Websites can be used as a platform for engaging with existing and new clients at every stage of the retail or trade sales cycle.
Websites are now a key tool in the marketing campaigns for many local businesses. In its simplest form it is a brochure that is available to anybody with an internet connection and displays the same information as contained in printed promotional materials. However the use sophisticated design tools, such as Macromedia flash to provide interaction and movement, lend a website even greater potential as a branding tool.
The development of content management systems (see Website Components) allow small businesses, without IT specialists, to keep the content of their website current and appealing.
A website allows businesses access to world wide web marketing channels to generate sales leads. Most of these are highly measurable and controllable in comparison with traditional marketing methods.
More and more products and services are sold directly over the Internet today. The advantages buying products & services online include:
Some products such as literature, computer software and music can be downloaded directly from the website but where postal delivery is required, the process is similar to a traditional 'mail order' system. The process of making direct sales over the web is commonly called E-commerce.
A website can reduce costs and enhance customer service following a sale by featuring some of the following.
Website can also serve as a useful tool for sharing information within the business.