Shopping And Business On The Internet
Shopping And Business On The Internet
Ethan Feerst and Dylan Stewart (Technology Therapist, Mac Guru) gives expert video advice on: How has the Internet made it easier to start a small business?; Can I do my banking online safely?; How can I shop on the Internet? and more...
How has the Internet made it easier to start a small business?
The Internet has made it infinitely easier to start up small businesses. Before the Internet came around a small business required a location, required a massive communication center, required alot of start-up funds, required advertising that was in print, was on billboards, was on radio, maybe even on TV, depending on what that company was doing.All of these things cost money and start up companys by definintion don't have a lot of money, they are just getting started.What the Internet did to change that was to make it irrelevant where you are. It made it irrelevant how you advertize. You can now advertise easily and inexpensively directly to people who are looking for your information. You could just put up a web site and with enough attention to that web site people would find it before even putting ads on the Internet. You can also find many cheap places to put ads, to put links, which connect your website to other peoples websites or to put banners or places where somebody browsing your website would see about your website and be able to connect to it. The communication structure of a start-up business required phone lines, required fax machines, required a mailing location. The Internet takes care of all that. You no longer need phone lines, you can use your e-mail, you can use scipe accounts or other formats to communicate through the Internet.You don't need a static office location, nobody cares where you are, they just care that they can get to you.
How would my small business benefit from a website on the Internet?
A website on the Internet is a form of advertising. A website on the Internet is a way to communicate with your customer base. It's a way for your customer base to find you, to know how to get in touch with you. It's a way to provide an easy place for a phone number, for hours of operation, for pictures of what you sell or a description of what you sell. It's a way for them to know where your physical location is or how to email you. It's a way to learn more about your company. Some people like to know the companies that they're doing business with, like to know what they believe in or who they are. And that is very easy to do on a website. You can have a bio page, an "about us" page, a "contact us" page, and other ways.The most key thing about a website is that it isn't advertisement by itself. You can use a website to link to other websites that can then link to your website, creating a network of stores or websites that send each other their business.
How do large businesses use the Internet?
Large businesses use the Internet as a form of advertisement--as a way of communicating with their clients. A large company, like for example Target, has a website that allows you to find any store in the world by typing in the zip code of where you are. This makes it much easier to track down your local store, than the yellow pages or calling information because you may not know what city it's in. This allows you to also see the hours of a particular store and get driving directions to a particular store. This allows them to offer special web-only discounts and specials for the web consumer. It allows them to show visually, or sometimes with sound-clips or movie-clips the products that they're carrying, so that even though you're not physically in front of them, you can get a really good feel or taste for what this company sells. If a large company does not have a website, they are not a large company anymore.
What is "podcasting"?
Podcasting has really revolutionized the way different kinds of contents can be deliver to you from internet. There's now all kinds of audio broadcasters, story tellers, music channels, video channels, and of course something very high end, televison networks, movie studios that can deliver content in this form that you can download in the podcasts. Now it is specific to iTunes to get information. You actually do not need an iPod in order to enjoy the benefits of podcasting. If you have iTunes, which is a free program, there's no reason not to get it, you have the ability to shop and look for all kinds of of free audio and video content that you can grab and subscribe to on a regular basis. These podcasts are then simply updated periodically, they're not broadcasted to a specific day and time, new podcasts simply emerge at certain intervals and you can grab this content to make a available to you on your computer. If you don't have an iPod, you can listen to it directly on your computer, if you have an iPod, you can drop it on that and take it with you.
Can I do my banking online safely?
Once you log on to your banking site, you're going to find that it doesn' t quite have the feel of a regular website, you can't manuever around that banking site quite as easily. What is happening is that each time you enter a particular page with information, or you're setting up a transaction with your bank, the bank may require multiple logins. It may require for you to sign in again. If you had a particular page up , say you're looking at your statement, you may find that if you want to go back to a certain page you're going to be told ," this information is expired", there is literally a timer put on certain information once you enter into that conversation with the bank there is a temperary security certificate that is issued to both sides and that security certificate is only valid for a limited amount of time for the amount of time that session is happening. Once your move to another page or the session expires a new security certificate has to be issued in order for the session to continue .
Can I send a fax over the Internet?
There are a lot of different ways to send a fax over the internet. One of the most popular and universal ways is a program called Efax. This is a website that gives you a fax number and allows you to recieve faxes through your computers email program. It also allows you to send an email to the program that will translate it to a fax for a standard phone fax machine for somebody elses office. A lot of computers also come with phone connections, enabling you to scan a peice of paper into your computer to send it out. It's important to understand that the fax technology preceeded the internet. A fax takes a peice of paper, a static form, an analog peice of information, sends it through a phone line and breaks it into peices of data that get sent to another computer - another fax machine that puts them back together into a peice of paper. This is going from paper to data back to paper. Computers changed all of that because suddenly you're already in data. Your computer has already got the information that would normally send via fax on its hard drive, its already data, so in most cases you can email that information rather than fax it. But, if you need to send it to a fax machine, a computer with a telephone jack can be very commonly plugged in as a fax machine and rather than printing it , sending it through a fax machine to have it turned out as paper somewhere else. You send it straight from the data port of your computer , through your phone line to have it end up on somebody elses fax machine.
Is it possible to sell things over the Internet?
Selling things over the internet is not only possible, it is becoming the main way of selling commodities. Almost every store that sells things through their brick-and-mortar, stores as they're called, has a website. That's were they can get more people, people that are not within driving distance, people that are even worldwide. There are many sites to sell things on whether it's an auction site such as EBay or a basic billboard bulletin site such as Craig's list. These sites allow you to take a picture, maybe a digital picture using a digital camera, or take a hard picture and make a scan of it so that your computer has a version of it, and load that picture onto a website where somebody can see what you're selling and get a description of it and an idea of what there're buying over the internet.
Can I shop at my favorite stores over the Internet?
They want you to shop online. They'd prefer if all business was done without having to hire sales clerks, wthout having to have actual store fronts. It's much more efficient, effective, and the overhead is much lower at these online stores. So Barnes and Noble, or Banana Republic, or The Gap, or Target, or Walmart all have websites. Usually their domain name is the name of the company: www.thenameofthecompany.com. By going to that site, you can browse for anything you might find in their store. Some websites will also give customer recommendations, or employee recommendations, or what is the top purchased item of the day, or of a particular type of product.