Two decades back, the internet was not so prevalent in the world and hence nor were the internet users. If we talk about India, people here hardly owned computers or mobile phones. Even if people had mobile phones, it was just used for the calling purpose. Poor infrastructure inhibited the growth of the internet. The economy was not so globalized at that time with local business dominating in each locality of India. The internet and the online presence had hardly any effect on businesses.
But the scenario has changed now. Economies have globalized and local business dominance has started diminishing. Meanwhile, the Internet has also evolved over the course of time. People, may they be the customer or business owner, are now ready to go beyond their local boundaries to get the right product. They have the zest to explore new markets, either for buying purpose or for selling, with the internet fueling this trend. The Internet has come in handy to explore new markets. With the advent of smartphones and laptops internet has become a part of people’s life.
People nowadays use Google to look for each and everything. So it’s possible they might be looking for a new distributor to sell their product or a shop to buy a product. So having an online presence can help you increase your business sales. Eventually, for the small businesses, even a small increase in customer base can have a large effect on their profits.
Mentioned below are the different types of online presence a business can have and how it will affect the business.
Have a Company’s Website:
It’s very important for small and medium enterprises to have a company’s website. May it be a manufacturing unit, trading company or any service provider, each one should have a website. It increases the visibility of your company which helps your potential clients to reach you, who otherwise may not be able to find you. It gives the company an opportunity to showcase its product even to a far sitting person. The best thing is that it can be accessed anytime and from anywhere making the visibility of company 100 percent. It helps the company to make new clients and it can be an international client also, who knows!
The importance of a website for Manufacturer:
Nowadays traders and distributors take the internet route to look for new manufacturers from whom they can source material. They search online on various search engines such as Google for new manufacturers. Now having a website increases the company’s chances of being shown up on the result page seeing which, the trader/distributor may contact the company. He/she may later become the company’s potential client.
Image Source: Manufacturing Website
Apart from increasing visibility it also acts as a source of information about the company for its customers. For a person who is new to the company and its brand, a website is the first impression of the company on the customer. In India generally, people evaluate the quality and brand value from the website of a company, about which they have no prior knowledge. Since more and more companies are shifting towards having an online presence, not having a website can create suspicion of company’s credibility in the customer’s mind. So it is important that the website is well developed and make sure to include each and every good thing about the company which gives the company an edge over the others.
The importance of a website for Traders/Distributors and service providers:
The same case is for the trader/distributor. It increases their visibility to manufacturers who are looking to expand their business into new markets. Also, it acts as a gateway between the company and the person looking for a particular product or a service in a particular locality. Generally people, who are new to a place search online as they have no idea of that place.
Register on an online marketplace:
Flipkart, Foodpanda are all online marketplace where various businesses can register to sell to online buyers. Business like garments shop, electronics shop, bus service provider or may be a restaurant should register on an online marketplace. The trend of online buying is increasing day by day making it possible for a shopkeeper sitting in Bangalore to sell to customers of Delhi. Smartphones and good internet connectivity have fuelled the rise of online shopping.
Image Source: Online Market Place
Most of the sellers have witnessed an increase in sales after registering at an online marketplace. People don’t have the time to go to a brick and mortar shop to buy a product or food. They prefer a door step delivery now. The culture of online ordering from food aggregators like Foodpanda has increased tremendously and small restaurants should take the advantage of this opportunity and reach out to customers, who were otherwise unreachable.
From the above points, it’s clear that an online presence can do wonders for small businesses and therefore those who still don’t have it should definitely think upon it and start working towards having one.