Impact of the internet adoption for small businesses in Malaysia

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Introduction

The Internet

According to Hamil (1997) stated that the efficiency and effectively medium used for accessing, organizing, and communicating information is representing the Internet. The presence on the Internet in the advanced economies is establishing from multinational or domestic whether it’s large or small (Duffy & Dale, 2000).

There are 888 million users of Internet for worldwide in 2004 and it is expected to growth until 1.35 billion by 2007 (eTForecast, 2004 &Internet World Stats, 2005). In the global online population, Asia rank the highest percentage followed by Europe and then North America with Asia is 34, Europe is 29.2 and North America is 24.9 (Internet World Stats, 2005). English is the main medium of instruction for the Internet and the online population is declining for its dominance in the Web while the Chinese and Spanish speaking users are lesser extent but the Japanese users are on the rise (Glreach.com, 2004). The world most populous and developing nations such as China, India, Indonesia, and Brazil has forecasted that there will be a little growth of the internet users (eTForecasts, 2004). Internet use and access is uneven across countries due to global reach as the population of internet users in South Korea is 63.3 per cent, Malaysia is 35.9 per cent, and Thailand is 12.8 per cent. The overall population internet users of these 3 countries just make up only 3.6 per cent of India population (World States, 2005).

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According to Peterson et al (1997), the accessing to online market surveys, newspapers and journals, country and industry market research, trade lists of suppliers, agents, distributors, and government contacts in a large number of countries are the reasons of the firms’ access to Internet. Internet can play a role as intermediaries between producer and users that mainly in collection, collation, interpretation, and distribution of information (Liang et al, 2004 & Quelch & Klein, 1996). Internet provides a flexible, reliable, and low-cost method if compared to other means of communication such as telephone, fax, and post (Poon & Jevons, 1997).

In the existing marketing activity, Internet is playing a supporting role (Hazel, 1996). The traditional dominance of fixed location stores will be replaced by a new retail format which is provided by Internet (Evans, 1996 & Van Tassel & Weitz, 1997). Internet is the means of communicating information about retail organization, products, and services (Bruno, 1997). In the US, retailer view the Internet as an emergence marketing communication tools that used to attracting new customers, penetrating new markets, promoting company’s brand, and improving customer retention (Ernst & Young, 1997).

Small Business Enterprise (SME) and the Internet

Small business enterprise is independently owned and operated where it is not dominant in its field,

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