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The Census and the E-Commerce Wave

The tidal wave of the E-Commerce platform is just starting to build up speed. The US Census Bureau explains that E-Commerce sales are “sales of goods and services where an order is placed by the buyer or price and terms of sale are negotiated ...

May 04, 2005

By Greg Richburg
Netricks, Inc.

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Understanding business and product sales can sometimes put me in a whirlwind. My job tends to get me involved with loads of different opportunities dealing with all sorts of product lines. It is not my job to understand every single type of product, but it is my goal to assist my clientele with the broadening of their product market.

The tidal wave of the E-Commerce platform is just starting to build up speed. The US Census Bureau explains that E-Commerce sales are “sales of goods and services where an order is placed by the buyer or price and terms of sale are negotiated over an Internet, extranet, Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) network, electronic mail, or other online system.” Although the overall percentage of E-Commerce sales in comparison to total retail sales may seem small, the acceleration rate is indeed enormous.

What does all this mean?

Take a look at a business associate of mine that sells cleaning supplies. He has a small warehouse in Las Vegas that moves a little over 10 million dollars worth of product a year. Without any Internet presence whatsoever, 100% of his sales come from conventional marketing near and around his local market. He services the greater part of the West Coast, but doesn’t venture too much outside of that boundary.

My preliminary research has shown that Based on the results from some of the major search engines including Yahoo and MSN, an estimated 2000 searches a day are done for “Carpet Cleaning.” Other viable searches include:

Carpet Cleaners – 1100 per day
Carpet Cleaning Supplies – 800 per day
Cleaning Supplies – 900 per day
Cleaning Products – 500 per day

With those five search queries alone, a website could potentially be seen by over five thousand (5000) visitors a day. That adds up to over one hundred and fifty thousand (150,000) search queries each month with just a few terms.

In certain markets, there are very few companies lobbying for the top search engine positions, yet, some are saturated. If you have a product that is conducive towards Internet based marketing and sales, but you have not tapped into the territory yet, your competitors may be beating you to the punch.

Why would I want this? Hmmm…

Let’s assume your business is predominantly in the Central Valley and perhaps spreads a little throughout California. You already ship product here and there. Are you setup to handle some additional sales to the Midwest or the East Coast? What about Europe? The point is that the Internet has no boundary. If you offer your products and services online, through an E-Commerce system, it is like having a huge international storefront that welcomes the wondering visitor. The only thing left to do is a marketing campaign, simple or robust.

But don’t be fooled. The marketing campaigns can really get you. Setting up the storefront is the easy part. Managing the storefront is also easy. Putting the sign out there to attract the customers may tend to be a grueling task, unless you plan ahead.

What is the bottom line?

Here’s the deal. IF you aren’t in a hurry, but think you want to have an E-Commerce system in play in perhaps a year or so, it will be to your advantage to develop it now. Internet based marketing campaigns take 6 months to a year to mature. I don’t care what anyone tells you, unless you want to fork over tons of cash on a regular basis, a solid Internet marketing campaign takes time.

The Census shows that Internet based sales are increasing faster than conventional retail sales. The census shows that over sixty-nine billion dollars ($69,000,000,000) were spent last year in E-Commerce sales, up 23.5% from 2003. The census show that if you are not planning for the future, your competition is.

The Pickle

You can get carried away with overhead if you are not careful. Internet based marketing can turn into the ever hungry monster that you have to constantly feed on a regular basis. The goal is to plan a year in advance and have a strategy that will create a system that will offer your site search engine presence and stability over time. But if you want more, more is available.

A Rule for the Road:

If you want to know who is good at Internet based marketing, just check online. Do a search for “Fresno Web Design” and see what you find.

All past articles written by Greg Richburg are available at http://www.netricks.com/news. Please address article suggestions to: info@netricks.com.

Greg Richburg a Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer and the owner of Netricks, Inc. a network consulting, web design and hosting company located in Fresno, CA. and KlickCommerce for
Internet based shopping carts and Marketing.

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