The first hurdle for online retailers is determining whether or not they’re even capable of scaling their finance and tax departments to collect this tax. All told, there are more than 15,000 different taxing jurisdictions in the U.S., consisting of labyrinthine mix of city, county, federal and state-level taxes, many of which apply different rates to different categories of products and can vary based on what side of the street a customer lives on.
It is the long established physical presence rule that will apply with regard to Internet sales to customers in Texas. Online sellers with possible in-state agent or related party status should check the rules more carefully. This is a contentious and evolving area of law so be sure to check in periodically with the Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts to see if the rules have changed.
Example 3: After several years of operating solely out of a warehouse in Bangor, Maine, you open a one-room satellite office just outside of Houston, Texas—a state where previously you had no physical presence. A day later, you make a sale through your website to a customer in Dallas, Texas: You are required to collect sales tax from the Dallas customer.
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.
Big retailers like Amazon are capable of deploying enterprise software that is sophisticated enough to account for different tax rates in multiple areas where a sale takes place. But if a five-person company with an Amazon, eBay, or Etsy store front, based out of a garage in Alabama, sells to a buyer in Chicago, they must now account for a 1.25% Chicago city sales tax, a 1.75% Cook County sales tax, the 6.25% Illinois sales tax, and a 1% “special” sales tax. That’s for just one sale to one city.
When writing this guide, we reached out to the marketer community to collect case studies and learnings about creative marketing strategies. Most of these examples are included throughout the guide, but some didn’t quite fit. So we included those loose ends here, from the perspective of four awesome marketers. What better way to wrap up this guide than with you, our community?
I just wanted to thank you for the awesome email of information. It was so awesome to see the results I have gotten and the results that your company has provided for other companies. Truly remarkable. I feel so blessed to be one of your clients. I do not feel worthy but do feel very blessed and appreciative to been a client for over 5 years now. My business would not be where it is today without you, your company and team. I sure love how you are dedicated to quality. I can not wait to see what the next 5 years bring with 10 years of internet marketing ninjas as my secret weapon. John B.
Keeping up with the latest trends is a must for any business, but ignoring technology trends in the digital world is the matter of staying in business. Unfortunately, those trends (while easy enough to find mentioned online) are rarely explained well. There seems to be this mistaken idea that anyone who has an interest or need in the practice will just magically get the jargon. As we all know, that is one superpower that doesn’t exist in the real world.
It is important for a firm to reach out to consumers and create a two-way communication model, as digital marketing allows consumers to give back feed back to the firm on a community based site or straight directly to the firm via email. Firms should seek this long term communication relationship by using multiple forms of channels and using promotional strategies related to their target consumer as well as word-of mouth marketing.
Social media marketing on its own is free to use, as is content marketing if you’re creating and managing the content yourself. Several email marketing platforms have free plans for your first few hundred or thousand subscribers, giving you time to get your revenue increasing before you have to start paying. There are even free keyword research tools like Google’s Keyword Planner that can help you optimize your site at no cost.
One other source, a 2006 online publication from the Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts (TCPA) on Internet sales, states that businesses with “physical representation” in Texas must collect sales tax but an “out-of-state seller is not required to collect Texas tax if the seller only conducts business in Texas from out-of-state by mail, telephone, or via the Internet.”
With over 10,000 different tax jurisdictions across the nation, the burden for small businesses would be crushing. This will create enormous costs for companies that have to navigate complex tax laws. Small sellers may need to pay accountants and lawyers to help them comply with these thousands of laws and may open themselves up to potential audits and other state regulations.
Many retailers are choosing to use online marketplaces (also referred to as eCommerce marketplaces or eMarketplaces) to sell their products instead of, or in addition to, selling through their own websites. An online marketplace is a website where third-party sellers list products for sale, and the sales of such products are processed by the operator of the website (marketplace operator). Some online marketplaces offer products for sale by the marketplace operator as well as third-party sellers. Others exclusively serve as a marketplace for third-party sellers.
Digital marketing became more sophisticated in the 2000s and the 2010s, when the proliferation of devices' capable of accessing digital media led to sudden growth. Statistics produced in 2012 and 2013 showed that digital marketing was still growing. With the development of social media in the 2000s, such as LinkedIn, Facebook, YouTube and Twitter, consumers became highly dependent on digital electronics in daily lives. Therefore, they expected a seamless user experience across different channels for searching product's information. The change of customer behavior improved the diversification of marketing technology.
This isn't about off-the-shelf solutions. You need to really convey something illustrious and beautiful, then fill it with incredible MVP content. Over time, this will become a thriving hotbed of activity for you, where people will come by and check-in repeatedly to see what you're talking about and what value you're delivering. Keep in mind that this won't happen quickly. It will take years. Yes, I said years.
If you decide to go into affiliate marketing, understand that you will need a lot of very targeted traffic if you want to make any real money. Those affiliate offers also need to provide a high commission amount to you on each sale. You also need to ensure that the returns or chargebacks for those products or services are low. The last thing you want to do is to sell a product or service that provides very little value and gets returned often.
Pay per click (PPC) advertising, commonly referred to as Search Engine Marketing, delivers targeted traffic and conversions and will yield results faster than organic search engine optimization. Successful PPC marketing programs offer incredible revenue and brand-building opportunities. However, without a thorough understanding of how PPC works, it is very easy to mismanage valuable advertising budgets. That’s where we come in!