We live in a day in age where information is literally at our fingertips! If i’m sitting at home and need to find out about something, all I need to do is pull out a laptop or tablet and search for ‘that’ information. If i’m out and about, that search is done on my phone.
A lot of the time, my searches involve finding out information about a business or product. Sometimes these searches are specific in that I know who or what I am searching for with my search being for contact information or an online storefront where I can purchase the product (or service).
The ideal and most convenient situation would be being able to find all of the information I need and if need be, make a purchase online. That said, there have been situations where a business has not had an online presence and this has sometimes swayed my decision on where I spend my money because of the lack of convenience.
Something of more concern and to the detriment of the business, product or service that was the original subject of the search is the appearance of alternatives. The absence of an online presence for one business and another filling that space with alternatives results in lost sales. As a business owner, you would not want that to happen!
The thing is though, when I’m searching for something specific where an alternative won’t cut it, not being able to get it online leads to frustration, disappoint and questions. Some of the questions that come to mind are “what am I going to do now?” and “why aren’t they online?”.
Over the last few weeks, that last question has been lingering in my mind and over that time, conversations with various people have made it apparent that I’m not the only one who “feels this pain”. Interestingly enough, whilst watching Inside Africa on CNN a little while back, Fadi Chehadé, President & CEO of ICANN spoke of a similar experience during a visit to Johannesburg (video below).
What Fadi had to say was said from the point of view of a developing nation. One could assume that more would be expected from businesses in developed nations. But, regardless of the state of play, the necessity of an online presence has hopefully become more apparent.
If your business isn’t online, is there any particular reason why it isn’t?
And, what is your understanding of having an online presence?