Local Local Local!
What’s all the hubbub about local and the web? Why are so many searches going local? Simply put, many people are looking for products and services that are close to where they live and do business. Not only for ease of proximity but if they are ordering any products or services online they either want to go pick it up themselves or simply keep the shipping costs down. It’s really that simple. Huge online businesses have been spawned from this local search concept. Some of these include Citysearch.com, ReachLocal.com, MerchantCircle.com, and very specifically, Google.com. The essence of these sites and their results are sound but none of them actually allow a fully transactional process, start to finish. This is exactly where things will be and should be going. City-based marketplace systems (exa: www.Auburn-Marketplace.com) provides merchants within their specific cities to place their goods and services within highly search engine optimized e-commerce engines and allows the selling of them start to finish. This is really important in that many e-commerce buyers don’t have time nor the desire to pick up the phone and call that specific merchant to find out how to purchase, etc. etc. They want what they want and they want it now and if you don’t have it to offer they move on to somebody that does. So city-based marketplaces satisfies both needs… that of the local merchant and that of the local buyer. **And it doesn’t hurt that the city itself is automatically marketed along the way.**
The real trick here is Google. Google is for all intents and purposes in complete control of the merchants’ and shoppers’ destiny. There is definitely some competition, but for the most part, if people want to find anything they go to Google.com first. Which means merchants should do the same. (at least in terms of getting their products and services found)
The great news is online buyers becoming more web-savvy every day they use the search engines. They may start off with generic searches, perhaps looking for a category or a brand, but they also learn if they want refined results they have to refine their searches. And that’s exactly what the essence of city-based e-commerce marketplaces are all about. (refined search results and the ability to finish the transaction of these results) Smart e-tailers don’t start with the business first, they start at the product and service level first. Ecommerce is a very product-and-service-centric business. There must be a serious paradigm shift in the minds, hearts and souls of merchants all around the world if they want to th9ink about competing in the biggest game on the planet… E-COMMERCE!
The desire of most decent merchants is to provide quality products and service via great customer service for their consumers, but often times that means putting one’s self or their business in front of the customer first, thereby blocking or preventing that sale from occurring. Online… TRUE online sales, STARTS with that product and/or service and does not prevent in any way that potential buyer from getting exactly what they want . So what does that mean to a merchant who wants to sell their goods and services? That means start with your product or service, explain it from top to bottom… side to side and not leaving anything out. Great photos, videos, manuals should all be included. Don’t give that customer anywhere to go but the “Buy Now” button. Is it hard work? Absolutely! Is it time consuming? Yes! But it has teeth and it works! Sales is a numbers game and the web will ALWAYS offer significantly more, in terms of numbers. So take the time and give your customers the best possible web offering you can. Good marketplace systems will help you achieve this.
Search engines like Google must be able to understand exactly what that one specific product and/or service page is all about. And that means extreme search engine optimization. Most of the 24 million small business merchants in America, (with 99 employees or fewer) don’t understand what SEO is all about. Or if they do, they don’t know how to effectively or affordably get an ecommerce site there. And that’s where city-based marketplaces can come in and provide formidable, tools that allow them to enter their goods and services, expel their knowledge of these goods and services in a simple method. While in the background the SEO magically happens. And because the city-based model is wrapped around the SEO of each product and service, anyone doing a local search for that specific item is going to have a much easier time finding what they need. So it’s a win-win for everyone. Google loves the fact that there is a ton of great results for their users. (they care most about “relevant” search results)” And consumers will have a product or service actually available “for sale” online, instead of a reference to make a call or dig deeper to find one that is available for sale. And the merchant will have a simple, affordable method of selling their items WHILE marketing their city… ultimately bringing more customers into their physical locations. This is good for Small Business America! And Small Business America is the main force that will drive our economy back into the black.
Additionally, not only do city-based ecommerce marketplaces provide great local search results but in many cases, simply provide great results… period. Easily 95% of small businesses in America simply aren’t getting their products and services found on Google because it can be hard, expensive, and it’s embedded within and industry they don’t understand. Online city marketplaces dispel the myths of the expense, the effort and the technical knowledge required. If a merchant can hunt and peck some keys, take some pictures, double click their mice and follow some easy instruction, that’s about as technical as one needs to be to engage in effective e-commerce.
Local, city-based ecommerce marketplaces are committed to providing each and every small business in America the opportunity to use the web as the great equalizer. And it truly IS the great equalizer in the overall scheme of e-commerce. Put up a product, or a service in a quality city-based marketplace (like www.Auburn-Marketplace.com) and you can run circles around Fortune 100 companies. Why? because they simply don’t have the know-how, the employees with the desire, nor the nimbleness that’s required to maintain great product and service database. And great data is king. Simply put… Those with the best data, win.
Dave Naves, Founder, Local-Marketplace.com