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Chapter 1. Introduction > Business Issues in Internet Commerce

Business Issues in Internet Commerce

First and foremost, Internet commerce is about business: using the network effectively to achieve business goals. Current technology, including changes in both computing and communication, provides many tools that can be used in reaching those goals. If we do not have a clear idea of our business goals in using the network, then technology cannot help us achieve them.

This is not to say that business goals cannot be changed to take advantage of current technology. Often the technology allows new kinds of operations that were previously too expensive. It is entirely appropriate, for example, to choose a new focus on closer customer relationships using the Internet to communicate with customers. Without the network, such a goal might have been too expensive or difficult to achieve. The Internet might enable a company to achieve that goal in a way that it could not have achieved it before. However, the business goal, including how to measure success, is the key, not just an idea such as, “Hey, we could send e-mail to our customers!” Indeed, a common problem with simplistic ideas such as this has been “What happens when they send back?”


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