Tips to help SMBs build an effective online presence – The Economic Times–26.11.2017

By Jasminder Singh Gulati

Digital adoption by Indian SMBs has traditionally been extremely low. However, adoption of advanced business digital technologies can help them increase revenues by up to 27 percent according to an ASSOCHAM-Deloitte joint study. It can also improve SMBs’ access to international markets by up to 65 percent.

Several experts have predicted that India’s next phase of growth will be driven by technology. There are several factors driving this growth.

The Government has launched several schemes centred around digital

The primary objective of the Digital India campaign is to ensure that Government services are made available to citizens electronically through improved online infrastructure and increased Internet connectivity. Basically, it is about providing connectivity, e-governance and online education available in the remotest corner of the country making it digitally empowered.

The Government’s Smart Cities Mission also has a strong technology component. While the aim is to make our cities citizen-friendly and ecologically sustainable, there is great emphasis on tech-centric initiatives such as public Wifi, electronic surveillance, smart lighting etc.

There has also been focus on laying optical fibres, through projects such as the National Optical Fibre Network (NOFN). Not to mention initiatives such as Make in India and StartUp India, which also include a technology focus.

Changing dynamics with respect to connectivity

India is embracing the power of the Internet very enthusiastically. Internet users in India are expected to be in the range of 450-465 million by June this year, up from 432 million in December last year, according to an IAMAI-IMRB report. India is also set to lead the world in smartphone adoption with a net addition of 350 million connections in 2016-20, as per a GSM Association report. E-commerce is expected to be $ 50-55 billion by 2021 with penetration being as high as 40 percent in categories like consumer electronics, according to a report by Boston Consulting Group and Retailers Association of India. E-commerce adoption in young adults below 25 years of age has risen to 36 percent in 2016 from eight percent in 2014.

As per the Mary Meeker Internet trends 2017, the dip in data costs has led to a massive 9x jump in the data consumption in the country.

So, what does this growth mean for Indian SMBs?

Simply put, it means that they need to get online, and fast! Services & manufacturing enterprises have been more active than other sectors when it comes to buying domain names to establish online presence according to Zinnov. Possibly because they are more tech-savvy and have realized the transformational impact of increasing business visibility with an online presence.

An online strategy has to be well thought through for it to be effective. Here are some tips to help you build an effective online presence:

Choose the right domain name for your website
According to the Zinnov report, about 95 percent of SMBs bought a domain name similar to their company name. We’ve found that our customers often purchase an additional domain to add to their existing one. These are also highly competitive domain names. Also, about 79 percent of SMBs in India currently prefer .com over other TLDs with TRUST being the major reason for this preference. This absolutely makes sense and is a good guideline for all SMBs looking to build their own website.

Another trend we’ve observed is that businesses tend to purchase domains that give an indication of geography and also the type of product/service (such as bengaluruhousing.com), which works well.

Link your existing online presence to a domain name
Use social media effectively as part of your integrated marketing plan to help drive traffic to your website. If your business already has a social media page, or a page on an aggregator or market place, you can redirect your domain to that page, if you are not keen to build a full-fledged website. So, the URL on your visiting card can point to a Facebook page or the listing page of a market place if you are happy with the way your products/services are described there.

Branded Email
Not many people are aware that one doesn’t need to have a website to own a branded email id. As long as you have domain name, getting a branded email is possible!

As India gets ready to make the technological leap, make sure that your business doesn’t get left behind! It’s time for SMBs to ride on India’s technology adoption wave.

The author is Co-founder & CEO at NowFloats.

via Tips to help SMBs build an effective online presence – The Economic Times

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s