With the rapid expansion of the digital economy, the web site is conceivably the most powerful marketing and sales tool you can employ.
Yet, despite the highly competitive, global business climate, many businesses have yet to take advantage of this popular technology.
Consider these facts:
- There are more than 1,022,800,000 Internet users worldwide. The U.S. has the highest number of Internet users in the world with 205,300,000-plus ‘surfers’, equating to 68.6% of the country’s population. (Source: http://www.internetworldstats.com/)
- By 2010, e-commerce in the U.S. is expected to account for $316 billion (U.S.) in sales, or 13% of overall retail sales. (Source: http://www.forrester.com/)
- Canada-based online sales exceeded $39.2 (CDN) million in 2005, and that number is expecting to grow. (Source: http://www.e-com.ic.gc.ca/)
Moving Beyond Business Cards and Phonebooks
Some business owners rely almost exclusively on business cards and phonebook listings to introduce their companies to potential clients, and claim they would gain little or no benefit from a web site.
Indeed, business cards have played key roles in marketing and promoting businesses since the 19th century, and are without doubt one of the least expensive forms of advertising available.
Also, phonebooks have been helping consumers find companies for decades, and continue to have their place.
But with the growing number of people turning to the Internet to retrieve information and make purchases, you need to consider what a web site can do for you, your business and your customers.
Web Site Benefits
Web sites provide a cost-effective way to promote or announce up-to-date:
- Company news
- Contact information
- Employee bios
- Frequently asked questions
- Special deals
- Membership opportunities
- Instruction videos
The list goes on. What better way to generate awareness, leads and sales locally, regionally or worldwide 24/7, 365 days a year? It’s hard to find a better return on investment.
The Image and Credibility Factor
Would you do business with someone who doesn’t have business cards? These days, many individuals feel the same about companies that don’t have web sites.
In fact, a ThomasNet study conducted in July 2006 revealed just how how critical web sites are for industrial sellers and buyers. Its findings: “71 per cent of buyers said they first look online when searching for a new supplier.” The report concluded a web site can make the difference between “getting an RFQ or getting passed over.”
A strategic, innovative and effective web site will:
- Give people a chance to get to know you at their own leisure
- Move potential customers along the ladder of engagement
- Help convert them into full-fledged customers
Investing in a professional web site can reap big results — your company’s success.