Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Role of Web-Site in Export Marketing

Exporters, aspiring to use Internet for overseas marketing, must recognize certain basic facts about Internet and orient their marketing drive accordingly. Principles of traditional marketing, though still applies to Internet, needs to be supplemented with intrinsic features of the Web such as its anonymous nature, absence of geographic borders and all round competition. What's considered a cozy niche product in your domestic market, ceases to remain so when exposed to world wide web.

Having good product and competitive price is simply not enough for success in such an environment - your business should also be able to inspire sufficient confidence in customer's mind. In the anonymous world of Internet, where buyer and seller are unlikely to meet each other physically - a professional web-presence goes a long way in establishing your credibility and attract buyers from all over the world.

Without a professional web-presence, you are ill-equipped to survive and grow in overseas markets. Going to battle field without arming yourself sufficiently brings failure and disaster. Imagine how you are going to impress buyers when your competitors with professional web-presence and business e-mail are in a far better position to establish their credibility and communicate in far superior way compared to your free e-mail.Successful Indian exporters realized the virtue of professional web-sites and equipped themselves with some kind of web-presence early on.If you are still not convinced - here's some compelling reasons for your consideration:


Establish Your Identity - Build Trust

Trust is the bedrock of any business transaction. In the anonymous world of Internet where buyer and seller seldom meet face to face -establishing one's identity is the first step towards building mutual trust and confidence. A professionally designed web-site inspires far more confidence than an anonymous (and mostly free) e-mail. With a web-site - you can provide detail information about your company including names, numbers, addresses, and directions for interested customers to get in touch as well as cross check. Besides, one can verify brief details like name, contact address, tel etc. from domain register (WHOIS) or web-host.

Attract Customers from All Over the World

The Internet has no geographic limit - reaching a customer in Canada requires no more effort or resources than reaching a customer in Chile or China. Use this wonderful opportunity to showcase your products to worldwide audience, attract customers from all over the world. Your Internet presence exposes you to far greater number of potential customers - local, regional, nationwide, or worldwide.

What's more - information about your company and product remains available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. No matter what time of day/night or which corner of globe - anyone can find basic information about your business, or products and get in touch with you. Web-site is not only your global show-case but it remains open 24-hours without your physical presence.

It is Superior - Yet Inexpensive

Web-site is not only a superior way of promoting products, it is far more inexpensive and effective than print or CD publication. Let us compare it with a traditional way of promotion like printed catalog.

Cost of printing a multi-page colorful catalog on quality paper is substantial. On top of that - there's postage and packing costs. Above all - there is a time loss in dispatching printed catalog that may result in opportunity loss as buyer may decide to buy from someone else by the time the catalog arrives. Finally, one can not change content of printed catalog - they are dead as soon as published.

Compare this with web-site - one can have a reasonably good web-site at fraction of cost of printing a 25 page colorful catalog. There's no postage or packing cost and access is instantaneous, so no time or opportunity loss. Maintenance of content is a breeze as you may add new products or update existing ones as many times as you like.

Apart from economy there are many other benefits like business e-mail (sales@yourdomain.com), live chat, auto responders, payment gateway etc. that go with web-sites.

Customer Feedback

Unlike most forms of advertising or promotional material, the web is not a one way street - it is interactive. Your web-site facilitates two way interaction between you and your customer. Customers' Comments, suggestions, feedback etc. are invaluable input to improve your business and customer relations.

Help Your Customer to Locate You

Directories and yellow pages help us to locate suitable vendors. There are enough businesses, organizations, and people now on the web that many people use it as one of their first sources for information. How can you get listed in search directories to be accessible by the public when you don't even have a web page?

Think of the internet as a huge Yellow Pages with no limitation on the size of your advertisement. By investing in a web-site, you are enlisting your company in this global yellow pages and helping your customer to locate you conveniently.

Build Professional Image

A professionally designed web-site is a statement about your company, an excellent communication medium to convey your image. Use this tool to build a positive image about your company that inspires confidence in your customer. Information is a powerful marketing tool. Educate your customer with detail information about why and how they can benefit from using your products and services (whether you want to sell online or not).

Conclusion

Web-sites have emerged as an essential tool for those who wish to use Internet for marketing. Its effective use may decide the extent of your future success. If you have a web-site, explore how to make better use of it. If you do not have one - go for it right away.

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