What IT Takes To Succeed Online Today

Umesh Modi, Chairman & Managing Director, Jupiter InfomediaIt's the era of e-commerce! You can find everything online from groceries to gadgets, home decor items, apparel and even gold. Every business wants to be online. Not being online today means losing out on customers. Today everyone is online, whether it's your customer staying in a metro city or a potential customer in a rural area of the country, every one has access to the internet.

Therefore, it becomes essential to be online. By being online you can tap the global market as the internet has no boundaries. It is the easiest, fastest and cost-effective way to reach your potential and existing customers. However, the biggest question is how to succeed online? What does it take to mark your presence and generate business online? Is there a way for certain success? There are various components for online success which you can follow to ensure a top position in both the market and in the minds of your customers.

The first and the most important thing is your Website. Your website is the window to the soul of your business. It is the first thing your customer sees when he decides to purchase your product or avail your services. As a businessman/woman, you have to spend on your website to ensure that the design, look, and feel of the website is inviting. An inviting website ensures that the customer stays on the website long enough to search and buy/avail your product/services.

You also need to ensure that your website gives you an edge over your competitors and is superior in terms of design, convenience and hosting reliability. Always remember, the customer comes to your website for convenience. A website that is not user-friendly or the one that crashes and is unreliable is going to adversely affect your business. A website can make or break your business. It is essential to hire an expert and create a website that your customers love to visit. It is the smallest details that make a huge difference and shows the customer that you care.
Content is the king! There is no alternative to quality content. Content is what will help you in the long run. The content on your website has to be relevant to both your business and your customer. The content has to be up-to-date. The world is constantly moving ahead, there is no place for out-dated any thing today. The content should be interesting and useful. If you don’t provide it your competitors will. Hence, it is important to have a website which allows you to change the content at any point.

Communication is the key! The communication should be such that it conveys the exact message you want and leads to a buying decision

Investment in internet marketing strategy is a boon for the businesses. There are various internet marketing strategies like Search engine optimization, Opt-in email list, blogs, contests, and give aways etc. A businessman/woman must understand which strategy works for his/her business. To come up with the right strategy one must study their competitors and market. This will help you understand who your target audience is and which market should be tapped. Using a strategy puts you on the world map and helps you tap the untapped market.

Integration with social media is a must! Technology has made it easy for us to share. The old word-of-mouth advertising has a new face and it's called ‘Social Media’. Social media acts as a venue for customers to recommend and promote your brand. Customers write reviews and help you promote the companies news, be it a new addition to your product line or a CSR activity you did recently. It will also help you learn what works and what does n't. Customers will like an activity or dislike it. Either way, you'll get a better understanding of what the customer wants and expects out of your company.

E-mail marketing and newsletters are another way to ensure regular communication with your customers. Again, content plays an important role. The e-mails/newsletter must contain content that's relevant, current and useful for your potential and existing customer. Customer retention is easier than gaining a new customer. Building and maintaining the relationship with your consumers is essential for success.

Communication is the key! The communication should be such that it conveys the exact message you want and leads to a buying decision. Traditionally, companies spend millions of rupees on advertising and ATL activities to convey a message and position their brands. Online the cost for doing the same is next to nothing! However, it is important that you have the right people for the job. Brand positioning is what helps the customer connect with your brand. A wrong or misunderstood message will cost your business and you will end up paying a lot of money to rectify the mistake.

All of these steps will ensure success for your online business. However, success comes after a lot of hard work and perseverance. It will not come overnight. The return on investment will only come after you have built the customer base and created a superior quality product/service. The important thing is to not quit and make a timely informed decision. Consistency is what will help you and the business grow, and a growing business is bound to attract success.