Before companies started using the Internet for commercial use in the mid-1990s, suppliers could only reach them by phone, fax, mail or in person; customers had to visit brick-and-mortar stores or shop with mail catalogs to make purchases. Since then, the Internet has linked the world, providing many benefits to the business managers who use it.
Enhances Communication and Commerce
Business managers have many more methods of communication thanks to the Internet. Managers can email employees, clients and suppliers from anywhere in the world -- even by cellphone. They can post written descriptions and videos of new products on their websites, giving consumers and business customers 24-hour access to this information. More recently, many business managers are posting information on social media sites, such as Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, YouTube and LinkedIn, to promulgate their brands and harness the benefits of viral marketing. The Internet also enables business managers to sell directly from websites and accept online payments.
An entire new generation of cottage-industry businesses, known as dot-coms, spawned from the Internet in the early part of the 21st century. While many of these companies failed because they grew too fast, the savvy entrepreneurs and business managers who had solid product concepts and workable business plans increased revenues exponentially. Jeff Bezos, founder of Amazon, increased his revenue from $15.7 million to $610 million from 1996 to 1999, according to Entrepreneur. In 2013, Amazon sold $75.4 billion worth of books and products, Bloomberg Businessweek reported.
The Internet is more cost effective than most other business platforms. Business managers can hold conference calls and videoconferencing meetings with employees and customers in different cities, states or countries, saving time and traveling costs. Human resources managers save on paper costs by posting jobs online and having candidates submit applications via the Internet. Human resource managers can save on airfare by conducting virtual interviews. Today's training managers can also upload manuals and video content on the Internet so distant employees can train without having to attend corporate training centers.
The Internet provides business managers with the ability to research competitors, their products and prices and other market data from their computers. They can use this information to develop product concepts, create advertisements and promotions or implement marketing strategies. Market research managers can also post surveys on corporate websites and obtain feedback from customers more quickly than using phone or in-person surveys. With constant improvements in Internet technology, business managers will continue to use it for customer feedback, the dissemination of information and to build revenues and profits.
- Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology: The Virtual Workplace: A Reality Now
- Entrepreneur: Jeff Bezos: The King of E-Commerce
- Bloomberg Businessweek: Amazon.com Inc (AMZN: NASDAQ GS)
- USA Today: As Internet Turns 40, Barriers Threaten Its Growth
- University of Colorado Boulder: Using the Internet for Research
- U.S. Small Business Administration: Using Technology to Stay Competitive
- Forbes: 7 Simple Tips To Increase Online Sales That You Can Implement Right Now
- Photo Credit pablocalvog/iStock/Getty Images
- Office of the United States Trade Representative: The Benefits of Internet-Enabled Trade to Small Businesses
- Intuit: The Fast Track: Exploring the Key Benefits of Online CRM
- Entrepreneur: Promoting Your Business Through Personal Posts
- Greenjobinterview.com: Virtual Interviewing Site
- Skype: Video Calling Site
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