Key themes and concepts

This chapter addresses two key themes, which are central to understanding how businesses are utilising Internet technologies to serve consumer markets:

1 Online customers: this section focuses on online consumer demographics, the key factors which determine online expectations in terms of choice and service quality and the key drivers of online purchasing behaviour.

2 E-retailing: this section examines firstly the online B2C trading environment focusing on why retail businesses are going online and ways in which companies are using the Internet to serve consumer markets; and secondly, which retailers are trading online, the range of activities they are offering and the type of products and services they are selling.

Within this chapter, industry case studies are provided as illustrative examples of consumer and retailer behaviour in the online trading environment. Additionally, academic articles are introduced to support underlying theoretical issues and concepts.

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