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businessonline - ProFile 1 UNIT 10 Business online From...

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Unformatted text preview: ProFile 1 UNIT 10 Business online From booking holidays and downloading music, to chatting online, the Internet has had an important impact on people’s lives. Websites which front vast warehouses with cut-price goods have threatened traditional in-store retailing. Consumer goods, or the week’s grocery shopping, can be bought at the click of a mouse and delivered to the door. Many retailers have blended in-store inspection with online ordering in a ‘Clicks and bricks’ approach. Perhaps more importantly, the Internet has dramatically affected the way firms do business with one another. B2B – BUSINESS TO BUSINESS Although consumer websites are the ones which most frequently appear in the news, it has revolutionized the business to business relationship too. Firstly, it has allowed firms to find out about each other – a simple search is enough to find the names, websites and email details of potential partners they never knew existed. Suppliers in the same sphere can congregate together under the umbrella of a single website. Secondly, it permits them to communicate directly, without having to pass through different layers of suppliers and middlemen. Thus, the Internet has become a powerful tool for procurement managers who want to source their supplies of goods and services. Businesses are even able to tender for contracts online or participate in auctions. Niche retailers are able to have access to worldwide markets. to order goods online and charge them to the unsuspecting card holder. This is why companies will not despatch goods unless the cardholder’s home address corresponds to the delivery address. Most cards also carry a further set of numbers on the back which may be required by the seller. THREE KEY PLAYERS Tim Berners-Lee Berners-Lee is widely credited as inventing the Internet as a means of coordinating and directing research while at CERN in Geneva. By deciding not to patent the program, he allowed HTML to become a standard. Jeff Bezos When Jeff Bezos noticed that the Internet was expanding at 2,300% he gave up his well-paid job to drive to Seattle with his wife to open up an online book store. Amazon.com is now probably the best-known retail website in the world. After years of losing money, and enormous start up costs, Amazon is now making a healthy profit. Pierre Omidyar Born in France of Iranian parents, Omidyar grew up in the US. He founded eBay, the online auction site, because he wanted to give power to consumers and buyers rather than just to sellers. He wrote the basic program over a holiday weekend. He handed over control of eBay to Meg Whitman, probably the most powerful woman in US business. In 2004, 48 million users traded $42 billion of goods. THREATS TO E-BUSINESS Security probably poses the biggest threat to e-business. Online retailers have to invest heavily in making their payment methods secure. Creating firewalls and unbreakable encryption occupy some of the most brilliant minds in programming. Identity theft is a fast-growing crime: credit card details on discarded receipts allow unscrupulous people See the ProFile Student’s site: www.oup.com/elt/profile Photocopiable © Oxford University Press ...
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