About 54 percent of small businesses and 62 percent of medium-size ones (with at least 100 employees) now have a Web site, leading many of the rest to wonder how soon they should sign on with their own sites. One of the first questions businesses need to answer is what do they want from a Web site. More than nine of 10 Web sites used by small and medium businesses provide company information, but do not sell products or services on-line—yet.
INITIATING CONTACT MEANS MORE SALES
The likelihood of a customer making a purchase increases—as does the amount that customer spends—when it's the salesperson who initiates contact. That's one finding of a retail management study by the University of Nevada—Las Vegas. From a study of competing consumer-electronics stores, the results showed almost three out of four shoppers who spent more than $100 were approached by a salesperson. The retailer with the highest percentage of salespeople initiating contact also had the biggest number of buyers in comparison to browsers.
WHAT THIS COUNTRY NEEDS IS A GOOD FIVE-CENT PENNY
The Coin Coalition, a group that has been lobbying to eliminate pennies, estimates that 25 percent of all one-cent pieces end up in landfills. The Coalition says most people simply don't want to carry pennies, and retailers don't like them either. Walgreen's figures it costs $13 million a year just to count them. To avoid pennies, some recommend rounding prices up or down. U.S. military bases round three and four cents up to five, and one and two down to zero. It costs almost a penny to make and ship each coin, which is now more than 97 percent zinc rather than copper.
LOYALTY MUST BE EARNED
Some say if you want loyalty, you'd better stick with getting a dog—especially in the business world. Seven out of 10 respondents to a survey by Harte-Hanks Market Research say they see no clear benefit in staying loyal to any particular business. The up side is that many customers say they want to be loyal, but feel not many businesses are earning it.