Ecommerce and Its Evolution Into Mobility

Ten years ago ecommerce was still a cool buzzword that everyone wanted to try, but at that early point it was largely limited to the Business-2-Business world. The use of personal computers, mobile phones and the internet was still experiencing its first period of growth, so the average person sitting in front of their behemoth CRT monitor hadn’t grasped the potential of the web quite yet.

It didn’t take long though. Soon dot.com companies selling anything from sock puppets to toothbrushes at unbelievably low prices were popping up all over the place. Beady eyed investors saw the potential in dot-coms: little overhead and massive profit. The credit industry chimed in with low interest rates and blanket application acceptances, knowing there was money to be made. Unfortunately and predictably, the house of cards fell. Dot-coms were collapsing by the dozens and investors saw billions of dollars seemingly evaporate into thin air within a very short period.

Since that dark period in the early history of ecommerce, there have been countless research studies conducted in an effort to answer the desperate whys and how’s being screamed from bankruptcy courts around the nation. By now we have all heard the answer explained in long winded speeches about boom and bust cycles etc. In the end the collapse of the dot.com bubble was the inevitable outcome of greed on a massive scale, more specifically, unchecked greed with few security protocols and no governing body.

The birth of the 1990’s brought a wider availability of personal computers and the internet, but the 21st century brought mobility to the internet. According to CTIA the Wireless Association, there were just over 109 million mobile phone users in the US in 2000, that’s 38% of the population. Of course at that point the smartphone was clunky and fairly unusable so few people owned one. Eight years later the number of mobile phone users more than doubled to 262 million, 85% of the population. Now the Neilson Company predicts by the end of 2011 at least 49% of Americans will have a smartphone and 51% will still be using their feature phone (out of the 96% of the population that uses a mobile device).

Between 2000 and 2011 there has been an about-face on the part of ecommerce. Security platforms have become more stable and widely used so trust has now been built. User interfaces evolved into dynamic places where visitors felt both stimulated to buy, yet secure in handing over credit information. Mary Meeker of Morgan Stanley has amalgamated data from Japan that shows online commerce and paid services accounted for a whopping 32% of mobile revenue in 2008. We all know technology progresses faster than the Roadrunner, and we are equally aware that Japan and China are usually the first to set trends in technology. That begs the question, has the west fully realized the potential of ecommerce yet? Or are we still remembering the chaos of the 90’s?

The same report by Mary Meeker, dubbed the Queen of the Internet by Baron’s magazine in 1998, shows North American and European nations use of ecommerce on a mobile platform accounts for less than 14% of mobile revenue (2008). Are we still scared? No, we are being gouged. North Americans have some of the highest mobile phone bills in the world. Canada in particular generates an average of $55 revenue per user per month; the US isn’t much better sitting at $48. India is the most fortunate; making the phone companies about $5 per user per month.

Mobile ecommerce is the future; there is no doubt about it. For the average North American the ability to buy almost anything with a smartphone is far too convenient to give up simply because our data plan sucks. We may not spend as much as the Japanese, but we sure know the value of ecommerce. Then again, as humans we are cursed with the innate habit of reacting to the here and now. The bill is out of sight, and therefore out of mind. We are also experts at rationalization. The value of using an internet fax service to send a document to a client via your smartphone far outweighs the value of physically delivering it. The flexibility and potential of the smartphone and ecommerce has placed a much higher value on time. What we choose to do with that time saved is the subject of a whole other article.

Ecommerce and the Music Industry

Music truly can make the world go round. Music has the ability to unify people in a single thought, may it be peace, harmony, joy, or a specific cause, and it has changed the word one song at a time. But music used to be limited and under appreciated by many. Not because music then was of poor quality but because it was not as accessible as it is today. We have a freedom today to gain access to all kinds of music through the help of technology therefore awareness and appreciation of the music industry has grown significantly in such a short span of time.

Long before the internet had its glory, music was confined to a smaller audience. Some of the most powerful songs written were sung and played underground in fear of other bigger issues like communism, capitalism and war. With the emergence of ecommerce, the world became a giant playground for music of different ages, stages, and styles. Ecommerce has opened a new way for music to be heard in other places where it can be appreciated to the fullest. Online music purchase has become so easy and fast that it has broken the barriers of not only geography but perhaps culture as well. When music started its way online, there became a new profit making industry.

Little did we know then that the music industry would be as big as it is now? Today, song sales on iTunes, eBay and Amazon total to billions of dollars daily and that is only counting the United States. Through ecommerce, stars have been born like Coldplay and Beyonce. These artists could have been famous only in their countries but the internet has created them into international super stars because ecommerce has enabled their songs to be purchased by anyone all over the world. Even smaller indie artists and underground bands can now showcase their talent online through ecommerce giving each artist a chance to make it big where the music field is a little more leveled.

Buying songs online has also allowed the consumer more liberty to choose what songs they want to spend on. During the older days, songs had to be bought with the whole album but today, you can buy the song as an individual. This has increased sales more than ever. Not only are the songs available but they too are available as soon as the album hits the market. This makes them available online to anyone around the world as soon as the song is out. This feature of ecommerce helps make music more globally competitive and effective. There is no more discrimination as to who and when these song can only be heard.

Some negative effects though have also hurt the music industry. Because the internet is so accessible and easy to use, the exchange of illegal downloads have also flourished. This development slows down the profits of ecommerce because now, the music can be taken for free. Current ways are being tried to control this phenomenon.

Multi-Tasking And Internet Marketing – Do You Have What It Takes?

Multi-tasking is a talent, a skill that you may or may not be born with but it’s certainly one you can develop and hone. More importantly, multi-tasking is something that can make or break you. If you don’t have what it takes, multi-tasking may make you bite more than what you can chew. The next thing you know, your Internet marketing efforts have all been for naught.

Multi-Tasking and Internet Marketing: Do You Have What It Takes?

If you’re serious about multi-tasking then consider the following factors and see if you can make them happen in your life.

Be ready to outsource.

Multi-tasking means taking care of significant tasks at the same time. It never includes devoting your precious time to unimportant tasks. Thus, you have to know your business very well to determine which tasks are worth your time and which tasks you can afford to outsource to other people in or out of your company.

Know your priorities.

You need to know which tasks require your attention the first and so forth. If you’re not good at prioritizing, multi-tasking can cause you to panic in the end when you have no idea how to finish everything in time. Being clear about what you want and what you’ll get from each task, on the other hand, can be a big help in knowing your priorities.

Stick to the plan.

Of course, knowing the priorities is just the first step. The next thing to do is sticking to your priorities. You need to deliver on what you’ve promised to yourself. Plans are nothing until they’re realized and multi-tasking will require you to make intelligent decisions occasionally in time-pressured situations. In such instances, you need to develop the backbone necessary to stand by your decision, stick to the plan, and not let worries and self-doubts sway you to indecision.

Build your network.

Develop close and strong relationships with people in the business. No man is an island and this is certainly a golden rule to remember in Internet marketing. There are a lot of things you can do easier and better with the help of other people, but you won’t get their help if you don’t know how to network and socialize effectively. Of course, networking is a two-way street so be aware that you’ll also have to give favors now and then.

Research!

There may be new things that have been developed today which can help you improve the way you’re managing your time or handling a particular task. Constant and diligent research will put you at the forefront of things, and that’s exactly where you have to be if you wish to multi-task successfully in Internet marketing. Remember: in Internet marketing, being first counts a lot!

Don’t dwell too long on figures.

Multi-tasking requires your mind and body to be on the go all the time! It’s nice to enjoy looking at your extremely high conversion rates for a moment or two. It’s acceptable to ruminate a minute or two why your website hits seems to be dwindling. But what’s not nice or acceptable at all is to spend a huge chunk of your day biting your lip and driving yourself crazy regretting past decisions.

If you’ve done something wrong, figure out why and don’t repeat the mistake. If there’s a chance to rectify the situation, do it. If there’s none then get over it and move on to the next task!

Deal with your email.

It’s not going away any time soon unless you just want to delete them all and risk missing an important email. The best way to deal with unread messages in your inbox is not to procrastinate. Read them and provide a response if required. Don’t let them accumulate into huge numbers as they’ll only serve to depress you and dissuade you from doing what must be done.

Let technology help you.

Having two monitors will allow you to surf, blog, and perform other online tasks more effectively. Use an auto-response system and any software program that can simplify your work. Technology can be a huge help but only if you allow it to be so.

Ultimately, all the factors provided above can be summarized into two things: organization and passion. If you’ve got excellent organization skills and you’re truly devoted to your business then multi-tasking is certainly one step that will take you closer to achieving your goals!