Thanks to the Internet, almost everything has become accessible today. Food, clothes, cars, plane tickets, software, hardware – everything can be bought online and delivered to your doorstep in a matter of minutes/hours/days. When you really sit down and think about it, everything that you see on the web is, more or less, a click away from you. Isn’t that amazing?
When I talk to someone a bit older than me, someone who has been around long before the Internet became what it is today, I can still hear the amazement in his or her voice when they describe their experiences with online shopping. Although this seems ridiculous to some of you, I kind of get that enthusiasm.
Being a person who was born in the eighties, I had my first encounter with the internet via dial-up.
/sad trombone sound/
Everyone who remembers that era is probably still having some horrible nightmares. That idiotic sound that the land-line used to make when you tried to connect to the Web still haunts me in my dreams.
Man, just two decades ago, you had to wait more than 10 minutes just to open a picture or an email on the Web, and now you can stream entire films online and download 1GB or bigger files in under 5 minutes. We have come a long way, people. We must not forget that. All glory to the mighty Internet!
The evolution of Internet has influenced our behavior in many ways. First and foremost of all, on how we do business. Today, people know that they have a lot of options, so, naturally, their expectations are much higher than before. They won’t settle for any type of service or product. No. They want the best. Why? – Well, because they can. It’s out there. It’s accessible. All they have to do is look.
The competition among business who earn their bread and butter online is insane these days, so if you want to compete effectively and continue to be recognized as a top player in your field, you constantly have to come up with new ways on how to keep your current and prospective clients interested and loyal to your business.
How to Stay Competitive Online?
As I already wrote on this blog, no matter how good you are at your job, you cannot sell anything to everyone. In today’s world, just offering quality services or products isn’t enough to achieve success in business. No. If you want to survive and position yourself on top, you need to invest your efforts in targeting your customers as much as in developing your products.
So, before coming up with a new business idea, have a long, honest and detailed look at yourself. We are all products of our past experiences and we all have unique sets of skill that could come in handy if put into right use.
When thinking about what to do, it is highly advisable that you focus on what you already know and start a business where you have an unfair advantage.
Apart from that, one of the key elements in doing business today is to make sure that your work is quite accessible to people. You have to everywhere, day and night.
There are a lot of ways on how you can present yourself and your company as a great choice to your current and prospective clients. One of the more popular ones is by presenting your company as a brand who offers a convenient service.
Convenience: Why Must I Focus On Making My Products and Services Accessible?
Convenience is a key factor in doing business today. If you want to make it in this overly competitive world, driven by smart customers and even smarter competitors, you have to provide top notch service and make your business extremely accessible to anyone who’s interested in your work.
Thanks to numerous advantages and benefits, more and more people say that they prefer online shopping over conventional shopping these days.
When you shop online, you don’t have to get all dressed up, drive to a store, spend hours and hours going through all sorts of products. No. You don’t even have to bother yourself with such trivial things as working hours. Day or night, the Internet is always at your service. You can browse around anytime you please. You can shop at midnight in your jammies, in the afternoon while you’re riding a bus, or even in the morning when you’re eating cereal. It’s all good. Anywhere there’s a wifi signal, you can do some shopping. You don’t have to wait in a line or wait till the girl or guy from the shop comes to help you with your purchases. You can do your shopping in minutes even if you are busy. Online shops give us the opportunity to shop 24/7 and also the chance to have some peace and quiet while we do so.
I don’t know about you, but this is a huge advantage to me. I do most of my shopping online.
Although I’m a guy who always goes for online shopping instead of conventional one, there are cases where I tend to get frustrated with buying products online as well. As I wrote in one of the previous posts here, The Web is full of awful company websites, and I’m not just talking about design. There are many other elements that play a much more important role. People will rate your site on its speed, structure, UX, content, responsiveness, etc.
Hell, even Google will penalize you for having a terrible website.
If, for instance, you have a website that is not quite user friendly, that confuses your visitors and makes it hard for them to find certain information about your products and services, than your website isn’t worth a single penny. People will leave it without making a conversion and you as business owner will be left there to watch your worst nightmares become reality.
For example, I love eating at this one restaurant. It has great food. Everything on the menu is terrific. Unfortunatelly, I’m not always free to swing by for a quick launch. Sometimes I have to order it in. Thinking of it as a pretty standard task, a couple of days ago I set down and tried to order their food online.
What was expected to be an easy and joyous function, turned out to be a complete nightmare. Their website is so awful that it actually gave me headaches. The menu is out of date and confusing, plus it’s really hard to navigate. It took me a few minutes to find it, and when I did, I couldn’t figure out if I placed an order or not. Naturally, this drove me nuts, so I took my business elsewhere, to a place where I can see what I’m actually doing.
So, what happened here? Due to poor UX, content and design, this restaurant lost its loyal customer. Although I still eat there sometimes, when I have the time to come around their place for lunch, but I never order their food online. This sucks for them ‘cause, as you know, I have to eat everyday.
Your Client Is Your Golden Goose
Remember: in order to succeed in business, you have to do whatever it takes. This means knowing who your current and potential clients are; and then treating them with such respect and kindness regardless of who they are and what they do. You want to make them feel like doing business with you is the best experience they’re going to have in their day.
In order to do so, in order to succeed in this segment, you must invest your time and knowledge into designing a highly visible and accessible web presence, well-stocked with the most popular products and services, and fast and friendly support team.
Businesses who see convenience just as something that “eases a bit the entire process of making a sale” are missing on a lot of new and exciting opportunities to attract even more clients and exponentially grow their customer base.
Convenience creates loyalty between customers and brands. Every business owner, no matter what he’s selling, knows that. He wants a customer who is willing to repeat the purchase and all sorts of different consumption acts of his brand/products beyond fair share.
Clearly there are different degrees of loyalty which are difficult to measure, and are also difficult to compare. The important thing here is that they all go beyond just recognizing the value of a brand and its products. It goes beyond that state of mind when a certain customer sees your advertisement and feels good about the content that he’s exposed to.
How Do I Make My Business More Accessible for My Potential Clients?
Creating a convenient online business, that makes it easy for people to consume your products and services, is all about understanding your user’s intent. Apart from designing a simple and intuitive website and an easy billing system, to have an understanding what your potential or current client wants, you really need to dig deep into their psyche. You have to figure out who’s your shopper, how old is he or she, what he likes, what he dislike, what problems is he experiencing on daily, weekly, monthly and yearly basis, where does he usually hang out online, is he a big spender, or just a person who’s looking for a cheap deal.
Designing “personas” is a method of market segmentation wherein you need to collect a combination of qualitative and quantitative data to build archetypes of the members of your target audience. In other words, you take data to tell a predictive story about your users based on past behaviors and attributes. There’s a great and pretty detailed article on MOZ about this subject, so if you’re interested in getting to know your public and turning their behavior into your advantage, I strongly advise you that you read this article.
Thank you for taking the time out of your busy day to read our latest blog post.
I hope you enjoyed it. If you have anything to add, please feel free to write your thoughts in the comments sections.
That’s it for now,
See you soon again,
Goran @ AltusHost B.V.