At the turn of the twenty-first century, global communication is changing the fabric of society at a rate never experienced before. The traditional style of business and commerce is no longer competitive globally. The internet, in particular, has redrawn the map of global economy. To be competitive in today’s marketplace, companies need to expand commercial activities beyond international borders. There is no more physical border in the Net world. The global network of electronic infrastructure has played a significant role in this expansion but the technology itself is not the factor driving the business revolution. The changes are driven by the interaction of information technology and customer demand. Customers not only adapting to the new technologies, they are demanding more and more global competitions.
Electronic commerce therefore, is arguably the most important economic trend of our time. Its presence on the internet, in particular, is becoming crucial to the effective functioning of organizations, especially in a world where companies need deal with suppliers, customers, partners and their own units distributed across the world. A global industry and business is created by the internet is no longer a projected vision of technocrats; it is a reality. The internet is already played an important role in determining corporate strategy and in creating values.
This world wide popularity of the Internet as a commercial medium is remarkable, to say the least. However, along with the creation of enormous opportunities, it is becoming clear that the Internet has also brought new perils and pitfalls. Companies who invest in this emerging market find that customers, while demanding more global competition, are still reluctant to actually buy products that are advertised on the internet. Corporate managers are not keen on spending their workdays on the Internet, hence the growing interest in Webcasting, such as the broadcasting of selected Websites onto users’ computers. Users who are still immensely interested in the internet are becoming disillusioned with some of its early promises and are hungry for a more balanced perspective on what the Internet can do for them, both in the business and the social arena.
Large companies are growing larger, small business are getting smaller and disappearing. What is the future for the self=employed and the small business as electronic commerce expands globally? Therefore, the Internet commerce emerged to correct this defect. Internet commerce was initially touted to be the tool that will enable small businesses to compete on an equal footing with the large companies and firms by being able to engage in global marketing, to directly access to potential customers, and to carry out the electronic commerce. The reality is, of course more complex. Although the Internet has not brought the increased sales as expected for small businesses, it is proved to be a valuable communication medium for improving relationship between sellers and customers, and an information transferring channel. Many Internet experts are optimistic about the future of small business that applied Internet commerce, providing issues such as cross-border trading, government support and trust are resolved. As Internet communication is one of the most useful components in the Internet commerce, especially for small businesses, an understanding of social and cultural aspects of mediated communication is important.