Why SMEs in Africa need a functional website for intercontinental trade opportunities by Emmanuel Otori


BY EMMANUEL OTORI, MARCH 11, 2022 | 11:59 AM

The vision of every business is to achieve set goals, meet the demands of clients and create solutions peculiar to life challenges. Irrespective of the drive of a business, accomplishing more results with less resources is usually an approach most use in achieving these visions. Thanks to the impact of digitization in day-to-day activities, every business ranging from small-sized to large-sized gets a chance to be optimized as there are many opportunities to get on with.

Ecommerce enables businesses to trade goods and services over the internet in the various levels of business-to-business, business-to-consumer and consumer-to-consumer relationships.

Why Online Visibility is Important?

Is there a need to put your business online? Of course. Among many reasons, looking for the right audience is a major factor in running a business because there exists different audiences, hence, the need for wider reach to find a niche in the market. Businesses put themselves up online majorly through websites amongst social media platforms, Emailing strategies and mobile apps techniques. As much as it is important to set up a website for your business, it is expected to ensure the website is functional and responsive.

Fact about online visibility and reputation management: ● 98% of the audience expects to see visual structures that are appealing. Understand that your audience/viewers have needs for which they seek solutions and would not appreciate unresponsiveness when in search of solution. ● Gain is the bottom line of businesses. This can be in the form of financial profit and other business support. ● Competition exists in business. Your business may not be solid, it doesn't stop the presence of competitors in the market.

Residing on the few facts expressed above, a functional business website can go a long way in running a business as there are many things it can do. On the business side, the cost of operating and managing a business website is minimal compared to setting up physical strategies of reaching target audience and engaging market interaction. Less operational cost with effective results generates more revenue.

Why Social Media Presence is Not Enough

In a bid to get your business running, creating Ads, posting on social media platforms is not sufficient to maximizing the benefits of digitization in business. These can give publicity to your business but having a website that is effective is more beneficial as it creates an online presence for your business.

Having a website for your business gives your business the feel of trustworthiness. The integrity of a business is core in attributing organizational values both from the business team and clients. When a client gets introduced to your business and finds a center to get more resources on what your business entails creates a sense of credibility to what you do, hence, confidence to engage in your business. Furthermore, if the website is responsive, customer services available and call-to-action prompt, the impression alone gives the viewer a level of satisfaction.

How A Function Website Provides Significance

Having a website that showcases your business gives opportunity to reach a wider customer base which operating offline may not offer, giving limitations to mobility, inter-relationships and other factors.

A functional website helps in looking out for loopholes, monitoring customer’s interaction, tracking customer’s patronage, fetching reviews and giving insights to the business. These activities help in making business decisions in finances, publicity, operation, customer relationship, potential areas in need of your business solutions.

Lastly, in a business, market augmentation is such that an expansion in target audience or product line occurs. This is very much achievable when your business is online and has a website that is functional. Effectiveness of a business component has a way of rubbing on the choices of the market audience.

What is a functional business website like? § A business website that is functional has good content. § The compatibility of the website to devices is necessary. § Creative visual designs attract viewers and make them stay longer on the site. § Only relevant information should be displayed. § The website should be easily navigated.

Emmanuel Otori has over 9 years of experience working with 100 start-ups and SMEs across Nigeria. He has worked on the Growth and Employment (GEM) Project of the World Bank, Consulted for businesses at the Abuja Enterprise Agency, Novustack, Splitspot and NITDA.

He is the Chief Executive Officer at Abuja Data School.

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