Despite existing examples of brand-building and effective Web-based promotion of physical shops by many companies, online research company APT Strategies has reported that Australia's top 100 brands have no Internet presence.

While the number of Australians buying online numbered only 650 000 last year, this is a significant increase over previous years, and this growth should be of interest to every company. Newswire notes APT Strategies brands manager, Mitch O'Brien, as saying "A strong approach to online branding will bolster more online and offline sales".

Rather than jump into ecommerce when they may not have a perfectly suitable product, APT Strategies encourages offline companies to instead think of the Internet as a promotional tool, and consider an online database of customers - email is a cheap and quick way of maintaining contact with these clients, and a Web site is a cost-effective method of promoting special deals, etc, also.

Currently, fresh and popular online brands such as E*Trade, ChaosMusic and various travel sites, are dominating online, and even though they may not be as large as offline companies, brands not taking advantage of the Internet are losing valuable ground.

The original Newswire article on APT's report can be found here.