Why have a website? Real benefits and uses Series help organisations and individuals reconcile their professional goals with the many solutions offered by digital platforms. So these are real benefits and uses of a website?
- A digital presence in the digital age
- Getting to your audience everywhere
- Visualising a Unique Brand
- Multimedia, multisensory experience
- Control and ownership
- Understanding visitors and customers
- Eco-friendly and money-saving
- Optimising the efficiency of operations
- Showcasing your expertise
Why have a website: Real benefits and uses – 8. Optimising the efficiency of operations
As a business, I know how important the efficiency of operations translate to smooth service, cost saving and most importantly price reducing or more special offers to the customers. As a sole trader, I know how much a personal assistant is primordial. A website can become just that in a few but essential ways.
- A website can be updated instantly and easily. While in printing, both the costs and the logistics meant that a great loss both in time and in money, the digital realm comes with easier and most cost-friendly attachments. Now there are a very few exceptions of course: this works if your website developer did not create a Flash website which requires a professional Flash web developer to make the complex changes, just to add an ‘s’ at the end of that 3rd word in the second paragraph, that you happen to have missed. That is not cost efficient. The importance of a well-planned maintenance-friendly web development is primordial here but most of the time, this is the case.
- A website can manage the authentication of your visitors, making sure that users register, check that they own the email address they register with and are the correct people who log in by checking their password. So where you would have your bank manager spending 5 minutes asking you a number of questions to identify you and whether you are who you say you are, you get an automated online version that saves your business time and is convenient and straigthforward feature available 24/to the customer.
- A website can manage orders and sales: e-commerce features allows for complete online sales, from browsing services and products, choosing the preferred items and even customising them according to different options to ordering, paying and receiving confirmation. For so-called virtual items such as digital downloads or online course, the functionality can even give instant access to the content or service. With such functionality being common place today, customers are more likely to be able to do it themselves and easily. A brand will need to ensure that everything within the sales process makes the customer confident to proceed, including proof of the security, smoothness and friendliness of the transaction as well as feedback from previous customers and positive ratings from consumers associations. Some of the many other advantages offered by this functionality include order analysis and the management of promotions.
- A live chat allows you to communicate with your potential buyer in real time and directly on the site as they arrive. Here and there, you can ask them if they require help and you can even follow take care of more than one client at once, which you could not do in a physical shop without having to be in two places at the same time!
- Many more operations can be automated online beyond sales, not least the distribution of a title, link to and featured image of your blog post to all your social media and your newsletter when it is published.
A website can do a lot more but these few examples give you how you can make your operations more efficient!