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Introduction
   
  It seems we can hardly turn on the nightly news or open the daily newspaper without seeing a headline that falls under the category of E-Commerce or E-Business.
But what do we mean when we use these terms? And what exactly is going on?
In this introduction, we will explore the importance of the internet to businesses today and how you can maximize the Internet to make your business more successful.


Current Trends: Commerce and the Internet
When people hear about the growth of commerce on the Internet, many assume this to mean online retail sales. While online sales continue to grow, recent studies have shown that online retail sales have been actually experiencing a slower growth rate than might have been anticipated.
These studies have shown that:
  1. Just as in normal commerce, the majority of commerce on the Internet does not involve retail. Accordingly, business-to-business continues to be as the fastest growing area of new online commerce.
  2. There are many ways in which the Internet is already being used to enhance offline sales. For example, people are using it as a daily purchasing research tool, prior to making a decision to buy through traditional offline channels such as a brick and mortar storefront or by telephone. This reflects a growing comfort-level with the technology.
  3. While levels of growth have slowed in online retail sales, there are several indicators of rapid growth in all of e-commerce; this includes the recent jump in the use of database access tools at web sites, as well as other signs pointing to a developing infrastructure that will allow e-commerce to occur in the future.
Much of our everyday business success depends on the quality of our data and information flow, and communications with our customers, be they internal or external. Therefore, the degree to which the Internet can help businesses improve data/information flow and communications is the degree to which the Internet can be used successfully.

Letís review some strategies for successful use of the Internet to enhance your business.


 

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