Why businesses make their services accessible by different technology

A few years back, in the aftermath of the global economic crash, the big news was that companies that created an online presence for themselves in the form of electronic marketing capabilities were reaching far more customers than brick-and-mortar-only companies. But today, there’s no disputing the fact that the internet has enabled the rise of a whole new economy – an economy that has radically changed the way we all do business. It’s no longer a question of whether you need an online presence for your products or services; the real question is how to get the best out of your online presence in the era of multiple gadget ownership.

The fact is that, with the uptake of mobile gadgets like tablets and smartphones burgeoning across the planet, people are not simply doing their online shopping from a stately desktop PC, perched imperiously and immovably on their workstations. They’re shopping on the hoof, surfing on their iPads while sipping a cappuccino in a coffee shop, or on the train as they come home from work. Millennials especially are virtually glued to their smartphones, night and day. All of which amounts to a particular fact: to be most effective in your reach, you have to get your online content optimised for mobile as well as desktop/laptop screens.

There are still multiple issues to consider, of course, as to what kind of online presence your business should have. With the right marketing in place, having an online shop opens the gateway to attracting more buyers than you could hope to achieve with a brick-and-mortar store only. It’s a lot easier to “travel” (surf) online than it is to brave the elements and trudge to the high street in the wind and rain. And ordering online is a cinch: new technologies allow you take just about every part of your business online, from procurement to billing, and supply chain management to shipping. Moving these processes online can cut costs substantially.

These days, social media cannot be ignored. Growing numbers of online ordering companies are tapping into its potential to promote fast word-of-mouth advertising and to create brand awareness.

The highly successful Seychelles-based investment professional Mukesh Valabhji, for example, is under no illusions about the need to use all digital channels, from social media to online storefront marketing, and all screen sizes. He advocates the use of YouTube for expanding brand awareness and marketing, precisely because it’s accessible to all gadgets (it’s not uncommon for people to watch video content on YouTube on their smartphones for the whole of their ride home from work). He believes that acquiring live chat capability is a hugely advantageous move commercially: Forrester Research found that 44% of online consumers rated the presence of a live person to interact with while making a purchase was one of the most important features a website can offer, and an emarketer.com study found that 63% were more inclined to return to a website they’d made a purchase from if it offered live chat.

In short, ensuring your online presence harnesses all the digital channels available is increasingly becoming a commercial necessity. Inevitably, in our era of mobile device proliferation, that means ensuring your content is optimised for mobile screens as well as desktop/laptop devices.

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