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E-commerce activity is one of the fastest expanding business activities on the internet. Through e-commerce, it is possible for goods to be bought and sold over the internet. The influence of e-commerce cannot be underestimated and it has been reported to be a bridge of transfer of huge sums of money. It is reported that e-commerce offers wide gap of access to the world market. This is possible because through the internet producers and consumers from all over the world are able to access each other. The internet is very effective as it eliminates the middlemen because the producers and the consumers have got a direct touch with each. This eliminates the brokerage costs. This makes the goods and services bought over the internet to be quite cheap. The payment for the goods and services which are ordered online are also paid for online through the business website. The business websites have been reported to be very significant in gathering information about the dislikes and likes of the customers making it possible for the goods and services to be designed in a ways that will completely satisfy the customers.
Many corporate bodies make use of e-commerce in their business activities. Volker (2005, p. 1) gives an example of various companies which involve themselves in the e-commerce. He gives the example of Amazon’s website. The website gives suggestions of products which are based on the consumers’ previous purchases. This influences the buying trait of the customers and lures them to buy more of the goods. It is further reported that many companies have been integrating their business process into their websites. Another example given on the use of the websites is that of the rapid Racking. It is reported that at first the company launched a website which they later found to be quite helpful as it increased their sales significantly. It is reported that through their website it is possible for the customers to view the available stock and pay for it online. It is also shown the website is designed in such a way that it allows the modification of the customer profiles which include the delivery and terms of payment. It is reported that as at 2004 the website channeled an amount summing up to revenue of eight percent of the turnover.
Volker (2005, P. 5) further gives an example of yet another business which makes use of the internet to boost their business is the small enterprise Bluesky Experience. Bluesky is reported to have a 700 acre site in Perth and as a way increasing the sales they came up with a website to boost their sales. It is reported that at the initial stages she site only received 16 hits weekly but after some modifications being made on the site by web designers the website recorded an average of 1000 hits of users a week. It is reported that for each pound that the company spent on the marketing campaign was paid back with 22 pounds. E-commerce has made it possible for the competition to be heightened among the producers. It is possible for the consumers to analyze a number of producers producing similar goods. This has made the producers to engage into even aggressive means of marketing as competition stiffens among them. This has often lead to some of the producers and businesses engaging in unhealthy form of online marketing which will be tackled later in this paper. E-commerce has also raised other issues which touch on the government revenue for instance collection of revenue for sales made online has not been possible. This has led to loss of much government revenue because the online sales have been observed to have replaced the local sales which would have other made some contribution to the local authorities in form of taxes. Other means of carrying out marketing is through the use e-mails.
Sending of emails can also be used as a way of marketing. Brownlow (2010, par. 1) claims that emails use for marketing encompasses all the electronic messages sent to the customers, potential customers and the public in general. According to Brownlow (2010, par. 3), marketing in emails engulfs the following:
- Sending direct promotional emails to try and acquire new customers or persuade existing customers to buy again (Brownlow, 2010, par. 3).
- Sending emails designed to encourage customer loyalty and enhance the customer relationship (Brownlow, 2010, par. 3).
- Placing your marketing messages or advertisements in emails sent by other people (Brownlow, 2010, par. 3).
It is argued that email can be regarded as a direct mail sent electronically. Email marketing has also grown so popular. The reasons for the emailing popularity have been outlined by Brownlow (2010, par. 4) as follows: “sending email is much cheaper than most other forms of communication; email lets you deliver your message to the people (unlike a website, where the people have to come to your message); email marketing has proven very successful for those who do it right”.
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