About domain trust and the need for SMEs to go online

Photo credit: Shutterstock | Nation Media Group

What you need to know:

  • Why you should register a .KE domain
  • The Kenya Network Information Centre (KeNIC) has the mandate to promote and manage the .KE domain on behalf of the internet community
  • It is essential for registries and domain companies to build trust among their target audiences and encourage them to adopt digital solutions.

By Andrew Lewela

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 enterprises to establish their respective digital identities.

In Kenya, the 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 to take their businesses online. Therefore, it is essential for registries and domain companies in these countries to build trust among their target audiences and encourage them to adopt digital solutions.

An SME leader may wonder: Why should I register a .KE domain? Why is online presence important?

Let’s start by enumerating a few reasons why you should register a .KE domain.

First, it provides you with a globally recognised internet identity that has a distinct reference to Kenya. Be “Proudly Kenyan”. Secondly, with a .KE domain name, your brand ranks higher on Google search engines, giving your SME a competitive advantage. Thirdly, once you register your domain name bearing your company name, you are able to secure its brand online and profit from it.

Further, .KE enhances your brand credibility. This 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 percent chance of availability of the desired .KE domain.

On the question of why an SME should have online presence, suffice to say, being on the worldwide web has become a necessity for businesses of all sizes. Here are some ways your SME will benefit: 

Increased Visibility: An online presence will help you increase your SME’s visibility and reach a broader audience. With a website, social media accounts, and other online platforms, your SME can easily reach potential customers who may not have heard about the company. This increased visibility can help you expand your customer base and grow the business.

Cost-Effective Marketing: Establishing an online presence can be a cost-effective way to market your 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 your firm save money on marketing expenses while still reaching a significant number of potential customers. 

Improved Customer Service: An online presence will enable your firm to improve customer service. It gets easier to communicate with your customers through social media and email, or even via live online chat. This can help you respond to customer inquiries quickly, leading to improved customer satisfaction and loyalty. 

Increased Sales: Being online can help increase sales. With an online store or e-commerce platform, your SME can sell their products or services online, reaching customers in distant places too, all over the world. This will boost revenues and help grow the businesses. 

Improved Credibility: Having website can also help your SME gain greater credibility. A professional website, active social media accounts, and positive online reviews can all help your company establish itself as a trustworthy and credible business. Subsequently, you will attract more customers and build a strong reputation in the 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 load quickly, be easy to navigate, and stay secure. It should also provide valuable information on the domain registration process, pricing, and other services being 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 a particular domain company over the others.

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.

To wrap up, SMEs can benefit greatly from establishing own websites. The benefits include increased visibility, cost-effective marketing, improved customer service, enhanced sales, and improved credibility, to list a few.

I urge you to get your .KE domain TODAY! Visit www.kenic.or.ke or find us at CAK Centre on Waiyaki Way, Nairobi, Opposite Kianda School.

Email: [email protected]  | Call: 0715275483


The writer is the CEO of Kenya Network Information Centre