In 2006 the Internet was second only to television in capturing adult media attention. By late 2008 almost one-third of all Internet users were age 55 and up. These changes, from a younger persons media to a more accepted mainstream media for everyone, means more purchasing power is available to the internet retailer. With the growth in the numbers of older adults using Internet services, escalating gas prices and a more firm movement towards Green, on-line shopping and the many Shopping Carts available to buyers today will only fuel its popularity and use. Although demographic research suggests that the higher the family income, the more likely they are to use on-line shopping, the above trends will no doubt start to affect that as well.
Statistics recently available through eMarketer suggest a 65% growth in US shopping over the internet between 2008 and 2013. In raw numbers this means a jump in US dollars from $ 133 B to $ 203 B. In Canada the growth from 2007 to 2012 is expected to equal these percentages with the Canadian dollar value rising from $ 13.8 B to $ 22.8 B. From a strategic perspective any company not doing business over the internet today is disadvantaged. However, the growth forecasts also mean that if your not in the game today by no means are you too late either.
Although it is easy for anyone to fall victim to the negativity surrounding today’s economic reality, our world is still full of opportunity if we know where to look. The availability of the Internet provides each of us with a worldwide audience ready to see what we have. And the presence of Internet e-commerce or Shopping Cart technology means all of us are just one step away from building our own personal safety net. Multiple income streams are a reality for anyone with an idea or product and the determination to spend the time to understand how it all links together. And even if you don’t have a product of your own, the availability of many excellent Affiliate Programs allows anyone with a web site to use another’s products or services to generate an income as they start up and nurture their own idea. The Affiliate Program is also an excellent way to understand the mechanics of the internet and shopping cart technology while you grow your idea.
One of the impacts of the internet is a shift away from traditional paper based advertising methods to the internet. The associated higher costs associated with paper based advertising and the sharp eye on cost containment by financially weakened businesses is accelerating this trend. Other Social Advertising media such as Face Book, U-tube, Twitter and more are also available and their low or no cost access ads to the digital draw. Here’s why. Despite what we hear on the news about the economy we can loose sight of the fact that it is not bad everywhere. Look hard enough and you will find a bright spot, areas that continue to thrive; areas were people are still buying. The internet’s world wide reach means you can always gain access to that market. And as these markets of opportunity change and shift with new realities your internet and e-commerce presence means you will always be there for them when they decide to look for your product or service.
In marketing and in any economy there is always one thing that holds up. There will be people ready to buy now and others that are just shopping, collecting information for that time in the future when they will purchase. To take advantage of the now buyer your website and e-commerce solution will determine if you are able to capitalize. This holds true for everyone. But how do you deal with the future shoppers or prospects? A good shopping cart will have a stay in touch capability so you can keep prospects interested until they are ready to act. However, the astute internet marketer will look to incorporate other technologies that work with your shopping cart and e-commerce programs. Using multi-media they deliver on-going campaigns updating your prospects on your products and services. They are proactive so the customer always knows when the next deal or special is coming. For an example of a company with an excellent marketing campaign technology check out www.AutomatedMarketingSolutions.com. Rounding out your platform should be the social networks including Face Book, U-tube, Twitter and more. These networks allow you to test the market for what you intend to sell, they allow you keep in touch with how your product is being received and to be proactive in correcting any emerging negativity. The bottom line is do not limit yourself in how you reach out to your current and future prospects and customers.
The last two years have not been kind to large companies and some of their outdated practices have given rise to significant animosity. Ill mention AIG and let it go at that. However, we can still learn from them. For example, a February 2009 report suggests that CMOs or Chief Marketing Officers, in their list of Top 10 Priorities for 2009, list the integration of their traditional media and marketing programs with internet services as number 2. There are obvious advantages of doing this and they include reduced costs and overhead in the marketing departments. For the entrepreneur and the small to medium business these same benefits accrue. An on-line enterprise combined with an e-commerce capability, if properly thought out and marketed, can be the key to a second income and additional peace of mind. It could be a stepping stone to a whole new business. As with everything else in the world however, how effective we are in using these tools to attract, convert and retain will differentiate us and our success.