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Ecommerce is not about selling

by Claudie Clot, CEO of advancis.com


1. Poor e-business practices

Poor e-business practices are generally poor business practices. Case in point: Internet marketing services. Statistics show Internet marketing programs have not helped small businesses in 1999. Does this mean that Internet marketing is not appropriate for small businesses? Probably not. The problem is that the majority of Internet marketing programs they implemented had no chance of producing results from the start. Yet, these programs were sold anyway.

Sure, there have been questionable business services before, but the sad thing is that even some of the Web's biggest players have adopted a strategy where the focus is on selling and not necessarily making sure that the program would produce results for the company buying it. As a result, the number of small businesses who advertised on the Web in 1999 was down 10% from the previous year (source: Dun & BradStreet). This figure is quite disappointing but not surprising. Foolish would be the manager who continued to implement marketing plans that did not work. But more importantly it also demonstrates an important facet of doing business on the Web: if something does not work, you know right away. Vendors are consequently being punished faster than they are in the real world. This leaves them no chance to generate enough repeat sales per customer to cover their investments.

This WE-TAKE-YOUR-MONEY-AND-DON'T-REALLY-CARE-IF-YOU-MAKE-IT. THERE-ARE-MILLIONS-MORE-LIKE-YOU. SO-WE-WILL-GENERATE-REVENUES- BY-SELLING-TO-THEM-INSTEAD attitude is not exclusive to companies offering questionable Internet marketing services. Take e-commerce solutions vendors. Some want to equip your site with all the bells and whistles supposedly needed to do commerce on the Web. This might be fine for some companies, but it rarely is for the majority especially for small companies. Again, the focus is on the sale, not necessarily matching solution to the need.


1. Poor e-business practices
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3. A giant step towards profitability



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