Advantages of Having a Website

Consumers search for products and services online before making purchases. Being found on the Int....

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Business Benefits of Websites

A professionally designed website can benefit your business in four ways:Raise Compan....

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What & Why E-Commerce

E-commerce is essentially the buying and selling of goods or services online. Businesses th....

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Advantages of CRM

CRM is the abbreviation for customer relationship managemen....

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Why SEO is important

Without a search engine optimized website your site will no....

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Social media marketing

Social media marketing refers to the process of gaining web....

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IT Outsourcing for Good

IT outsourcing is a phrase used to describe the practice of....

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Mobile & other customised applications

People around the globe are accessing the web via their sma....

Read more

Websites: No longer a luxury, but necessity.

Despite popular belief - a website is NOT an online brochure. One of the biggest mistakes a....

Read more

Advantages of Having a Website

Consumers search for products and services online before making purchases. Being found on the Internet will give you an advantage over your competition when they call you instead of the competition.

You are able to conduct business when it is convenient for your client whether it be during the day or in the middle of the night. You are never actually closed. If you choose an e-commerce website, your customers can shop with you 24 hours.

Consumers can become educated about your business and get answers to many of their questions which will help to cut back on the number of phone calls you receive with this information on your website.

Your website can provide further support to existing customers by offering information such as troubleshooting procedures, product specification and parts list, how-to procedures, diagrams, and special help lines. By having this help available 24 hours a day you will be able to decrease the number of customer service employees you have on staff.

There is potential for your website to become a resource of information for the public. By supplying helpful tips and articles that are relevant to your industry, you will give visitors a reason to come back to your website.

Consumers have more confidence in and prefer doing business with companies that they know something about. Inform visitors about the structure of your company, of your community involvement, the products and services you offer, awards, and employment opportunities.

There you have the top advantages of having a website. Of course, there are many more advantages - too many to list.

Creating a professional website for your business is a powerful investment in your company's future. It can dramatically increase the number of customers who find your products and services by expanding your customer base from local to international. A website will allow you to reach more customers, to respond quickly to market changes and to provide the best customer service.

Business Benefits of Websites

A professionally designed website can benefit your business in four ways:

Raise Company Profile
Potential customers may already be searching the internet for your website - not having an online presence gives the impression that your company is behind the times. Equally, having a website that is poorly designed or out-of-date creates a strong negative impression of your company. A professionally designed website can raise the profile of your company.

Cheap, Effective Marketing
Setting up and running a website represents in many cases a cheaper and more effective way of reaching new and existing customers, compared to traditional print marketing. A website is an incredibly useful means of collecting useful customer information. And opt-in email marketing can then be used to target your message to interested customers.

Enhanced Customer Service
A website can enhance your customer service by providing detailed information about your products or services. Frequently Asked Questions can be answered immediately without tying up your phone line. More complex enquiries can be emailed direct to your inbox. Customers are able to see your premises on a map. All this 24 hours a day, 7 days a week - like having your own virtual salesperson.

Sell online
Ecommerce can reduce the costs associated with traditional bricks and mortar retail, while at the same time increasing your company's customer base. Customers can buy from you 24/7.

What & Why E-Commerce

E-commerce is essentially the buying and selling of goods or services online. Businesses that use e-commerce can be e-businesses, that only operate on the web, or they can be physical companies that simply use e-commerce as an extended sales channel for their customers’ convenience.

The improvement in technology as well as the increase in the number of people who have access to the internet has led to a steady increase in the number of companies that are using e-commerce to help increase their revenue. A key aspect that has helped e-commerce along is the advancements in payment technology such as ewallets and EFTs which have made transacting online safe and secure and has eliminated the need to have a credit card to shop online. Just about anyone can be an online shopper nowadays.

This is especially great if your company sells products or goods to a niche market. Your handful of potential clients can get a whole lot bigger if you can target this niche online with 7 continents and around 196 different countries, you are bound to reach your desired demographic.

Hand in hand with this is the e commerce fact that being able to deliver products to people around the globe is not only great for business, it is also very convenient for both you and the client. They can order something from your ecommerce store that is not available in their country or even if they just order groceries from the local supermarket, they don’t have to leave the comfort of their houses to do so.

For most businesses, competing on price is ultimately a losing proposition. Instead, knowledge, selection and turnaround are the hallmarks of the profitable and well-positioned company. For wholesale/distributors, their customers demand a comprehensive, reliable inventory that they can reach whenever it is convenient for them. That means eCommerce.

It’s a realization many have already come to accept. In a survey of wholesale/distribution companies, "improving e-commerce capabilities" beat out the expansion or addition of any other sales channel as a strategy to build revenue over the next 12 months, with over one-third of respondents ready for enhanced eCommerce. Additionally, eCommerce tied with customer relationship management (CRM) in the top spot in response to a question which asked which technologies WD companies would explore in the next 12 months.

Here are a few reasons why it may be a good idea for your company to consider doing business online and developing an ecommerce website.

Flexibility - When your company does business online, you have access to the entire globe. You can align yourself with other companies and partners, and geography is not an issue.

No Barriers - By the same token, you can draw customers from all over the world, so whether you are marketing products or services, your customers can span the globe.

Versatility - For that matter your company can do business in any currency that you choose. The US Dollar is the most commonly used currency across ecommerce platforms, but if the Japanese Yen or the Swiss Franc made more sense for your business to use, it is your option.

Diverse Customer Base - Courting customers in all corners of the world can have a stabilizing effect on your company's revenue streams. When one country is tightening its belt economically, other countries are still spending.

Quality Products - By having access to world markets, your company can pick and choose which vendors that it wants to work with. Again since your company is not limited by boundaries, your company can choose the best and the brightest with which to align.

Low Inventory Costs - Online businesses have direct access to goods that would normally pass through several, middle men, and this direct accessibility keeps your costs low. Then your company has the choice of enjoying the large profit margin or passing the savings along to your customers.

Low Operating Costs - When running your business online, your company will have very low overhead. You do not have to pay rent for a storefront, hire employees, or even print advertising. You can run your company from your home saving on travel time and money. Creating an ecommerce shopping cart is simple and effective.

So as you can see, even if you are running a successful physical storefront, it would be wise to consider building an online shop as well, and who knows one day that may be all that you will need to run a successful business.

Advantages of CRM

CRM is the abbreviation for customer relationship management. It entails all aspects of interaction that a company has with its customer, whether it is sales or service-related. CRM is often thought of as a business strategy that enables businesses to:

Understand the customer
Retain customers through better customer experience
Attract new customer
Win new clients and contracts
Increase profitably
Decrease customer management costs

How CRM is Used Today
While the phrase customer relationship management is most commonly used to describe a business-customer relationship, CRM systems are used in the same way to manage business contacts, clients, contract wins and sales leads. Customer relationship management solutions provide you with the customer business data to help you provide services or products that your customers want, provide better customer service, cross-sell and up sell more effectively, close deals, retain current customers and understand who the customer is.

Technology and the Web has changed the way companies approach CRM strategies because advances in technology have also changed consumer buying behavior and offers new ways for companies to communicate with customers and collect data about them. With each new advance in technology -- especially the proliferation of self-service channels like the Web and smartphones -- customer relationships is being managed electronically.

Many aspects of CRM relies heavily on technology; however the strategies and processes of a good CRM system will collect, manage and link information about the customer with the goal of letting you market and sell services effectively.

The advantages that the introduction of the CRM solution brings to the way you manage your customer relations:

Understanding the value of a particular customer during their entire life cycle
Consistent structured and complete customer information, customer identification
Comprehensive customer management through all communication channels (telephone, e-mail, Internet, sales visits)
Greater emphasis on customer retention through loyalty-building programmes
Planning product cross-marketing strategies
Measuring marketing campaigns and sales activities impact
Optimising, automation and control of marketing, sales and service processes
Rationalisation of operations saving time and money

Proper introduction of a CRM system soon yields results:

increased income
increased profit
more efficient and targeted marketing

Why SEO is important

Without a search engine optimized website your site will not rank high, or at all, on Google and other Search Engines.

Not only is it necessary to optimize your website with key phrases that you want to be found under, but it is absolutely necessary to have an outstanding marketing strategy in place. Simply optimizing your website is not enough these days!

The continuous evolution of technology greatly impactshow we do business today. Looking back to the times where companies rely on TV, radio and newspapers to promote their products or services, things have changed and it is a different ball game nowadays. The use of internet as Marketing Avenue has been widely acknowledged and having great presence online plays a vital role in lifting your business to the next level.

The internet has become one of the most profitable marketing hubs for various businesses these days. Many companies are allocating sufficient funds for their Online Marketing campaigns more importantly on Search Engine Optimisation.

As to why SEO is important for business, see 4 Major Reasons below:

Great source of targeted customers – Search engine has been one of the most widely used medium in finding products or services online. Study showed that a huge chunk of visitors coming from search engines are looking to buy products or avail services. It is important that you are on the front page after a user search so you could showcase what your business has to offer.

High percentage of sales and conversion – Since visits from search engines are targeted visitors, this has high tendency to be converted into sale. It is like serving your products or services to someone whom you know has great intention of buying or availing what you offer. A lot of business had doubled or even tripled their sales percentage year over year by investing in SEO alone.

Long term traffic source – Unlike paid marketing where you pay for every visit and needs essential amount of money to keep your campaign running, SEO provides you with free organic traffic that lasts for a longer period of time, especially if you were able to cement decent rankings for various keywords relating to your offered products or services.

Cost effective Marketing – Search Engine Optimisation has been the most cost efficient way of Marketing your products and services over other forms of promotions such as TV, radio and print. It is definitely more affordable and gives you wider audience reach since almost everyone is on the Internet these days. It also provides quicker ROI once everything is properly setup and your SEO campaign starts rolling.

In summary, SEO services would play a vital role in achieving your business goals. If you don’t have sufficient amount of internet presence especially on major search engines such as Google, Yahoo and Bing, then you are probably missing out the competition. This is the perfect time to assess the current status of your business and consider integrating SEO as part of your Marketing plan.

Social media marketing

Social media marketing refers to the process of gaining website traffic or attention through social media sites.

Social media marketing programs usually center on efforts to create content that attracts attention and encourages readers to share it with their social networks. A corporate message spreads from user to user and presumably resonates because it appears to come from a trusted, third-party source, as opposed to the brand or company itself. Hence, this form of marketing is driven by word-of-mouth, meaning it results in earned media rather than paid media.

Social media are internet services that let you interact with others and share and create content through online communities. Social media present great marketing opportunities for businesses of all sizes. You can use social media to: Promote the name of your brand and business
Tell customers about your goods and services
Find out what customers think of your business
Attract new customers
Build stronger relationships with existing customers.
Advantages of using social media

Social media marketing has many advantages:

Broad reach - Social media can reach millions of people all around the world.
Ability to target particular groups - Many forms of social media (e.g. Facebook, Foursquare) allow businesses to target specific groups, often in particular locations
Free or low-cost - Many forms of social media are free for business, and paid options are usually low-cost.
Personal - Social media allow you to communicate on a personal basis with individual customers and groups.
Fast – You can quickly distribute information to many people.
Easy - You don't need high-level skills or computer equipment to participate in social media. The average person with a standard computer should have no difficulty.

Key social media services

Different types of social media are good for different marketing activities. The key social media services are:

Facebook - a social networking site that allows you to have conversations with customers, post photos and videos, promote special offers, and more
Twitter - a 'micro-blogging' service that allows you to send and receive short messages from customers and potential customers
YouTube - an online video-hosting service that lets people share their videos
Blogs - internet sites that contain a series of entries or 'posts' about topics of interest to the author, much like an online 'diary'
Coupon sites - websites that offer discount coupons for goods, services and events
Online photo-sharing services - websites that allow users to store, organise and share their photo collections
Location-based marketing sites - websites that deliver targeted marketing messages to customers in particular locations, through mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets
Customer review sites - websites that feature customer reviews of goods and services.

IT Outsourcing for Good

IT outsourcing is a phrase used to describe the practice of seeking resources or subcontracting outside of an organizational structure for all or part of an IT (Information Technology) function. An organization would use IT outsourcing for functions ranging from infrastructure to software development, maintenance and support.

Due to the expansive nature of IT and the related disciplines involved, implementing your own on-site IT department could prove expensive. Outsourcing has proven itself to be the cost effective answer for small to medium sized companies. Affordable Web Solutions provide a diverse range of dedicated, cost effective, trained IT staff to meet your company's requirements, be this on a project basis or as a dedicated member of an existing team. This allows your business to keep its edge in the competitive market place.

The success of Outsourcing relies on the word “customer satisfaction”. IT Outsourcing is about building relationships based on trust, and mutual respect. Affordable Web Solutions is an IT Outsourcing Company, that provides, quality, with value added services, this allows you to focus on your core business needs. You can be confident that our dedicated outsourcing team is working effectively for you.

As you evaluate your choices and decisions in outsourcing different components of your operations, you will need to consider the advantages of outsourcing. When done for the right reasons, outsourcing will actually help your company grow and save money. There are other advantages of outsourcing that go beyond money. Here are the top seven advantages of outsourcing.

1. Focus On Core Activities
In rapid growth periods, the back-office operations of a company will expand also. This expansion may start to consume resources (human and financial) at the expense of the core activities that have made your company successful. Outsourcing those activities will allow refocusing on those business activities that are important without sacrificing quality or service in the back-office.

2. Cost And Efficiency Savings
Back-office functions that are complicated in nature, but the size of your company is preventing you from performing it at a consistent and reasonable cost, is another advantage of outsourcing.

3. Reduced Overhead
Overhead costs of performing a particular back-office function are extremely high. Consider outsourcing those functions which can be moved easily.

4. Operational Control
Operations whose costs are running out of control must be considered for outsourcing. Departments that may have evolved over time into uncontrolled and poorly managed areas are prime motivators for outsourcing. In addition, an outsourcing company can bring better management skills to your company than what would otherwise be available.

5. Staffing Flexibility
Outsourcing will allow operations that have seasonal or cyclical demands to bring in additional resources when you need them and release them when you're done.

6. Continuity & Risk Management
Periods of high employee turnover will add uncertainty and inconsistency to the operations. Outsourcing will provided a level of continuity to the company while reducing the risk that a substandard level of operation would bring to the company.

7. Develop Internal Staff
A large project needs to be undertaken that requires skills that your staff does not possess. On-site outsourcing of the project will bring people with the skills you need into your company. Your people can work alongside of them to acquire the new skill set.

But not many businesses thoroughly understand the benefits of outsourcing. It's true that outsourcing can save money, but that's not the only (or even the most important) reason to do it.

Mobile & other customised applications

People around the globe are accessing the web via their smartphones more often than ever. So far in 2013, 17.4% of web traffic has come through mobile, representing more than a 6% increase since 2012 when 11.1% of traffic came from mobile.

Mobile applications are growing rapidly for both business owners trying to produce income, and companies utilizing apps for an interactive marketing device. The launch of iAd, mobile applications have grown to be a much greater chance to generate income. The probabilities are limitless with mobile application development and they are the advantages. A superior quality app is exactly what to target to fit your imagination.

Mobile application development service extends to all major mobile platforms including iPad, iPhone, Blackberry, Android, Windows Phone, Symbian and Palm Pre.

What Is Mobile Application Development?
Also known as mobile app development, it's the process through which application software is particularly suitable for mobile phones along with other low power handheld gadgets. The application may either be downloadable through the customers or it could be pre-installed on mobile phones throughout the manufacturing process. High-end mobiles give use of several applications which make life simple and easy, if you ever own a business, you possibly can make probably the most of the possibility for serve your business much better.

Mobile Application technology features an exceptional opportunity in which a business could achieve instant access to a person's mobile device, throughout the simple installation of an icon. People often use every one of these applications to become placed on their phone, if the business piques their curiosity or perhaps a feature of most this device attracts them.

The main drivers: What are the reasons for this optimistic view? Here are just six reasons why we think that apps will become as important as Websites to companies in the next years:

1. Ubiquity of smartphones: Smartphones will increasingly replace feature phones in stores. Nearly everyone will be able to use smartphone apps, not just – as of now – business people, social networkers and gamers. The main driver will be a reduction in handset prices, which will decrease to 100 Euro for most starter devices.

2. Manifoldness of possibilities: Smartphones are small computers which are becoming more and more powerful. They will be suitable for an increasing number of tasks which have previously been restricted to laptops or desktops. Today smartphone apps are used by companies to promote their brand or product, or to provide access to their existing products. In the future we will see a lot more use-cases, e.g. new products enabled by apps, mobile health, mobile selling, or apps which help to improve working efficiency within a company.

3. Ubiquity of app stores: For the foreseeable future, Smartphones will always depend on the app stores. If you have a smartphone or advanced feature phone you will have easy and convenient access to the world of apps.

4. Unmatched user-experience: Apps offer a user-experience which mobile Websites or widgets are unable to provide.

5. Proximity to customers: Mobile devices, especially Smartphones, are much more personal and intimate devices than a laptop or desktop device. For most users their phones are never further than 1 meter away 24/7. Imagine how attractive it is for consumer goods, food, and myriad other companies across the economy to be able to place their products and services so close to consumers.

6. Better visibility: Although there is a lot of clamor about the discoverability of apps, especially in the App Store, standing out among few thousand apps is much easier than being found amongst millions of websites. In addition, these distribution platforms are stores, and unlike the web or its search engines, they are designed to sell and present products. Cross-selling and promotions are components of their core features. The new geneneration of app stores make it easier than ever before to be in the forefront of millions of potential customers’ minds.

Websites: No longer a luxury, but necessity.

Despite popular belief - a website is NOT an online brochure. One of the biggest mistakes a business can make when creating an online presence, is designing a few static pages containing information previously printed on your brochures or flyers and updating it once or twice a year. And most importantly, having a website does not constitute a marketing strategy or a guarantee that your business will be visible. Having a website requires dedication, patience and hard work - unless you have the time, you might even consider outsourcing the development and maintenance to professionals.

So if not a glorified online brochure - what then is a website? Simply put, a website is a dynamic medium, updated daily or weekly, that provides and educates your customers with up-to-date information on your business, products and services. Adding interactivity to you website which allows for your customers to provide feedback, reviews, ratings, votes etc. builds the credibility of your business. It is a very affective way to implement a fast and safe communication gateway between you and your customers, saving them the time and money of having to use the phone or mail.

Today, creating an online presence is highly affordable with low startup costs and distribution. It saves you on time, money and energy usually incurred by the printing of brochures, flyers and pamphlets. A website's distribution is GLOBAL and potentially increases your business's visibility.

If you do not have a website, the chances are that your competition does. Many bookings, reservations and purchases are now being done online - if you do not adjust to the current trends and technology, you will lose potential (even current) customers. A website provides you with the opportunity to equally compete with larger competitors.

You can now build and maintain customer relationships; generate potential leads from referrals and implementing a websms system; and provide helpful information such as directions, downloadable audio directions or information and GPS coordinates etc. A website is a great tool for the retention of your current customers, having them coming back regularly.

A website is also the most inexpensive marketing tool, with global marketing capabilities that works for you 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Your marketing campaigns are completely traceable and can be monitored almost real-time, providing you with valuable information on Return on Investment.

You are able to gather who-where-when-how information and even launch targeted marketing campaigns, all for less than a fraction of the costs involved for conventional advertising campaigns. Best of all, you have complete control over the amount you want to spend on online marketing campaigns.

If you are in the business of making money, having a website is no longer a luxury - it is a necessity.

Your customers will evaluate your business based upon the strengths and weaknesses of your website and compare their online experience to that encountered whilst visiting your competitors!

Could your online deficiencies be affecting your operating efficiency. Hampering your corporate image and most importantly reducing bottom line profits?

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