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24/7 Operation

As we have said, the Internet is open for business around the world, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Customers (and potential customers) from Australia are likely to be browsing sites in the United States at times when a normal storefront would be closed. Even within the same time zone, customers may be using the Internet for business late at night, whether for convenience or simply because they can't sleep. Many businesses, especially smaller ones, are not accustomed to operating under such conditions, so it is especially important for them to consider these aspects of the operation.

It might be observed that telephone order businesses have many of these same characteristics: their catalogs are available to customers at any time, and the telephone may be used throughout the day or night. There are, however, some important differences, especially in terms of what customers are coming to expect from Internet businesses. In most cases, telephone order companies that are open during business hours have some geographic limitations for their bases of customers. For example, almost all of their customers may be in the United States. Geography therefore limits the most common times of interest—during the day. On the other hand, many telephone order companies are providing 24-hour service, because they recognize that customers will call around the clock.


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