electronic commerce, small business, online privacy


The Internet and the World Wide Web (WWW) trend have captivated people in every corner of the world. The presence of both individuals and businesses on the Internet grows every day. For example, in 1998 businesses' presence on the Internet grew so much that many described 1998 as the ".com" year. But why is it that the Internet is so attractive to all of us? The reason lies in the ease of use of the Internet, the speed of obtaining results, the amount of information available, and the global reach that the Internet has. For all these reasons, the Internet has become one of the most important marketing strategies available. By publishing information on the WWW, small businesses now have the opportunity to reach millions of people around the world, and more importantly, they can do so for a fraction of the cost of other advertising methods.

So where is e-commerce headed? One of the arguments is that small businesses will move to one-to-one marketing, where small businesses solicit demographic data to offer customized customer service and sales. This will not only increase sales by targeting the right sectors, but also by offering individualized service to current customers. Others argue that e-commerce's global nature will force small businesses to better identify their core competencies to be able to compete in the global market place. One way or another, small businesses are using e-commerce to please the "web customer" who wants reliable and accurate information about products and services any time, any where and at no cost.

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