According to GE Capital Retail Bank’s second annual Major Purchase Shopper study, 81% of customers go online prior to visiting the store and spend an average of 79 days gathering information about the product or service prior to making a purchase.
There is a vast amount of information encouraging businesses to get online. Too much that frankly, it is intimidating. Today, we have simplified the top 4 reasons you should establish an online presence for your offline business.
Top 4 reasons to get online
1. Make your presence known to your potential customers
We live in an experience economy where customers want to always be connected and have ease of accessibility to the companies in which they want to purchase. One of the biggest benefits of having a website would be that at any time of the day, your customers are able to find information about your products and/or services. Traditional companies will benefit from having a website as it enables them to generate leads and inquiries which a salesperson can follow up on.On that note, did you know that 90% of consumers expect their interactions with brands to be consistent across channels? Companies that are meeting their customers across various channels, offline and online, enjoy a 9.5% year-on-year increase in revenue. These companies combine the benefits of tactile and sensory shopping experience that a brick-and-mortar store offers with the convenience and knowledge that an online business provides. In order to keep the pace, businesses would hugely benefit from employing an omni-channel strategy.
2. Building lasting relationships with your customers
Establishing an online presence with a website paired with social media accounts gives your company a voice. This humanizes your business and makes it more relatable to both customers and potential customers. This will enable better interactions with your company on a personal level. This is an opportunity for customers to get to know your brand and vice versa. Additionally, a website and social media accounts offer features that allow business owners to gain insights on the way customers engage with their business which can be used to leverage their marketing offerings.
Now more than ever, as your customers spend more time indoors and online, businesses must strive to earn their trust and create a seamless shopping experience for them. This alone should be enough reason to convince any business owner to set up an online presence (website/social media and etc..).
3. Low operational costs
The biggest hurdle of starting a business is a large amount of capital required. A simple solution would be to start an online business that can be easily done with an e-commerce platform and selecting a payment gateway. Platforms such as Easystore offer various themes and marketing tools to users regardless of the plan chosen - no coding knowledge required.
Building an online store lowers operational costs while also broadening your reach as your business will no longer be limited to one location. An online store allows you to cast your net on a global scale and your customers could come from anywhere in the world.
4. Make it easier to market your company
Websites and social media platforms are some of the most effective marketing tools to have in your arsenal. It would be futile to argue otherwise. They are also the most cost-effective way to disseminate information to hundreds of thousands of people. Marketing your business online is becoming increasingly important as it heavily influences the purchasing decisions of your customers. Did you know that 76% of Southeast Asian customers switch brands after just one bad customer experience?
The ease of sharing information that social media offers enable your customers to spread the word about your business to their network of people. With a brick-and-mortar store, you are limited to the customers within the vicinity. Meanwhile, with a website, you can have thousands of customers at the threshold of your online store at any given time.
Malaysia’s e-commerce market is quickly becoming one of the largest in the region. Its growth is driven by rising Internet and smartphone penetration, a growing middle-class population, and tech-savvy millennials. To thrive and succeed in this digital landscape, businesses must build an online storefront that will encourage customers and keep them coming back by offering a seamless experience.