Internet Economy has Created Several New Businesses
Internet commerce needs infrastructure like an Internet backbone and Internet Service Providers (ISPS); applications like shopping cart software and payment gateways; online stores that sell over the Web; and intermediaries who facilitate Internet businesses.
Major Components of the Internet Economy
A University of Minnesota online course on Electronic Commerce lists the major components of an Internet economy as follows:
- Infrastructure: Internet backbone, ISPs, networking hardware and software, PC and server makers, security vendors
- Applications: Web development software, Web-enabled databases, e commerce software, search engines, multimedia applications, consultants, online training
- Intermediaries: Market makers, online brokerages, content aggregators, portals, ad brokers
- Commerce: E-tailers, manufacturers selling online, fee/subscription services, airlines selling tickets online, online entertainment and professional services
The Internet economy has also given rise to new skill requirements such as Web analytics skills to identify website visitor behavior patterns and search engine/social media marketing skills.
Electronic Commerce and Economic Globalization
Electronic commerce and other e-business applications such as CRM and SCM have helped economic globalization in a major way. In addition to making it possible to sell easily over the Web, it is now possible to offer greatly improved (and customized) customer services and integrate global vendor systems into a business’ own systems to improve productivity and reduce costs.
Economic globalization as we see it now would have been inconceivable without the Internet. Internet commerce has helped achieve huge increases in trade volumes, with resultant improvement in the living standards of people all over the world.
Opportunities for Internet Business
A clear idea about the Internet economy can help prospective businesspersons identify business opportunities. In fact, numerous small businesspersons are making good money with little investment by acting as intermediaries. For example, an online retailer can operate with absolutely no merchandise by passing on all orders received to manufacturers or wholesalers with whom the retailer has a working arrangement.
Offer comparison websites constitute another major business. Online travel agents, for example, can offer comparisons of the fares offered by different airlines and the features of each offer, allowing customers to choose the offer that meets their requirements best.
Pure content websites that do not sell any product are also able to make money by displaying relevant advertisements on their information pages. Web surfers who land on the pages in search of the specific information are likely to be interested in the products related to the topic. What this means is that web surfers get valuable information free and sellers of products are able to reach precisely targeted prospects.
Internet has created an entire economy with players engaged in providing different products and services that make Internet business and e commerce possible. The Internet has also facilitated global trading, leading to huge increase in trade volumes and improvement in the living standards of people. Finally, it has created business opportunities for persons who might otherwise have been unable to earn a meaningful income doing what they are competent to do.