Internet Essay

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EXECUTIVE SUMMARY Since the late 1990s, the Internet has attracted considerable attention from retailers as a potentially important and lucrative marketspace in which their marketing and retail activities can be conducted both efficiently and economically. Considerable numbers of businesses and persons wishing to supply information or sell goods and services to the public have been attracted to the Internet, extending daily activities, including shopping, to an unlimited virtual world. Initial predictions were that the combination of technological sophistication, equipment power, and ease of use, in conjunction with the supporting infrastructure, would make electronic purchasing widespread in the United States by 2005. However, after a brief spurt in 1999, the rate of growth of Internet retailing declined, with many pure-players failing and falling out of this new xxvi Executive Summary virtual marketspace altogether. Internet retailers have been striving for increased sales and profitability since. Until now, the profitability of e-tailers has not been substantial enough to improve their stock prices, although Internet shopping is now a mainstream activity. Widespread and instrumental adoption of the Internet as a shopping medium is the key that will ultimately drive online sales and profitability. However, the interactive and widely connected web-based marketspace enables today’s consumers to be even more demanding. It is far more challenging to attract and retain customers in the online environment than in the traditional one. Therefore, there is a growing need for a better understanding of consumers’ behavior in the commercial online setting. The research examines consumers’ adoption of the Internet as a shopping medium through an integrated perspective of innovation adoption and the consumer decision-making process. This research proposes a conceptual

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