How To Get On the Web
Websites, Facebook, Twitter, Foursquare, blogging, Craigslist, eBay, YouTube, Pinterest, instagram, Groupon, Living Social, Google Places, AdWords, LinkedIn….. no wonder independent retailers are slow to move into social media and develop websites that are more than just electronic business cards. There are too many choices, too little knowledge, limited familiarity, and it’s too easy to make mistakes.
But think about this. Booz Allen projects social commerce sales to reach $9 billion this year and climb to $14 billion in 2013. Social media accounts for one out of every six minutes spent online. “The Internet is the biggest equalizer in the marketplace,” said Robert Lapointe, president of Quebec-based Tailbase, a web developer for retailers. On the web, the smallest local retailer has the same ability to capture the consumer’s interest as the largest big box store. “Intelligent use of social networks can position retailers ahead of large chains giving them a unique position in the marketplace,” Lapointe said.
Schaefer’s of Lincoln, Neb., has done just that. Third generation Ronnie Romero said he began to ask, “How do I reach ME? I’m a young father of three, don’t watch broadcast or cable TV, listen to satellite radio, and don’t read the paper.” Ronnie said that against his father Ron’s advice, but with his support, he cut their newspaper advertising 40 percent. Despite a lagging economy, the company has grown substantially.