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Shooting Industry June 2011 Digital Edition - Page 37

CONSUMERS INSTANTLY! Harness The Internet And Social Media To Stimulate Sales REACH By Debbie Thurman N ot that long ago most of the firearms industry avoided the use of the Internet and its ever-growing digital platforms to reach consumers. Most companies and dealers were reluctant to venture into e-commerce and the rapidly expanding social media realm. That has changed. H&H Gun Range in Okalahoma City uses an iPhone app to reach its “guests.” Today, companies and dealers throughout the industry are embracing all the forms of web-based technology, with mobile websites, smartphone apps and social media platforms through Facebook, blog and Twitter (micro-blogging) accounts. These powerful platforms have become an indispensable way of enhancing business, giving manufacturers, distributors and dealers vital tools to deliver their messages. For customers, these tools have become an invaluable and convenient way of doing their research, interacting with companies and retailers, and making purchases. With such rapid growth of web-based technology, it’s difficult to keep up with all the ways businesses can “reach out and touch” consumers to stimulate sales and to create networks that boost business. Fortunately, many firearm manufacturers and distributors have established strong web-based tools to help promote their products, and to assist dealers. Sports South has partnered with two companies, Demac Media and Vortex Inc., to offer services for integrating e-commerce solutions into their dealers’ businesses. “We have selected what we consider the top two leaders in the e-commerce marketplace, and we believe we are setting our customers up for success,” said Ezra Weinstein, Sports South IT director. Visit Manufacturers have shrunk the distances between them and the consumers, placing impressive sales tools in the hands of Creating Sales JUNE 2011 37

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