The importance of engaging customers online

Dear M & M: I am still not convinced, why should I engage customers online? – Bill

Dear Bill: As our economy is continuously evolving, the average growth of e-commerce is around 25 per cent per year. 81 per cent of online businesses reached new customers last year increasing sales and profitability from online efforts. Having an online presence allows your website to handle some of your workload. This is especially important with smaller businesses. Thirty per cent of businesses with a web presence with fewer than 20 employees generate more than 25 per cent of their revenue from online efforts. Source: Harris Interactive

Some strong reasons why your company should be online include the following:

1) Have the ability to do business 24 hours a day. One can do business when your storefront location is closed.

2) Provide better customer support. You can be reached more efficiently, make information more easily available and be more readily available to give service after the sale.

3) An online presence gives you the opportunity to sell to more people than smaller local markets. Going online allows you the opportunity to go global. Remember, the United States is just 5 per cent of the world population. Why ignore the other 95 per cent of the planet?

4) Your physical presence can be anywhere. One might not have to spend top dollar for that high traffic location. Online shoppers don’t really care where you are located.

5) Low costs to engage. This is an opportunity for the small business to really compete with the big corporate stores. You can really engage your customers, react to complaints, sell what they need and move quickly to changing market conditions in an online world.

With the right online presence you can really compete, act and look better than many of the larger companies anywhere.

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