The growth of eCommerce has spawned new business models
There’s no question about it. Business conducted via the internet is exploding. All areas of eCommerce have been experiencing double-digit growth for the last several years, despite the difficult economic conditions. The United States Commerce Department just reported that online retail sales in the third quarter of 2011 grew by 13.76% versus the same period last year, to more than $47 billion.
And online sales volume is only part of the total picture. A company’s website is key to how they are perceived in the marketplace, as buying decisions by businesses and consumers alike are fueled by the research and even the social networking they do online. You must have an effective web presence to even stay in the game.
Agility and impact trump infrastructure
Today’s and tomorrow’s businesses will thrive by reaching out to customers and prospects where they like to browse, interact and buy – and that is increasingly on the web. Especially when your business venture is just starting out, the most valuable investment you can make is the one it takes to get your presence known in the flourishing new marketplace that is the web.
There’s no denying that to score an initial impact and then to grow your web presence, there will be costs. But budgets are tight, and there are so many opportunities to spend money when you are starting up or expanding. Fortunately, there are new models for doing business that make it possible to achieve these goals by allocating investments strategically.
Savvy business people – abetted by the innovative real estate, IT suppliers and web services organizations they rely on – are focusing their resources on getting the company’s name out in the marketplace rather than spending money on infrastructure they don’t actually need to succeed. That’s why cloud computing is an important trend. It lets you increase capacity and add capabilities on the fly, without heavy spending on establishing offices and buying equipment that ties you down. It just makes more sense to put that investment in the kind of high-impact web presence that gets attention for your business.
Where’s your office? In the clouds or in “the cloud”?
It used to be that as companies grew their businesses, they would invest in fancy offices and storefronts to project confidence and establish their presence in the market. They built gleaming skyscraper headquarters, where executives would get the best offices “up in the clouds,” with the best furnishings and views, and office space allocation would solidify the pecking order among workers.
The Bergen Record in northern New Jersey just reported on a developing trend that defies that old model. There, the Regus company houses many firms under one roof — each using minimal space, often only part-time, and sharing receptionists in what are effectively virtual offices. We at Dotcomweavers are tenants in their Paramus building, and we were featured in the article.
Facilitating involvement with your customers
This arrangement provides numerous advantages, both for our business and for our clients:
We believe that these new business paradigms are the shape of a future that will become even more nimble and customer-centric as unnecessary costs are minimized.