While $173 billion worth of consumer goods were bought online last year, a far larger portion of offline sales were influenced by online research. Industry experts estimate that $917 billion worth of retail sales last year were "Web-influenced." It also estimates that online and Web-influenced offline sales combined accounted for 42 percent of total retail sales and that percentage will grow to 53 percent by 2014, when the Web will be influencing $1.4 trillion worth of in-store sales. It's obvious that the internet is a substantial marketplace, and that local businesses are now competing against other businesses that would have traditionally not been a competitor. This change(ing) in landscape means that business owners must recognize the importance of marketing to this massive audience and that internet marketing through an effective website (together with SEO and other online marketing programs) is critical to reaching this audience. The internet now provides a substantial opportunity for businesses that recognize this and commit to employing resources to maximize this potential.