Some of the goals that can be achieved by launching a website include the following:
1. Far Cheaper and Much More Flexible Than Print Advertising
The Internet is extremely different from print advertising in that space is inexpensive, your advertisement is accessible for a longer period of time, the content can be altered without having to ask someone to do it for you (if you use a content management system) and you can potentially reach a wider audience.
This is not to say that you should not use other forms of advertising at all. You can use it to entice people to visit your website and find out about your company and open two-way communication between the potential customer and a sales person.
2. Market Expansion
The Internet can help businesses break through geographical barriers and become accessible from any country in the world by a potential customer that has Internet access. Trading over the Internet brings the international marketplace closer to you.
3. Diversify Revenue Streams
A website is not just a medium for representation for your company, it is a form of media from which people can acquire information. You can use this media to sell advertising space to other businesses. This could be in the form of a directory of complementary businesses placed on your website. You can sell other firms space on your website and gain a regular return from that.
4. 24 7 365
A website is up and running all day every day, so your information is always available to potential customers. Even if your trading hours are over, people still can have access to your product list and buy items online twenty-four hours a day making sure that you don’t lose any business.
The level of convenience that the Internet offers is unmatched by any other technology. People can research products and browse websites at their leisure in the comfort of their own home, without any distractions from a busy shopping street. Your website can offer a self-service medium to the customer, with no hassle and no waiting. In these modern times, many people are choosing to shop or research online rather than brave the high street and visit many different places, so a website is vital to capture this type of business.
6. Add Value and Satisfaction
By offering convenience, a point of reference, and that touch of individualized customer service, you ultimately add value to your offering and your customers experience a higher level of satisfaction.
Your website can add value in other ways too, by featuring tips, advice and general interest content you can entertain your customers. This will also make your firm more memorable, and encourage repeat business.
7. Standardize Sales Performance
By looking at which business approaches have helped you gain sales in the past, you can get an idea of how best to set out your website and target your online customers. This way, you can ensure that each potential buyer is receiving the best information through your website.
8. Improve credibility
A website gives you the opportunity to tell potential customers what you are about and why you deserve their trust and confidence. In fact, many people use the internet for pre-purchase research so that they can determine for themselves whether a particular supplier or brand is worthy of their patronage, and won t take them for a ride.
The Internet also allows for Viral Marketing where your website visitors spread positive word-of-mouth about your business – your customers do your marketing!
9. Promote your Bricks ‘n’ Mortar Presence
Getting lost trying to find a place can be frustrating for a potential customer. You can publish what they call a dummy map on your website, which shows directions and landmarks graphically, and the potential customer can print it out when looking for your Brick n Mortar premises.
You might advertise a promotion on your website encouraging the visitor to visit your Brick n Mortar premises (e.g.. At a branch near you! ).
Also, if you recently moved to a new location, you will have to wait for the next ‘phone directory to come out before people figure out where you currently are. Because a website is flexible you can change the content as you like you can change you contact details instantly and lower the risk of losing customers when moving to a new location.
10. Growth Opportunity
A website serves as a great place to refer potential investors to, to show them what your company is about, what it has achieved and what it can achieve in future.
11. Two-Way Communicative Marketing
Customers can quickly and easily give feedback on your product and/or marketing approach.
12. Cheap Market Research
You can use features on your website such as visitor polls, online surveys and your website statistics to find out what your customers like more and how they feel about certain aspects of your business to determine how you can improve your product and the way you do business.
Website statistics show you how much traffic your website receives, how the visitor got to your website and where, geographically, the visitor is from.