The Mind Map of Local Marketplaces Online

The Mind Map of Local Marketplaces

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The Cloud and Scalability

By David Naves

The essence of the cloud and cloud computing is the ability to increase capabilities and scale without increasing investment in entirely new infrastructure. This is also similar to the essence of online marketplaces. Small businesses can scale their virtual infrastructure and their sales exponentially by becoming a part of a marketplace within the cloud. Merchants can work together by helping each other and sharing information, cross-selling and up selling each other’s products and services. Some of this can be done industry-wide some of this can be done city-wide some can be done state-wide. But all of it in the end… global. This can effectively be accomplished within an online marketplace system via the cloud and cloud computing. Similar to cloud computing, merchants working with a marketplace system can scale their industries, their cities, and their sales by using each and every product and service as a refined baited hook, to create vast virtual networks. The only tools needed are computers, connections and open minds, ready for a paradigm shift. Merchants are bound by nothing nor limited by anything and can sell to any one anywhere in the world at any time of day or night.. The cloud truly is the great equalizer. It’s not necessarily in its infancy but certainly in its youth. The paradigm shift of breaking free of the confines of traditional business practices has to happen and must happen now. Small businesses, for example, represent the backbone of this nation’s economy and is the very backbone that will do the heavy lifting in terms of getting it back on its feet. But again, the paradigm shift has to happen quickly and businesses have to act collectively. Scalability is absolute and easy to accomplish if the cloud is embraced and implemented with proper diligence.

Scalability is truly the operative word here. The cloud offers enormous opportunities for scalability. Never before have businesses had the opportunity to scale as they do now. The Internet cloud if harnessed correctly, offers a boundaryless landscape. Let’s talk about boundaryless… no barriers to entry, no boundaries to new and existing customers, services and products And NO boundaries to true growth. Scalability is only limited by one’s desire. Ticketing businesses such as Ticketmaster have been able to scale their operations so vastly while at the same time cutting their costs enormously. During the good old days, massive call centers drove Ticketmaster’s business. A little-known fact was that most of the calls never resulted in the sale but simply higher costs because most callers just wanted information and not necessarily a ticket. But along came the great equalizer and the company was able to scale operations with the crew of 12 and transform call centers into a cloud of data generators. And data as we know is king. Simply put, those with the BEST data, win.

Smaller businesses can also benefit by embracing this great equalizer. Each and every day within the cloud brings with it new challenges as well as new opportunities. Cloud computing brings with it, immense power. The power to build new businesses the power to empower existing businesses and the power to scale. Businesses that act together can tap into this equalizer very affordably. Yes, working together within the cloud requires a ton of work, but it has teeth and if implemented correctly, with the right mindset, the sky is the limit. How? Plan your work and work your plan. It’s really a simple formula.

Cloud computing is simply a way to increase capacity or add capabilities on the fly without investing in additional infrastructure, training new personnel, or licensing additional software. Cloud computing encompasses any subscription-based or pay-per-use service that, in real time over the Internet, extends computing capabilities. Businesses must embrace this bleeding edge real-time business model if they are to compete in the current marketplace. Doing so can increase revenues beyond anything that’s ever been comprehended especially during these economic downturns. The cloud offers far more numbers than any local area radius currently marketed. The new mantra for the 21st century is Think Local:: Sell Global(tm)

There isn’t an industry out there that couldn’t benefit from the scalability of the cloud… especially if implemented within the parameters of an online marketplace. But again, the paradigm must shift from business first, products and services second… and trying to compete alone in the vast Cloud. There is strength in numbers we must all work together to pool resources and create a much bigger pie. Merchants must learn to step out of the way of the sale and let the transactions happen organically. Consumers want what they want and they want it immediately. Scalability really is a key factor in the consumer experience. If the product or service doesn’t exist for them (because of a lack of scale), they simply move on. All of us as web users have the attention spans of gnats. The great e-tailers embrace this and use it as a competitive advantage when providing their services and products on the web.

So use this information wisely. Think about the advantages the cloud provides,the advantages of cloud computing, the advantages of online marketplace… think about all of it. Think about the future.

Think Local:: Sell Global! And stay thirsty my friends…

Why Everything Search is Headed LOCAL… and the Importance of Online City-Based Marketplaces

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,,, and very specifically, 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: 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 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 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,