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Expending your business through electronic commerce

Expanding Your Business
through electronic commerce
aka e-commerce

Benefits of “being connected” and
 Opportunity for
increased revenue
 “ 24/7” = Convenience
to clients
 Enhanced Customer
 Potentially lowering

More WWW Benefits for Small
 The Power to Educate!
 Expanding into new

territories…including the
“global market”
 The ability to know your
industry and find new
 The power to track sales
 The opportunity to compete
with “the big guys”

Factors to Consider Before
Launching into E-Commerce
Exactly HOW will your
company utilize the web to
enhance services?

HOW will you
integrate technology
into your marketing

How will you continue to
develop great
customer service?

HOW will you create a
meaningful presence?
How will you measure

Key Issues to consider before you
launch a web presence?
• Getting and staying on the WEB
normally takes more time and energy
than small businesses expect…that is
why three out of four small businesses
do not operate web sites.
• Consider the costs for “launching”
and maintaining.

• Do you have the resources?
- HR
- Money
- Time

Technology - Integration Business
Planning..Plan before you start!
Develop a plan that addresses the
 Site Design & Maintenance
 Creating & Managing A Brand
 Marketing & Promotional
 Sales
Check out new rules for
 Customer Service
writing an E-Plan
 Costs: Start-up and On-going
www. ecommercetimes.com
operational costs

Myths of E-Commerce:
Easy Money!
• Setting up a web presence is
“easy” and “cheap”, with
ample rewards!
• Yes, you can set-up an
“electronic flyer” for
presence, but a true website
will/could cost $10,000 to
$100,000 and take several
months of planning, HR time
and on-going maintenance.

More E-Myths
• Making Money on the
Web is Easy!
(less than 50% of commercial
websites are profitable)

• The Most Important
part of Website
development is
Technology (industry
knowledge rather than
technology is key!)

• You don’t need a
Strategy to sell on the
WEB! (go back to target
marketing 101)

• Privacy and Security
are no longer web
issues! (there are still major

challenges to gain e-marketing
consumer trust)

Myths of E-Commerce: “If you
build it, they will come.”
• Web sites need “Promotional
• Launching a web-site without
promoting or telling your clients
how to access it is like selling hot
coffee without the cup.
• Keys to promoting the URL
include: linkage, promotional

material with the URL site, building
web-relations, utilizing banners, hosting
a chat room, writing articles on other
sites that link to yours…

E-Marketing Myths continue
• Customer Service is Not
as Important as in Retail
Sales! ( do not overlook the
follow-up or 3rd “R” of
and answer those e-mails!)

Always makes
the website better
(“more is not always
better…know your tmarket”)

Follow-up on E-Myths
• CLICKS will cause all
Bricks to come
tumbling down. ( webbase shopping will never
fully replace the need for
“real shopping.”)

• It’s too Late! (Don’t
worry, e-commerce is still
in it’s infancy. There is

Strategies for E-Success
The basic success
strategies for starting an
E-Business are similar to
that of developing a
business- #1) PLAN.
2. Do your research and
analyze your
3. Integrate your Web
Strategy into your overall
business strategy!

4. Consider focusing on a
niche..or a smaller pool of
your target market.
5. Develop a “customer
community”..one with
similar interests
6. Make creative use of EMail, but don’t avoid it or
spam your customers!

Most Excellent Strategies for

• Develop and Maintain a website with
credibility, truth and timeliness. (check
out TRUSTe)
• Form strategic alliances (on & off the web)
to develop web referrals
• Make the most of global reach (many ecustomers are outside the USA)
• Promote your web site on and off-line.

Killer Web-site Strategies

Select the RIGHT Domain Name
- Short
- Memorable
- Close to your business name
- Easy to spell

Make it Easy to Find!
Establish Hyperlinks with other
Give the customer what they want

Successful Website…
 Include e-mail, contact names and
numbers (toll free if possible)
 Have the service of tracking orders
 Follow a simple design that is easy
for the e-customer
 Assure customers that the
transactions are secure (verisign)
 Are frequently changed and updated
 Are professional in look and in
follow-up service

E-Commerce for Small Business Resources
• ecommercetimes.com

• ftc.gov (look into rules &

• www.paloalto.com (web
planning software and

regs for online selling)

• bbbonline.org (better
business bureau)
code of on-line
business practices

• sba.gov/managing
technology topics
• sbdcnet.utsa.edu
(Getting Started in ECommerce Guide)

• Verisign.com

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