Brenda Chambliss, blogger and CEO of No Digital Divide, a digital marketing agency, specializes in helping local business establish an online presence and stay connected with current clients.
It’s more important today than ever, for local business owners to take advantage of the opportunities to be found on the web. Tech savvy consumers are online searching for offline, products and services.
A major digital shift happened in the retail business within the last ten years, many locals left brick-and-mortar stores for the convenience of 24/7 online shopping experience.
The Internet has set a precedent socially, politically and financially in an irreversible way, generating astounding wealth in a relatively short amount of time.
Young millennials saw the paradigm shift coming and built digital companies like, Google in 1998, Facebook in 2004, YouTube in 2005, Twitter in 2006, Instagram and Pinterest in 2010, and the latest Snapchat, a social mobile app started in 2011 and is now said to be valued between $18-$20 billion.
Today, each one of these digital companies have become multi billion dollar corporations, triggering a massive new virtual economy.
Shoppers are no longer moved by traditional “old world” advertisement and marketing campaigns.
Today’s buyers are being influenced by innovative thinkers, like fashion bloggers, YouTube Channels, online Reviews and Celebrities such as twenty year old Kendall Jenner with 58 million Instagram followers.
Iconic Fashion designer Calvin Klein said “Now, models are paid for how many followers they have. They’re booked not because they represent the essence of the designer, which is what I tried to do — they’re booked because of how many followers they have online.”
Big retailers that once relied on radio, television and newspapers campaigns, are discovering those methods are slowly becoming a part of the Industrial age history.
Big box stores that flourished for decades, are seeing that wealth transfer from wall street to main street and many corporations are scrambling to find ways to catch consumer’s attention, in an effort to stop the trend of the, retail stock plunge.
Who would have ever thought Walmart would close 269 stores and other major retailers like Macy’s, Khols, Target, Nordstroms, Gap and other favorites, where America once shopped would be shutting doors.
While the changing of the digital guard has created concerns for some big retailers, its produced lucrative opportunities for entrepreneurial individuals. Many are looking beyond finding “good jobs” they’re discovering innovative ways to build wealth, for themselves.
While some of the retail giants slept, tech entrepreneur Jeff Bezos founder of Amazon, was wide awake capitalizing on the digital retail shopping shift. According to CNN Money, Amazon is now worth about $250 billion compared to Walmart’s $230 billion.
Just as Google is a search engine for “information”, Amazon is a search engine for “buyers”. That said, innovative thinking individuals are generating wealth from home, selling “everyday products” on Amazon, the digital platform where consumers are buying.
According to a recent article in Bloomberg, “the web giant Amazon is poised to become the #1 clothing retailer by 2017”.
This Digital era has changed the world fast, Ms Chambliss recalls signing up for Twitter in 2007 and started following then-Senator Obama, shortly after that she noticed he was following her. Twitter is a perfect example of the power of social media’s digital influence.
Chambliss says “there is no doubt Senator Obama’s online presence played a strategic role assisting him to come in under the “offline radar” landing him the oval office, as President Obama”.
Digital influence has become a virtual reality and there’s no better time than now, for local business owners to get online and ride the increasing wave of consumers surfing the net for products, goods and services.
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