Dear M & M: What are some hot trends I should be following? – Jan

Dear Jan: E-commerce shows steady pace to continue growth. People are tired of getting in a car, fighting traffic, trying to find a place to park, wondering if what they are trying to buy is even on the shelf, if you can even find it wandering up and down the aisles.

Now we got the item. The next steps include waiting in line to check out, navigating back home and wondering if you paid too much. Hard to compete if you can click a few buttons and have it the next day from your competitors.

With online shopping you could still be in your pajamas and the whole thing might take 5 minutes.

Prior to the pandemic internet sales were 13%, now they are closing in on almost 40%. The internet runs 24 hours a day seven days a week. People can shop from anywhere, from California to New York even from China and Africa. The best part is they can shop when they want to and not have to wait until 8 a.m. when a store is normally open.

Isn’t it all about making your services available to more people, offering longer hours and some of the other benefits online shopping has to offer?

Once you have your online store open the next step is becoming an expert on the next big trend that is going on.

That trend is using social media to market. Being social online is your key to success.

Selling online and using social media isn’t new. Both are necessary to exist today if you want to stay in the game.

Remember, the objective is to keep the game going and stay in it.

ASK M&M is prepared and submitted by Mark Schmitt, director of the Small Business Development Center at Cochise College; and Mignonne Hollis, executive director at the Arizona Economic Development Foundation. To ask your questions: Call the Small Business Development Center (SBDC) at Cochise College (520) 515-5478 or email schmittm@cochise.edu or contact the Arizona Regional’ Economic Development Foundation at (520) 458-6948 or email hollism@aredf.org; www.aredf.org.