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Internet Marketing 2: The Disadvantages
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In Internet Marketing 1: The Advantages of Internet Marketing were discussed. It sounds perfect, a broad or narrow market, communications with customers and potential customers, and reaching a worldwide audience. But there are some disadvantages too. That is the nature of the business world. There are always challenges to be overcome.

A business person operating a storefront business has physical contact with his customers. A small business has many personal relationships. Some customers may have walked into the business for years. Say its a hardware store. The customer might walk back to the paint area and grab a gallon of interior paint, a roller and pan, and an edge masking tool. He knows what he wants and where it is. He is like a fixture almost, predictable and reliable. He trusts you. You trust him. He knows if the products he buys are unsuitable or unused he can bring them back to the store and get a refund or an exchange product.

If your storefront business is a garden store, your customer can look at a rose plant and smell the blooms (if it is in flower). He knows what he is getting. He an ask you a lot of questions about how to plant it, what fertilizer he will need and how much, how often he should water the plant, and how to keep the aphids away. You are the local expert that he (or she) relies on.

If your storefront caters to the sewing needs of ladies then they can feel the cloth between their fingers, ask you if it is durable enough for everyday use, and whether they wash it in the washer. They can hold it up against themselves to see what would look like in a dress and they can compare it with the fabric on other bolts of cloth. They can buy a pattern if they didn't bring one with them and they can have the clerk measure out exactly what yardage they need.

They can't do these things on the Internet. They may not trust you with their money. They may not trust your guarantee. They may not buy from your site, just as a walk in customer may not make a purchase, but they may not buy more often.

Nobody is going to come to your Internet store if they don't know where it is. You must entice potential customers to come to your site. This is a major problem of e-commerce. It's a difficult problem that you must resolve. It's not like moving your business into a physical mall. You are invisible until you learn how to get traffic to your web site.

Fly Old Glory!


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