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The Need:

In a mere ten years the evolution of the World Wide Web has revolutionised the way we all do business. An online presence has moved from a once “Nice to have” amenity to a much needed fundamental piece of any contemporary business strategy.

This presence coupled with a plethora of digital marketing techniques has opened the door for all businesses to expand into a market place far beyond the reach of any conventional business structure, increasing the potential market reach into the millions.

Going forwards the digital alignment has become imperative for a business to enable them to maintain their competitive edge. The on-going development of web technologies and infrastructures continues to allow for a more customer engaged experience and with further integration into social media platforms and device accessibility, has lead the way forwards for how a potential customer not only finds your website, but how the thought pattern and purchasing process progresses through to fruition.

The Benefits:

There are a number of verifiable benefits to trading online as well as the noted customer reach aspect, such as easy access to business product cataloguing, secure payment processing, integrated back office systems and accounting as well as one of the other main benefits, 24 hour trading. The positive influence that these extra benefits have had, have seen online investment experience phenomenal growth and has stood to make every business adopt a more collaborative digital trading strategy in parallel to the usual day to day slog.

Super Powers:

The past ten years has seen super powers from all industries adopt a digital platform, which has influenced smaller business to explore this area further, and stood to restore the once knocked confidence after the fall out from the dot com boom in the late 80’s, early 90’s. The web is now seen to be a viable revenue stream, seeing profits rise into the millions if the correct digital strategy has been applied relating to the industry niche.

The Downside:

Obviously as online popularity has grown, so too has the competitiveness and the ability to rank highly in the most notorious of search engines Google, Bing and Yahoo. The health of your rankings is imperative to ensure a good turnover and profit from your website, which is directly driven by the level of traffic your site receives.

There have always been ways and means of improving your websites performance both from an onsite and offsite optimisation perspective, but with changes to algorithms and methodologies times have become more difficult for the online trader as the emphasis from search engines has moved away from eCommerce and more towards the information portal and blogs. This isn’t to say that trading online isn’t worth it though, as there are many ways to increase rankings and exposure which all lead to the all-important traffic needed to generate sales.

The Good News:

The good news is that experts are of the opinion that we are still only within the early infancy of the Web and that trading online will become ever more important for businesses going forwards. It is predicted that online retail growth in Europe alone will be around 11% each year, so there’s still much to look forwards to for the online trader as internet usage increases worldwide, consequently increasing your business exposure.

by Austin Waddecar on 04/10/2013

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