Website Business Models
The business model defines how your Website fits into your business – how it will help your company grow.
Direct revenue is a popular Website business model, but it is not the only one. Some business models include:
Direct Revenue / e-Commerce
Some of the most known Website objectives relate to e-commerce or other types of direct revenue from the site. That is, the objective is to establish a direct source of revenue from orders or advertising space.
Build Brand Image
A long-term marketing objective for your site could be to improve sales by building an image for your product, brand, and/or company. Increasingly, this is an explicit goal for large companies with ample budgets.
Small-budget companies can follow suit on a more affordable scale by building an image during the natural course of marketing. You can do this by consistently presenting similar design elements and “personality” at each point of contact with the world – whether that contact be virtual or physical.
Enhance Customer Service
Your site can increase revenue indirectly by improving customer service. When customers are more satisfied, they tend to spread the word about your products as well as buy more often themselves.
Customers often do product research on a Website then later place orders via catalogue, telephone, sales representatives, a physical retail store, mail, and/or fax. In all of these cases, a Website indirectly contributes to building the business.
Lower Operating Costs
A Website can help your business by lowering costs. Automated customer service functions – Web-based FAQ, order status reports, product specifications, etc. – can lower the number of customer service calls, reducing customer service labor costs.
A Web presence can also lower operating costs by streamlining communication with your business partners. Business-to-business companies can create secure Web space to communicate and collaborate with customers.
It is even possible to have individual, private sites for major clients. A central “meeting place” that archives communications and other customer-specific information can cut down on administrative costs related to “phone tag”, inquiries, and/or the need to consciously keep all players “in the loop”.
On the supply side, you could reduce costly business disruptions by giving key vendors Web-based access to your inventory or other real-time information.