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Comparing Three B2b Or B2c Web Strategies

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I. Introduction

The worldwide network of computers, called "Internet", provides opportunities for a company to do business in cyberspace. Organisations find it more and more important to represent them on the Internet to get more customers, to increase the public's awareness of the companies and their products, and to sell more of their products. However, corporate leaders are finding it difficult to keep up with fast-moving markets and the customer conditions that are the hallmark of the Internet. There are numerous and widely varying predictions of the potential of doing business via the Internet, including the increasing numbers of people with Internet access, of corporate Web sites, of Web spending by advertisers, and of total online shopping. Yet, confusion abounds concerning exactly what is happening, how much potential there really is, and what businesses should be doing to take advantage of it. The very nature of commerce on the Net can be baffling, even to the experienced marketer. Both businesses and consumers perceive many obstacles to successful online commerce. In order to successfully cultivate online market share, companies are compelled to design marketing strategies specifically for the information highway.

I.A. Popularity of the Internet

From its comparatively humble beginnings in the 1960s as a means for protecting US mainframe computer systems in the Cold War, to a 1970s link for scientists and academics to share data and research, the Internet has blossomed in the 1990s into the information age's curious marriage of the personal computer and citizens' band radio (Hof and Verity, 1994), instantaneously linking a user with the whole electronic world and providing the means to interact with that world. This explosive growth of the Internet, including commercial networks and services, has been accompanied by an astounding increase in the population of Internet users. The huge potential of customers and consumers has businesses scrambling to get on to the Web, with its low cost and broad reach. Millions of people worldwide can utilize the Web's affordable and easy access to view product, service and information offerings from an unknown number of potential entrepreneurs. (Chaffey et. al., 2003)

Estimates say that the business side of the Internet is small today, but with untold billions in potential sales looming ahead. The prospect of millions of bright, well-educated, upwardly mobile people searching for some new outlet in which to spend their money has been too attractive for many businesses to ignore, in spite of slow initial momentum (Johnson, 1995). Estimates of such explosive growth have either lured businesses into planning for Internet marketing or scared them to death because they are not prepared for it.

I.B. Nature of business on the Net

Although the commercial market of the Internet might be small today, it is likely to grow tremendously in the future. Millions of people all over the world can view the contents of the worldwide Internet. It has become affordable and easy to get access to the Internet and most potential customers like to see companies represent themselves there. Customers can search the products of a company and can ask questions directly without having the inconvenience of leaving home. However, a business's traditional strategies are not likely to be appropriate, and thus directly transferable, to electronic commerce. (Allun et. al., 2000)

II. Part - A

The industry selected is the telecommunication industry and the three key players are:

1.Telstra - www.telstra.com.au

2.Optus - www.optus.com.au

3. Primus - www.iprimus.com.au

All the three players compete in Australia. Before conducting the strategic review, comparing their mix, and sales quality their websites are examined individually to know what are the products/services they offer online, their strengths and then discuss other e-marketing issues later in this report.

II.1. Telstra.com.au

Telestra Profile

Telstra is Australia's leading telecommunications and information services company, with one of the best-known brands in Australia. They offer a full range of services and compete in all telecommunications markets throughout Australia, providing more than 10.3 million Australian fixed line (Telephone lines) and more than 6.5 million mobile services.

Their main activities include the provision of:

* basic access services to most homes and businesses in Australia;

* local and long distance telephone calls in Australia and international calls to and from Australia;

* mobile telecommunications services; a comprehensive range of data and internet services;

* management of business customers' IT and/or telecommunications services; wholesale services to other carriers and carriage service providers;

* advertising, directories and information services;

* and cable distribution services for FOXTEL's cable subscription television services.

Strength

One of Telstra's major strengths in providing integrated telecommunications services is their vast geographical coverage through both our fixed and mobile network infrastructure. This network and systems infrastructure underpins the carriage and termination of the majority of Australia's domestic and international voice and data telephony traffic.

Online Services

Services, which are offered through quick links in the homepage, are as follows, and their links are explained along with them.

Billing & Payments - pay your home, business or mobile phone bills online...

Telstra Shop - browse and buy the latest mobile phones and plans...

Online Tools - access Web Mail, send an SMS via the web, change your ring tone and more...

Investor Relations - share price, financial reports and more...

Telstra Country Wide® - services and support for regional Australia...

Home Phone Services - plans and features to suit your

...

...

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