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Rapidly emerging digital technologies are providing UK-based small to medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) with more opportunities to increase revenue. But many small businesses are reluctant to embrace these technologies, due either to fear or a lack of information.
UK Cabinet Office figures show that a third of British SMEs do not have a website which is capable of selling their products or services. If this applies to your business, this puts you at a disadvantage particularly against bigger companies. You will not have the online capability required to engage with digitally-savvy consumers. Software company SAP recently explained to World First how your business can capitalise on digital technologies to succeed online.
It is vital that you set up a website in the digital age, as consumers expect to be able to find your company online. Your website will serve as your digital shop front, acting as a critical portal which alerts consumers to the products and services you provide. It is also essential you make sure consumers can access your website via multiple devices, especially mobile. SAP quotes research which shows that 44% of consumers say that mobile is their most important device for making purchasing decisions, so adopting this strategy can allow your business to reach more potential consumers.
It is key that you ensure that your target consumers can find your website easily, so they can engage with your business online. SAP notes that “digital marketing tools like e-newsletters are there to help customers find” your website. Include links to your website on your social media channels and blog sites, to further advertise this portal to consumers.
You may wish to sell products on third party vendors such as eBay and this can prove effective, as it can allow you to reach a broader swathe of customers online. Include links to your website when selling via third party platforms, so your customers can click onto your portal at whim, increasing the chances that they will buy products and services from your business.
In this fast-paced modern world, consumers expect to be able to purchase products and services at their convenience. If they cannot do so then you will lose a customer, along with the vital repeat revenue they could bring to your business. SAP advises you to ensure that you keep your website up-to-date e.g. always make sure that popular products are in stock, to keep existing customers. Implement a digital sales and inventory system so that you are always prepared to execute a sale.
SAP notes that whether consumers are engaging with your business “in-store, over the phone, on social media,” they “expect that interaction to be the same.” It is vital that you ensure that your business develops a consistent way of engaging with consumers across all its digital communication channels. Ideally you should make sure that the tone of voice your staff uses to talk to consumers online is the same as the one they adopt in face-to-face communication. This will allow you to develop the consistency needed to foster a brand that your target consumers can identify with and trust.
You need to be aware of what consumers are saying about your business online, so you can address any customer complaints before they damage your brand. Use a data analytics platform to monitor online conversations surrounding your business. For instance, you could set up Google Alerts for your business’ name to keep track of mentions of your company across your digital assets. This will allow you to address consumer issues speedily, showing customers that you care about ensuring they receive good service from your enterprise.
In order to succeed online, it is vital that you invest in the effective technological infrastructure required to support your operations. It is essential, for instance that your employees have access to effective broadband, so that they can interact with consumers seamlessly online. Kinex provides the outstanding broadband services you need to tap into the UK’s increasingly lucrative digital economy.
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