Internet marketing has gained increasing popularity and acceptability among established companies and starting entrepreneurs alike. Starting off with information technology (IT) innovation and diffusion, the fast rise of online communication and socialization led to initiatives responsible for an e-revolution; thus we have e-learning, e-commerce, and lately e-governance. Using cyberspace for transactions hitherto requiring face-to-face meetings redefined the way we do business, and is now the starting point of many other upgrades on available services.
Cyberspace is a seamless territory always open to natives, migrants and passerby alike, and enabling you to do business without worrying about operating hours or overtime work. Why should you do Internet marketing? It gives five benefits – convenience, cost-efficiency, customer retention, wider reach, and increased sales.
• Convenience. Internet marketing allows you to operate your business – placing Internet ads, contacting suppliers, communicating with customers, and processing orders – in the comforts of your own home. You save on a lot of costs associated with maintaining a physical shop, and can engage in other interesting pursuits you can juggle along with online marketing.
• Cost-efficiency. The costs of starting and maintaining a website, marketing articles in social media, and purchasing pay-for-inclusion listing or pay-per-click ad are very minimal compared to cost of advertising in traditional tri-media. What’s more, you don’t have to overstock on items you are selling, keeping just enough in accordance with demand.
• Customer retention. Based on developments in your market niche, you can modify your product offering, make it more appealing to customers and encourage repeat purchases. Tailor-fit your offers according to readily available public profiles that show their preferences. Establish business and social relationships with frequent buyers, and let your customers know you care about their satisfaction with your product or service through online correspondence. Real-time communication via chat or instant messaging has redefined customer service and feed backing; use this to your advantage to generate interest, attract buyers, and retain customers.
• Wider reach. Internet marketing allows you to overcome barriers of distance. The need to set up physical stores can be eliminated, and you can concentrate instead on strengthening your network of customers and distributors or resellers. With proper management and sufficient capital, you can even venture into exporting your products or customizing certain features to suit the taste of different audiences.
• Increased sales. Availability of your product information and presence of a mechanism that will allow customers to readily purchase from your website will lead to increased website traffic, bigger sales, and faster movement of your inventory. This is because online shopping is very attractive to working customers who cannot readily go out to shop in physical shops during business hours and who opt for online shopping instead. They constitute a customer base you can tap through Internet marketing.
The virtual nature of many transactions these days makes Internet marketing a need and not a luxury you can afford to do without. Learn it, use it well, and you are on your way to making profits.