A Web-Based Business
Why a Web-Based business? Clearly, no technology has swept through the American public as fast as internet usage. In 10 years over 74% have become active users of the internet. Think of it, linking hundreds of millions of computers together at the speed of light for the cost of a few pennies! You have instant access to vast amounts of information with ease. It is amazing now that more cars are sold over the internet than through auto showrooms.
For the retail customer, the internet makes such good sense-
- You can find the right item you want quickly without leaving your seat
- You can compare prices instantly with driving here and there
- You can have items delivered conveniently. No looking for parking spots. No waiting in lines.
- You can avoid also those “impulse purchases” lurking inside the door of the store.
- You can have routine stuff(dog food, bathroom tissue, etc) shipped regularly without thinking about it.
Remember 10 years ago when all the dot.com stocks went straight up, then became “dot.bombs”? What happened? It was the right market, but the wrong marketing approach! They used an old, over-worked way to get new customers- advertising. Today in the U.S. the average person sees 3500 advertising impressions A DAY! We don’t pay attention anymore. Only 2% of new customers today come from advertising.
What works today goes back to 2 marketing professors who pointed out that 80% of a company’s business comes from 20% of the company’s clients. Put your money on them and they will come back, and back, and bring their friends! Their first product was Frequent Flyer Miles, then the membership cards for groceries and drug store chains, the rewards programs for hotels and credit cards! Loyalty or membership marketing, that’s what works!
No one had done this on the internet until 1999 when two of the wealthiest marketing families paid Microsoft to build them a huge web mall for their direct-marketed products. They added hundreds of web partners(Office Depot, Sears, Bass Pro, Barnes & Noble, etc) and paid out cash to frequent shoppers– $4 billion to date. And the rest is history. That’s our business- no inventories, no deliveries, no returns, no accounts receivable. What’s not to like?