In today’s marketplace even small brick and mortar businesses need an e-marketing strategy. The consumers may still be the neighbors down the block but they shop differently now that the Internet has grown to be a powerful, quick convenient way to get information, to shop and to keep in touch. The strategy may be a presence on social media or a full “store” online website. Trader Joe’s is an example of a business that has an online presence but still maintains a “neighborhood” store atmosphere.
Back to the wharf, how do “travelling” storefronts utilize e-marketing? Etsy is an example of a site that provides online space for freelancers and those without either a brick or mortar or a website. Even on sites offering business sites the entrepreneur needs to understand the consumers to know how to market the products and . They also need to know how to analyze traffic to help plan best uses of marketing funds. Information about who the consumers are, how to reach them and to keep them, and what they need or want are important data. Tools are available like Google Analytics to help gain the information to help the business grow.
The entrepreneur’s biggest marketing issue is reaching and engaging consumers. The use of a blog is a free or inexpensive way to reach potential consumers. Find a niche for the product, build a customer emailing list and ask about product interest and feedback. All sales should be documented and customer added to the client list
Another issue in today’s online marketplace is the speed of information travelling and the span of the reach globally. One problem beginning artisans make is to bring too little product or the wrong products to the fair. Vendors are no longer limited to the local marketplace. This leads to another issue. Ethics. Unlike laws, ethics may not be written or enforceable. Ethics varies from one culture to the next. It is up to the vendor to maintain an honest business and fairness to the consumers. Trust builds business, acquires and retains consumers. New and retained consumers support sustainability.