Internet marketing is important because it aligns with the way consumers make purchasing decisions. Studies by analysts such as Gartner indicate that increasing numbers of consumers use social media and research on mobile Internet to carry out preliminary product and price research before making final decisions. Internet marketing enables you to build relations with customers and prospects through regular, low-cost personalized communication, reflecting the move away from mass marketing.
Internet marketing enables you to be open for business around the clock without worrying about store opening hours or overtime payments for staff. Offering your products on the Internet is also convenient for customers. They can browse your online store at any time and place orders when it is convenient for them.
By marketing on the Internet, you can overcome barriers of distance. You can sell goods in any part of the country without setting up local outlets, widening your target market. You can also build an export business without opening a network of distributors in different countries. However, if you want to sell internationally, you should use localization services to ensure that your products are suitable for local markets and comply with local business regulations. Localization services include translation and product modification to reflect local market differences.
Marketing products on the Internet costs less than marketing them through a physical retail outlet. You do not have the recurring costs of property rental and maintenance. You do not have to purchase stock for display in a store. You can order stock in line with demand, keeping your inventory costs low.
Internet marketing enables you to personalize offers to customers by building a profile of their purchasing history and preferences. By tracking the web pages and product information that prospects visit, you can make targeted offers that reflect their interests. The information available from tracking website visits also provides data for planning cross-selling campaigns so that you can increase the value of sales by customer.
The Internet provides an important platform for building relationships with customers and increasing customer retention levels. When a customer has purchased a product from your online store, you can begin the relationship by sending a follow-up email to confirm the transaction and thank the customer. Emailing customers regularly with special, personalized offers helps to maintain the relationship. You can also invite customers to submit product reviews on your website, helping to build a sense of community.
Internet marketing enables you to take advantage of the growing importance of social media. An article on the Harvard Business School Executive Education website highlighted the link between social networking and online revenue growth. According to the article, a group of consumers that responded most strongly to the influence of social networks generated increased sales of around 5 percent. You can take advantage of this type of influence by incorporating social networking tools in your Internet marketing campaigns.