In the early days of the Internet, people dreamed of being able to click images on their screens to have them delivered to their homes within a few days. That dream quickly became a reality, of course, but it happened through a series of fits and starts. Not surprisingly, major corporations got it right first, and that’s how behemoths like Amazon.com came to be. For a while, smaller companies could largely avoid online retail. Those days are over, though. No matter what kind of company you run or what you sell, you can’t afford to go without a strong, effective online retail presence.
Online Retail Sales Statistics Paint an Amazing Picture
Like many businesses, you may think you are getting along just fine without a solid online marketing plan. Online retail sales statistics tell a whole other story, however. After considering them a bit, you’re sure to agree that you are missing out on an incredibly lucrative and exciting opportunity:
- Online retail sales in the U.S. in 2012 surpassed $231 billion
- Online retail sales in the U.S. are expected to surpass $370 billion in 2017
- E-commerce is the fastest growing sector of the U.S. retail economy
- There are more than 191.1 million digital shoppers in the U.S. alone
- Two-thirds of people aged 50 and up make online purchases
- People aged 50 and up represent the largest constituency of online shoppers and account for more than one-third of the total
- Amazon.com’s online sales exceed $50 billion
Even if it seems like you’re faring well enough with a brick-and-mortar store, one thing is clear: Millions of people are online looking for what you’re selling. Without a strong, active online presence, your company is missing out on incredible profits.
The Importance of Establishing and Maintaining a Strong Online Presence
You don’t have to sell digital products to get in on the digital revolution. The truth is that no matter what types of products or services you offer, you can increase sales and improve your company’s overall success by developing and maintaining a strong online presence. Even if you offer an incredibly niche service or product, there are sure to be at least a few competitors in your space. Odds are that at least a few of them are marketing online. Guess what? People are increasingly turning to the Internet first, which means you’re missing out on their business. Failing to develop an effective online marketing plan is akin to not putting a sign on your business or failing to put it in the yellow pages. People won’t know it’s there, and you’ll be shutting your doors soon enough.
How to Achieve Optimal Online Visibility
Okay, so now you hopefully realize how important it is to be online and to continually market your products and services there. You’re probably wondering how to go about doing so effectively. Without a doubt, it’s a daunting proposition. After all, you’ll be squaring off against behemoths like Amazon and eBay. How are you supposed to get your piece of the pie? The truth is that it’s harder than ever to get a toehold in today’s online retail market. Indeed, well-established retailers have had effective Internet marketing plans in place for years. Don’t let that deter you, though. It’s still more than possible to get in on the action.
The Pitfalls of Selling Online
There’s way more to making strong online retail sales than listing your products and/or services on an e-commerce website. It’s crucial to have extensive knowledge about which marketing techniques work and which don’t. It helps to have connections with major online retailers too, and that’s not something a small business owner is likely to have. NPI helps to bridge that vast gap by putting our connections and know-how to work for small businesses like yours. When it comes to getting products to the online U.S. retail market, there’s no better way to go.