With the birth of the internet came the birth of what we could consider being global communication. People were provided with an easy to use product which not only allowed them to stay in touch with people they knew over great distances but enabled them to interact with people they didn’t over even larger distances. With access to global conversation came access to global business, leading many to (vocally) ask the question: With consumers now provided with a tool to do business with global industries, how could local businesses compete and survive?
Where once auction companies were limited by the constraints of physical attendance, online houses quickly became populated with an incredibly broad range of products available, for a small fee, to be shipped internationally. Of course, the ability to reach customers globally wasn’t restricted to auction services. Large corporations who could previously only do business at a realistic level domestically were now able to interact and collaborate with international partners with ease.
With the full embrace of customers all over the world, interaction with small and local businesses saw a rapid decline as ease of access matched with favorable exchange rates made international purchases not only accessible but appealing.
Then small business began to fight back in a way which analysts didn’t see coming. Utilizing a benefit which international suppliers simply couldn’t provide, small business became aware of and began to sell their proximity through location-aware searches.
Groupon Coupons provides the perfect example of how small business was able to market their products using location-aware searches. When consumers want and search for services such as a massage in San Diego they are provided with a page full of discounts which they can take advantage of. Not only are the offers made available for immediate redemption, they are available for small businesses within their immediate proximity.
Suddenly, small businesses were utilizing technology in a way which rivaled the large marketing budgets of larger and international businesses. Even more, these small businesses were and still are benefiting from it, rejuvenating their industry in a way none thought possible.
As this trend continued, the larger markets saw a shift in consumer behavior where they expected this immediate access from all of their dealings – an aspect of trade which the international market isn’t able to provide. While there still is and will always be a place for consumer level international business and trade, examples such as this are a testament to the strength of the small business industry and the benefits location-aware marketing provided them.