Internet Marketing Boon To RetailersThe Internet also poses a boon to local retailers on two levels - marketing and sales. Any store can have an Internet website created for their store to serve as a 24/7 ad center and order taking portal. The Internet offers a quantum leap up in advertising presence from the traditional advertisement in the Yellow Pages.
Retailers can utilize their website to go beyond the usual listing of phone number, address and hours of business by presenting color slide shows of their products, tap into mapping sites to provide clear directions, and list customer testimonials. A "Contact Us" page can provide an easy to use form for emailing questions or requests - no matter what hour your visitor is perusing your website.
The next level of Internet presence is the online catalog and sales. Online sales is more challenging since it requires merchant credit card processing services, secure servers and a monitored and maintained product database. While planning for your online presence, consider how the online sales will integrate with your in-store sales and inventory. If the two are not integrated, you may end up feeling like you are running two separate stores or have to do manual adjustments to the databases to synchronize the sales and inventory information.
Merchant Credit Card Accounts Bring OpportunityUS Business Finance Corp as a primary alternative financing source, has a track record of assisting retail stores with its merchant credit card processing service. US Business Finance Corp's financial experts have assisted both traditional stores acquire standard credit card processing services as well as aiding online stores the require high risk credit card processing services. With the added risk of doing business over the Internet, many traditional retailers must build and online track record to enjoy the same rates online as they do in their stores. US Business Finance Corp trains owners and employees on the best and quickest way to maintain their merchant account status to get the best rates and lowest fees.
The benefit of Internet marketing is that retailers can be players in the constantly growing market of online sales, regardless of how big they are. Amazon was a small start-up online bookstore the turned itself into a market giant, leaving traditional bookstores and record stores playing catch-up. The ease and time savings of online sales has impacted markets such as office supplies, book sales (new and used), music sales, software and information sales. The music, software and information markets have been transformed by the Internet to where songs and books can be purchased and then downloaded and stored electronically - no physical product is shipped. Buyers get the instant gratification of getting their product to enjoy or use instantly.
Even if you do not consider Internet sales of merchandise as an immediate option or it is not suited to your products or services, the need to have a professional business web design and the ability to accept Visa and MasterCard credit cards is paramount. Since the younger generations now habitually check everything on the web, from shopping comparison sites to double checking directions, any retailer or small business marketing plan must budget for a user friendly, information-rich website.