In the early 90s, firms began to acknowledge a new powerful marketing medium, the Internet and its major component, the World Wide Web (WWW), and quickly realised its strategic importance. With the impetuous development of information technologies (IT) and widespread of personal computers in the world, the Internet developed into a new effective electronic platform for business starting the era of electronic commerce. Today, the Internet not only offers tremendous opportunities for marketers, it brings about a new way of approaching consumer markets. There are many reasons why companies should adopt the Internet platform. In a computer-mediated environment, consumers become increasingly empowered by new technology and the ease of information access. As the information on competing products and prices is much easier to access now, consumers concentrate more power in their hands (Pitt et al., 2002). Modern consumers look for ways to increase their own value and expect companies to work hard to satisfy their continuously increasing demands and expectations.
The Internet also melts the borders of national markets increasing and shifting the competition into electronic marketplace, where many companies are competing now on an international basis due to the global nature of e-commerce. These processes have not been left unnoticed by both practitioners and academia, who recently expressed the need for re-evaluation of marketing concept and its re-construction so that it answers to the changes in business environment. This has created a new body of knowledge and expertise – Internet Marketing (IM) – which concerns with the marketing process and marketing efforts of a firm operating entirely or partly in the digital marketplace or marketspace created by the Internet platform. The recognition of the need to re-evaluate the marketing paradigm brought about the Internet and the WWW had a huge impact on the development of Internet Marketing as a field of...
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