E-Commerce Isn't Always Necessary
BY Thomas Tucker | 11/22/2005 3:18:57 PM
The only person who can answer this question for your business is you, and you, in fact, are the best and most qualified person to answer it. The fact is,... in the world of online sales, we business gurus are still seeing what we call the 90 / 10 walk-in trend.
The 90 / 10 walk-in trend is the statistical average of measurements taken on online buying practices. 90% of people continue to shop online to find the item, or product line, they would like to purchase, and then go to a local store to purchase that item. It's called "cross-channel shopping." The question you have to ask yourself is "to whom am I primarily trying to sell my product?"
For many small business owners, you will get the most value out of a website which features the product lines that you carry and then boldly and directly shows a map of how to get there. If you're still unclear as to what I mean by this you should see how the pros at Kruckemeyer and Cohn are doing it in their community. Roger Levi and his staff have successfully incorporated their domain name in their radio ads to reach potential customers. Then, by using the website as a half step between someone hearing their radio ads and stepping into their store to purchase goods, they allow the customer to learn about Kruckemeyer and Cohn at their own speed (introverted buyers), examine the designer jewelery lines that the store carries, and then easily locate directions to the store. All the while, each time the customer clicks to a new page, they are reinforcing that brand identity exposure in their mind and sinking the Kruckemeyer and Cohn brand into long term memory.
E-commerce is not for every small business and is often something that you want to grow gradually into incorporating into your enterprise. In the meantime, get a site up and running which features your product lines and tells people where you are. These days, you can't really count on your potential customers picking up the Yellow Pages to find your business.