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12 Ways e-Commerce is Transforming Trade

1.  Local companies can operate globally, achieving "global reach."

Small companies can act big by extending services and markets…

Big companies can act small by providing customized service and responding swiftly to opportunity.

2.  The Internet makes it cheaper to present a highly competitive view of your products and services, a factor that helps small companies "act big."

3.  The entire service, information, and relationship base of your business may be transformed.  Many companies find that the Internet reshapes their more traditional, "off-line" business functions and operations.

4.  Companies become strongly identified with their Web Sites.  The Web Site itself becomes one of your most important products because customers often "buy" the Web Site as much as they buy brands or products displayed there.

5.  The speed of communications and transactions increases dramatically.  So, too, does the expected turnaround time for requests, orders, and service.  Customers expect almost instantaneous response to their requests for information and solutions to product problems.

6.  Each business must keep up with competitors' advances in technology and e-Commerce.  e-Commerce is becoming more competitive with new technologies, better search engines, and on-line services that facilitate complex transactions.

7.  Information and communication technologies (ICT) and e-Commerce bypass traditional cost barriers.  There is greater opportunity for cost-cutting along the entire value chain.  Integration of ICT with internal systems also results in significant internal efficiencies.

8.  Market segmentation will increase.  Companies will customize on-line presentations to very specific demographic groups simply and inexpensively.  The Net also enables marketers and companies to collect immense quantities of customer data that then informs marketing strategy.

9.  The "cyber-economy" (the on-line economy) can bypass established patterns of trade, leveling the playing field for many businesses and nations as well.  It costs money to enter e-Commerce, but far less than developing an infrastructure suitable to traditional channels of trade.

10.  It will be easier to create partnerships, joint ventures, and link-ups with a wide variety of vendors throughout the world.

11.  Partnerships with members of other societies and cultures can be entered into with less risk of cultural incursion.  Old biases become largely irrelevant on the Internet.

12.  As computer technology becomes more powerful, even our current notions of e-Commerce will become outdated.  Electronic commerce will become the central reference frame for many businesses, generating new ways of doing business and new types of businesses. 

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