With today’s advances in technologies and the rapid growth of the Internet having an online presence for a business is very beneficial. A business can benefit in many ways from owning its own Web site. Only a few years ago, if a customer wanted to do business with a specific company he or she would have to physically go to the business or, in less common cases, they could order from a catalog. The development of Internet technologies has created an environment where collaborating with clients, communicating with employees, marketing, and training have evolved to reach a broader group of clients in a more efficient manner.
With development and growth of Internet search engines, the way people find businesses has changed a great deal in the past few years. Someone in need of a product or service in a geographical area could go on the Internet and search for what they were inquiring about. The Internet search would give the person a list of Web sites to choose from. For example; if he or she were in need of a plumber they would use the Internet to search for a plumber in their city. In the search results he or she would find a plumber’s Web site and obtain their telephone number. The use of paper-back phone books to find businesses is slowly disappearing.
Internet technologies and Web pages also help businesses with when and where they can sell their products. With the recent development of online shopping Web sites, also known as ecommerce sites, companies are able to sell products anytime and from anywhere over the internet. The need for the old brick and mortar store is not always necessary. For example; if he or she wanted to buy a certain book they could go to the book store and buy it. With the Internet and shopping Web sites, he or she could find the book virtually and have it mailed to their house. Another type of shopping Web site is the auction site. An auction site allows an individual to bid on something over a period of time, normally for a reduced price. Having an online shopping Web site will greatly benefit a business when selling products, whether that is through an on-line store or through an auction site.
Marketing and advertising a business has changed recently because of the Internet. The traditional methods of advertising a product or service was usually done through printed ads and radio commercials. With the Internet, companies are advertising their products and services on popular Web sites. The more popular a Web page, the higher the charge for advertising space. Other Internet advertising options allow a company to advertise at specific times and specific geographic regions. Internet marketing can expand business advertising to the entire world.
Another great Internet based advertising system is social media. Social media Web sites could be good for a business by linking together groups and other businesses to share information. This can drive new clients to a business. People share information about a product they like and others share it. This type of advertising spreads quickly and can benefit a business.
The Internet and use of a company Web site helps a business communicate. A company can easily communicate with its clients and employees through the use of Internet technologies; such as, email, Web site content, and help forums. If he or she has a question about a product they could easily send the company a message through the help forum or email portal on the Web site. Business communications have changed with the use of online collaboration tools. Using the Internet, a sales person can have access to company contact lists, documents, and calendars that are embedded into the company Web site.
Employee information and training has changed with the use of the Internet. A company can have training modules built into their Web site for initial and recurring employee training sessions. This saves the company time and money. Communicating with employees by using email is also helpful to a business. Policy changes and other information can easily be sent throughout a business by using electronic communication. When a business uses technologies and electronic communication methods it saves money by not wasting paper.
The next generation of Internet technologies and Web sites are the mobile type. Businesses that have traveling sales people need access to company resources using smaller handheld devices. The Web applications made for mobile devices are smaller, fast loading, and do not rely on heavy graphics. The computer as we know it is changing into a smaller, hand held, mobile device. These smaller devices help a business become mobile. Imagine being a traveling business person and having to go through airport security everyday with a large laptop and all its equipment. Now imagine just carrying a handheld device and how much easier it becomes.
Internet technologies and the use of business Web sites are constantly changing and evolving. When a company can adapt and change with the technologies it will benefit because, using quick and effective communicating methods, marketing and advertising strategies, and efficient customer service systems allows a business to move from a brick and mortar store to a potentially global business. Today, if a business does not evolve and keep up with the technology, it will be left behind.