The Internet has revolutionized the way the world communicates and searches for information and services. This change is evident in various aspects of our daily lives. The Internet is increasingly being used, among other things, to book tickets for travel, run a job search, to chat, e-mail, trade and bank online. The list is endless!
For most businesses today a top priority is to attract new customers and retain current customers. In an environment where budgets are tight and the market is extremely competitive, finding cost-effective solutions to be visible and keep in touch with customers is extremely important. A Web site can offer a cost effective way of communication and marketing for any business.
Having an online presence is increasingly becoming a business must have. Here’s why?
- A Web site opens your doors for business 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and hence increases the number of opportunities to engage your customers. It provides a contact point between you and your customers and is available even when your business is closed or no one is available to answer your phone. If you have a business Web site then potential customers can visit your Web site anytime at their convenience to find out more information. If you are selling online, customers can place orders even while you're asleep! Your Web site can work for you beyond your business hours.
India today is home to the fourth highest number of Internet users in the world1 and boasts of over 81 million Internet users2. As these net-savvy users shop around for many different vendors for products and services, your business may miss out by not having an Internet presence.
A Web site helps to increase visibility and reach in a cost-effective way. As compared to other forms of advertising where costs may be prohibitive, a Web site can help make you visible to your customers in a more cost-effective and simple way. A Web site can help you in keeping in touch with customers and also contacting new customers who have visited and made an inquiry through your Web site. It helps you present new products, offers and updates to various audiences. The ability to fully showcase one's company on the Internet can help reduce the cost of printing, preparing and mailing sales literature to satisfy the same objectives.
An important first step, however, to doing business on the Internet is selecting and registering a domain name that helps boost your company’s visibility on the Web. A .com domain name offers you one of the best options as it helps provide instant recognition, visibility and credibility for your brand online. A .com is appropriate for businesses of all sizes and it is the most widely used domain name extension around the world.3
A Web site can help project a more professional and well-established image and position you as a modern business. An Internet presence can also help instill in your customers the confidence that they are dealing with a company that is progressive and on the cutting edge of information technology.
A Web site helps to even the playing field between large and small companies and allows smaller businesses an opportunity to compete with their bigger rivals. Since companies do not need a large budget to set up and maintain a Web site, a small business can play to its strengths by having an effective Internet presence.
A Web site can indeed be a great asset to even the smallest of businesses.
1 From the article ‘Can India lead the mobile-internet revolution?’ by Laxman Narasimhan dated 8 March 2011 availabe at http://www.silicon.com/technology/networks/2011/03/08/can-india-lead-the-mobile-internet-revolution-39747100/
2 www.internetworldstats.com, June 30, 2010
3 During the fourth quarter of 2010, the overall base of .com and .net domain names grew to reach a combined total of 105.2 million names, according to the Verisign Domain Name Industry Brief (Volume 8, Issue 1, February 2011)