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The Benefits of doing business online

The benefits will very much depend on the nature of your business, and the extent to which you choose to embrace the technology! Although it makes sense to make the most of the features available, it is perfectly valid to take it one step at a time. It is not a case of all or nothing!

The choice is yours
You may choose to use only e-mail (at least initially). Alternatively you may decide on a website now, but not to use e-mail. Both a website and e-mail can be used to market your business on-line. When you’re ready, and it is relevant, you may embark on a full e-commerce solution.

Your virtual shop window
The internet is an excellent channel for promoting your business to potential clients anywhere, anytime. All they need is your website address, whether from a business card, an advert, letterhead, email or search engines.
It offers a cost effective and convenient means of keeping in touch with your existing client base and keeping them informed of developments within your business. And you can achieve this without visiting the printers, or mailing hundreds of letters.
A website will maximize your marketing investment, by leveraging this versatile and dynamic marketing channel which is the internet.
There is much more you can do with your website from gathering contact details and information about visitors to your site, to ultimately trading on-line. It becomes your virtual shop window enabling you to compete on much more equal terms with much larger organizations.

Communicate using E-mail
E-mail is not just an alternative form of communication, it also offers the potential for much more imaginative material, and the advantage of linking directly to the internet
• Efficient, interactive channel for communicating with customers and suppliers
• Efficient form of internal communication
• Customers can be kept informed of changes to your business through electronic newsletters
• Promote your website through e-mail by including a link
• E-letterheads / e-stationery can enhance your image
• COST EFFECTIVE – no postage, printing, envelopes

Establish your presence in the global marketplace:
• In the virtual world of the internet, your website is the virtual shop front to your business.
• You can provide your (prospective) clients with up to date information about you business
• Updates are instantly available to everybody, at a relatively small cost (no printing or postage)
• No write off costs relating to redundant promotional material
• Visitors can help themselves to information; anytime, anywhere, and as often as they wish – making them more likely to do so

Market your business online:
• Reinforce corporate and brand identity. Make your existing investment in marketing go further
• Advertise services and products
• Collect e-mail addresses and other information through your website
• Conduct market research through your website
• Promotion through targeted direct e-mail campaigns
• Build customer relations through personalised service
• Deliver targeted prospects to your mailbox!

E-Commerce: Open all hours
More and more people now buy on the internet because of the convenience and the variety of goods that are available.
• Your business can be ‘open all hours’
• Reduced transaction costs through online orders and, ultimately, payment
• Optional supply chain integration, streamlining your business

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