Turbo-Charge Your Site

With almost 60 million households in the United States linked to the Net, you'd be stupid not to find ways to grab a piece of the action with a site that really hums.
2 min read
Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

While virtually anyone who knows how to work a word processor seems to have a book out on how to design an e-commerce site these days, much less emphasis has been placed on drawing traffic to those sites. Any business with a Web site realizes it's not enough to simply "plant a flag" and hope for the best. It takes real effort to get people to drop what they're doing and take a look at what you have to offer.

According to a recent study from trade organization Shop.org, business-to-consumer e-commerce reached $33.1 billion in 1999.

Fortunately, given the global market the Web represents, making that effort appears to be well worth the trouble. Consider this: There are now 59.8 million households in the United States with links to the Net, according to a study released by Jupiter Communications . Online advertising in that market reached $3.3 billion in 1999, and is expected to reach $33 billion by 2004, according to Forrester Research .

Moreover, business-to-business e-commerce-currently where the real action is-generated a healthy $43 billion in sales in 1998. And by 2003, those figures are expected to climb to an astonishing $1.3 trillion, according to Forrester Research. But even though attracting even a tiny percentage of those customers and sales may seem daunting, the good news is, there are a number of tried-and-true Web site promotion models you can use today to start stepping up traffic to your site. Hundreds of e-commerce sites, for example, have had great luck building customer bases by finding ways to create an online sense of community. Others, as we've seen, create exclusive members-only tools and domains, creating the impression that they consider their customers "special."

Still other e-businesses have focused their attentions on leveraging Web interactivity for all it's worth and ensuring that the journey through their sites from thought to actual Web purchase is a short and pleasant one for the customer. And companies that have decided to truly reach out to the entire global market are taking great pains to ensure that their e-commerce sites appeal to as many cultures and nations as possible.

Learn basic and advanced animation: MACROMEDIA FLASH | Company: MACROMEDIA | STREET PRICE: $299

J.W. Dysart , a software analyst and Internet business consultant, has written for more than 40 publications, including The New York Times.

More from Entrepreneur

Our Franchise Advisors will guide you through the entire franchising process, for FREE!
  1. Book a one-on-one session with a Franchise Advisor
  2. Take a survey about your needs & goals
  3. Find your ideal franchise
  4. Learn about that franchise
  5. Meet the franchisor
  6. Receive the best business resources
Entrepreneur Insider members enjoy exclusive access to business resources for just $5/mo:
  • Premium articles, videos, and webinars
  • An ad-free experience
  • A weekly newsletter
  • Bonus: A FREE 1-year Entrepreneur magazine subscription delivered directly to you
Discover a better way to hire freelancers. From business to marketing, sales, finance, design, technology, and more, we have the freelancers you need to tackle your most important work and projects, on-demand.

Latest on Entrepreneur