While the Internet has boosted international communications and promoted a boom of services to help globalization seamlessly take place, the reality is that there’s something for everyone. This is especially true for small and medium enterprises, as the Internet provides startups and existing businesses alike the chance to create a unique space for their company, and specify exactly on what level they want to compete.
Not the Same Market
While larger corporations definitely benefit from an online presence in so far that, if they are at all in the B2C market, they wouldn’t be as large as they are without one, smaller businesses often don’t see the point in going online when they’re seeking to only compete on a local level, while the Internet is a communications tool for the whole world.
But the truth is that on a business side, the Internet has segmented its business world into different markets through more selective, smarter and accurate search engines. Customers looking for a service provider of a specific kind will not just be given the digits of the world’s best – they’ll be shown who’s most likely up for the job locally.
The Internet is not one giant competing marketplace, but an interconnected, complex network of customers and businesses, with countless levels of communication where customers have the freedom to look solely locally for what they need, and local businesses have the chance to compete among each other to bring home the bacon.
Your Local Reputation Matters Most Online
The Internet user penetration for the Western market is something around 90 percent, specifically 89 in the USA, 90 in Canada, and an average of about 85 in Western Europe as per Pew Global – coupled with the fact that Facebook alone boasts a membership of about 2 billion, and review sites all of the world for all sorts of industries (Yelp, TripAdvisor) continue to grow, the Internet isn’t just a tool for consumers. It’s become an integral part of their lives.
Digital marketing through the Internet brings in a substantial part of a business’ revenue and leads/sales through advertising. Ecommerce plays another big role, bringing in a chunk of business. And even from customers who enter physical retail shops or contact stores through telephone, chances are they Google’d you or the local industry first, and made a decision after a thorough vetting process of their own.
Checking a company’s reputation – how they treat their customers, how good the product or service really is, and other factors – has never been so easy. Complaining about a company has never been so easy either. The Internet has evolved word-of-mouth, and has given customers newfound power – and small businesses in particular have to take advantage of the beneficial side of that fact, before they find out that their first entry into the Internet isn’t their very own professional website, but an informal complaint on Facebook or Yelp.
The Internet Can Cut Operational Costs
For starting businesses, one of the biggest boons to working digitally is the fact that you can take advantage of existing infrastructures without taking the time or building the capital needed to make it all a part of your in-house operations. E-commerce is a great way to get your product out there, internationally and locally, without paying the rent and setup to sell your products.
Is e-commerce inherently better that way? Not really – but what you do get is the benefit that you can start selling sooner, without requiring the capital to set up a physical location.
The same goes for marketing, parts of which can be done for free or cents on the dollar through the use of blogging and social media.
However, to really make the most of your chances online, you need to partner with a quality business to help you setup your online presence – a business like WebDesign Cebu.