As with all things new, it is very easy for us to become wrapped up in the innovation, the convenience, and the excitement we experience with something never available to us before. Internet marketing is no exception. Despite the obvious advantages offered by this new medium for commerce and business in general, internet marketing does have its limitations. It is also easy for us to assume that a new product or technology can do more than it really can. Following are some factors in considering what internet marketing is not.
First to consider is that internet marketing is not a replacement for the traditional means of shopping and/or selling. Assume for a moment that you are looking to buy a diamond ring for someone special. You go online, browse through picture after picture, find some really beautiful and eligible pieces, and that’s where you stop. You can’t feel that ring, nor can you take a close look at the diamond. You have only a limited scope of what the merchandise will be like when you physically possess it. Are you going to pay potentially thousands of dollars for that ring, or will you go to a local jeweler instead, where you can get a much better idea of what you’re buying? This is a key limitation to internet marketing for many products.
Internet marketing is also not a fail-proof system. Nearly everyone who conducts any form of business or shopping online has experienced the temporary unavailability of a website. The site goes down, and you can’t get your business done when you had planned. Furthermore, you may not even get an indication as to when the site will be operational again. It can be a frustrating fact of e-commerce.
Another fact of internet marketing that many fail to consider is that it is not a “get rich quick” scheme. True, many entrepreneurs have entered this lucrative market and become millionaires. However, when you compare the number who have had such wild success, with all the businesses who have failed or never really taken off online, you will find that the “overnight” millionaires are not the standard of what internet marketing is. Most of the business realities of the brick and mortar world still apply to the virtual world. Success in internet marketing requires a lot of hard work, just as any other type of business venture requires.
Internet marketing, finally, is not today what it will be tomorrow. As fast as one model of computer replaces another, so do the options provided in the world of internet marketing. Just fifteen years ago you could go online and find little more than text-based product descriptions. Now look at what you can find on the internet. Entire stores exist online, and their number is growing. Furthermore, laws on everything from personal security to taxation are changing and promise to make a different landscape of internet marketing than the one we see today.