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Word Count: 517
E-commerce activity has grown rapidly during 1999 and is set to finally explode in 2000 and 2001 You need to ensure that your business is ready for this incredible opportunity by building a Web store now This will allow time for you and your employees to learn the necessary new skills and to adapt your business processes The initial entrant to a market captures the mindshare of consumers and can prove difficult to dislodge - just look at the mighty Barnes and Noble trying to play catch up with Amazon Even if you arent first you still need to get on line fast to protect your current off line market share being stolen by an on line entrepreneur Although large enterprises typically spend a six-figure sum on an e-commerce enabled Web site you can do it for a lot less And no matter what you spend it will be considerably less than the cost of setting up a bricks-and-mortar store Dealing with customers via the Web whether processing orders or fielding support calls is typically cheaper than traditional methods For example Dell estimate that they save 8 each time a person checks their order status at their Web site instead of calling them Your telephone and fax machine already give you the power to sell globally but the Web is unique in its ability to allow you to market your products globally Although the Internet is moving slowly towards mass consumerism the median income of the typical Web user is still well above the American average with 57 of on line households having an income of greater than 50000 according to AdAge Your Web store will give you increased access to this desirable demographic segment If the nature of your business regularly leaves you with a large perishable inventory a Web store can be an ideal way of getting rid off it For example American Airlines use their Web store to off load their unsold
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