Should Your Business Build a Website?

schedule 01 Jun 2016


by Randi Chiah | Digital Lead, eBusiness at Maxis


Here’s an astounding fact: A full 50 percent of Malaysian businesses didn’t have a digital presence in 2015, according to Bank Negara. No website, no social presence, nothing.

The question is: How are these companies marketing their products and services?

They aren’t. Well, not in any meaningful way.

However, there are already over 19 million Malaysians who are internet users and according to Google’s Consumer Barometer for Malaysia, 80 percent of these connected Malaysians research online before they make a purchase.

Malaysians do a lot more online research compared to buyers from other Asian countries. In Singapore, 60 percent of consumers go online to research before making a purchase. In the Philippines, it’s 65 percent, and in Hong Kong, it’s 65 percent.

The imperative is clear – your business needs an online presence to stay relevant to the hyper-connected consumers. And it’s really not difficult at all. There are plenty of resources and tools online available to help you get started and depending on the nature of business you are in, you may choose to either create a social media presence or build a website for your business.

Here are benefits of creating a website for your business :

  • It gives you visibility. A full 48 percent of Malaysians, say they first came across a product or offer online, as they researched during pre-purchase. In other words, they wouldn’t have discovered an offering if it didn’t have a digital presence.
  • It opens another storefront for you. Did you know that 38 percent of Malaysian shoppers hunting for a product or service said they visited a business website? Now, what if you didn’t have one?
  • It’s the first step to e-commerce. Over 30 percent of Malaysians buy online and that number is growing. At some point you will want to tap into that market. Having a website is the first step in that direction.
  • It expands your geographical dragnet. An ad in a newspaper, or a hoarding, can only target a local market. A website gives your business a wider reach—even an international one.
  • It ensures that your business is open all the time. No need to turn customers away because you are closed for the day.
  • It allows you to generate leads. Putting your contact number and email up on your website allows you to gather potential clients. It’s even better if you have a contact form.
  • It allows you to showcase your products. Having an online store allows you to display a greater amount of your products and services compared to a brochure or an email.
  • It lowers the cost of creating market-ware. Brochures and pamphlets are expensive to create and distribute. A website helps you lower this cost.
  • It creates a lifetime customer value chain. Once a customer has made a purchase from your business, you are able to re-engage them to upsell and cross-sell. A website ensures they have access to updated product or service news, promotions, and other types of information.
  • It shrinks buyer friction. Most often, a product or service requires a little explaining. With a website, you can increase consumer confidence by adding product testimonials, user guides or video tutorials to ensure customers are more informed - and one step closer to making a purchase.

So if you are one of the thousands of Malaysian businesses without a website, or an online presence in general, you are missing out in selling to a commerce-ready audience. It’s time to fix that.


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