Based on current trends, Google’s former Chief Executive Officer Eric Schmidt predicts that India will become the world's largest Internet market five to 10 years from now.1 Currently, India has more than 81 million Internet users2 and ranks fourth among the top 10 Internet-using nations.3
There should be then, no doubt about the growth potential of online businesses in India. Although business owners know why the Internet is popular with consumers, deciding on the right type of website to use for their business may not be as clear. But the good news is that it's not as difficult as you may think!
The first important step to conducting business on the Internet is to select and register a domain name. The domain name represents your company’s brand and identity on the Internet. To help increase your company’s visibility on the Web and establish your brand online, select a meaningful domain name and register it as soon as possible.
Just as your location in the physical world is important for the growth of your business, a .com domain name can also be for your online success. A .com domain name offers instant recognition, visibility and credibility for your brand and is appropriate for businesses of all sizes. Best of all, it's the most popular domain name extension around the world.4
To create the right website for your business, consider these important key steps:
For the first step, it’s important to identify the purpose of having a website. As you develop your strategy, focus on how your site will benefit your business. Is the website going to promote the company? Serve as a marketing extension of your brick-and-mortar business? Be an e-commerce site where visitors can purchase goods and services online?
As an example, consider the big business of silk sarees in India. One of the challenges many shop owners encounter is managing the large number of sales people required to display the sarees to customers. Another challenge is growing their business internationally and the costs associated with setting up more stores to reach a larger customer base.
A website would not only help display the variety of sarees in the store, but also provide the ability to take orders from anywhere around the world. And as added benefit, it could allow customers to custom-order the sarees.
Once you’re clear about the purpose of your site, do some research and surf the Web. Check out other websites to help you determine the types of the designs you like and the functionalities you want.
Once you’re clear about the purpose of your website, you’ll need to select which type of website you’ll need – static and dynamic.
As the name suggests, a static website is not designed to change. Once the site has been designed and content is in the design template, every web page will stay the same. In order to update a static website, you will need to ask your website development company for assistance.
A static website provides a basic online presence and is appropriate for certain circumstances. For example, a site for a holiday cottage rental may only need a few pages that include: details of the cottage, photos of the rooms, directions to the place, and a contact form.
Similarly, an accounting practice may only need a website where they can post professional biographies and related information.
Dynamic websites, on the other hand, allows content to be updated by means of a Content Management System (CMS). A CMS is Web-based software application that allow you to update website content without support from a website development company or having extensive knowledge of Web programming. An e-commerce site is a good candidate for a dynamic website since it would need continuous updates on products, services, prices, and promotions.
Many large, successful e-commerce sites take online orders, accept credit cards, and ship their products all over the world. And their sites offer their customers with many benefits, like a huge selection of products, extensive product descriptions, and easy to use navigation.
Take pointers from these websites and make shopping on your site simple for your customers too. Successful websites frequently have clean and professional-looking pages with the right amount of images that don’t take long to load. Give customers what they want quickly and easily, and the ability to purchase without hassle.
Selecting the right domain name and website for your online business are critical components to the growth of your business, but if done right, will be an effective tool to your company’s overall success.
As the Internet becomes more popular with consumers who are looking for information, products and services, creating the right online presence for your business right now makes sense. And it provides another opportunity for you to highlight your business strengths.
Welcome to the Internet world!
1 From the article ‘Google predicts India will be largest net mkt’ in The Times of India by Rashmee Roshan Lall, 24 May 2006 http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/NEWS/Business/India-Business/Google-predicts-India-will-be-largest-net-mkt/articleshow/1549720.cms
2 www.internetworldstats.com, June 30, 2010
3 From the article ‘Can India lead the mobile-internet revolution?’ by Laxman Narasimhan dated 8 March 2011 available at http://www.silicon.com/technology/networks/2011/03/08/can-india-lead-the-mobile-internet-revolution-39747100/
4 During the fourth quarter of 2010, the overall base of .com and .net domain names grew to reach a combined total of 105.2 million names, according to the Verisign Domain Name Industry Brief (Volume 8, Issue 1, February 2011)