In today’s digital age, having a strong online presence is crucial for businesses of all sizes. This is why registries and registrars(domain companies) play a significant role in enabling businesses to establish their digital identity. In Kenya, Kenya Network Information Centre(KeNIC) as the registry, has the mandate to promote and manage the .KE domain on behalf of the internet community. However, in emerging countries, the lack of trust in digital services can make it challenging for registries and domain companies to convince enterprises and Small and Medium-sized businesses (SMEs) to take their businesses online. Therefore, it is essential for registries and domain companies in these  countries to build trust among their target audience to encourage them to adopt digital solutions.

An SME may wonder, why should I register a .KE domain and why is online presence important? Let me start by enumerating a few reasons why you should register a .KE domain. A .KE domain provides you with a globally recognized internet identity that has a distinct association to Kenya. Be “Proudly Kenyan”. Secondly, with a .KE domain name, your brand ranks higher on Google search engines, giving your business a competitive advantage. Thirdly, once your register your domain name with your company name, an SME is able to secure its brand online and profit from it. Further, .KE enhances your brand credibility which is the beginning of building trust online. Potential clients are able to visit your website or reach you on your .KE email. Finally, there is an 80% chance of guaranteed availability of the desired .KE domain name compared to other domain extensions.

On the question of why an SME should have online presence; suffice to say, online presence has become a necessity for businesses of all sizes. Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) can benefit greatly from establishing an online presence. Here are some ways SMEs can benefit from having an online presence:

  1. Increased Visibility: An online presence can help SMEs increase their visibility and reach a broader audience. With a website, social media accounts, and other online platforms, SMEs can easily reach potential customers who may not have heard about them otherwise. This increased visibility can help SMEs expand their customer base and grow their business.
  2. Cost-Effective Marketing: Establishing an online presence can be a cost-effective way for SMEs to market their products and services. Social media platforms, email marketing, and other online advertising methods are often more affordable than traditional advertising methods, such as print or TV ads. This can help SMEs save money on marketing expenses while still reaching a significant number of potential customers.
  3. Improved Customer Service: An online presence can also help SMEs improve their customer service. With an online presence, SMEs can easily communicate with their customers through social media, email, or live chat. This can help SMEs respond to customer inquiries quickly and efficiently, which can improve customer satisfaction and loyalty.
  4. Increased Sales: An online presence can also help SMEs increase sales. With an online store or e-commerce platform, SMEs can sell their products or services online, reaching customers from all over the world. This can help SMEs increase their revenue and grow their business.
  5. Improved Credibility: Having an online presence can also help SMEs improve their credibility. A professional website, active social media accounts, and positive online reviews can all help SMEs establish themselves as trustworthy and credible businesses. This can help SMEs attract more customers and build a strong reputation in their industry.

To the domain companies in Kenya that seek to build trust among digital enterprises and fellow SMEs, here are some strategies to consider:

Build a User-Friendly Website: The first impression is everything, and having a user-friendly website can significantly impact a domain company’s reputation. The website should be easy to navigate, load quickly, and be secure. It should also provide valuable information on the domain registration process, pricing, and other services offered. A user-friendly website can help build trust and encourage users to explore the company’s offerings further.

Second, offer reliable and affordable Services: The domain company should provide reliable and affordable services that meet the needs of digital enterprises and SMEs. This includes domain registration, web hosting, and other value-added services. Providing competitive pricing and quality services can help build trust and encourage customers to choose the domain company over its competitors.

Third, provide excellent customer support: Excellent customer support is critical for any business, and domain companies are no exception. The company should have a knowledgeable and friendly customer support team that can quickly resolve any issues customers may encounter. Providing timely and efficient customer support can help build trust and strengthen the company’s relationship with its customers.

Fourth, partner with trusted payment providers: Partnering with trusted payment providers can help build trust among customers who are wary of making online payments. This includes offering a variety of payment options, such as credit cards, mobile-money, and bank transfers, and ensuring that the payment process is secure and easy to use. By partnering with trusted payment providers, the domain company can provide a safe and secure payment process, which can increase customer confidence and trust.

Fifth, build a strong social media presence: Social-media is an excellent tool for building trust and engaging with customers. Domain companies should have a strong social media presence, where they can interact with customers, answer questions, and provide updates on their services. Social media can also be used to showcase customer testimonials, which can further build trust and credibility.

Finally, provide educational resources: Digital enterprises and SMEs may be unfamiliar with the process of domain registration and website hosting. Therefore, domain companies should provide educational resources, such as video tutorials, blogs, and webinars, to help customers understand the process and make informed decisions. By providing educational resources, the domain company can establish itself as a trusted authority in the digital space.

In conclusion, SMEs can benefit greatly from establishing an online presence. Increased visibility, cost-effective marketing, improved customer service, increased sales, and improved credibility are just a few of the ways SMEs can benefit from having an online presence. With so many benefits, it is clear that establishing an online presence is essential for SMEs that want to grow and succeed in today’s digital world.Once online, building  and maintaining trust will enable all businesses leverage the benefits of having an online presence and specifically a .KE domain.

I urge you to get your .KE TODAY!

Author – Andrew Lewela – CEO, Kenya Network Information Centre