Because we are all iDicted, Think iDicted
Internet has become a common channel for people to inform, connect and communicate. Not only to show product-catalogues, the latest news, pictures of our holidays, but also to create communities, to link people who in real life would pass each other without greeting.
The bakery just around your corner usually does not have a fancy website. If it does, it usually contains "information". When not outdated (promotion-action of a few months ago) we can normally only find the address, contact-information and if we're lucky a picture of the bakery itself.
Some even provide a contact-form. Wow, so we ask for the opening hours for next week, with Christmas they might close earlier, and we don't want to miss our bread, right? Did you ever receive an answer? I didn't. Such a shame... "It takes me too much time to answer all these e-mails", the baker says. Well, why does your website have this contact-form then? Because it CAN. Why offer something without using it's potential? So many people still haven't got a clue what to offer on the internet. They just don't know what to do with it and how to offer it, and far worse, what it means for you if you offer something. Although so many of us know what we can find, as a consumer. A classic example of a mismatch between front and back of a physical shop. Same for what we can offer and our clients expects from us.
Sure, the bakery around the corner will have a hard time setting up a complete community website. But why doesn't he start offering bread-baking machines (only?) over the internet? With bread-baking mixes being sold both in the shop and via the website, where people can share their favourite receipes. In return, the baker in his shop offers a "monthly special" based on those suggestions. Hey, do we see the upward spiral, here?
Second, why not offer evenings for people to learn making and decorating tarts? In his own bakery, where else!? Get those potential customers into your shop! During these nights people can buy special offers, and things they will need when decorating or baking at home, sure. Internet is a very good channel to let people discover this all, making them enthousiastic, and can easily be used to create an upward spiral. Much easier than via a physical shop only.
I just give you an example of possibillities a simple baker has. It costs a bit of investing in time, and exploring possibillities that a baker will not really be aware of. Isn't he really aware of it all?
In the evening when he comes home, what does HE do on the internet? He surely uses Facebook (or any other community) to connect with friends, among whom there will surely be other bakers. What do they discuss, you guess? As a client, using all the possibillities the web has to offer, we are all so used to "the web has it all". But when we are the ones who can offer something, we hesitate, and many take a step back in time, and think in the same way we did some 20 years ago.