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Candid Camera Integrating a webcam into his site has helped this scuba retailer reel in extra sales.

By Vicki Powers

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Webcams generally let viewers catch a glimpse of the happeningsat exciting locations such as Times Square and stadium constructionsites. In Dallas, however, Larry Dague, 48, installed a webcam inhis scuba equipment shop that quickly turned into a clevermarketing tool, generating sales and contributing to the shop's40 percent annual growth.

At ScubaToys, which has 2006 projected sales of $5million, 80 percent of sales are internet-driven. The webcamstarted out as an inexpensive security camera-turned-cool toy in2002, but Dague quickly realized its sales and customer-supportbenefits. "The technology creates a richer retail experienceand helps build credibility and trust with online customers,"he says.

The webcam also helps personalize internet shopping: Whencustomers call with questions, Dague takes products to thewebcam--and now attributes at least four sales every day to thetechnology.

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