Monday, January 21, 2008

Remember "Mail Order"?

There used to be businesses that were called “mail order” businesses. The way they worked was, they would mail out catalogs or advertising flyers in envelopes, and then a certain percentage of people would mail in orders and enclose a check. When the mail order business received the customer’s order, they would mail the product to the customer. Or they would notify the company who actually stocked the product to “drop ship” the merchandise to the customer.

How quaint, you say. That wouldn’t work today. Hmmm. Or would it?

If a business has a website, and they sell merchandise on that website, and they mail the merchandise to the customer (or have another company “drop ship” the merchandise), exactly how is that different from old-time mail order?

The main difference is that, in the old days, the mail order companies where constantly mailing out flyers and catalogs, and constantly placing little ads in newspapers and magazines. The internet mail order business of today doesn’t seem do that. Instead, he opens a website and puts up pictures of his products and then he sits back on his behind. Did you catch the subtle difference? Can you guess why such a modern mail order business might fail?

If you are really in the mail order business, why would you stop mailing out requests for orders? It seems like that is a pretty important step in the process. But I may be wrong.

Happy hunting.

No comments: