In the last issue we talked about the importance of conducting online market research. In this issue we are going to switch gears a little and go over some of the disadvantages of internet marketing.
With everything, there are both advantages and disadvantages. It is that way with internet marketing. Keep in mind that internet sales is not static. As things change, what we find disadvantageous today may become a good thing tomorrow. With that, new disadvantages will take the place of these.
The lack of human interaction is a big disadvantage in internet marketing. When a person enters a store, he or she can ask for advice, gain information, and interact with a human. Many people don’t like the impersonal feeling that comes from shopping online. Telephones and chat rooms exist, but these do not help internet marketing give the same feeling as having a live person in front of you. So, even if a customer goes online for product information, they may end up choosing to buy the product in person anyway.
Internet marketing is not a free activity. There are costs involved in building and maintaining a website and buying hardware and programs to help run your business. There are, of course, costs in running a brick and mortar store that internet marketing does not have. Depending on what angle you approach it from, the cost involved could be considered acceptable.
When websites go down, customers can’t get to you. You lose sales and they become frustrated about having to seek a product elsewhere. This may not deter the customer who is in this situation once, but repeated times will cause him to take his business somewhere he can feel is reliable.
Safety has led many customers to avoid shopping online. Many people are afraid of identity theft and other forms of fraud that stop them from buying things online. You might have done everything possible to insure your customer’s privacy, but some people still will not trust the internet.
While the number of people online is steadily increasing, not everybody has gotten there. A major portion of the population will never see your site because they do not have internet access. Finally, you may find yourself targeting the wrong population if you do all your business online and don’t take time to come face to face with the customer to make sure what you are selling is what the customer wants.
Until Next Time…..Keep smiling!
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