In the 21st century world, one cannot overemphasize the importance of having an online presence. With the advancement in technology and the digital age, making your business go online is one 0f the best decisions you can make. The world is now a global village, and getting to reach many people – both locally and internationally is now possible with the internet. Whether it’s a social media page, an e-commerce platform, or a website, you absolutely need one of these or a combination of all three. Taking your business online comes with numerous advantages.
Regardless of the nature of your business, you will require an online presence to some extent. Some companies need an almost complete online presence to thrive. Businesses such as those that deal with deliveries or writing agencies need to go online. Being online can help you simplify a lot of processes. You can showcase your products or services on a website, and people would reach out to you if they are interested.
Staying in your shell – i.e. not taking your business online, can have dire consequences. Some of which is that you miss out on great opportunities to increase global demand for your product, spread word about your business, and increase your customer base. So, by taking your company online, you can reap many significant benefits.
Here are five core reasons why your business should go online –
- The Business is Open to Customers at all times
- Market Access
- Make Better Decisions with Consumer Behavior Data
- Cost Management
- Lucrative Exit
The Business is Open to Customers at all times
If you run a physical business, then you’ll know how difficult it is to open 24 hours a day. Apart from security reasons, the day-night effect may take its toll on your business. For example, if you’re into the fashion business and you own a store, the stream of customers begins to trickle to a stop by late evening. And consequently, it may not be worth it to be open for 24 hours. Opening the traditional brick and mortar store for 24 hours will require more staff and higher costs.
For online retailers, however, the story is different. There is an increase in the number of people who shop at night. This increase is so for various reasons. Let’s consider a mom who gets on the road very early in the morning to beat the traffic. She arrives at work by 8 am and is there till early evening. Now, she has to get on the road and endure the traffic. She has it in mind to shop for some clothes and groceries. She considers the stress and has to postpone her shopping till another “more convenient” time. But somehow, the time is almost never convenient. What can she do?
Out of the blues, she hears of a reputable online retails store and decides to give it a try. I’ll order some clothes and groceries when I get home and have it delivered to me. She gets home, eats dinner, showers, and then relaxes on her bed with her smartphone between her hands. She chats on WhatsApp, reads some tweets, and then view some Instagram photos. She remembers that she needs to get some clothes and groceries. She gets on the site and then lazily browses through what they have to offer. She selects her choice, places her order, and then goes to sleep. How CONVENIENT!
So, with an automated online system, you can take orders at any time of the day without the need to have closing or opening hours. Traditional stores cannot compete with e-commerce when it comes to convenience. If you have both a physical building while also operating online, the business world is yours for the taking.
With technology advancing every day, you can expect more people to be online at any given time. If you can take your business online, you have a fair share of online business’s giant pie. Online, you can reach a wider audience and build a renowned brand. Almost 4.66 billion people use the internet actively.
Can a traditional offline business cope with millions of people monthly? Yes, but that’s if that business has a thousand or million stores planted strategically worldwide. But most businesses don’t have this number of stores yet. And most businesses would likely never have. But isn’t this some bad news? Well, not necessarily. At least not in the 21st century and beyond.
ou can reach more people online than with physical stores. With the billions of people online, you can target a specific number of people you want to reach for a start. Imagine you take your business online and create massive awareness. With the right strategy, you can reach millions of people without stress! The more people you reach, the better for you and your business. Don’t be limited by boundaries and buildings. Take this flight online and explore the world!
Make Better Decisions with Consumer Behavior Data
In an online business, it is very easy to collect keep tabs on how customers behave. Questions like the type of products they like to purchase, the highest traffic period online, and lots more can quickly help you make informed decisions.
In a traditional business, it is usually challenging to be precise when it comes to these things. Moreover, you will need a lot of paperwork to generate meaningful data. Online, however, it’s an entirely different story. With just the click of a button, you can get data on your customers’ purchase history and their preferences.
Data analytics are now an integral part of any online business. This implies that smart data analysis tools are becoming essential in making the best decisions and successfully manage a business. With online data analysis, you can:
- Quickly visualize and manage your metrics: Metrics will help you to know what is happening globally. By knowing customer demands and how your global competitors, you can quickly figure where your business is lagging.
- Easily access your data: SaaS solutions allow you to access analysis results, reports, and lots more with great flexibility. In a world where information travels faster than ever before, this tool is a must-have.
- Take charge of outcomes: With the data set before you, you can make informed decisions and take control of your results. Getting figures, percentages, pie charts, bar charts, etc., can help you study your customers’ behavior and make better decisions.
In a business, you need to learn how to manage your cost. If you run a physical business, say a store, many you would have to do. You need to take inventory, get a warehouse or store, pay salaries to workers, pay rents, make signposts, and lots more. Compared to the revenue generated, you may have a small marginal profit. With this high overhead cost, you may have to sell products at a slightly higher rate to maximize profits. Other stores and competitors will most likely do the same.
Now consider an online store running a similar business with you and other competitors. They start a business but have lower overhead costs. For example, they don’t need to pay rent, make signposts, etc. Although there are still overhead costs in online businesses, such as software costs, technology maintenance, content creation, etc., these costs are usually smaller than in a traditional business. Now, online stores can sell their products or services at a lower price than an offline store would. This is a pricing strategy advantage of online retailers to store-based retailers. Now, who wouldn’t want cheaper, convenient, and relaxed shopping?
In business, you need to have a lucrative exit. Let’s say you want to retire or switch to another line of business entirely. The ability to sell off your business quickly when you want to is golden. Many business people and investors will prefer to buy an online business than a traditional company. This is so for so many reasons, and one is the growth potential. Online companies have more potential to grow when compared to offline businesses.
With investors looking for businesses that can give them freedom and lower risks, an online business is just golden!
So, here are five core reasons why your business should go online! Even in hard times, such as in a pandemic, online businesses thrive more than traditional companies. I’ll show you how to take your business online in a subsequent post. It’s your time to shine!