An Introduction to E-Business and How “Anyone” Can Make Money on the Internet

Very often we hear people saying there is an abundance of opportunities for online business because e-commerce is a huge industry! How true this statement is!In a matter of few years, the Internet has consolidated itself as a very powerful platform that has changed the way we do business, and the way we communicate. The Internet, as no other medium, has given an international or, if you prefer, a “Globalized” dimension to the world. It is the universal source of information.Unless you have been living under a rock for the last few years, you have probably heard about e-commerce, and you have probably heard about it from several different angles. You may have heard about all of the companies that offer e-commerce through their TV and radio ads, or maybe you’ve read news articles about the shift to e-commerce, or the huge valuations that some Internet companies get in the stock market, even when they don’t make a profit, or you may have purchased something personally on the web, so you have had a direct experience with e-commerce.The Internet is actually the most democratic of all the mass media. With a very low investment, anyone can have a web page on the Internet. This way almost any business can reach a very large market, fast and economically, regardless of its size or location. With a very low investment almost anybody who can read, and write can have access to the millions of people “online”.Still, you may feel like you don’t understand e-commerce at all. What is all the hype about? Why the huge valuations? And most importantly, is there a way for you to participate? If you have questions like these, then this article will help out by exposing you to the lucrative world of e-commerce.E-commerce
– E-commerce (electronic commerce) is the buying and selling of goods and services on the Internet, especially the World Wide Web. In practice, this term and a newer term, e-business, are often used interchangeably.

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Before we get into a complete discussion of e-commerce, it is helpful to have a good mental image of plain old commerce first. If you understand commerce, then e-commerce is an easy extension.Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary gives a few definitions of commerce:
1: social intercourse: interchange of ideas, opinions, or sentiments2: the exchange or buying and selling of commodities on a large scale involving transportation from place to place3: sexual intercourseWe tend to be interested in the second definition, but that third one is interesting and unexpected — maybe that’s what all of the hype is about?You can see that from this perspective, commerce is a fairly simple concept. Commerce is, quite simply, the exchange of goods and services, usually for money. We see commerce all around us in millions of different forms. The mere fact that you are reading this article you are participating in commerce. In the same way, if you were selling watches out of a trench coat on the street of New York, you are participating in commerce from a different angle. If you go to work each day for a company that produces a product, or service that is yet another link in the chain of commerce, all of commerce at its simplest level relies on buyers, and sellers.When you get down to the actual elements of commerce and commercial transactions, things get slightly more complicated because you have to deal with the details. However, these details boil down to a finite number of steps.
At the very core of the matter, you would like to sell something to someone in order to generate an income. Ok, so you need a product or service to offer. The product can be anything from retail inventory to virtual products such as a luxury resorts membership to website domain names. You may design your own products, or become an affiliate of a company that has a product, or buy inventory from wholesalers.You must also have a site from which to sell your products. You can build yourself one using simple software like Microsoft FrontPage, or you might hire someone to build you a professional one. Then you need to figure out a way to get people to come to your site. This process is known as marketing. If no one knows that your place exists, you will never sell anything. You then need a way to accept orders and collect money. You can use wire transfers or electronic checks through online banking, or you can accept credit cards through merchant accounts such as Pay Pal.If you choose a business that needs a way to deliver the product or service, that process is known as fulfillment. There are several companies like FedEx and UPS that have on line business solutions that you can outsource the fulfillment process to. More and more e-businesses are moving toward virtual products, or services where delivery can be done instantly.Many products today are so complicated that they require customer service and technical support departments to help customers use them. This process can also be outsourced to the company you affiliate with, or various out side companies. Travel memberships are a good example of this sort of product. On-going updating of packages that become available, changes in pricing through out the year, and the scheduling of reservations will require on-going customer service because customers want to change the dates and locations from time to time.So, how does a newbie to the online business world select a product, set up a site, drive traffic to that site, make sales, collect money, and handle customer service, and fulfillment. Wow, there is a huge need for proper planning. You need to do a lot of reading and research to get yourself familiar with the best industries, products, and practices. One of the easiest ways I have discovered to quickly start making money online is a business model that doesn’t take much works to get up and running, the affiliate program. Let me share with you why it is such a great idea.

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Affiliate programs are everywhere on the Internet, and are a great way for beginners to get into e-business. They are also great for professionals who don’t have a lot of time and can’t leave their current profession in order to develop their e-business. You can start earning money without having to reinvent the wheel, or spend months on end trying to develop and perfect a site, and a sales system that creates conversion. The use of an affiliate program is the ultimate method of being able to start a home-based business on the Internet. Self-employed professionals who are limited on the amount of time they can devote to their e-business are flocking to affiliate programs because once they are up and running they operate on autopilot. The right program can generate enough income through perpetual leverage to free anyone from his or her “golden handcuffs”, or “financial struggle”Finally, if you find the right affiliate program they are relatively quick and easy to setup and manage. They are in the business of duplicating professional results for all of their reps. Everything you need, will be organized into carefully packaged systems. Therefore, it is usually far less costly, and much less work for you to start generating money. Some programs are so well thought out and effective that they are attracting professionals from all walks of life.Even if you know nothing about website design, e-commerce, or online marketing, you will be able succeed if you align yourself with the right affiliate company. However before you run out and plunk down several hundred or several thousands of dollars, do your research. Not all affiliate programs are created equally.