Retailers have to face the fact that almost every consumer now uses the internet at least to do research. The good news is many consumers have every intention of buying locally but are just searching for ideas or for retailers online. The problem is that invitation retailers have underused the web, many have no web site or an outdated web site.

I have not totally given up on the yellow pages as my wife’s store does get a response probably because she always puts an effort into the design of her yellow pages ad. This year we took a risk and placed a four color display ad showing a great selling Encore invitation. It turned out that she is the only display ad period, and any person looking will see that ad. As far as I’m concerned if she does not get a great response, we’re finished with the yellow pages and will conclude that advertising on the web is a viable replacement.

If you think about it a person has to pick up a large directory, thumb through till they find the invitation section and then what can they really learn about a business other than if the location is convenient. If they pick up the phone the sales process begins.

Compare that to searching on Google, a search engine with an easy to find bar where they type in the word “invitations” and  find businesses and information that would take the rest of their life to click on every web site listed. Think about if they found your business early in their search because you participated in a local search marketing program and you indicated in your listing that you are a local business and you had a professional eye appealing web site that defines your attributes, shows images of invitations that are in a different league from the low end web sites they looked on before they discovered yours. Do you think consumers might have more of an intention to do business with you than if they saw a small ad in the yellow pages. Fingers are now far more often are moving from key to key on the keyboard rather than moving down the listings of the yellow pages.