Kenny Yeo's Blog

Kenny Yeo male Senior Technology Writer

An analog man trapped in a digital world, Kenny prefers mechanical to quartz watches, buying from brick and mortar shops as opposed to online shopping and eschews fancy dual-clutch cars for good ol' stick shift ones.

The Importance of Being Online

The Importance of Being Online

As Hardware Zone’s resident petrolhead, I spend a good amount of time trawling automotive forums. Forums, as I’m sure you will know, are great places to go meet like-minded people and share knowledge. As such, an increasing number of businesses are turning to forums as a means of reaching their target audience. Hence, it is also not surprising these days to find sub-forums in forums dedicated solely for garages and workshops to trumpet their wares.

Performance-minded products, as you expect, are very popular amongst car enthusiasts. Men, as I have always maintained, have an insatiable lust of power, but I digress.

Recently, I learnt from a reputable workshop in Singapore about a new tuning house. Apparently, this tuning house is so obscure that even some of the forum's most veteran members are not aware of its existence. And in a bid to generate buzz, the proprietor of the workshop posted many pictures of the products available - exhaust manifold, suspension, big brake kits, the lot. The workshop also posted dyno charts detailing the effectiveness of these parts. And to round off the whole marketing shebang, testimonials from customers were also posted for all to see. Now that’s all well and good, but there’s one little problem.

This tuning house doesn’t have its own website.

Developing performance parts of cars is no easy feat - considerable capital and resources is required. So how is it my 60 year-old neighbor can start her own blog and sell home-made jewelry online, but a tuning house capable of crafting their own exhaust manifolds, machining their own throttle bodies and developing their own braking kits not have a website to call their own?

Ten years ago that won’t be such a big deal, but in this day and age, can anyone serious about doing business not have its own website and a presence online?

As usual, your thoughts please.

All Reponses

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I feel the short answer is no. But a more complete answer is it depends - on things like business objectives and target audiences.

Many of us might not immediately realise it, but there is still a big chunk of society - not necessarily the majority - who don't do much or any of their shopping online.

If a business depends primarily or solely on this particular chunk, then does it really matter if you're not online? And if the business is doing more business than it can manage, and is quite happy to keep the business at its current size, would going online be of any benefit? If not managed properly, it could even prove harmful.

Having said that, I feel it would be most difficult to find someone who has not in some way, shape or form been touched by online phenomena, whether directly or indirectly.

As humans, our well-being and survival depend on social interactions. As we all interact, information of all kinds gets communicated and passed on. So while a target customer might never go online to do any shopping, he or she might hear regularly from someone else who does.

In such cases, it would seem to be prudent for a business to have its own website - if not to sell and market its own wares, then at least to give it some online identity.

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