Can ‘offline’ businesses survive in the long-term?
Our modern world stereotype: everybody on phones, everything is digital, your online image is the most important one… Even babies on phones do not seem to surprise us anymore. About 50 years ago, the people would not have believed such a dramatic change would take place in, basically, the way most people go about their lives. We could argue that technology has changed preferences, priorities, needs…
This change does not only influence people’s private lives, but it also translates to the business environment. How do you inform your customers? Online. How do you sell your products? Online. How do you raise your brand awareness? Online. How do you get customer feedback? Online. Of course, there are other possible answers to these questions, but the amount of communication that takes place online is definitely not negligible.
However, does this strong existence of the online world mean that the businesses that do not join the digital journey cannot survive? Or can they still?
Let’s consider some arguments about why ‘offline’ businesses would not survive. First, in the modern world, the way to get the word out there about and making people familiar with your business is through online platforms. It is simply what most people use to find out more information and to get to know about new trends. It seems key to success if you want to increase your reach and if you want to create brand awareness. Second, what happens if competitors have a strong online presence and you don’t? Probably, potential customers will find it easier to access their information and learn more about their businesses, and you will miss out on these potential customers. There are many more arguments, but these show my point.
Luckily for ‘offline’ businesses, there are also arguments on why this shift does not have to be all bad news. One point that puts the importance of online presence into doubt can be reflected by the following situation: you have a small business, you post a few things on social media, you have an ok website… But how does this assure you that your word is actually going to reach your potential customers? If you do not have a big reach, is this online presence really that important?
Besides, we could argue that not all businesses need an online presence because of the type of business they are. If a business has a small group of loyal customers, it might not feel like it needs to put in the additional effort and costs for an ‘online presence’, as the group of loyal customers has all the information and communication channels they need.
However, let’s be real, although this might be a legitimate excuse, this will probably not give the business the necessary opportunities to grow. The future looks bleak for ‘offline’ businesses. I am not saying none will survive, but I think sooner or later most will realise that it is more beneficial, not only for them, but for all stakeholders to jump on board the digital train.
HYPER CRUNCH is a business that realises this importance, but also the struggle of companies, especially those with no experience in digital marketing, to build their online presence. That is why HYPER CRUNCH tries to give these businesses a hand, to build their online presence more properly with a team of specialists, while saving them time so that the businesses can keep focusing on what they are best at.