Are Your Bell’s Ringing?
Wishing everyone a festive few weeks and
certainly ‘bells a ringing’ at your online
cash register this year. After all,
consumers are expected to spend roughly $150
billion online in the next four years.
taking advantage of e-commerce is much more
than simply opening up a new, online sales
channel. It's not just about using
technology to streamline your business
model, creating savings, and increasing
efficiency. It's about lowering costs and
establishing closer, more responsive
relationships with your customers, suppliers
E-commerce has evolved from consumers
conducting basic transactions on the Web, to
a complete rethinking of the way partners,
resellers and customers transact. There are
enormous advantages in using Internet
technology to deepen and secure
relationships with any and all of your
customers and channel resellers.
The reality of
e-commerce on the Internet is that it mimics
business in the real world. The Internet is
a different sales medium with direct sales
and retail characteristics, yet it still
requires strategic business planning,
budgeting, clearly defined expectations and
a realistic return on investment.
Think about the
old four Ps of marketing, Price, Product,
Place, and Promotion and the newly added
fifth P of marketing, ‘People’ in your
marketing recipe. As discussed, each
ingredient should do something different but
together they reinforce each other.
adding ecommerce to your business is not as
easy as some people say. Developing a
successful on-line presence requires an
investment of time, effort, and money, plus
retailing and on-line commerce experience.
But, it is an additional sales channel that
addresses the consumers’ demand for having a
product when, where, and the way in which
they want it. This will also allow you to
improve your financial performance without
adding stores. Just think! CNN announced
over $2 Billion US dollars were spent online
this holiday season so far.
If you are a
manufacturer, importer or distributor, a big
part of the Internet growth is yet to be
seen as to how you face today’s difficult
business challenge in competing and
succeeding in the Internet economy. Your
traditional channels of sales and
distribution must be recast to take
advantage of the Internet and this implies
you choose new ways of utilizing your
reseller or channel assets.
Do not neglect
them. There are many ways to both build and
destroy these relationships.
determine which of your sales channels to
take to the web. You may presently utilize
multiple channels to respond effectively to
your customers’ needs such as your direct
sales teams plus a mix of resellers,
retailers, OEMs, and dealers who deliver
value to your customers and strategic value
to you by providing you with global and
vertical reach, logistics and additional
has also been responsible for another large
change in our purchasing lives regarding
travel related issues. In the United States
Internet-booked rooms is the fastest-growing
segment of hotel reservations and we all
know the statistics for airline and travel
packages purchased online.
The Internet is
becoming part of our lives. It has to be
accepted and worked with. A business that
does not put the appropriate investment and
effort will not be effective long term
against its more Internet experienced
But just think!
You have all of next year to put in place
the infrastructure that will ring your bells
John Shenton - December 20, 2002