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The Value of a Website?

     
10:27 pm on Apr 2, 2003 (gmt 0)

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I bumped across this situation at another board I frequent and I was curious of your opinions and WW. Is this persons situation common? Does his companies evaluation of what the web should be just seem shortsited and wrong? Are such stats available?

<edit>The poster was concerned that their job security relied on being able to document measuarable savings to the company through having a website. The poster was interested in examples of websites creating savings on advertising budgets, or PDF files saving on printing cost, etc.</edit>

[edited by: mivox at 6:30 pm (utc) on April 4, 2003]
[edit reason] no lengthy quotes from other sources - copyright issues [/edit]

10:46 pm on Apr 2, 2003 (gmt 0)

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Depends on the type of organization. In public service, a web-site is an increment (read extra) expense. Therefore until you cut somewhere else it is just more money spent.

In private enterprise it must either displace another cost (i.e. something else cut) or increase revenue. The increase in revenue should be estimated over time by running promotional campaigns and the effect on overall sales examined.

Without real numbers to examine and the situation it is hard to say which way it will go. Might also help to know the industry and the level of adoption of technology.

..... Shane

11:18 pm on Apr 3, 2003 (gmt 0)

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In public service, a web-site is an increment (read extra) expense. Therefore until you cut somewhere else it is just more money spent.

Not necesarily. If it contains information that otherwise wouldn't be available except by members of the public phoning in, then it might save the time (and hence the salaries) of the staff that would otherwise be employed answering the telephone. It might be possible to estimate the savings in this case.

Alternatively - or additionally - it might save members of the public time in finding out important public information. If what economists call the "opportunity cost" of the time saved by the public is greater than the amount of taxes that the public pay for the web site, then there is a net saving. This, I think, would be virtually impossible to estimate, but it would none the less be a real gain.

12:59 am on Apr 4, 2003 (gmt 0)

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Not necesarily. If it contains information that otherwise wouldn't be available except by members of the public phoning in, then it might save the time (and hence the salaries) of the staff that would otherwise be employed answering the telephone. It might be possible to estimate the savings in this case.

My badly worded point exactly! If you put up a website and don't cut salaries (real or projected increases), then you have put out more cash than you would have had you done nothing.

You do also raise a good point, there is value in providing the public with timely information. However, our accounting of that situation still shows more spending.

Chow,
Shane

4:43 pm on Apr 4, 2003 (gmt 0)

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My badly worded point exactly!

I don't think it was badly worded. I think I just read it too quickly. But anyway, re-reading what you wrote, I think we're in agreement!
4:49 pm on Apr 4, 2003 (gmt 0)

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There are a lot of intangible values to having a website as well.

A website helps you reinforce your companies brand in yet another media. It's difficult for a lot of businesses to be able to put a dollar figure on this value.

Plus - how professional does your business look without a website these days?

Scott

5:44 pm on Apr 4, 2003 (gmt 0)

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There is also the defensive perspective. If you don't have one, you are probably losing business by the lack of one since, chances are, your competitor has one. (as pointed out by marketing guy) There are people out there who will shop no where but the web. A lot of people, actually, depending on the product.

You are almost better to show how the site can make you money or bring you traffic rather than how it saves you money or helps your current customer. It opens up new avenues that just aren't avaliable without having a website. The savings kind of becomes a moot point after you look at that.

 

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