Advantages of getting your business online

In the digital age, it is absolutely essential for your business to have an online presence. Whether it’s a website, an e-commerce platform, a social media page or a combination of all three, getting your company online comes with many benefits.
To many, creating an online presence may just sound too complicated or too risky. But there are many good reasons to begin selling (and running your business) online.

1. Gain credibility and better company image

Having a website gives your business instant credibility, customers are more likely to trust your business when they land on your professional website. Being online also opens your business to a world of opportunities to further build on this trust, such as through online reviews and testimonials.
Your company image alone should be enough reason to start a new website and begin selling online. It’s an extremely important factor considering that without a website, prospective clients could begin to wonder how serious you are about business, if they even know you exist at all.
If you don’t have an online presence then you can’t expect your prospects to take you seriously and you will lose business to competitors who do have an effective online presence. Quite frankly, you need to have an online presence because your prospects and customers expect you to have one.

2. Wider Audience

Today, the first place many people look when wanting to discover a new business or find out more about one they’ve heard of is the internet.
With customers heading to search engines to find stores or search for products and services, you could be missing out on valuable customers by not being online.
With your brick and mortar business, you are limited to the number of individuals who can visit you at any given time, let alone find you. With a good website, you can literally have thousands, even tens of thousands (even millions) of people visiting your online store at once.
Imagine the potential for your company, if you could expose your products and services to a potentially unlimited number of interested people. While your company’s physical location can only serve local customers, your online store can reach anyone, anywhere in the world.
Taking your business online is the best way to reach a wider range of customers. Many people search online for products or services before buying them, and customers often prefer making online purchases over driving to the store.

3. 24/7 Availability

While some fast food restaurants, grocery stores, and gas stations manage 24-hour service, it is impossible for most businesses without the internet. A key benefit to having an e-commerce website is that your clients and prospects can read about your products and place orders at any time, day or night, 365 days a year. Imagine what being open 3-4 times longer could do for your business.
Even if you have a business that offers traditional offline services, you can generate leads and inquiries while you are closed and follow up with those prospects and customers once you open the next day.
Many people want to do their research at the end of the day when your business may be closed, but your website can operate as your 24/7 sales person to answer questions and generate leads (or sales).

4. Low Operating Costs

Just one single task can make a significant difference in cost savings. For example, receiving orders online reduces the need for customer service staff. With comprehensive sales and product information online, you’ll simply receive purchase orders and payments via email or into your database.
Staff numbers can be reduced, so too can office space and related office expenses.
By making use of various online service providers, you can now take all aspects of your business online, such as purchasing, billing, order fulfillment, and shipping.
Other functions can include pre-emptive customer service—such as answering client questions via a FAQ section or a customer forum.

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