The Internet Revolution
Now, with the click of a button, consumers are buying just about anything imaginable, and all from the convenience of the internet. People no longer have to leave their homes, work or where ever there is internet access to make important purchases. Technology has advanced so that companies are conducting business around the world with out ever meeting. No longer do consumers or businessmen have to shake to complete a deal or a sale, but merely click down on the mouse and the numbers change. Some internet companies have never seen their customers and yet some traditional retailers have not yet acknowledged the internet. However, ‘convergence is the new religion (‘The Real…’; 53).’; Big companies are changing the business world as we see it through the internet. June 1, Merrill Lynch announced it was joining the internet revolution and would begin selling stocks for $29.95 a trade (Cropper 60). A division of the Sabre Holdings Company of Fort Worth, Texas and Preview Travel, an exclusive partner of America Online, announced they were both merging to form one of the nations largest internet commerce sites with an expected revenue of nearly one billion dollars (Jones C-7). Companies are merging and joining the internet all out of the internet revolution craze. The internet is revolutionizing the way the world is doing business through faster, easier and more direct consumer access to their desired companies.
Of course, such direct contact to these companies means that the ‘middleman’; is often eliminated. People like accountants, travel agents and stockbrokers are all ending up with commissions being cut and even losing their jobs. ‘My commission was first cut from 10% to 8% and now to 5% on plane tickets. People are now buying their tickets online. Its much easier than going to travel agency (Halbert, intrv). People can also manage their money from home with on-line banking, which is now offered by many banks, which also eliminates the need for an accountant. Companies like E-trade and Ameritrade are taking the jobs away from stock brokers by offering $8 trades on-line as well. All these transactions eliminate jobs and are dangerous too. ‘Most online purchases today are completed with out a customers actual signature (Swisher R-22).’; This means that anyone with access to a credit card number can make a purchase with the holder knowing, until he gets his statement. Electronic commerce is easy, but dangerous
Then again, that is what Mr. Aminifard and his company is alert for. If companies know how to detect fraudulent transactions, then they can obviously avoid them. ‘With a few clues, you can pretty much guess (with 90% certainty) that an order is going to be fraudulent (Swisher R-22).’; Companies want to avoid these transactions because they are left with the credit card bill in the end. There is obvious security in the internet and that is one reason companies continue to expand and people continue to buy.
Companies are joining the internet revolution and for good reasons, if they don’t their competitors will. ‘The internet is the great equalizer. It can make small companies seem like large companies and;#8230;large companies take care, for the formerly minor competitor may take your business (Goodman 112).’; The internet is saving time and money. ‘British Telecommunications will save a billion dollars next year by sourcing exclusively through the internet (Goodman 112).’; Companies like Sears, the nations leading seller of appliances, need not to spend money on establishing a delivery system when they begin selling more products online because one is already established (Coleman A-4). The internet can save consumers time and effort as well because they can research the product before they phone in the order or go to the store.
Companies are making purchases a lot more accessible. Investment companies such as Merrill Lynch, Ameritrade, E-trade and Charles Schwab all give detailed reports, graphs, analysis and many other tools to keep track of stocks and other investments. They also allow the investor to take all responsibility and buy, sell or trade as much as they want for a minimal fee. ‘In the first two months of 1999 alone, the number of trades executed over the internet has increased by 25% to 425,000 per day (Wilson 36).’; Internet trading is growing steadily and the same can be said for on-line banking. ‘From 1993 to 1998, the typical U.S. banks assets grew at 8%. Over the same period, Telebank, the nations largest on-line bank, grew at 53% per year (Wilson 35).’; This is a great sign for the public. With so much competition with online trading and banking, companies are constantly offering cheaper trading rates and boosting interest rates to gain the attention of potential customers. Banks are also saving money through the web too with the cost of an in perosn transaction costing $1.07 and an on-line transaction costing only $.01, as reported in ‘Can Online Banking Replace Conventional Banks? (32).’;
With the holidays soon approaching, companies are rushing to update their internet sites for the shopping season. Department stores such as J.C. Penny, Nordstrom, Sears and K-Mart are all upgrading for the rush (‘The Real;#8230;’;53). Tiffany, having sworn never to sell their diamonds and pearls over something as common as the web, are doing just that (‘The Real;#8230;’; 53). Excite.com has introduced an electronic ‘wallet’; just in time for the holidays. The wallet stores money and scrambled credit card information on a personal computer in a way that is only accessible to the owner (Swisher R-22). A perfect solution to the over crowded shopping malls this season is to shop online. Sites will be quicker, as in terms of transaction process and more products will be available, which will hopefully boost revenue from the $8.2 billion from last years shopping season, to something greater (Coleman A-4).
Electronic commerce has certainly been beneficial to many companies. Dell Computers, who generates more than $12 million from their website everyday, claims that internet sales account for nearly half of their overall sales (McUsic C-4). With e- commerce in the U.S. alone set to rise from $12 billion a year to $41 billion a year by 2002, companies are not hesitating to join the revolution. (‘The Real;#8230;’; 53). The internet is simply easier for consumers and businesses to deal with. Sabre Holding Corporation and Preview Travel is strictly on-line agencies and when their merger completes, expected revenue of $1 billion is more than likely to happen. Travelers can get as much and even more information on their planned destination from on-line sites than from conventional travel agencies. This might be bad for travel agents, but there is simply plenty more information, it is quicker and easier to use the internet.
The internet has really exploded since it’s beginning in 1968 (see Appendix Graph 1). There are now thousands of sites all around the world, some generating billions of dollars and others for amusement. Whatever their intention, the internet revolution is in full effect. Businesses have really found comfort in the web. ‘The internet revolution is sweeping the world (Goodman 113).’; Multi-billion dollar companies are all using the web. Microsoft, K-mart, Nordstrom, Dell Computers, Gateway Computers, Macintosh, AT;T, America Online and many other mass money producing companies all have joined the internet revolution. There are companies still joining the revolution, no matter how big or small they are because they know that some day, they too can be as large and as powerful as the companies who have already taken part of the internet. The internet literally provides all of our necessities at the tip of our fingertips. The internet revolution has provided us with a fast, convenient and direct contact to virtually anything we want. The revolution is available to anyone, so as Davis Goodman titles his article and reminds us all, ‘It’s Your Internet: Don’t leave it to your competitors (112).’; The opportunities are endless with the internet revolution. It is just up to the willingness and determination of the people to see how far it will go.
1. Fraudulent warnings: credit card billing addresses that don’t match the shipping address; an address in a country like Russia that generates a large number of fraudulent transactions; an extremely expensive transaction; and a delivery request specifically instructing the overnight service to leave a package at the door, with out requesting a signature.
2. In 1968, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) embarked on a project to implement a resource sharing network called the ARPA network or ARPANET for short. The network was designated to provide effective and efficient communications between heterogeneous host computers so that hardware, software, and data resources could be shared conveniently and economically by a wide community of users.
Source: Encyclopedia of Computer Science and Engineering
‘Can On-line Banking Replace Conventional Banking?’; Computer World. 1 Jan. 1998: 32- 4.
Coleman, Calmetta. ‘Sears to Begin On-line Sales of Appliances.’; Wall Street Journal. 13 May
1999: A 4.
Cropper, Carol Marie. ‘On-line Trading Changes Landscapes for Old Brokerage Firms.’; New
York Times. 22 Sep. 1999: 60.
Goodman, Davis P. ‘It’s Your Internet: Don’t leave it to your competitors.’; World Trade.
2 Nov. 1999: 112-14.
Halbert, JoAnn. Personal Interview. 2 Nov. 1999.
Koenig, David. ‘Online Travel Giants Join in E-Commerce Venture.’; The San Diego Union
Tribune. 5 Oct. 1999: C-7.
McUsic, Teresa. ‘Dell’s Book Shares Secrets of Dynamics.’; The San Diego Union Tribune.
23 Mar. 1999: C-4.
‘The Real Internet Revolution.’; The Economist. 21 Aug. 1999: 53- 4.
Swisher, Kara. ‘Making the Sale – Seller Beware.’; Wall Street Journal. 7 Dec. 1998: R 22.
Wilson, Thomas. ‘Businesses Race to be Part of the Internet Revolution.’; Business News. 3
Mar. 1999: 35- 41.