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Oct 22, 2008

To Go or Not to Go Online?

Computers and internet technology changed our daily lives so much. Cannot deny it.

However, internet has a less significant effect on consumer spending, especially for online transactions, and particularly far lower in Asia. Obviously, the majority of internet users are not interested in online transactions such as electronic payments or electronic shopping due to security concerns. Those online thieves/hackers are able to snatch cardholder information and other personal data. Additionally, internet users are also exposed to online scam!

A retail company’s owner recently asked: What are the benefits of going online?

Needless to say, the internet is a powerful, fast and efficient marketing and communication tool. Many a time, your clients/customers probably ask you: Do you have a website?

In truth, internet marketing tool helps you attract and communicate with new prospects, clients and affiliates on a regular basis. It will make your presence felt 24/7.

And, from the marketing point of view, the online tools and features provide you with endless benefits. It provides unlimited possibilities for your business.

Example: You can use features to create unlimited custom forms to be used on your website to collect visitors’ names, email addresses and more. The gathered database lets you easily and directly asks customers and prospects some key questions; helping you to make the sale; close the sale; and even perform simple market research for your market analysis and future marketing plans.

Also, internet tools enhance two-way communicative marketing. Customers can quickly and easily give feedback on your product and/or marketing approach. In due course, you could find out what your customers like more; how they feel about certain aspects of your business; etc. This helps to determine how you can improve your product and the way you do business.

We can go on with plenty more benefits, but the problem is: How to encourage online buying behaviour?

We suggest: YOU FORCE THEM!

Basically, describe your company as “the only” online site to give customers an easy and free way to instantaneously find out about special sales and deals – no matter where they are. Emphasize what makes your company or products/services unique!

Air Asia, for example, provides a totally different type of service. It has many features that differentiate it from the traditional carriers. Somehow more importantly, Air Asia emphasizes ticketless travel and online ticket sales! It encourages internet bookings, and travellers will only get exclusive deals, discounts and free giveaways from its website only. Air Asia makes their customers exclusive! The result is, ah… needless to elaborate.

In short, start your business online today – be it to gain sales revenue, or merely to collect customer database. Nonetheless, do differentiate your company’s online existence from your competitors. If you’re having difficulty differentiating it, let us assist you.

Maria Azlan
Chief Operating Officer
BMI Research (Malaysia)