Internet Marketing vs Brick-and-Mortar Business

Internet Marketing vs Brick-and-Mortar Business

It is always difficult for someone who is just starting a business. But sometimes, the problems start even before you start. Today, with Internet Marketing becoming more established, the choices are even more confusing.

Many of us believe that a “real” business is when you have a little office on High Street, or if you had a little shop in Downtown Central. But today, this is no longer true. Clear away all the hype and hoopla about Internet businesses and you will find solid business processes just like in any other business. You will need a good organisation structure, a real marketing plan, good products, great customer service and so on. Talk about the “internet bubble” is really old. Let us move on to some real business ideas.

As a marketing person, we want to focus on reaching our markets. We cannot be distracted by operations and its myriad issues. So, if you do decide to go into the Internet Business, consider this seriously – your operations is as important as your online marketing programs. What do you need to run a good, successful online business? Lots of stuff.

  • A good Domain Name
  • A good server
  • Reliable bandwidth
  • Scripts to run your online business
  • Online Marketing Plan
  • Good products/services

But to have everything going smoothly is a challenge. In fact, one of the most important decisions you will face is your shopping cart software. Of all the things that a new online business owner need to decide on, this is usually one of the most critical and also one of the most difficult decisions.

The shopping cart software that you choose will largely determine your ecommerce process. Some people advocate creating a totally separate payment solution, product catalogue and marketing front end. I feel this is really over-kill. Ecommerce software come in many shapes and sizes. But most of the time, what you need most as a fledgling online business is a simple shopping cart that has some kind of payment mechanism built into it.

As an example, you can look at Ashop Commerce. They have solutions that cater to first time business owners all the way up to sophisticated retailers with B2B requirements. Usually, you will hear about free solutions and “open source” is a common word. While I am a supporter of these initiatives, I would rather put my business where there is committed and professional support to my needs.

Your online business should be focused on your markets, not looking backwards and inwards at your own systems. Unless you are a technical guru (or married one), looking at solutions that provide a complete turnkey shopping cart with ecommerce support is certainly the way to go.

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[tags]shopping cart, ecommerce software, online business[/tags]

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