With the maturity of Internet technology and low cost of networking, the Internet is like an “adhesive” to bind businesses, groups, organizations and individuals together across time and space, and making the exchange of information between them become “so easy.” Of Marketing, the most important and most essential is information dissemination and exchange between organizations and individuals. If there is no exchange of information, then the transaction has no source. For this reason, the Internet has certain features which are required in marketing to make internet marketing possesses the following characteristics:
- Not subject to the limitations of time and domain. The ultimate goal of marketing is occupy market share. Because the Internet can exchange information by transcending time and space constraints, firms have more time and more space for marketing. They could provide global marketing anytime and anywhere.
- Rich media. The Internet was designed to transmit multimedia information, such as text, sound, image and so on information. Thus making the deal of exchange of information can exist and exchange in many forms, moreover, marketing staff can fully develop their creativity and initiative.
- Interactive. With the display of merchandise image, the provision of commodity information query, internet capable to achieve interaction and communication between supply and demand. It can also conduct product testing.
- Consumer satisfaction degree feedback and other activities. Internet provides the best tools for product co-design, product information release, and the various technical services.
- Personalization. Internet marketing has features of one to one, rational, consumer-led, non-compulsory, and progressive. Besides, it brings about low-cost and personalized promotion form, which exactly avoids a salesman compulsory sale which lies in traditional promotion. Moreover, a long-term good relation with consumers would be easily built up during the special information provision and interactive chat process.
- Go on growing. Owing to the growing numbers of Internet users and throughout the world, most of these users are young, middle-class and high educational standards. As this part of the group has a strong market, strong purchasing power and influence, and therefore the internet marketing has a strong populace basis and a great potential for the development of market.
- Integration. Internet marketing able to links the vital activities in marketing, commodity information collection, customer inquiries, purchase, payment, as well as after-sales service as a whole sale line, makes the marketing more convenient. On the other hand, to make use of the Internet, different marketing activities would be unified designed coordinated, in order to convey the same information to consumers, preventing the spread of various negative effects of inconsistency.
- Advancement. In my view, Internet is the most powerful marketing tool. It encompasses marketing channel, promotion, electronic transaction and interactive customer service, market information analysis and delivery of a variety of functions. Moreover, it has a one to one marketing capability, which is consistent with future trends of customized marketing and direct marketing.
- High efficiency. Computer has the ability of store vast amounts of information and inquiries automatically. The amount and accuracy of information it carries and transmits is far more than other media, so it is better to attain market demand. Through updating the product or adjusting the price promptly, they can meet customer needs more effectively.
- Economy. In virtual of present exchange of information through the Internet instead of the previous exchange ways, on the one hand, it reduces printing and mailing costs, people can enjoy rent-free, as well as free of water and labor costs. On the other hand, losses caused by multiple exchanges can be reduced.
- Technology-supportive. Network marketing is built on Internet which was supported by high-tech, a firm wants to conduct network marketing must have a certain technical investments and technical support. At the same time, it may changes the traditional organizational form, and to enhance information management function, as well as introduces talents who proficient in both IT and marketing. Therefore the firm can have sustainable competitive advantage.
Of course, it has limitations. One barrier is internet marketing requires users to grasp newer technologies rather than traditional media. Low-speed Internet connections are another barrier. In the scenario which companies build large or overly-complicated websites, delay might be caused because of long-time connections. From the buyer’s perspective, they are not allows to touch, smell, taste or try on goods before making an online purchase. However, there is an industry standard for e-commerce vendors to reassure customers by having liberal return policies as well as providing in-store pick-up services.