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Expending your business through electronic commerce

Expanding Your Business
through electronic commerce
aka e-commerce


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


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

territories…including the
“global market”
 The ability to know your
industry and find new
opportunities
 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
strategy?

How will you continue to
develop great
customer service?

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


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
following:
 Site Design & Maintenance
 Creating & Managing A Brand
Name
 Marketing & Promotional
Strategies
 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
Support”
• 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
marketing,retention
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
time!)


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
competition.
3. Integrate your Web
Strategy into your overall
business strategy!
1.

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

E-Commerce
• 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
(netnames.com)
- Short
- Memorable
- Close to your business name
- Easy to spell





Make it Easy to Find!
Establish Hyperlinks with other
businesses
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
online
 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
information)

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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