When Is the Right Time to Move Your Business Online?

Last Updated: 

March 6, 2024

When Is the Right Time to Move Your Business Online?

With technology becoming increasingly vital in commerce, a lot of businesses are considering taking their operations online. Although going digital can bring about numerous advantages, it can be difficult to determine the optimal timing for the switch. We have collected insight from experts within the business community on reasons why you should move your business online.

Key Takeaways on When is The Right Time to Take Your Business Online:

  • Your Competitors Have an Online Presence: Moving online is crucial to stay competitive, especially if your competitors are already there. It expands your reach and can help grow your business.
  • Save on Costs: Transitioning online can significantly reduce expenses related to physical premises, such as rent and utilities, and can also save on labor and marketing costs.
  • 24/7 Availability: An online presence means your business can operate around the clock, offering convenience to customers and potentially increasing sales.
  • Better Customer Support: Online platforms allow for more efficient customer support through various channels, improving satisfaction and trust in your brand.
  • Greater Responsiveness: Being online enables quicker responses to customer inquiries and needs, enhancing their overall experience with your business.
  • Much Bigger Market: An online business can reach a global audience, providing opportunities for growth beyond traditional geographic limitations.
  • Stay Ahead: Moving online helps you stay ahead in the digital trend, reaching wider customer bases and improving operational efficiency.
  • Increased Brand Awareness: Online activities increase your brand's visibility, making it more well-known and potentially attracting more customers.
  • Data-Driven Insights: Going online provides valuable data on customer behavior and preferences, aiding in informed decision-making.
  • Easy Shopping for Customers: Online shopping offers convenience, saving customers time and money, and providing a better shopping experience.
  • Cost Cutting Measures: Online operations can reduce the need for certain staff roles and physical space, leading to cost savings.
  • If You Need New Employees and Talent, Now’s the Time to Invest Online: The online shift is also an opportunity to tap into a wider talent pool, especially in the wake of job losses due to the pandemic.
  • Your Industry Is Changing: If your industry is moving towards online operations due to changing consumer demands, it's a sign to consider going online.
  • Educate Your Target Market: An online presence allows for better communication with your target market, especially in niche industries.
  • Harness the Ability to Work from Anywhere: Moving online offers flexibility for both employees and customers, improving satisfaction and productivity.
  • When You Are Trying to Be More Reputable as a Business: An online presence can enhance your business's reputation, showcasing your brand mission, customer ratings, and testimonials.
  • When You Are Trying to Get Closer to Your Customers: Online platforms facilitate closer customer relationships through continuous availability, feedback mechanisms, and personalized interactions.

The article emphasises the strategic benefits of moving a business online, including cost savings, market expansion, improved customer service, and staying competitive in a digital world.

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Your Competitors have An Online Presence

“Moving your business online may be a good idea to stay relevant amongst your competition, especially if they too already have an online presence. Not only is this a strong indicator that your products or services are in demand in the online market, but having an online presence expands your reach to target a larger and more diverse audience, helping your business grow and increase revenue. If your business isn’t already online, you may lose customers to competitors who are meeting their needs in the online space. Overall, taking your business online will help your brand stay competitive, relevant, and grow by reaching new customers.”

- Jonathan Krieger, VP of Sales at Fabuwood

Save On Costs

“With the ever-increasing costs to run a business due to inflation, moving your business online could help save a ton of money for your business. One of the key costs you save on is rent, and by extension, utilities. Moving your operations online means you no longer need to worry about the expenses of a brick-and-mortar location. This also means you save money on inventory management as most online businesses don’t need to store their products in a retail space. You also save costs on other things such as labour and marketing. If you find that you need to start saving more money and can afford to cut out your retail space, moving your business online will save you money in the long run.”

- Bill Lyons, CEO at Griffin Funding

24/7 Availability

“By having your business accessible at all times, you are providing customers with convenience and accessibility that traditional operations can't match. With an online presence, customers can access your products and services anytime without worrying about business hours or closed doors. This can result in increased customer satisfaction and trust in your brand. Additionally, going online opens the door to reach a wider audience, potentially expanding your customer base and driving more sales. Furthermore, being accessible around the clock through an online platform gives you a competitive edge over traditional businesses, as you provide a seamless and efficient experience for your customers. Overall, being available all the time through an online presence is the key to success in today's fast-paced business world and is the best way to provide the best possible experience for your customers.”

- Riley Walker, Outreach Specialist at Mrs. Fields

Better Customer Support

“Providing high-quality customer support is essential for building trust and loyalty in your brand. Moving your business online can offer customers quick and convenient support through various channels such as live chat, email, and social media. This level of accessibility and responsiveness can lead to increased customer satisfaction and help resolve any issues more efficiently. Additionally, having a centralised system for tracking customer support inquiries and interactions can allow you to gather valuable insights into customer needs and preferences. With this information, you can improve your products and services and provide a better overall experience to your customers. Overall, offering better support to your customers through an online platform is critical to building a successful and thriving business.”

- Jacob Dayan, Co-founder and CEO at Community Tax

Greater Responsiveness

“Being able to respond quickly to customer inquiries and needs can greatly improve their experience with your business. Moving your operations online allows for real-time communication through various channels such as live chat, email, and social media, allowing you to address customer concerns and questions on time. This level of responsiveness can increase customer satisfaction and build trust in your brand. Furthermore, having a centralised system for tracking customer interactions can provide valuable insights into their needs and preferences, which can be used to improve your products and services. Additionally, efficiently resolving issues and providing timely support can help reduce customer churn and increase loyalty to your brand. In today's fast-paced business world, responding quickly to customers is crucial for success, and moving your business online is the best way to achieve greater responsiveness.”

- Clayton Howard, Director of Analytics at Net Pay Advance

Much Bigger Market

“Expanding your reach beyond traditional boundaries can provide immense opportunities for growth and success. Moving your business online opens the door to reach a much larger market, potentially accessing customers worldwide. This can bring new sales opportunities and help maintain a competitive edge in today's global marketplace. You can increase brand awareness by establishing a strong online presence and tap into even more growth potential. Reaching a broader market also diversifies your customer base and reduces reliance on a single market or demographic. In short, the ability to access a much bigger market through an online platform is crucial in driving your business's success and growth.1’

- Saneem Ahearn, VP of Marketing at Colorescience

Stay Ahead

“Staying ahead of the curve is important in any industry, and the trend toward digital is no exception. With an increasing number of individuals and businesses shifting towards online operations, establishing a strong digital presence is becoming increasingly important. Moving your business online can help you stay competitive and take advantage of the growing digital marketplace. Furthermore, having a strong online presence can help you reach a wider customer base, providing new opportunities for sales and growth. Additionally, digital operations can improve efficiency and provide valuable insights through data analysis. As more and more businesses continue to go digital, it is becoming increasingly crucial to move ahead of the competition and capitalise on the growing digital landscape.”

- Gregg Dean, CEO of Layla Sleep

Increased Brand Awareness

"Having a strong online presence is key to increasing your brand's visibility and becoming more well-known. You can reach a larger audience by being active on social media sites, blogging, and posting on forums. Potential customers are more likely to see your name this way, which means they're also more likely to become actual paying customers. Additionally, you can get a wider audience and establish your brand as a go-to source for information or product/services in your industry. This way, potential customers are more likely to come across your business. Investing in online activity can help you build trust and credibility."

- Todd Jensen, Head of Marketing Nursa

Data-Driven Insights

"Embracing enhanced data insights isn't just a strategic move; It marks a transformative journey to understand your audience deeply. Transitioning your business online unlocks this wealth of actionable insights, providing the foundation for informed decision-making. In the digital realm, each interaction becomes valuable information, offering new insights into customer's behaviours and preferences. This data-centric approach empowers your business to anticipate trends, tailor customer experiences, and maintain a competitive edge in your industry. In an information-driven world, going online is more than a transition, but a strategic adoption of tools to enhance your understanding, ensuring future long-term success in a digital era."

- Amresh Singh, CEO, HomeAbroadInc

Easy Shopping for Customers

“Online shopping has allowed customers to purchase items and services from their homes. It is a great convenience for many people, saving them time and money. It is a huge advantage over traditional shopping methods, which is why online shopping has become so popular in recent years. Customers can purchase products and services online without leaving their homes. Compared to traditional shopping methods, this service offers shoppers many advantages, including avoiding traffic, long lines, and other hassles. It saves customers time and money since they can shop for what they need without waiting in line or travelling to a physical store. Online shopping is also convenient for customers who need help leaving their homes or cars.”

- Joe Acosta Digital Marketing at BBQ Galore

Cost Cutting Measures

“Just one simple task can save a significant amount of money. For example, receiving orders online reduces the need for customer service staff. With total sales and product information online, you'll receive purchase orders and payments via email or into your database. Reducing the number of employees, thus so too can office space and related office expenses. Moreover, you'll have fewer missed sales opportunities, and customers can find the answers they need without waiting for someone to get back to them. It could result in an increase in revenue as well as cost savings!"

- Sacha Ferrandi CEO and Co-founder of Source Capital

If You Need New Employees and Talent, Now’s the Time To Invest Online

“One key reason a company should invest time in moving their business to online platforms is to search for new employees and talent on the market. An unfortunate consequence of the COVID pandemic that hit businesses hard these past few years is the amount of talented people that were fired and lost jobs. However, as of recent months, the pandemic restrictions have loosened due to lower COVID cases, and now might be the best time to invest in online hiring and job posting. There is a bunch of great talent out in any market that is still not hired due to COVID-19 and recession scares! If any company is in need of great new talent and employees to give their company a boost, now is the perfect time to move your business online and start hiring! Investing money and time to post open positions and your company’s description on LinkedIn, Indeed, Glassdoor, ZipRecruiter, and many other hiring websites is a great first step to moving your business online if you’re in need of new hires.”

- Chris Hunter, Director of Customer Relations at Service Titan

Your Industry is Changing 

“As consumer preferences shift and change, industries change with them. Even industries that seem to never change have to shift their strategy and adapt to the changing world. One of the main changes that can happen in an industry that would be grounds to move the business online is demand. For example, many tech industries in the past decade have grown exponentially and have been forced to shift their workforce and commerce online to keep up with growing demand. If you take a look at your business industry and see a shift in competitors or landscape in the future, it might be a good sign you are ready to move online.”

- Lev Berlin, Founder of Recipal

Educate Your Target Market

“For many businesses with no online presence, it can be hard to get the message out to your target audience about who you are as a business and what you do. Especially for companies in a niche industry, educating your audience is essential to keep growing. Moving business online allows for an opportunity to connect with those who are potentially interested in what you are selling and stay connected with current customers. Creating an online presence not only helps to reach your target audience but allows you to create a new face for your brand that moves beyond a physical presence. “

- Adrian Pereira, Founder and Ceo of ecopeaco.com

Harness the Ability to Work From Anywhere 

“As many businesses start to move online, employees gain the ability to work anytime, anywhere. Not being tied down to a physical location is beneficial for both employees and customers. As an employer, this allows you to hire talent across the country giving you greater options when hiring. Employees also benefit from the freedom to work from virtually anywhere which has been shown to improve job satisfaction and productivity. In turn, customers are better taken care of. When problems arise, they can be taken care of promptly. If you are looking to provide your employees with greater flexibility, it might be time to consider moving your business online.”

- Jeffery Pitrek, Marketing and Account Manager at Transient Specialists

When You are Trying to Be More Reputable as a Business

Today when shoppers are looking to make a transaction or hire a business’ services, they often do their research online before making a decision. If your business is in a good position to move online, take that opportunity. This way, you can ensure that your organisation has an online reputation that will drive sales both online and in person at one of your stores. Potential customers can not only see how reputable your business is, but can also see your brand mission, customer ratings, and customer testimonials that will all encourage them to utilise your services. 

- Brandon Brown, CEO of GRIN

When you are trying to get closer to your customers

You can only get so close to your customers through in-person interactions, so moving your business online can allow you to allow your customers to feel close to your business. The continuous availability, accessibility, and ability to respond to questions are all ways to get closer to your customers. Moving your business online will allow you to win over new customers through organic referrals from past customers, boosting customer loyalty. Additionally, you have the opportunity to learn more about your customers through feedback forums, customer surveys, and online contact pages. Developing communication channels online will keep you up to date on your customer's needs, allowing you to grow in ways to fit them. When you move your business online, you can create outstanding customer service experiences that will in turn build stronger customer relationships.

- Peter Reagan, financial market strategist at Birch Gold Group

Summary

The appropriate time for a business to transition online can differ widely based on various factors. Through thoughtful examination of the business's individual needs and obstacles and utilisation of expert suggestions, business owners can fully take advantage of the benefits offered by moving their operations online.

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