As more people use the internet as a business,
recreation, and information resource, online organizations will
have the advantage. Listed here are some reasons why having an
internet presence can put you in the forefront of your market.
Although presented from a commercial perspective, they are also
relevant for non-profit organizations and governmental
People use the internet to find out about
companies, products, and services before spending.
Being on the net will make you more accessible than those who
aren't. With your URL on your business cards and all printed
materials, and in your advertising, it will be easy for
consumers to find you.
Customers can conduct business with
you at their convenience--any time of the day or night, any day
of the year.
You can reach people who have other demands on their time during
regular business hours. You're always "open for business"
even when you're "closed."
Purchasing online is quick and easy.
On-screen catalogs present your products, and forms make it easy
to place orders or request further information. Using a secure
server allows buyers to order via credit card.
This reduces the need for on-site staff to take orders, and
lowers phone expenses. Updates on product availability, price
changes, special promotions, etc., can be made instantly.
Customers can quickly find answers to
frequently asked questions.
This cuts back on handling phone calls for routine queries.
Information provided could include business hours, branch
offices, services available, product lines, prices, directions
to your office, etc.
Existing customers will have access to
technical support such as troubleshooting procedures, product
specifications and parts list, how-to procedures, diagrams, and
special help lines. This is especially useful for after-hours
Making this information available through the web lessens the
demand for customer service personnel. You can offer 24-hour
online information access.
The public may come to view your web
site as an information resource. Helpful information relevant to
your business (health tips, boat licensing, the real estate
market in your area, etc.) could be included in your
If you become a resource, visitors to your site will return
Consumers prefer doing business with
companies they know something about.
Your web site can inform them of your community involvement,the
scope of your business, awards and achievements, important
personnel changes, employment opportunities, and it can even
provide the information in other languages. This presents an
approachable, positive image. Good public relations helps the
There are other advantages to online marketing:
- Changes can be made immediately--an advantage over print
and other media.
- You can reach customers far beyond your geographical
boundaries. For online customers, a company 500 miles away is
as accessible as one down the block.