As Internet access is becoming more widely available and used, electronic commerce and Internet marketing is growing fast.
Well over one third of consumers who have Internet access in their homes report using the Internet to make purchases. With over 650 users worldwide, the internet represents one of the largest and most diverse markets on the planet. Internet marketing, also referred to as Online Marketing, has brought many unique benefits to marketing that include very low costs in distributing information and media to a global audience. Internet marketing is most commonly a component of electronic commerce, but Internet marketing campaigns are also used to drive a marketing message for services that cannot even be ordered online.
As with everything there are limitations to Internet Marketing. But in general the benefits far out weight the negatives. Internet Marketing may not allow shoppers to touch, smell, taste or try-on tangible goods before making an online purchase but a lot of e-commerce vendors have implemented liberal return policies to reassure customers. The benefits of Internet marketing include;
24 Hour Information: The availability of information is one of the major benefits of Internet Marketing. Consumers can log onto the Internet and learn about products, as well as purchase them, at any hour.
Economical: Internet Marketing can help expand from a local market to both national and international market places. And, in a way, it levels the playing field for big and small players. Unlike traditional marketing media (like print, radio and TV), entry into the realm of Internet marketing can be a relatively inexpensive. Companies that use Internet marketing can save money because of a reduced need for a sales force. For this reason it is gaining popularity among small businesses and even consumers when trying to monetize their blog or website.
Feedback: The measurability of the internet as a media makes it easier to experience innovative e-marketing tactics that will prove a better Cost of Acquisition than other media. Exposure, response and overall efficiency of internet marketing is much easier to track than that of traditional "offline" media. Internet marketing, therefore, offers a greater sense of accountability for advertisers.
Internet Marketing methods include search engine marketing, display advertising, e-mail marketing, affiliate marketing, interactive advertising and viral marketing. Internet marketing can sometimes include information management, public relations, customer service, market research, and sales.