(c) Jim Edwards - All Rights reserved
In the few seconds it takes you to read this another domain
name gets registered at www.NetworkSolutions.com, the
Internet's oldest and largest domain name registrar.
Everyone from industrial giants to corner flower shops
currently wants to stake a profitable claim in cyberspace.
The lure of low startup costs compared to brick-and-mortar
operations and the promise of high rewards draws an ever-
swelling crowd of merchants to the online marketplace.
Yet despite the optimism statistics tell us that 80% of
these "e" businesses will fail within their first 12 months
People from all over the country ask me what it takes to
succeed in the e-commerce world once they've completed the
basic steps for getting online.
The following three keys virtually *guarantee success* for
any online enterprise.
The First Key:
A Quality product or service with highly evident and readily
understood benefits for consumers.
If your product or service does not represent the highest
quality and value possible, and if consumers don't
understand exactly why they should buy from you, the speed
of the Internet will just expose your shortcomings to the
marketplace that much quicker.
In the offline world a product's benefits, not the features,
cause consumers to make buying decisions.
A man doesn't buy a car with a 5 liter engine because of the
horsepower, he buys it for the feeling of supremacy and
control he thinks it will give him.
Kids don't want a 1000mHz computer for computing power in
doing homework, they want to play the latest games.
The Internet magnifies this "what's in it for me" benefits-
driven evaluation by consumers.
Products or services presented with readily understood,
self-serving benefits for consumers sell best online (and
The Second Key:
An excellent website that loads fast, provides pertinent
information to targeted consumers, and allows them to make
online purchases quickly and securely.
Your website should: ? Load fast by making conservative use
of graphics. (Go to yahoo.com for an excellent example.)
? Provide exactly the information your potential customers
want and need.
? Make it extremely easy for surfers to navigate your site
and find exactly what they want.
? Look good on both the Netscape and Internet Explorer web
browsers at various screen resolutions (640x480, 800x600,
The Third Key:
Consistent, targeted website traffic by consumers capable of
buying your product or service.
Imagine buying a 50 foot billboard and, instead of putting
it out by the highway, you hid it in your basement.
Nobody would see it!
The same thing happens if you don't actively and
continuously promote your website to attract visitors.
With its incredible speed and communications power, the
Internet acts as a magnifying glass for any organization's
strengths and weaknesses. E-commerce, e-mail, and a website
won't do the job of marketing, selling, and customer service
for any company.
They will, however, help every organization perform all of
those business functions better, faster, and less
expensively with the real and tangible result of "striking
it rich" in cyberspace!
About the author:
Jim Edwards, a.k.a. TheNetReporter.com, is a syndicated
newspaper columnist, nationally recognized speaker, author,
and web developer. Owner of nine (9) successful e-businesses
as well as a professional consulting firm, Jim's writing comes
straight off the front lines of the Internet and e-commerce.
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