Always thought getting your business online was a task best left to after you’ve honed your product or service, and gained a decent customer base? This might have once been so, but, according to 1-grid CEO Thomas Vollrath, having an online presence is fast becoming a must-have, and no longer a nice extra.
The popularity of e-commerce, the rise of contactless payment encouraged by the COVID-19 pandemic and the vast number of consumers who browse online means that having an online presence is vital to attracting clients and customers.
Now, more than ever, it’s the perfect time to get your business online.
Consumers want to see you online
If you’re under the impression that only the ‘younger’ generation, or more technologically advanced, browse and purchase online, that is certainly no longer the case. According to Smart Insights, 81% of consumers search for a product or service to buy, online.
So, while your business doesn’t have to be online only, consumers certainly expect to find you and learn more about you online before making a purchase decision.
It’s no longer an expensive exercise
It’s a relatively inexpensive task to get your business presence readily available to interested consumers. Setting up an e-commerce website can be done simply and affordably with a DIY website builder that provides simple templates, fonts, colours and payment gateways to set you up in less than 24 hours.
Plus, setting up a website is relatively low in risk, in comparison to purchasing or renting a physical office or store, hiring staff and resources.
It helps you reach a larger audience
As of January 2021, 38.13 million South Africans are active internet users. In a country where smartphone adoption is close to 100%, it’s clear that if you aren’t online, your business is missing potential clients or customers browsing online.
By relying purely on word of mouth, or foot traffic past your store, you’re missing out on all those online searchers looking for your product or service online.
Build a loyal community faster
By being discoverable online, you’re on a path to building a brand and loyal following right where consumers are. From your website, to your social media platforms, there are far more opportunities to connect and engage with potential clients or customers. Plus, these platforms give you the opportunity to advertise to a wider audience who will follow your brand and business journey if they identify with you.
The SME space is rapidly changing and expanding in South Africa. While we may not have all the answers, taking your business online is one way to adapt to the way consumers now interact with and choose a business to purchase from.