NACOGDOCHES, TX (KTRE) - When it comes to Cyber Monday, some local retailers are saying if you can't beat it, join it.
"If you don't have a web site then you're missing the welcome mat to your business," advises Kati Harris, co-owner of Dogwood Designs.
It's a web design company she operates with her husband, Grant Harris. Together they design what they hope is easy to maneuver sites for their customers.
"If you can't find the information, it's almost like you're almost not open," says Harris.
Rex Perry Autoplex is one of Harris' biggest clients. He's learning the nouns and verbs of Twitter and Tweet.
"I never understood it to begin with, but it's definitely here," said Perry.
Perry is already a pretty popular guy. He's now got new friends. "The dealership has pretty extensive Facebook followers and a lot of friends are on there," said Perry proudly.
"There's also pre-owned inventory listed on e-bay and Craig's List," points out Harris.
As they learn, Harris is impressed with local retailers' questions. "If I have a retail establishment, how, if I go online, am I going to get flooded with orders? How am I going to fulfill those then? How much inventory do I have to have? It turns a storefront into a completely different type of business if you are getting the traffic," explained Harris.
Harris advises her customers to take 'baby steps' into web marketing. "Most of my clients want to maintain that 'face to face' business. They don't want to risk that customer service," said Harris.
Some clients learn what product they have works well with Internet sales. One client is directing a bakery product primarily to Internet sales.
For the most part, Cyber Monday specials are left to the big guys, and the locals are learning with the web you can't bank on what happens one day of the year.
"If you don't have very competitive prices out there every day, you'll be losing out," said Perry. Even local retailers can't ignore the prediction that cyber Monday 2010 may lead to one billion dollars in sales. Eight percent more retailers than last year are offering one day specials on cyber Monday. Online and in store discounts are expected right up to Christmas and beyond.