The current internet marketing arena is completely not what I had expected when I first started to learn more about it years back.
I was expecting to see an online version of the real life market place, but was I disappointed!
Except for a few giants like eBay,Amazon,Yahoo who are doing well, ordinary online marketers find it near to impossible to sell physical items online.One would expect electronic store fronts should be an desirable alternative to bricks and mortal stores because it will rid the shoppers of traffic jams and the problem of lack of parking spaces.However, very few online stores survive, that is surprising.
The first obstacle which an online marketer has to face is the problem of inventory. Usually when a person starts an online store it is because he believes that the overhead will be minimal therefore relatively easy to get started.If he has to hold his own inventory, he is very likely to shy away from the idea.
Then someone came up with the idea of a drop-shipping mode of business.In this model, when the store owner receives an order, he will pass it to a drop-shipper, who will in turns ship the order directly to the customer, and then bill the store owner.When the customer receives the goods,he pays the store owner.The store owner will then pay the drop-shipper and keeps the balance as profit, perfect.
But the sad thing is that there are always dishonest people in this world, sometimes the customer does not pay the store owner, or the store owner does not pay the drop-shipper, or the drop-shipper delivers low quality goods to customers.Whatever weak link in this chain had caused this model to fail so far.
Then Escrow.com offered its service to be a trusted neutral third party to hold the fund involved in the deal for the buyer and the seller.But it is not popular because of its USD25 minimum fee making it not profitable to conduct business online.
Although there are many more payment processors now, notable ones are Paypal,Payza,Egopay,Solid Trust Pay,Liberty Reserve and Perfect Money.For these payment processors to be really useful one has to get verified first, otherwise the use of these processors is limited. Most of the time the users are discouraged by the verifying process and stop using them.
There are still some drop-shippers around, some charge a very high deposit for using their services, while others are of questionable integrity.
The second obstacle for an online businessman is the high shipping fees.For large items,the shipping is often more than the selling price of the item, this is especially true if the buyer is from overseas.
Then it becomes more expensive than to buy it offline.
It left only one type of product to be viable to be sold online, the digital,downloadable eBooks.This ought to be a very huge market. However, there are very few eBooks to be found online, except for one particular topic - Internet Marketing. The internet is filled with this kind of eBooks from SEO(Search Engine Optimization) to list building,traffic generation,affiliate marketing,copy writing,products making,webhosting,domains,membership sites,blogging and various kinds of tools.
Maybe the potential writers are so caught up with learning to be internet marketers in order to market their future books and forgot their original intention - to sit down and write a book.
It appears that the whole internet comprises of internet marketers selling internet marketing materials to aspiring internet marketers, or self proclaimed Gurus selling to seasoned marketers who are still struggling to make their first dollar online,nothing else.
Internet marketing should be much more than this.All sort of physical items should have a way to be sold and delivered safely and cheaply online.Everyone who so desires should be able to do it, not limited to only the few privileged giants like it is now.