Some years ago one had to leave their homes, their offices or their places of comfort to be able to make an enquiry about a product/ service or to be able to access a particular facility. I remember when people had to travel all the way to big cities to be able to have a look at things they had heard about like designer shoes, bags, clothes, watches, cars etc.
Growing up in a third world country, I saw how people were robbed off their properties /scammed because of the lack of information of things as easy as acquiring a visa, food, cars, aeroplanes etc.
One of the happiest moments in my childhood was when we heard the sound airplanes made when they flew. We would start jumping and singing and waving at the airplanes with so much joy and happiness we couldn’t even explain. We actually went on excursions just to see planes and I find it so hilarious and sad at the same time as to why we went through all the stress and the cost involved to see something we could have done with just a click. Certain people who had traveled outside the country or even lived in bigger cities at that time also took advantage of people both literate and illiterate by selling to them low standard goods, provided false information and even gave wrong medication to people which cost them their health, money, properties and to some extent their lives.
Now with the evolvement of websites we can now prevent these situations. We can sit in the comfort of our homes and have access to almost everything want; shop, get an information, have a glance at all the luxury brands we all yearn for without buying and have no guilt (something i personally enjoy doing). Now with our smartphones, tablets and computers we can access any company’s website and get the information we need about a particular product or service before we purchase them or not. I mean is this not the freedom we all want.
Every company has its competitive advantage which can also be said to be the DNA of the business. And having a great website can be your competitive advantage. Are you surprised I am saying a website? yes i mean a website. As a masters student in international business I can confidently say that Yes it can. Studying marketing trends and consumer behaviour has given me a lot of reasons to believe that websites are important tools in today’s business.
Customers have become more demanding and less loyal than ever: They want low cost, responsiveness, variety, high availability and they want it now. Consumers have become inconsiderate with time. They want value for their money. A great website with great features tailored to meet the needs of customers/ clients can be a company’s competitive advantage and can help in the growth of business.There are different types of websites which can be used by businesses today. Example are; Blogs, E-commerce ,corporate, portfolio, brochure, crowdfunding, social media, etc. We will discuss these types and more in the subsequent articles.
Businesses can gain a lot from websites if they view it as an agency or medium between them and their clients and place some importance on it.
- Firstly we can talk about how your website can serve as living place or a house for your content. The services you provide , product descriptions, your blog or any other content about your business you want to show needs a place to be shown so prospective clients can find them and having a website is a great place to keep all these amazing contents of your business to inform and engage your target audience.
- Websites are necessities for businesses now. This is because every business purchase now starts with a search engine so having your contents together at a place that is accessible to everyone shows your seriousness and professionalism in your business .
- We can also talk about how websites help our business gain credibility. Regardless of who is referring a product or service to a potential client or customer, they would always want to check the company’s website to see if it is worth the hype before they make their decision and having a website will at least give the potential client/customer the belief that indeed the company exists and does what others say it does. Now people can type a company someone is telling them about in a search engine and we will know if the company exists or not thus decreasing the fraudulent cases we used to have in the past.
- Websites can be accessed anywhere at anytime and therefore gives businesses the international exposure. Now children all over the world can just go to Airbus or any airline’s website and view aeroplanes. They do not have to pay to see an aeroplane like i did when i was younger, people can go to the websites of various pharmaceutical companies and read about a particular drug before taking them. I can stay in my room anywhere in the world and comfortably view my favourite luxury brands and get all the information about it without anyone lying to me about it. Businesses can be known everywhere in the world without even having an office there. Isn’t this beautiful?
- Also websites can be used to accomplish many different marketing strategies. Some websites have features that are able to record the number of visits and clicks and the data extracted from these websites – market automation is used to define the exact marketing strategy taking into consideration the target customers, how to serve them and with the right marketing mix (product, price, promotion, place, people, physical evidence, process) .
In all we can agree that websites are very essential to the growth of our business and we should invest in websites that are tailored to meet the needs of both our potential and existing customers and which also serves as a low marketing method as compared to the other marketing methods and also has a lasting value. Websites are worth investing in because once you have it, it continues to work for you forever.