oa South African Journal of Information Management - The Internet - strategies for optimal utilization in South Africa
The impact of the Internet on business has been phenomenal. In 1999 South African consumers spent R2,7 billion on Internet purchases and business-to-business transactions amounted to around R3,9 billion. It is clear that the Internet has tremendous potential and exposes new business opportunities for organizations. Some of the benefits the Internet has to offer are cost-effectiveness, establishing a presence, networking and reaching a highly desirable demographic market or spesialized markets. It is further an invaluable marketing tool that helps with effective need identification and need satisfaction, as well as advertising and promotion. Yet research indicated that consumers view Internet marketing as ineffective. On the other hand, research also suggested that managers were satisfied with the impact the Internet had on their organizations. It is therefore clear that the consumers' needs are not met. This is caused by various obstacles such as fear, illiteracy, segmentation, niches, advertising and site appearance, which prevent the optimal utilization of the Internet. New strategies have to be developed to overcome these obstacles.
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