Businesses, in this digital era, need to boost their presence in both the physical and the virtual world if they want to survive and compete well. According to a Microsoft survey in 2017, approximately 80% of participants favored businesses that run a web portal. 90% of respondents, on average, worldwide, expect a brand to have a web portal. Self-service web portals were used to answer by 74% of respondents globally. 88% of the customers in the United States expect businesses to have a self-service web portal (Statista, 2022). Web portal is clearly in high demand, therefore as a business owner, you should at the very least think about creating one.
In this article, VNEXT Global will provide an overview of the web portal, mentioning its definition, purposes, operations, features and types.
What Is Web Portal?
A web portal is a web-based platform. It is also known as portal website, portal site or web gateway, which is defined as a comprehensive Internet resource system that provides information services. The initial purpose of web portals was to provide search engine facilities and indexing services. For example, Yahoo, during the early phases of the Internet, served as an important gateway to information for Internet users around the world (Global Health Informatics, 2017).
Web portal provides employees, customers and suppliers with only one single access point to information. A web portal can help to provide the user with personalized information such as employee training, safety guides or a customer profile. A web portal can enhance the collaboration of information, as well as improve how employees, customers and stakeholders interact with your business.
You can have more control over your daily operations, and empower the brand name of your company with an online business portal. A web portal may be rapidly and easily accessed on any device, such as a desktop or smartphone, regardless of the time or user location.
The Purposes Of Web Portal
Here are some purposes of web portal:
- User-specific, personalized content for your clients
Users, nowadays, are tired of being bombarded with thousands of advertisements per day. That is why they expect and value customized, personalized data. Adapting to user preferences, the content is customized, including tailored product advertising.
- Convenient automatic self-service for customers
Portals can contain all the information that customers could require and be available whenever they need, including FAQs, manuals, information about businesses and products. Additionally, this will ease some of the pressure on call centers.
The use of online portals can enhance the customer experience across several platforms, within quick time and less effort.
- Effective communities
With forums and chat threads, users can announce news, discuss, and even ask for assistance. Thanks to the web portal, the workload of the support team is lessened.
In short, customer acquisition is the key benefit of a web portal. The online portal by itself might assist businesses in boosting consumer brand awareness, loyalty and increasing conversion rate.
How Does Web Portal Work?
Each web portal must meet three main requirements:
- Improve content quality
By using web portal, content creators have two ways to cater the experience for a consumer to their interests. First, they look at the biographical information that clients have submitted. Second, they watch the actions taken by users on a site.
- Provide a point of access to a variety of material and services
Through the use of databases, application windows, and cookies, the content of a web portal is dynamically managed. The information on a web portal is frequently arranged into channels, which are resizable page containers where certain content is loaded (portlets). These channels organize the information that is available. They, therefore, support customisation choices and search systems. In general, developing a web portal involves building an integrated platform. A web portal connects to numerous applications simultaneously, receives a response, processes it, and then displays the outcome in portlets.
- Connect to various programs
Multiple programs that provide content for portlets are connected to the web portal using a variety of protocols. They include general web requests, SQL database access, COM local calls, and others. A network of links is built using protocols, and these links are then combined into banners and shown to users.
Features Of Web Portal
1. Interactive Dashboard
You can access and view the filtered data in greater depth by using an interactive dashboard to filter out extraneous information. By offering a concise and understandable depiction of key business metrics for users, dashboards facilitate data-driven business choices.
Internal users can combine various kinds of data to create centralized data files using interactive dashboards.
The dashboard feature visualizes the primary data. You may use the dashboard to pinpoint exactly what is beneficial for your company. With the aid of interactive reports, you can monitor your company and quickly scan key parameters. For example, you may see the results of your email campaign on your dashboard. How many people did the email get opened? How much money was expensed? These responses ought to show up on your dashboard.
The overall productivity is increased by the dashboard feature. The dashboard makes it easier to concentrate on your company's weaker areas. Depending on the performance, the success indicators range from green to red, with green signifying good performance and red signifying poor performance. For example, a patient is where employees view user metrics, then they try to find methods to enhance their performance and outcomes based on pre-designed success factors.
2. Document Management
Every firm maintains a large number of documents, including proposals, secure data, onboarding process documents, HR guidelines, checklists, publish forms, news widgets, etc. Managing these records gets more challenging as your company expands since it takes up more storage, costs more, and creates more opportunities for security errors and human mistakes.
What can be done, then?
A data management system can assist you in resolving this issue. It is a method of managing documents that enables information to be created, shared, properly structured, and saved digitally.
These are also created to satisfy the particular document and version control requirements of your business. It offers characteristics like:
- Indexing of information and content-based search
- Track document revisions to restore earlier versions
- Multi levels of protection
- Granting authorized individuals access
- Managing content
You can backup your data with the aid of the document management feature. Data backup and recovery procedures are included in this management software. The digital records are kept on backup systems. Your papers may be quickly accessed through DMS (Document Management System) and are highly traceable and trackable using a variety of criteria.
The document management feature makes it quicker for you to locate the essential information when needed. Because DMS saves time, it increases productivity. DMS are also expandable to accommodate any enterprise's shifting requirements.
3. Search Capabilities
Up to 30% of visitors use search boxes when they are available, and site search is 1.8 times more effective at generating conversions.
Therefore, the best thing you can do to enhance user experience and efficacy of online presence of your company is to incorporate search capability into your web portal. Customer contact is enhanced since customers can more easily find the products they want without having to browse the entire website.
For instance, customer queries may increase and they may find it challenging to navigate through the pages of a large e-commerce website with thousands of pages, so they will leave the site. Rich features like a search box can reduce website navigational hassle and increase customer engagement.
Data may be found more quickly and easily thanks to the search feature. More visitors to your site will come as a result of a good user experience. Search engines like Google will consider your website to be running well and of high quality as the amount of visitors and time spent on it increases, boosting your page rankings in search results.
Customers may simply find their essential products using the search option. Analytics that will help you understand what the consumer is looking for and use this information for on-page content. Order details, or bills can be integrated with the search box in your portal.
4. Data Analytics
As your internet business expands, it becomes increasingly important to study and evaluate the data that will guide your decision-making.
Therefore, data analysis is an internal organizational task carried out by data analysts to provide management with numbers and figures. To provide the management with useful insights, it entails importing the data from the database, cleaning it, and carrying out ETL procedures.
You can gain deeper insights into your business, grasp the goals and guidelines for your company, and examine the causes of certain events based on the data.
The data analysis feature streamlines business operations as a whole. Organizations can increase operational effectiveness with the aid of data analytics. Data analysis in the supply chain can show where manufacturing bottlenecks or delays occur and even assist in problem forecasting. For instance, you might want a certain vendor to prevent manufacturing delays if a demand estimate shows that vendor cannot handle the volume needed for the holiday season.
The data security is improved by the data analysis feature. Data security risks are a concern for all online enterprises. You can diagnose the portal for the causes of the previous data breach with the use of data analysis. The IT team can use it to visualize the audit logs and identify where the attack originated. Your IT team can then take the required actions and create a statistical model to thwart future attacks.
5. Business Report
Thousands of bits of information are needed before you can move forward with numerous important tasks related to your business decision-making in today's market.
As a result, having business reports that highlight current business events like facts, analysis, sales, and so forth becomes a component that is required for your web portal. These reports offer information in a structured way that makes it simple to make important decisions and establish long-term plans.
The reports are crucial since they describe finances, business goals, and initiatives of the company. It provides a channel for sharing updates on the development of the business.
You can use the custom report option as a management tool. For the managers, the reports can greatly simplify their work. The manager can use these reports to help plan, organize, coordinate, and control different team activities.
You can assess the overall effectiveness of the various departments with the help of the custom report tool. You are involved in a variety of tasks when managing a very large corporation. You won't be able to observe what others are doing as a result. Reports that highlight the activities of various departments and divisions are customizable and accessible.
These days' businesses are aware of the requirement for collaboration portal creation to facilitate communication and task coordination across geographically and remotely distributed teams.
By 2016, more than 53% of firms had already used collaborative solutions, offering a one-stop portal solution (Statista 2022).
The corporate technology enables workers residing in various areas to efficiently collaborate with one another via collaboration software. It can encourage idea sharing and strengthen teamwork among members, which will increase employee productivity.
You may increase team member involvement and participation by using the collaboration tool. The team will be disorganized if there is little direct interaction between team members because everyone works from faraway places. These team-building tools aim to bring together team members from all locations in the most practical manner. It encourages team participation and technical contribution, which raises employee engagement and job satisfaction.
The whole process of an Agile team is streamlined by the collaboration capability of technology. With communication tools and other systems, remote Agile teams can operate more productively. This enables them to schedule daily meetings to keep team members updated on ongoing tasks, plan sprints, and receive immediate feedback and real-time data.
Businesses employ tracking tools in their portals to learn about the wants, activities, and requirements of their customers. Then, companies can provide pertinent information.
Your firm may benefit from the data that was effectively collected and analyzed. It aids in campaign analysis, lead qualification, and understanding about lead motivation and readiness to be approached by your sales team and your marketing team. You can target various audiences with it, which will help you expand your company opportunities.
The tracking tool improves your understanding of your end consumers. Check online activity and behavior of your client. Are they engaged on social media, responding to emails, or participating in events and webinars? Using tracking makes it simple to see which marketing channels to use to find your next client.
Your web portal can be optimized with the tracking feature. You can observe what device and browser are being used to access your online portal. So, when creating your web portal, keep this information in mind.
If you want to expand and strengthen your online business, these are the key elements you need to keep in mind while building a web portal.
Your business processes will be sped up by selecting the appropriate features and capabilities.
Types Of Web Portal
Vertical and horizontal web portals are the two major types of web portal.
1. Vertical Web Portal
A particular application or company function, such as human resources management (HRM), accounting and finance, customer relationship management (CRM), enterprise resource planning (ERP), service management, or warehouse management, is the focus of vertical web portals. These portals let users inside and outside of your company to view, change, and participate in the processes within that particular application(s).
For instance, a company might want to provide suppliers with access to a customer web portal where they can view, add to, or modify details about order status and related information.
2. Horizontal Web Portal
Users can view aggregated data from several applications through just a single view experience thanks to horizontal web portals. While vertical portals can certainly aggregate data from other applications, this is not their main goal.
Users no longer need to connect to many different sites in order to read, edit, or combine information thanks to this sort of online portal. Therefore, it has the potential to greatly raise user output and performance.
A common horizontal web portal could be a managerial reporting system that displays data from Key Performance Indicator (KPI) reports. Users of these types of online portals often read or create reports using data included in the view they are now in, but they can also write data or initiate workflow processes as needed.
When choosing the web portal solution for your company, there are so many things to take into account. You must, for instance, think about the kind of portal that best matches your needs, who has access to it, and how it will be built. Ideally, you have a partner that helps you to launch your web portal projects efficiently and effectively.
If you are looking for a trusted IT partner, VNEXT Global is the ideal choice. With 14+ years of experience, we surely can help you to optimize your business digitalization within a small budget and short time. Currently, we have 400+ IT consultants and developers in Mobile App, Web App, System Development, Blockchain Development and Testing Services. We have provided solutions to 600+ projects in several industries for clients worldwide. We are willing to become a companion on your way to success. Please tell us when is convenient for you to have an online meeting to discuss this further. Have a nice day!