Yesterday’s Internet World was different

Yesterday saw the opening of Internet World at London’s Earl’s Court exhibition centre. Although there were several thousand people there, it was interesting to see that many of the stands had few, if any visitors. Most of the attention was being paid to the presentations – several of which were happening simultaneously in various “theatres” around the exhibition hall.

I watched a few of the presentations which were largely difficult to hear because of the surrounding noise of the exhibition hall and which are all good demonstrations of “death by PowerPoint”. The glazed expressions on the faces of audience members told me enough. In fact at one point I rather lost the will to live when one presenter put up a slide saying “You can take a horse to water” and then revealed the next bullet point “But you cannot make him drink”. Move on, I thought.

Luckily the fact that many stands were not very busy was an advantage as it meant it was possible to chat to exhibitors at length. Many of the exhibitors were specialists in particular fields, such as search engine optimisation, visitor tracking or email marketing. There were also plenty of exhibitors on content management.

One of the exhibitors of real interest to Internet Marketers was “Go & Pay“. They provide an excellent alternative method for customer payments. The idea is that people “buy” your online product without exchanging any money. What they do is get a barcode receipt which they then take along to any shop in the UK which has the Payzone sign – there are 24,000 retailers that have this facility, mostly corner shops. The shopper can then pay in cash, credit card, or cheque. You then get notified the payment has been made, the money is deposited into your bank account and you can send out the goods or services.

The benefit of this alternative payment system is that it allows people who do not trust online payment systems to go and pay a person, rather than an anonymous web site. Whilst this is likely to be only a small proportion of your online visitors, if you are doing Internet marketing for UK visitors, it means you can attract additional customers who might otherwise give up at the shopping cart stage (around 40% of people).

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