Weekly Column: 2016-11-25

On November 11, 2016, Alibaba, a Chinese e-commerce company, increased their sales by 32% from the previous year by participating in a “Black Friday” sale. Alibaba made more than 120.7 billion yuan (20 trillion won). In the past, people were skeptical of the effectiveness of online marketing. Now, online marketing takes the world by storm, heightening sales by whopping percentages.

The world, limited by physical shopping, is not too far in the past. Furthermore, since product information was scarce, most consumers purchased more popular products. However, with the recent development of the Internet and various other smart devices, online shopping grows exponentially. These developments focus on consumer convenience, immediately gratifying customers from the comfort of their homes.

With the Internet, the world is at our fingertips with just a click of a button. When it comes to online shopping, a person can compare prices of the same products across various sites. A great advantage in online shopping is that one can compare the prices of the same products across various sites. In addition, now that the use of smartphones has become so widespread, this helps reduce storage limitations and navigation costs. Comparing prices of similar products is a common practice among people; each product, available at the click of the button, is competitively priced and high quality.

Because of the advantages of the Internet, many businesses are turning to online marketing. Because online start-up costs are relatively low, a business operates freely without time constraints, and they can reduce distribution costs that are associated with offline processes. For example, a physical business pays rent and department store fees, so to compensate for that, the product prices rise, burdening the consumers with a more expensive product than those offered online.

So here is the million-dollar question: is an online business guaranteed to succeed? Many assume that an online business will do well as soon as the website is up and running. However, creating a website is like opening a restaurant on an uninhabited island. To attract customers, a business must market itself. Although many know of the success of an online business, they do not understand how important it is to market that business.

If a business does well in a certain industry, it is given that others will try to emulate that success by going into that industry as well. Because online businesses have relatively low hurdles when it is in the start-up stage, competition is much more intense, and the need for marketing is that much greater to succeed.

There are many hurdles to overcome to complete a project. It is important to put in the hard work to succeed and come out on top.