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International e-Commerce Trends

According to Forrester Research, the Business-to-Business e-commerce market will skyrocket to $1.3 trillion by 2003 - up from a mere $43 billion in 1998. Given these stunning numbers, you'd better be ready to address the latest internet marketing trends. So where the heck are the Internet marketing trends going? Here are some international marketing trends I've identified that say a great deal about where the online marketing game is heading.

If you have a business and website but don't do much business online, then a shopping cart system is strongly recommended. An electronic shopping cart is essential to any successful e-commerce venture. e-Shopping carts allow a merchant to bill customers through their website by credit card.Free shopping carts are out there now if you shop around (pun intended). I've seen some incredible deals out there. You should find one that has international billing capability. According to a report released by IDC, an Internet research firm, on May 22, 2000, two-thirds of all e-commerce spending will take place outside the US by 2003. In that year, consumer spending on websites in the US will reach $119 billion, but overseas sites will garner $209 billion of business. To capture this boom in international e-commerce, make sure your shopping cart can bill overseas customers.

One company has a shopping cart that is fully integrated and a breeze to set up and maintain. In 4 simple-to-follow screens, you can set up your shopping cart to include some of the following: (a) order notices via e-mail; (b) default autoresponder series (explained below); (c) thank you URL; (d) catalog URL; and many other features. All of this is done on 4 simple pages. If you can answer questions about your e-commerce situation, you should only need 15 minutes to set up your shopping cart.

What else do you need to do to stay ahead of your competitors? How about a feature on your shopping cart that automatically sends follow up e-mails to your customer database? Amazon.com is able to accomplish this neat marketing tactic with an expensive team of savvy net engineers. Now you too can add this feature to your website easily and inexpensively. This feature (called autoresponder) is an awesome benefit to implement into your website. Imagine being able to notify your current customers of new products and special offers.

Every sale starts by getting your potential customer's attention. Once you get their attention, you'll have the opportunity to pitch your main product or cross-sell them other related products. For example, if your customer gains utility from your widgets, they will be more inclined to try out other products you have. By leveraging on this principle, you can further increase your sales by offering other products to these customers.

It is critical that you have a centralized client management system to manage customer data. These leads are the most valuable assets of your company; don't let them it go to waste. Set up your website to automatically send follow-up emails to your customers to cross-sell them on other products you sell or just to remind them to come back to your site to buy re-supplies. Store all of your client's data in one centralized database so you can send broadcasts to your userbase for any new product announcements or other cross-promotional offers.

The autoresponder function is truly a unique and powerful way to remind customers of your products. You can set up your website to send out e-mails automatically at any time in the future.

There are many vendors out there that provide e-marketing solutions, but most of them are expensive and difficult to set up. I recently encountered a provider that offers shopping carts at a reasonable price with an incredibly easy set-up process. I've never seen any system that has integrated so many great sub-components into one linked system. It will automatically respond to emails for you with their autoresponder module. You can use it to sell your products via their easy to use and affordable shopping cart system. Plus they do have international billing capability. For more information, visit www.webcontactpro.com/


David Motozo Rubenstein or "Ruby" is an e-marketing consultant and independent writer. He has an MBA from the University of Oregon, BA Economics, and has worked for several years in Japan as a Marketing Consultant for an Intel Distributor. Now Ruby lives in New York City as he consults companies poised to take the plunge into e-commerce. Utilizing a combination of International Marketing experience and careful analysis of the trends in Internet marketing, Ruby offers insightful words of wisdom for your on-line marketing campaign. www.rubeemarketing.com



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