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Even Small Businesses Can Benefit from an Internet Presence
By Janie Franz
January 1, 2003

Customer demand for the convenience of Internet sales has prodded many small retailers to dip a toe in the online waters. The Web has been especially good for newer retailers who haven’t yet built a strong brand presence, and has proven ideal for specialty retailers in the toy market.

There are three main ways businesses use websites. One is as a sole store presence, which is the toughest business model to start and make prosper. However, if you have a product that is truly distinct from your competitors, you may have an edge. PoshTots, a Virginia-based company, started making a profit after only seven months, exclusively selling high-end children’s furnishings on their website.

The most common reason companies go online is to create an extension to brick-and-mortar stores, offering another level of service to existing customers while reaching new ones via the Web’s world-wide audience. The third reason--advertising. This can take the form of product information, store locations, or additional information related to your products or your products’ users.

Finding out what your customers want when they come to your website is critical (cont.)...



Supplement: Do-it-Yourself Articles for E-newsletters
Concept: Internet Marketing and Retailing
   Online Toy Shopping Gaining Popularity

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