|January 15, 2005
a website can do for your business
There are many reasons to have a website, however, three of them clearly stand out:
- Website as a sales tool: Many companies use their websites as a
distribution channel and a sales tool. Websites of this type can vary in size. They can be
mini-websites dedicated to sell just one product, or they can be online catalogs that
offer a variety of products. For a website to act as a sales tool it needs to offer
flawless navigation, superb usability, and a reliable shopping cart interface.
Another example of websites intended to sell are content sites that sell affiliate
products. These are sites that offer plenty of useful and free information, together with
links to other resources, usually products with which the webmaster has established an
affiliate relationship. While the objective of these websites is still to sell something,
they use a softer, more suggestive approach. In most instances, since fullfilment of
affiliate products is handled by independent third parties, content websites don't even
need to have elaborate shopping cart capabilities.
- Website as a marketing tool: This type of site goes from simple
"corporate brochures", to larger, corporate sites to support bricks and mortar
businesses. The objective of a "corporate brochure" is just to present some
highlights about the company, like contact information and the main products and services
offered. Larger companies may use their website to showcase the company's products, their
different locations and a list of dealers or retailers. Also, they may use it to post news
about the company, display information about special promotions, post a media kit,
showcase available job openings, etc. A website is also a great vehicle to collect
customer information and conduct market research. Most customers (or prospective
customers) will gladly give you feedback, especially if you offer an inexpensive gift or a
discount coupon in return. The possibilities are endless.
- Website as a customer service tool: Posting frequently asked questions
and information about your company at your website, like hours of operation, location,
company history, products/services offered, type of clients served, employee contact
information, etc., saves untold hours of phone time answering the same questions again and
again. That time can be better spent finding ways to grow your business.
Whatever your reason, one thing is certain: a website will make your business more
productive and responsive to your customers' needs.
You can freely reprint this article provided that you include the following resource
Mario Sanchez is a Miami based freelance writer who focuses on Internet marketing and web
design topics. He publishes The Internet Digest ( http://www.theinternetdigest.net ), a growing
collection of web design and Internet marketing articles, tips and resources. You
can freely reprint his weekly articles in your website, ezine, or ebook.
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