- Categorized in: Internet and Business Online
Statistics don’t lie. Consumers are increasingly seeking online platforms to find information and make purchasing decisions. Over 70% of online users in Australia have used the internet at least once in a quarter to make purchases online (Source: eMarketer, Aug 2010); around 80% of internet users worldwide have shopped online at least once and 93% of users have browsed the internet for information (Source: eMarketer, Oct 2010). The figures are up in neon signs, bang in front of you. Are you still reading between the lines?
Today’s consumer is informed, tech savvy and needs facts. And the online world gives them the means to do just that. Reviews & forums, comparison shopping and auctions, free shipping, live chat service, increased choice in inventory and no geographical barriers are just some of the many features that have made shopping on the Internet such a global phenomenon. In addition, financial technology has gained giant leaps with the invention of newer and more secure transaction methods. This has fueled the online shopping frenzy to an even greater degree resulting in an increased customer loyalty and trust.
Not convinced to ride this this wave yet? Let us put it this way. Evolve or become Extinct. Take a look at history for some examples – Polaroid and Kodak ruled the roost in the film market, but with the onset of digital photography, they almost had to shut shop, since they refused to evolve and adapt. How about Polygram or Sony music who manufactured cassette tapes? Do you shudder to think what might have happened to these forerunners of the music industry had they not decided to upgrade to discs? We do.
The Encyclopedia Britannica, published since 1768 will no longer be printed on paper. Why? Because it will be available online or on CD-ROM. The Yellow Pages will be available online with a comprehensive search engine that will give you instant and relevant results in micro seconds. So, why let your fingers do the walking when a click can do the trick? Paper directories are rapidly being replaced by their electronic counterparts, due to increased efficiency and interactivity of the Internet. Paper is now passé and the rainforests aren’t complaining either.
The internet is easily accessible, has flexible and inexpensive marketing techniques when compared to traditional advertising (remember expensive and hard-to-get TV and Radio spots), can accurately track and measure consumer behavior, targets a global audience, offers low set up cost and a very high return on investment.
This paradigm shift is taking place as we speak. Financial institutions have shifted to the web. Parcel delivery businesses have a strong online presence, making it possible to ship within a day. Ecommerce is not a novelty anymore, it has become a necessity. Auctions are no longer a watchword of the rich and the famous, and sites like eBay have brought auctioning into the hands of the common man. Restaurants have elaborate menus online and receive a large chunk of their orders on the Internet. Comparison shopping sites have helmed in the need for higher quality and competitive prices. Local is now global.
You may have a well-to-do offline business, but unless you adapt and embrace this phenomenal new technology, respect this new shift in consumer behavior and set up shop online; it is not long before you will have to bid adieu to your once flourishing empire.
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You have a swanky new address. Your physical storefront is extremely appealing and well stocked. You have the latest in inventory. You have the necessary number of employees required to run daily operations smoothly.
We are all well aware of the immense potential that the Internet offers. From small and medium businesses to large corporations, everyone these days has a formidable online presence. By now, you must have already taken the necessary steps to set up an online business – choosing the right niche, creating a robust business model, setting up a website and then incorporating Ecommerce into it, if your industry is retail.
Meet Suzanne Golter –Animal lover, entrepreneur and a very satisfied AdWords customer. She was the brains behind ‘Happy Hound’, a novel concept for doggy day care and boarding in Oakland, California. In March, 2004, Happy Hound began its business from a humble rented warehouse in Oakland.
Once upon a time, there was a big fat book of yellow. It was heavy, was full of information and was found everywhere - In little phone booths, on large office desks, on coffee tables in cozy corners and even in library bookshelves. Whenever people had a question, they turned to the yellow pages and found their answer.
Statistics don’t lie. Consumers are increasingly seeking online platforms to find information and make purchasing decisions. Over 70% of online users in Australia have used the internet at least once in a quarter to make purchases online (Source: eMarketer, Aug 2010); around 80% of internet users worldwide have shopped online at least once and 93% of users have browsed the internet for information (Source: eMarketer, Oct 2010).