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E-Commerce

By Sonoko Ando

Edited by Loretta F. Kasper

Advertisements have played a great role for the companies to make a profit. Due to effective advertising, companies can inform the consumers about their products or services. An effective advertisement is essential to a company's survival because it raises their capital and reputation.

Methods of advertising have changed over the centuries. The first step came with the development of printing in the 17th century in England. Newspapers and magazines became popular. In the early to middle 20th century, due to the expansion of radio and TV, a lot of companies started to use these broadcast media for advertisements. In the late 20th century, Internet advertising became popular. (Kasper 1998, Silverman 1996)

Today, as the technology continues to develop, Internet advertising is growing and is becoming one of the most effective advertising media for the public. If the companies want to be successful nowadays, Internet advertising must be conducted to be more competitive. Today, businesses are getting into E-commerce, which is defined as business or commerce done over the Internet.

E-commerce has a lot of advantages for both consumers and companies. The companies can expand their advertisements with little money. Moreover, there is no need to worry about clients' schedule because the Internet makes it possible to be in touch with consumers 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. At the same time, people can get the information whenever they want, and they can get it quickly. This makes easier for both sides to communicate. Many experts believe that E-commerce will keep growing all over the world and will represent the largest revenue for businesses in the future.

Although E-commerce has a lot of advantages, the companies must consider several factors when they sell their products or services over the Internet. These are: the diversification of products or services for each consumers' demand, quick shipping, payments proceeding information, customer services such as return, security, and a good website which is easy for the consumer to use.

How popular is the Internet?

Since home personal computers became affordable, the rate of Internet users has grown rapidly. "The growth rate of the Internet is predicted to be at 10% of its total base of users every month" (Rawn, 1994).  Moreover, the Internet users are expanding all over the world. The more Internet users increase, the more opportunities for a global market come to the business world.

What is an effective website over the Internet?

One of the most important considerations for businesses who wish to sell over the Internet is designing an effective website. An effective website should be simple. When you make a website, you might want to put some cute pictures or advanced features. However, those complicated websites just make the users tired. Why do they make them tired? It is proved by certain research. (Nielson, 2000p106) The research says that reading from a computer screen is about 25% slower than reading from paper.

People usually feel that it is unpleasant to read over the Internet. The complicated website may also take a long time to download so users must sit in the chair and wait for a while. This is one of the most predictable problems that there are a lot of people who don't like to spend their time with computer.

There are four factors that businesses must remember to make a useful website. These factors, which form the acronym HOME, are High quality content, Often update, Minimum download time, and Ease of use. (Nielson, 2000p380) These factors are regarded as basic rules for building an effective and simple website.

While the Internet has a lot of advantages, the risk is also high. If your consumer doesn't like your website, she/he will never come back. Based on the HOME principal, you need to make as simple a website as you can.

Internet Market

The Internet has made it possible for the people to buy something without going to the shop. Within a couple of seconds, people are able to finish ordering.

Today, the amount of Internet shopping is increasing. However, when you want to sell something over the Internet, you have to consider how you satisfy the consumers. First of all, you need a website with simple pictures and good content which makes the consumer understand what you have and what you can do for them. Again, the information must be simple. In an article about Internet advertising from the October 31st issue of the New York Times, the author says, "effective advertisements over the Internet are generally those that are simple, with one sharp picture, a distinct focal point and an explicit message in headline contain no more than nine words" (Stamler, 2000).

Also, you have to understand payment proceeding. Since a credit card is the most useful and reasonable way to pay over the Internet, you must have connection between your businesses and credit card banks. Moreover, in order to become a reliable company, you must give the consumer security. The consumers are usually afraid of giving their credit information. You have to make sure that your consumers' information will not leak out to others.

Moreover, you need quick shipping and diversification of items to give consumers a lot of choices. The price of shipping and items must be cheaper than other shops to be competitive. One of the reasons why people buy products over the Internet is that they don't want to waste their time and money. If shipping and items are more expensive, the consumers will go to the shop instead of buying over the Internet.

In the future

A new report from the Boston Consulting Group says, "by 2004, business to business E-commerce, will generate productivity gains equivalent to 1 to 2 percent of sales; by 2010, this figure could grow to 6 percent, or roughly $1 trillion" (Internet News.com staff, 2000)

The technology is developing so fast. Even now, it is hard for the companies to make a high profit without a presence on the Internet. Also, a lot of experts say that E-commerce is the most effective way of doing business in this 21st century. Tomorrow, E-Commerce will be more spread out all over the world. No one can disagree that E-Commerce is becoming more essential for each company.

Conclusion

The development of magazines and newspapers occurred in the 17th century, and the discovery of radio and TV gave the companies various ways to advertise in the early to middle 19th century. Today, for the business, network technology or the Internet is quickly becoming an absolute necessity.

The Internet has made it possible for the companies to extend their services on a global scale and to contact a wide range of people. Although a lot of companies have taken advantage of the Internet and tried to attract the consumers through their website, they won't be able to get as many consumers as they want without any knowledge of an effective website.

The companies' success depends on whether they can make a productive website. An effective and productive website has to have, high quality content, be updated often, have minimum download time, and be easy to use. Moreover, when companies sell their products or services, the website must have simple pictures, payment proceeding information, reasonable and quick shipping, security, and diversification of cheaper items to satisfy consumers.

The development of technology has made both companies' and consumers' lives much easier. In this 21st century, it is impossible for companies to be successful without advertising on the Internet. This is because the Internet is the most valuable and productive method for the companies in order to get consumers and make higher profit.

Bibliography

Getting Rich on E-Markets? [October 30, 2000) [Online] wysiwyg://content.29/http://www.in...cnews/article/0,,4_498461,00.html

Kasper, Loretta F. (1998). Interdisciplinary English. New York: McGraw-Hill.

Nielson, Jacob (2000). Designing Web Usability. Indianapolis, IN: New Riders Publishing.

Rawn Shah (1994). The business of the Internet [Online] http://www.rtd.com/people/rawn/business.html

Silverman, Eric J. (1996), I-Highway Road To success. Direct Marketing Association, Online: http://www.smartbiz.com/sbs/arts/dma61.htm. Retrieved from the World Wide Web on October 11, 2000.

Stamler, Bernard. (2000). "What Dot.Coms Don't Know About Marketing" New York Times October 31.