Zimbabwean businesses might missing out on profits by not having a website

No time in business has it become more important to have website than now. Having a website, has become just as important and basic as having, business cards and telephone numbers for your business- these are the most basic business requirements. While you can ignore any one of these items and carry on with “business”, you risk failing to maximize your profits!

Research shows that 73% of the consumers expect local business to have a mobile-friendly website. Having the website is now the same as being listed in the big telephone directory that every household and business had in the 80’s and 90’s. Now potential customers google for services or products they are looking for and if you are not present online its very likely they will find your competitor!

The importance of a well designed and developed website for a business cannot be over-emphasized and yet Zimbabwean businesses have been slow to adapt even with the existence of Marketing departments and a CEO, whom I think should spearhead such projects. While having a website may be considered technical its value is a marketing and corporate branding one. In other cases it can literally become an extension for your shop allowing people to buy your products or services online.

The inertia towards the adoption of web design and development services in Zimbabwe can be explained by several reasons- chief among them is a lack of understanding of the value to be derived. Sadly, this is evidenced by business which should have websites but do not have and those that have websites but, fail to utilize them.

Any business that is serious about their customers should have a well designed and developed website which delivers value to both the business and clients either in direct monetary or indirect monetary terms. For instance a website for a telecommunications company or an internet service provider can zero rate their website or sections of their website. Allowing a customer to buy internet data online with use of online payment options: paypal, visa, etc. Most telecomms companies have got a mobile payment service which can be integrated into their website thus increasing their profits first by making it easy for a customer to buy data online even after running out and by using their payment platform. In addition to this telecomms companies could seriously look at selling mobile phones online as long as their logistics network is sorted out. This would create a unique advantage over the smaller mobile phone vendors or any competitor who is unable to execute the same strategy.

Supermarkets can transform their websites into e-commerce platforms allowing for customers to buy monthly grocery items online and offering free delivery within a certain radius or a small fee for delivery. This is possible and can be done in Zimbabwe by Zimbabwean web developers can lead to an increase in sales, reduction of queues and an obvious advantage over competition.

I could write about a full blueprint on possible ways to execute the full e-commerce platform including logistics, building customer knowledge. But, the purpose of the examples is to illustrate how websites could be utilized better by the companies that have them and for those who don’t to be able to understand possible value from the ownership of a website.

In most cases all the business that are in retail could apply e-commerce elements to their website thus increasing their business.

In spite of all the advantages that come with websites a lot of businesses still do not have websites. For most of these business they are missing out on some revenue, either directly by failing to sell products or services online or indirectly by failing to know their customers better and readily offer information that can lead to sales conversions!

Dr. Strive Masiyiwa shared a Zambian proverb which translates to: “A child who has never traveled, boasts that his mother is the best cook.” This is the situation with a number of Zimbabwean business who have not felt the need to have the website under the assumption that their business doesn’t need one. It’s important to explore this area before business concludes they don’t really need a website or a digital marketing solution!

Ted Bethel is a web developer and digital market at Advantage Digital. If you wish to discuss this article or contact him you can reach him on: +263 778 067 082 / 0778 067 082 or Email: developrich@gmail.com





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