of the Internet and the majority of you use it at least occasionally.
But even more amazing is the growth in web functionality and the huge drop in the cost of that functionality. In the late 90’s it was not unusual for a company to spend tens of thousands of dollars to build an e-commerce site. Today, any business, small or large, can have an Internet catalog or e-commerce web site for under $2000.00. Part of the reason for the drop in price is the huge number of small businesses now opting for an online presence to augment sales in their physical locations. Another reason is the technology has gotten more sophisticated and available. And the huge number of businesses moving to the web is a result of the number of people who regularly use the Internet.
If you own a business today your customers EXPECT you to have a web site and email. This expectation almost requires you to have some sort of interactive, dynamic web presence. Even so, one of the questions we hear often is “What are the benefits of having a business web site?” The answer to this depends upon your business and your customers. But to understand the most important benefit of having a web site we have to look at the behaviors of today’s customers.
During the 80’s and 90’s US companies were in a cost cutting, increased productivity frenzy. Every major corporation in America was working diligently to drive customers totally mad. New, telephone answering systems that could literally keep you on hold or wandering through a maze of options… Reductions in inventories that lead to products not being available… Fewer choices to further reduce inventories… Part time employees with little understanding of the products and services replaced knowledgeable, full time employees… It seemed that we were doomed to poor customer service while EVERY business bragged about their excellent customer service.
Then, while most of us had given up on any hope of good customer service, the Internet sprang up. What an amazing thing. Any time, night or day, you could look up information you needed. Then began letting us buy books the same way. And the service was great. An email telling you they received your order… an email telling you the order was shipped and you should receive it in a few days… an email telling you that you should have already received the order and what to do if you had not… an email telling you of a great new book similar to the one you just bought.
Sure it was email… sure it was automated. But it was so much better than what we had become used to we loved it. And we still love it. Why wait on hold when you can send an email at any time and you can go do other things while waiting for a reply.
The Internet makes it possible to communicate with your customers on their terms within their time frame. It makes it possible to automate information dissemination and customer service. Even if you don’t use the Internet to increase your market reach and revenue the Internet has made it possible to keep your customers happy.
There are lots of benefits to having a business web site. But the most important is that an Internet web site is now a customer requirement. Without an effective internet presence, your competitors are the winners.

1 comment:

  1. Actually, has the benefit of business websites are good for customers to find products made before the customer buys the product of a business.
    Other than that, good business has its own web site is to enhance productivity for our customers to provide feedback on the product or will they have purchased.
    In this era of globalization, the use of a company's website is very necessary for markets to expand into the international market.