A couple of decades back, businesses relied on the traditional or offline mode to reach out to their customers with their product/ service offerings. This would mean heavy capital investment to set up the business and even more to cater to a larger audience. Going global wasn’t as easy and reaching the break-even point would take a lot of time.
But with the advancement in technology, especially after the dot com boom, things have changed in the way businesses function today. Here are a few reasons why a business should focus on going online:
- Larger reach: As compared to the traditional way of doing business, where the scope of sales is limited to a small segment of customers from the local area of business, going online helps in reaching a larger audience and adding on to the sales numbers. Going global has never been this easy.
- Better visibility: With an online presence, it becomes easier for a business to be found by the customer looking for a specific product/services offering. In the modern world, search engines have an answer to all the queries punched in by a user and can redirect the user to a business that has the capability to cater to the user needs, even if the brand is lesser known to the user.
- Branding tool: Having an online presence not only boosts sales but also helps in creating a brand image and brand credibility for the customers. Showcasing existing customer portfolio and customer testimonials helps in creating confidence in the business offerings for the customers. It’s easier for a brand to connect with its customers and get their sentiments through feedbacks & suggestions and streamlining the offerings based on the customer experience. This also helps in creating a loyal customer base.
- Low setup cost: Unlike the offline mode of business, selling through online channels does not require a high capital investment. A brand doesn’t need to invest heavily on the physical infrastructure or resources, reducing the operational costs, resulting in a higher ROI. Let’s take the example of a restaurant. To setup a physical store, a business would need to invest in the physical location rental cost, have X number of staff to cater to Y number of covers (seating space), limiting the number of customers it can cater to at a given point of time. Whereas a cloud kitchen can cater to a larger number of customers ordering online with a minimum capital investment required for the setup.
- Business 24/7: One of the biggest advantages of having an online presence is that business never sleeps. A brand can cater to the needs of the customer round the clock based on the nature of the business and capability. Not all customers are the same. Some like shopping in odd hours or get the craving for midnight snacking.
- Ace the competition: With more and more companies going online across multiple industries, it has become essential for any brand to focus on building its online presence to compete with other players in the market and not miss out on opportunities coming in through the online customer base.
While the offline mode of business has its own perks and benefits like creating a physical experience for the customer, going online helps in reaching out to a wider audience with much lesser capital needs, resulting in higher profitability.