Whatever your business it can benefit from having a web site. If your competitors have web sites you need one too to maintain your competitive advantage, but as well as this, your web site can benefit your organization in many other ways.
A brochure – but unlike traditional paper brochures your site is easily updated, always current and cost-effective.
Your web site acts like a company brochure, but unlike a traditional company brochure your web site is always current and can be accessed 24 hours a day.
Your web site is also high quality, full color, up-to-date and interactive.
Your site can be updated quickly and regularly, keeping product offerings and prices accurate without the costs associated with updating traditional printed literature and the delays of printing, publishing and distribution. A more environmentally friendly solution than traditional paper-based literature and without the distribution costs.
Your products, services and company information can be seen worldwide 24 hours per day. Rather than having to wait for a brochure, customers can instantly access the information they want.
Increase your customer base
Your web site is accessible to hundreds of millions of users worldwide.
Your products or services have a worldwide audience – something that would be hard to achieve by other methods.
In addition to this, your website allows everyone to compete on an even playing field, from tiny organizations to the largest of corporations.
Reach a new audience
Many people like to find out more about a company and their services before they contact them and a web site can give your organization the edge over a competitor who doesn’t have a web site.
And many regular internet users now prefer to search for a service, product or organization on the internet rather than through a more traditional method like the Yellow Pages. If your organization is not on the internet you could be missing out.
New methods of communication
Not only can you communicate to your customers through your web site, but they can also contact you through it. Your customers will have new ways to contact you. Online e-mail facilities allow people to e-mail you easily. Online forms produce more specific communications and feedback. You can also encourage communications by setting up online quizzes, competitions and interactive questionnaires – valuable methods of collecting visitor demographics and generating leads.
Streamline your processes
Your web site can save your organization time and money. Information such as company news, announcements, new product launches, technical information and user guides can be published on the web site for viewing and download saving you printing and distribution time and money.
e-commerce functionality can be incorporated into your website allowing consumers to order their products and services online, greatly reducing administration expenses. Your e-commerce site will enable customers to order any time so extending your trading hours without the normal necessary human presence or office expenses. Receiving payments over the internet can reduce your collection costs to a fraction of the old ways of invoicing and collection.
Integrate your web site functionality with your back office processes to create a truly automated office system. For example – connect your online ordering system with your stock system so stock availability is always current, automate your technical support processes and introduce new online methods for customers to obtain technical assistance.
Improve customer service
Your customers will be able to find up-to-the-minute information on product and service ranges, availability, costs through your site – 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Your customers will have new ways to contact you through electronic forms or e-mail facilities on your website.
E-commerce facilities offering online ordering can save your customers time and administration costs.
You can offer your customers a more personal online experience by creating tailored areas on your site just for use by that particular customer. These sections can have secure access.
New marketing possibilities
Being online opens a number of new advertising options for your business. The internet unites the benefits of print and television advertising (text and graphics plus moving images and sound) and eliminates the usual time and space limitations of traditional media forms.
Methods of advertising available include:
– advertising banner placement on your own site or on other sites
– promotional e-mails which can have images and links to your site, particular areas of your site or even specific products
– downloadable games and screensavers, tailor-made and branded for your business
– digital newsletters
Unlike traditional media forms, the Internet is interactive. It can be an effective, low cost one-to-one marketing tool.
You can create an image for your business with your site. No matter how small your business, with a well designed and constructed web site your business can look like a PLC on the Web.
Improved internal communications
You can have a web site purely for internal use or you can have an intranet extension of your company web site. This site can be used for internal announcements and news, communications, information database and information sharing with areas for employees to post data. Online discussion forums can improve morale and act as valuable information exchanges.