Few things are certain in the world of retailers, but one fact is inescapable: Customers are going to continue to become more demanding even as their habits change. Customers are no longer satisfied with a "cookie-cutter" approach to retail. They are not interested in why Jane Doe should buy an item -- they want to know why the item is perfect for them. Nor are they interested in whether a retailer has thousands of products -- they are only interested in whether the retailer has the product they want.
First came home shopping via radio and cable television, and then came the Internet and online retailers. Modern shoppers suddenly discovered the convenience of ordering a product from the comfort of home, even at 3 a.m.
As most retailers will freely admit, one of the more difficult aspects of pleasing customers is keeping up with their constantly changing desires. Consumers can be fickle; a brand or product that sold faster than retailers could stock their shelves last week may gather dust this week. Customers who were once reluctant to make purchases online have become increasingly more comfortable with the process. Shoppers who could not imagine using a mobile phone to place an order a decade ago are now conducting research, comparing pricing and purchasing items with their mobile devices.
Lively discussions often occur between marketers on the topic of whether landing pages or microsites are the better choice. These discussions sometimes become heated as proponents of each debate the merits of their own choice and the shortcomings of the alternative. What is often missed, however, is that landing pages and microsites are not interchangeable -- each is designed to serve specific marketing functions. Therefore, it is more important to define the purpose for which the landing page or microsite will be used.
A professionally developed e-commerce site can provide a lucrative revenue stream but the development of a successful e-commerce site can also have substantial maintenance costs.