Although online marketing creates many opportunities for businesses to grow their presence via the Internet and build their audiences, there are also inherent challenges with these methods of marketing. First, the marketing can become impersonal, due to the virtual nature of message and content delivery to a desired audience. Marketers must inform their strategy for online marketing with a strong understanding of their customer’s needs and preferences. Techniques like surveys, user testing, and in-person conversations can be used for this purpose.
Thankfully, representatives in Congress have recognized the problems created by the Supreme Court decision. Rep. Jim SensenbrennerFrank (Jim) James SensenbrennerTime to protect small businesses from internet sales tax rush On The Money: Trump readying 0B in tariffs for China | Warren wants companies to disclose climate impacts | Bill aims to provide clarity to online sales tax ruling One bill that will stop the spread of deadly fentanyl MORE (R-Wisc.), along with a group of bipartisan lawmakers, have introduced a bill to fight the taxation tidal wave. The bill, the Online Sales Simplicity and Small Business Relief Act, would slow down implementation and clarify interstate taxes on remote sales.
Congress has attempted several times to pass what's been called a Marketplace Fairness Act to solve the problem, with no version making it through the process. The most recent of these acts is in suspension, waiting for the Court's decision. Both bills include exemptions for small sellers and ways to monitor sales tax collections and make the process more fair to all types of sellers.
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Your social media strategy is more than just a Facebook profile or Twitter feed. When executed correctly, social media is a powerful customer engagement engine and web traffic driver. It’s easy to get sucked into the hype and create profiles on every single social site. This is the wrong approach. What you should do instead is to focus on a few key channels where your brand is most likely to reach key customers and prospects. This chapter will teach you how to make that judgment call.
You’ll want to capture users’ emails regularly, both when they purchase…and even before they become a customer. You can use lead magnets or discounts to incentivize email sign-ups and using an email management service like MailChimp allows you to create triggered autoresponders that will automatically send out pre-made welcome email campaigns when they subscribe.
The Wayfair ruling could also have wide-ranging consequences for marketplaces such as Amazon and Etsy, where the companies already collect sales tax on their own products, but not on behalf of third-party sellers. This brings up the question of whether marketplaces will now step in to absorb the cost of collecting sales tax on behalf of partner retailers. In some states, notes Barrett, "marketplace facilitator legislation would require the Amazons and the Etsys to collect sales tax on their behalf. In some respects, that would be easier for the smaller sellers," she adds. Still, it's conceivable that marketplaces could refuse to do so in other states--or sell hefty compliance assistance packages that would hurt their sellers, she suggests.
“Retailers have been waiting for this day for more than two decades,” National Retail Federation president and CEO Matthew Shay said in a statement Thursday. “The retail industry is changing, and the Supreme Court has acted correctly in recognizing that it’s time for outdated sales tax policies to change as well. This ruling clears the way for a fair and level playing field where all retailers compete under the same sales tax rules, whether they sell merchandise online, in-store or both.”
Online networking, when executed correctly, allows you to build valuable relationships in online forums and groups that can help you advance your business. You could meet peers and fellow experts with whom you could collaborate or partner up with for a project, or you could provide value to your target audience by sharing your knowledge and winning over some customers as a result. No matter what, though, the goal with this type of marketing is purely relationship building and not selling outright.
There's a wild card, however: More than half of the units sold on Amazon worldwide last year came from third-party sellers, including many small- and medium-sized merchants. David Fildes, head of Amazon’s investor relations, said in its most recent earnings call in April that Amazon collects taxes on behalf of third-party sellers in Washington and Pennsylvania (per those states' rules). “We're not opposed to collecting sales tax” within a system that’s both “simple and applied evenhandedly,” he said.
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None of them ever passed, though. With the Supreme Court stepping into the fray on the Wayfair decision, it’s unlikely the federal government will be too anxious to dive back into this issue anytime soon. That said, as states get increasingly aggressive in their sales tax collection strategies, legal experts expect a long road of litigation and legislative changes ahead. That could provoke federal lawmakers to get involved.
As a former state and local official, I know that many states will rush in and try to get their hands on additional revenue. Some states have already moved to begin collecting — some even on the smallest seller — and some have even threatened retroactive taxation. These officials will be more than happy to impose these burdens on businesses that don’t reside in their state and whose votes they don’t depend on.
After your site has been built out, creating a social media presence is the best second step for most businesses. All businesses should have a Facebook Page that’s fully fleshed out with plenty of information about your business. Depending on your audience, you can also start a Twitter, Instagram, and/or Pinterest account. Social media is a long-term commitment that requires frequently updating and monitoring, but it’s one of the best ways to build an online community around your business.
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“For years, brick-and-mortar retailers have suffered at the hands of online sellers, not only from whatever superior service or features are offered by the online sellers, but by the tax exemption they enjoyed under previous law,” he said. “This decision corrects that. If online sellers provide a superior product, that’s the nature of competition, but they should not enjoy a legislated advantage in the tax code.”
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Logistics in e-commerce mainly concerns fulfillment. Online markets and retailers have to find the best possible way to fill orders and deliver products. Small companies usually control their own logistic operation because they do not have the ability to hire an outside company. Most large companies hire a fulfillment service that takes care of a company's logistic needs.
Non-profit corporations and political entities use Internet marketing to raise awareness about the issues they address and engage individuals in their campaigns. They strongly favor social networking platforms because they are more personal than websites and they are easy to share, increasing the “viral” word-of-mouth effect that is so prevalent in online media.
The challenge to overturn Quill v. North Dakota was brought to the Supreme Court by South Dakota. South Dakota passed a law two years ago demanding that all retailers that, on an annual basis, have more than $100,000 in annual sales or engage in 200 or more separate transactions, pay a 4.5 percent tax on all sales, “as if the seller had a physical presence in the State.” The state government then filed suit to have the case heard by higher courts, and the Supreme Court agreed to hear the argument earlier this year.
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