Home | TrendTracker | PowerBlog Reviews | The Experts | Newsletter
SMALL BUSINESS TRENDS brings you daily updates on trends that influence the global small business market.
Anita Campbell, Editor
Past life: CEO, corporate executive, tech entrepreneur, retailer, general counsel, marketer, HR ... (more)
email me
free business magazines
Trade publications FREE to qualified professionals. No hidden offers and no purchase necessary.
On Wall Street
The Deal
Computing Canada
Employee Benefit
Oracle Magazine
100+ additional titles. Click to browse.
Previous Small Business Trends articles can be found at the links below:
October 2003
November 2003
December 2003
January 2004
February 2004
March 2004
April 2004
May 2004
June 2004
July 2004
August 2004
September 2004
October 2004
November 2004
December 2004
January 2005
February 2005
March 2005
April 2005
May 2005
June 2005
July 2005
August 2005
September 2005
October 2005
November 2005
Or, use the search box below to find a
specific post:

Sign up for our FREE Small Business Trends newsletter. (View Current)

We publish regularly and promise we won't share your email address with anyone. (Privacy Policy)
* Don’t have time to read several dozen blogs a day? Pick two or three. Your brain will thank you for it.

Small Business Trends Radio
Tuesdays, 1:00 PM Eastern U.S. time
on Voice America network
Click to listen

November 1st: Torsten Jacobi, CEO of Creative Weblogging, joins host Anita Campbell. Sponsored by Six Disciplines. Show details.
Wednesday, March 23, 2005
Buying Sight Unseen a Growing Trend
A New York Enterprise Report story profiles an Ecuadorian immigrant who came to the United States 30 years ago. He sold encyclopedias door-to-door at first, opened a furniture store six years later, and today is a multi-millionaire and CEO of 1-800-MATTRESS.

What a great illustration of the American Dream!

Just as interesting in a different way, is a little gem buried in the article about selling on the Internet. The founder's son talks about how people are getting used to buying things over the Internet that you might never expect could be sold sight unseen, such as mattresses:
"...the Internet has benefited the entire industry, and retailing as a whole. It's just created an entirely new revenue stream and it's going to continue to grow.

We've found the transition into cyberspace pretty easy, because we've been doing a lot of remote selling, without any brick and mortar, for over 20 years. And I think that customers in general are getting used to buying things sight unseen. And we are working on improving the experience, the feel and texture of the product, through the use of images to help them even more."
It's another chapter in the continuing saga of the growth of online sales. For instance, VeriSign reports that online commerce jumped an astounding 88% just during the 2004 holiday season over the prior year.

Not only are online sales growing overall, but as the quote from the New York Enterprise Report indicates, they are growing in categories you might not have imagined could be sold successfully online.

Small businesses can find untapped opportunity in this trend of willingness to buy more high-touch stuff online.

Online commerce keeps getting easier and within reach of small businesses. The cost of technology keeps coming down. The functionality keeps improving. And the technology gets easier and easier to use.

It costs less to set up an online store than a brick-and-mortar store, if you have reliable suppliers who are willing to do fulfillment directly to the end user. You also need to understand how to sell online (much different than in-person selling). And you need to understand technology.

But for those with the right business model and the right skill sets, they will find that consumers are increasingly willing to buy items sight unseen over the Internet -- even items traditionally thought of as needing to be touched and seen.
More news... more trends... more insight...

Home | Privacy | Terms | SmallBizTrends
(c) Copyright 2003 - 2005, Small Business Trends LLC. All rights reserved.