If your business is not actively engaged in web-based marketing, it is likely you are going out of business.

One of the best examples I can describe is the book business of which I am an active participant. The era of the brick and mortar retail store is quickly being eclipsed by the online or virtual bookstore. The traditional bookstore is a “hits” or “best seller” business and cannot begin to carry all the titles that the readers desire.

Instead, traditional bookstores stock only the top 1-2% of books published leaving the rest of the titles to the online booksellers like Amazon. In fact, when I visited Amazon today their book titles totaled am amazing 19,382,861 individual titles.

The real statistics on the book business are rather startling. 75% of U.S. adults haven’t been in a bookstore for the last 5 years and bookstores sell only 45% of all books sold.

The majority of books are now purchased online and the trend is increasing. The consumer is voting with their keyboards and is demanding more titles. The only way to deliver the other book titles is through the efficiency of the online store.

Another example of how businesses are embracing the web is that of the retail cookie store in the shopping mall. My friend, Ryan Paules, who owns two “Cookies By Design” franchises in Tarzana and Westlake, California (cookiesbydesign.com) tells me although the aroma of cookies is a powerful stimulant for walk-in purchases, the website contributes up to 30% of his sales and many of his customers are not local.

Ryan attributes this high percentage of online sales to aggressive e-mail marketing, sound e-mail list management, and a good website. Direct mail is a contributing factor too. Much like the traditional bookstore, the cookie store is changing with the times. Also, most of his telephone orders come from people who first looked at the website.

Books and cookies are just two examples about how the web has changed businesses. Change can be good.

John Bradley Jackson
© Copyright 2007 All rights reserved.

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