Web Sites of Little or No Value to Some Firms

The Washington Times (Washington, DC), October 20, 1999 | Go to article overview

Web Sites of Little or No Value to Some Firms


Electronic commerce is the hot trend in business, but companies in the Washington area have not necessarily jumped on the e-bandwagon.

Some retailers, like Decorating Den Interiors, have introduced a site on the World Wide Web and have had positive results. Those business owners say the Internet has given them more exposure, brought in customers and speeded up the selling process.

"We launched our Web site like a lot of companies because we were almost embarrassed that we didn't have one. It has really become a major part of our marketing and promotions," said Jim Bugg Jr., president and chief executive officer of the interior-design company with headquarters in Gaithersburg's Montgomery Village.

The owner of Cecile's Wine Cellar in McLean will introduce her Web site in December because she realizes the company needs an Internet presence.

"Currently, the Internet hasn't done anything for us, but we haven't done anything with it. We made a decision in early spring to do something. We can't afford not to," Cecile Giannangeli said.

Many others have created Web sites, but found that presence hasn't done much good.

"We have a Web site, but we're not really getting a lot of clients off the Web site. It's not a business grabber. It's a presence, if nothing else," said Michele Bussey, the owner of an insurance agency in Occoquan, Va.

Some business owners surveyed for this week's "How's Business" question - "How has the Internet helped you build your business? - have not established Web sites, believing it wouldn't help. And a few said that the competition from the Internet has hurt their business.

* "It is wonderful. It has cut our time on the phone by 75 percent. Ninety-five percent of our business is phone orders. We don't wait for someone to walk in. [People] will call us from their desk and say, `What can you put in this birthday basket?' We have them jump on our Web site [www.eliteoccasions.com] and take a look. They will pull it up and call us back. . . . We have had every person who looks on the Internet call us back. The Internet doesn't work for everyone, but it definitely works for us." - Debbie Ierubino Maloy, owner, themed gift basket company Elite Occasions, Georgetown

* "We have a Web site, but I don't really know if it helps." - Michael Scott, owner, Crane Rental Co. Inc., Northeast

* "It hasn't. We are not on line. We don't have a Web address." - Renne Wood, manager, District Shade Shop Inc., Northwest

* "The Internet is an important tool for external marketing, as well as internal communications. With our Web site, www.decoratingden.com, we find that many customers are either looking for information about our decorating services or career opportunities. We launched our Web site like a lot of companies because we were almost embarrassed that we didn't have one. It has really become a major part of our marketing and promotions. We launched our third version of the Web site Sept. 1." - Jim Bugg Jr., president and chief executive officer, Decorating Den Interiors, Montgomery Village

* "It probably has, because we are found on a lot of Web sites for manufacturers of wedding gowns and bridesmaids dresses." - Iris Ronald, manager, Country Miss Bridal & Formal Wear, Upper Marlboro

* "The Internet hasn't helped us. I have it at home, but it doesn't matter to my business. …

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