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Monday, May 10, 2010

Any budding e-entrepreneur will agree

..that stepping out onto the information superhighway is almost as tricky as trying to cross Mombasa road on foot. Faced with so many e-marketing options, opportunities, obstacles, barriers we end up doing a little of everything, and are surprised when our attempts don’t yield any tangible results. We already have in depth knowledge about our product/service, but are we also expected to possess the business sense of an e-marketing guru? The answer to that question is Yes and No. Yes, because your business deserves to get value for the money spent on marketing activities and No because you don’t have to do it yourself. Companies like e-biz make it easy for you to concentrate on your core business by showing you the best way to leverage the power of the internet, right from scratch. Remember that most startups will find the costs associated with conventional marketing channels very prohibitive, so what you need is a solution that can be scaled up or down according to your needs.

Monday, May 3, 2010

What they didn’t tell you about e-commerce

.. is that publishing your website is just the beginning of your pursuit for financial gains. It certainly doesn’t mean that all you need to do now is sit back and wait for e-shillings to start rolling in. In many ways the duka on the street corner is better off than you, at least his customers know where he is, he has been getting new walk-in customers everyday for years now, the sign above his door is visible from all the way down the street, plus the display in his shop window has been freshly decorated for diwali. Alas! Why did you get online in the first place? Well thankfully it’s not all doom & gloom. For one, you don’t have to pay all the goodwill, rent, and NCC fees that he has to contend with, not to mention daily harassment by askaris’ and hawkers. The main advantage your online shop has is the potential to reach millions of customers for a fraction of the cost per customer. Domain registration costs about the same as registering a business name so things are fairly even there. It’s when you compare the costs of web hosting with shop rent that the variance is alarming. For example the most advanced hosting package costs only about 833 shillings a month which wouldn’t get you much of a shop in Kenya nowadays. So don’t look at the corner shop and start doubting your decision to go online; besides you probably wouldn’t even be able to lay hands on such a strategic location in the first place since many of those shops have been passed down in their families for generations.

Don’t bother taking your business online

......if you aren’t prepared to keep your presence updated. It may not matter too much to a walk-in customer if the cartons in the backroom store of the shop on the street corner are dusty, but there’s nothing that will chase your online visitor away faster than stale information. One of the first things I do when I make a maiden landing on a site is to check when it was last updated, when the last post was made etc. For many landing pages, anything longer than a fortnight is unacceptable but in the fast paced world of social media one or two postings a day is the bare minimum i.e. don’t invite me to follow you on twitter when clearly the only tweet forthcoming is an occasional Christmas card. As the profile of the internet user evolves in Kenya, we continue to see increasing dependence on the internet for mundane daily activities. The business that meets the demand for accurate and up to date information in the most convenient way will win the customers. Plain & Simple