There are millions of SMEs(Small & Medium Enterprise) in India. As per the MSME Annual report 2015-2016, with a total of 51 Million SMEs operating their business in India, more than half of the SMEs do not have online presence (they still operate with traditional methods).
Only 2% of our SMEs actively sell or promote their business online, with the remaining hardly using the full potential of the internet and digital tools.
With more Indians on the internet than the entire population of the USA put together, one would wonder why our online economy is lagging so far behind. When every process and service is going online and consumers resorting to search engines for every little thing, Why can’t SMEs take this opportunity and get some online space?
The reasons may vary from having a lack of working capital to lacking the skills to make digital platforms work for one’s business, but let us first understand why SMEs should go online. Why is it so crucial that they do so?
If you are a small or medium business, unless you have a lot of working capital and a huge bandwidth for advertising, you cannot imagine your company’s ads on billboards alongside every busy street. Then how can you get discovered when a consumer is searching for your product/ service?
That is where going online and getting discovered comes into picture.
Where does your target market search for your business?
Internet user(2015-2016) report data would help to clear the air to understand internet users.
- The number of Internet users in India is expected to reach 450-465 million by June, 2017 from 432 million in December last year(2016).
- And almost 200 million people in India access the internet only through their cell phones. Consumers usually use search engines either to learn something or to find something.
So, there is an opportunity for visibility and getting discovered online when a consumer is searching for your product/service. Why not grab it?
SMEs – get discovered, get leveraged.
Technology can be leveraged to access clients in near/distant geographies and create a greater visibility among target segments . Consumers can find your business based on the content on your website and search location.
- The immense data that is captured using technology will allow SMEs to develop customer intelligence which serves in the process of customer relationships and engagement, for both new and existing clients. Example: demographics like age, gender; behavior, preferences etc.,
- Services rendered can be personalized and be managed in a manner that increases customer retention. It will then allow you to optimize sales and to open new sales channels.
Easy access to information for end consumers
A well-designed website can definitely increase the image of your business.
- Presence on the internet will make people to take your business seriously, and your customers’ engagement with your site will provide credibility to new customers.
- Information about products/services and timely updates would make consumer access the required information when needed.
- You can also provide information about launching new products/services, offers, sales, etc., which would help to get you more customers.
How cost effective is this?
Ok, thinking that you are half convinced, you might have a have question “How much does this cost and how much would it save?” You can mark this statement- nothing can be more cost-effective than going online to reach potential customers, not just in local but in the global markets as well.
Does it impact Revenue?
SMEs Times data also shows that digitally engaged online SMEs are 4 times more likely to see an above average revenue growth rate as compared to SMEs which do not have digital presence.
Even those SMEs which have digital presence but do not actively sell or promote their business online, are 1.05 to 2.1 times more likely to grow revenues faster than their offline peers —
What could be the better reason than this,to get your business online? Get a website now!
Getting a website isn’t just the end but the start! And how can you improve your business or increase revenue growth to 4X?
As we explained in the article (How to get more leads for your business using SEO and content marketing, https://blog.nowfloats.com/?p=565), making your website discoverable and attract more traffic to it is a function of the quality (and regularity) of content that you update. Staying relevant and fresh for your customers is the best way to retain and grow your customer base online.