Big Bang or Long Haul?

By SmallBusinessComputing Staff | Posted May 21, 2002
By Robyn Greenspan

What kind of e-business are you developing? One that will make an immediate impact in the market and generate a proliferation of one-time sales, or a business that will grow steadily over time, inspiring long-term loyalty?

If your e-company depends on an emerging trend or the latest fad, you may have just a small window of opportunity for success, making you a "one-hit wonder." If that's what you have in mind, you can eliminate brand building, maximizing customer value, and long term strategizing from any of your marketing campaigns. Instead, you can focus on building a temporary workforce, a high impact, quickly deployed advertising program, and automated processes to expedite orders promptly.

This business model's profitability strongly depends on timing and the initial impact you make in the market. The key is to predict the next hot industry trend or get in early, ride the short wave of success and cash in quickly.

This approach to e-commerce still necessitates exceptional customer service and strong relationships with partners, vendors, colleagues and employees. You never know whose path you'll cross in your next venture.

If you'd rather be in this e-commerce thing for a long duration, you'll benefit from long range thinking, creative vision, flexibility, and a plan for the future. The products or services you offer should have staying power, and the ability to sustain more than 15 fleeting minutes of success.

Cultivating and nurturing relationships with customers, along with fair business practices, will be critical to longevity. Evolving site design, updated content, and elements that make online shopping convenient (such as wish lists, stored billing data, etc.) will give your e-commerce site timeless appeal.

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