How can I gain a foothold in the internet business? The ‘Webchance’ Forum offered ideas for new sales channels

Michael Machon from Thinkhalle explained, why online marketing is so important.

Advertising and selling on the internet – online shops and social-media channels remain a deep mystery for many bed dealers, interior decorators and other bricks-and-mortar retailers. Thus, the eight speakers at the ‘Webchance’ Forum focused on creating an awareness of the new sales opportunities available on the internet. In the well-filled rows were many retailers who are considering launching their own website and a presentation on Facebook, Twitter, etc., or who have already done so.

The experts pointed out that most of today’s customers only use the internet to find shops in the vicinity. Thus, the significance of local online directories, such as Google Places, is growing continuously. Many of these directories are free of charge and retailers can enter details of their business and the location. Together with the opportunity to rate the service provided, potential customers can find the best interior decorators or bed dealers in their neighbourhood quickly and easily. Apropos ratings: taking out pages in social media, such as Facebook and Google+, is only worthwhile if the pages are updated regularly and open to both positive and negative feedback. Additionally, online market places, such as Amazon and eBay, are also good platforms for testing sales potential on the internet.

All speakers were, however, of the opinion that there is nothing more important than having an individual website. Special price offers, individual mail-order offers and channels, as well as optimum positioning in search engines are just some of the subjects that retailers should bear in mind and keep continuously up-to-date. It sounds complicated at first but can often be achieved with little effort and is almost always crowned by success.

Marc Chalupsky

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