Travelling through downtown Birmingham, Michigan recently was a real eye opening experience. This has long been a city that has been enriched with a strong retail environment. It is traditionally diverse, economically strong and very independant. Historically speaking it is a city that has been through decades of changes and has always remained intact and relevant. The one thing you will notice is that some stores are thriving and other store fronts have vacated almost overnight. It seems that some retail environments are left clueless and have pulled out completely. In short, we are living in a state of economic war.
Even in our darkest hour there is hope. Economists will tell you that you can make a fortune in a down market. Other stores have braced themselves for the worst and have strengthened their online presence. Companies that have figured out the online aspect of marketing have really pulled out all stops. This city serves as a microcosm of America's economy. In this very diverse neighborhood you will see companies selling Yamaha ATV parts, Kawasaki Motorcyle parts, kitchen remodeling services, exotic sink parts, Porsche car parts, European kit cars, designer furniture and gourmet foods that are ready to ship. Now these particular companies have embraced the web and have thriving store fronts.
Up the street is another interesting site. The high profile Eccentric newspaper company now sits vacant and its doors are forever shut. The paper presses are silent and the only thing that is left is the large black letters on the outside of the building. This newspaper was once responsible for carrying the weight of many retailers. It ran ads for companies, it was the economic glue for S.E. Michigan. What happened in Birmingham, Michigan is something that is echoing all over America and even closer to home in a town called Ann Arbor. There, the once popular Ann Arbor News has fallen to the same depressing state. It's newspaper too is now defunct.
Web technology can carry the heavy load for S.E. Michigan retailers. That is already happening and smart medical companies are contacting viral video marketing firms to spread the word. The web is not just standard web sites but also comes in the form of Web 2.0. Due to the lack of recent newspaper advertising options many retailers are looking at adveritising on the Internet. The interesting thing about them is that many of these businesses are not doing this with pay per click. They are instead getting there with search engine optimization and through organic means.
What makes this new commerce model so appealing is that it is a perfect system. If you place things correctly on the web there is literally no way you cannot be successful. That notion has many retailers intrigued and enthused about this new culture. Despite these harsh economic conditions where many businesses are folding up many more are sustaining and flourishing.