It’s all E-commerce Now – How’s Your E-presence?

hand-held deviceIt’s all e-commerce now. How’s your e-presence? Are you there ZMOT?

The shop owner may have tried to hand this conversation off to his partner (his wife) to be polite. He really didn’t want to talk about the web or mobile – definitely not social media.

Yet there he was, a rebuttal at every turn. That can be healthy on occasion – and this was one of those occasions.

This small town auto repair had been in town a long time.

Maybe it was an old horse-n-buggy repair shop before this, in the family generations ago. Photos fill the wall of community events and newspaper clippings. A shelf with ball caps from various companies, large and small.

“Some people trade baseball cards, I trade ball caps,” he smiled. He showed me one of his, with his company logo and slogan on it. Can’t miss the logo and slogan. It’s all over town.

  • Bus stop
  • T-shirts
  • Billboards
  • Tow truck on the corner coming into town.
  • Bumper Stickers

“We give a bumper sticker to every customer. Let’s folks behind them know why their car is in front,” he nodded and smiled like he just gave me a feather to go with my new cap.

That’s presence.

I asked why he was all over the place offline, but hardly findable online? And I said something I’ve been saying a lot lately: “It’s all e-commerce now.”

Another rebuttal: “People like to touch things. I don’t go for all that e-stuff and social-malarky,” (I’m paraphrasing for the kids).

Just then, a couple of suits walked past, heading for the town square (lawyers?). Their faces buried in their mobile devices, swiping and typing. He pointed to them and said “Look at those two – walking fast with nowhere to go. They should look up once in awhile.”

I agreed (sort of) - all that tapping and swiping – like people touching things. Maybe it’s not quite all e-commerce yet, but how’s your e-presence? The light bulb above him began to light up.

Tim Peter offers 6 Questions You Must Get Right, and it’s something every business owner in any size market should read (and do the exercise in No. 5)

Buzzwords like e-retailing and showrooming may not have landed on the minds of small business owners yet, but the practices are already in the hands of their customers.

How’s your e-presence?

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Photo on Flickr by Vernon Chan