Local merchants learning to join Cyber Monday instead of fight it

NACOGDOCHES, TX (KTRE) - The monogramming machines whip out 'Unlimited Designs' at the shop by the same name in Nacogdoches. Owner Kim Anderson relies on walk in and corporate customers, but her online shopping site is growing. Anderson knows, "It's something that I think we're all gonna have to get on with if you want to stay up with technology." The site evolved. First, a major client wanted her to host a web site so employees could pick and choose logo items. That forced her into the cyber world.   Anderson recalls, "From there we added our gift shop a couple of years ago. We were working with SFA as well, Alumni Association, so now we're hosting Shop SFA."

Close ties with SFA and other state universities brought Maury Littleton and her shop Party'N Things into the cyber world four years ago. She began a gift delivery service for parents of college students. Now she serves six major universities. Littleton explained, "We own all our own domain names. Our own SSI license, own security. We bought everything ourselves. That helps with security." Which can be very expensive. One of the downfalls to a quality web site. The other is keeping it updated. Littleton is confident, "Our Internet sales could have been a lot stronger if we updated things and had somebody special oversee that business and if you don't, you don't take care of it, it's like a baby you're gonna have problems. " Something Littleton knows from experience as she juggles a new baby with a business showroom and the Internet sight.

Both business women have no regrets. They like how the online sites have helped their businesses grow and look forward to expanding the sites in 2009.

Online Shopping Tips

And if you find yourself online shopping follow some of these tips from sortprice.com.

**Update your computer's anti-virus sortware before you start shopping.

**Update new online passwords

*Use credit cards instead of debit cards to better protect yourself from fraud.