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Become The Expert

posted 5 Dec 2010, 06:12 by Sam Mbale   [ updated 5 Dec 2010, 06:13 ]

Social media and eCommerce are arguably the most influential
areas in business today.  Thousands upon thousands of people
are not only joining social media each day but they are also
embracing the eCommerce aspect of business.  One of the
reasons eCommerce has exploded is because companies,
government and individuals, are looking for ways to reach
more people faster and at a lower cost.  Currently there are
more lenient taxes on eCommerce which also increases the
attractiveness of this option to every business arena.
Perhaps the most prevalent reason that eCommerce has
exploded is the simple fact that it has become the social
norm.

A little over a decade ago I had traveled home from college
to visit my parents for the Christmas break.  One evening I
was on the computer browsing through the plethora of items
displayed on the popular auction site eBay.  I found a pair
of running shoes I was interested in and was making a bid
when my mother stepped into the room.  Internet was a new
addition to my parents home and my mother had more than her
fair share of skepticism about the advantages it offered.
An argument quickly ensued as my mother expounded on her
theory that my identity was going to be stolen and that
buying anything through the Internet was a guaranteed way to
get scammed!  I obviously felt that she was wrong and made my
purchase anyway; the entire time trying to convince her that
not only was shopping on the Internet a very convenient way
to purchase products, but also much more relaxing than
competing with the masses of people at the shopping malls.

Over the ensuing years my mother was gradually exposed to
the Internet in larger and more varied capacities.  She
began to see that not only did it offer a source of useful
information but was also a great tool to compare prices on a
product or to do research on an item before she made her
final purchasing decision.  At first she would just browse
the Internet to see what was there then it became a quick
fact finding tool (3 out of 5 purchases all start with
Internet searches), then she attempted to buy small
indiscreet services such as anti-virus over the Internet,
and then she finally started buying products. She has now
reached the point at which she does almost all of here gift
shopping exclusively through eCommerce.

The eCommerce arena has grown to a billion dollar a year
industry and keeps on growing.  Not only has it reached the
baby boomer generation but also generation Y and everyone in
between.  A good friend pointed out to me the other day that
we are surrounded by the digital age.  He was not referring
to the amazing advances we have seen over the last decade
but rather to the fact that the children who are born now do
not know the world without computers and the Internet.  Just
as the steam engine revolutionized the farming industry and
changed the world forever so too has the computer and
Internet changed the world we live in.  Regardless of the
product or service you offer, if you are not adapting that
product to the Internet arena you will surely get lost in
the crowd just as the VCR has become a tool of the past.
Just remember as the great western philosopher said, "it
doesn't matter if you are on the right track, you will get
run over if you just stand there!"

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