News ARRAY Development [Please feel free to repost this message where appropriate]
Going "online" with a catalog or mail-order operation is not as simple as it looks, warns Nahum Goldmann, ARRAY Development's VP of Research and Development.
"It is easy to scan in the graphics and price list and put it on the Internet," Goldmann said. "But that's like creating a glossy flier, putting it in a bottle and dumping this bottle in the ocean. Catalog businesses that succeed in the global marketplace will be those that restructure and reengineer themselves to take full advantage of powerful features provided by the advanced electronic communications tools."
To illustrate some of the options available, and to help consumers find online vendors, ARRAY Development has recently released a free Internet Directory of Catalogs (http://www.arraydev.com/commerce/catalogs/).
"Many firms just use the Internet to advertise their toll-free numbers or a printed catalog," Goldmann said. "The real innovators are providing interactive product information and making consumers feel comfortable about ordering and paying for items online."
Tens of millions of people around the globe have Internet and World Wide Web access. But Goldmann said it is a mistake for business to think this is another mass medium like television or newspapers.
"Internet allows business to seek out and serve both large and small specialized markets anywhere in the world. A leading-edge Web site allows customers to find you any hour of the day or night, obtaining products and services you want at the time convinient to you. Your business is never "closed" because customers can complete their transactions even when none of your staff is on duty."
Internet catalogs are attractive to many businesses that could not accommodate the long lead times and large up-front costs for design, printing, and mailing a traditional catalog. An online vendor can order inventory in the morning and have it in the catalog in the afternoon. The risks, financing and distributing costs are dramatically reduced.
Businesses considering marketing products or services on the Internet are welcome to visit the free ARRAY Development Directory of Catalogs to see how their competitors are using the new technologies. For information about developing a successful Internet-based catalog operation, or to register your own catalog in this free directory, email array (at) ARRAYdev.com or fax (613)248-4819.
ARRAY Development has built a solid reputation with high-quality reengineering and Internet consulting services. Using the Web and an assortment of advanced electronic tools for information gathering and dissemination on Internet, the Company helps government agencies, businesses, and corporate divisions to restructure their mission critical processes.