Local E-commerce marketing

We've been hearing for years about how the web and e-commerce are going to revolutionize retail and that shoppers increasingly avoid going to the store. Has that come true? Well, sort of. Sure, the web has changed the game, especially from an information standpoint, but the fact is that the great majority of shoppers still make the great majority of their purchases in stores. So, if you have been struggling to design (or pay for) a professional website, or if your merchandise doesn't lend itself to e-commerce (bulky items, antiques, food, liquor, and produce, etc are all examples), then don't despair. You still have an opportunity to attract a large number of shoppers to your store. In the past, marketing meant direct mail, print advertising, signage and more. These are all expensive and of limited benefit. The new world of web marketing is powerful, but has been very fragmented. What good is advertising on the web, and reaching millions of consumers the world over, if you only want to reach the ones in your area? As a result of all the buzz and traffic on the web, banner and click advertising have become very expensive, and probably not very effective for a small retailer. However, there are new local listing and search tools that are much more affordable, or free, and they allow local shoppers to search for your products and services by area, increasing the chances that out of all the stores out there on the web, they'll find you! Google is one of the leaders in this area, but the other search engines are also adding this functionality and there are other specialty search tools as well. I encourage you to start with Google Local listings and spend some time making sure that you are listed in the proper categories, and then go to some of the others like localsearch.com and business.com to get your business in front of local customers today.


Will Atkinson has spent his entire career dealing directly with small retailers to solve their technology problems, especially point of sale and inventory control issues. Will manages CAP Software, a specialty POS software company dedicated to providing the finest in retail POS applications for small and medium retailers. Learn more about CAP at www.capretail.com or contact me at will@capretail.com. His expertise extends to customer service issues, usability and workflow properties, and other re...

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