BIZTIPS - December 21, 2003

Biz Tips: Holiday e-commerce message: ‘You have sales’
Sunday, December 21, 2003
By Art Hill

It’s Christmas week, the shortest shopping days of the year. Make the most of your time with products and services close to home. Lots of gifts for your clients, employees and families are produced right here in the Northwest.

Think Oregon, Washington, Idaho and American Indian specialty foods, clothes, art, crafts, wines, beers, entertainment and gift certificates. Check the Internet for products with local retailers or overnight delivery. Just type “gifts” and a city, state or tribal name in your favorite search engine.

How much sales volume is your business doing over the Internet?

Forrester Research estimates that e-commerce will hit $3.5 trillion next year in North America alone. Are you getting your piece of the action? Try typing a few words that describe your product, service, or industry into an Internet search engine.

I asked my favorite search engine, for “technical training.” The search took just over one-fifth of a second and displayed the first 10 of 9,240,000 hits.

I got detailed information on my competitors’ products, prices and companies. I also saw how they position themselves, how they promote, and who their partners are. Do this at least once a month to see what your competitors are doing and what they’re missing that you can offer.

It’s the easiest market research available.

While you’re on-line, e-mail us the approximate percent of your gross sales this year (2003) that were Internet-based.

We’ll let you know how businesses in our region compare with those in the rest of the nation. Our e-mail is

In upcoming columns, we’ll suggest ways you can be kicking some serious Internet sales by this time next year. Meanwhile, check your section of the Blue Mountain Community College Web site,, for more business information.

Content © 2003 East Oregonian