We are well and truly in the digital age as technology advances it is finding automated solutions for the majority of business processes. Companies use software to cover accounting requirements, payroll, human resources and many more business functions. E-commerce websites are increasingly replacing brick and mortar shops and users are increasingly turning to the web to find information. The way business is being conducted has transformed and the centralised platform that is becoming the facilitator for these business activities and transactions is the World Wide Web. Each organisation’s website is now the face of the company, the client facing element and centralised touch point for core business activities.

Websites supporting core business functions

A website is the platform and driver for marketing and sales and also a data collection centre. Of the main business activities: accounting, marketing, sales, recruitment and customer service, the website has a role to play in each.

  • Accounting: All relevant transactions are fed through from the website to the chosen accounting software, removing human error and increasing efficiency.
  • Marketing: Website structure and content dictates how results show within search engines, and the website is most commonly the platform that feeds or provides the content for social media and emails. Additionally, targeted online advertising can drive chosen market segments back to the website to provide more information about a product or service.
  • Sales: Leads and sales are fed through from the website to Customer Relationship Management (CRM), accounting and analytics systems via integration and can provide meaningful data to sales representatives to capture new business. Customer behaviour data can also be collected and reported on, to provide specific demographic data for current and potential clients.
  • Recruitment: Vacant positions can be advertised on the website, shared and fed out to recruitment websites or vice versa.
  • Customer Service: Real-time customer service can be offered via the website in the form of live chat or logging support tickets.

Website information flow chart

What does this mean for your business?

A website that supports core business functions, and is the centralised touch point, gives organisations the tools to be more efficient, effectively drive sales and provide executives with meaningful information to make informed business decisions. For medium to large businesses the visible website represents only one third of the total system. Getting the front-end of the website and information flow right is important. However, the website and remaining IT systems are mutually dependent. It is key that significant consideration is given to those systems behind the website which are essential for capturing the required data and supporting the core business functions. Investing in integrating these systems is an investment in the future streamlining of business process. The return on this investment will quickly be realised by reducing processing costs, creating efficiency, levering modern marketing methods, and providing companies with meaningful customer data.

Monique Oosterbaan

Author: Monique Oosterbaan
Published: 08/08/2016