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Text 3: ONLINE SHOPPING





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Text 2: VIRAL MARKETING

Viral marketing is a marketing strategy that relies on individuals rather than traditional campaigns to pass along a message to others. It usually refers to marketing on the Internet. Viral marketing is so named because of the tendency for messages to use "hosts" to spread themselves rapidly, like a biological virus.

The term "viral marketing" first became prominent when used to describe a marketing campaign for the e-mail service Hotmail.com. When the company launched, every outgoing message contained an advertisement for Hotmail and a link to its website at the bottom of the e-mail. As people e-mailed their friends and colleagues, they were also advertising the service. Recipients could simply click on the link and sign themselves up, and as they e-mailed friends from their new account, the message spread within existing social networks and was passed along with little effort from the company.

This example demonstrates all the key elements of viral marketing. Its cost to the advertiser is minimal. Instead, it takes advantage of existing resources by making everyone who uses the product an involuntary spokesperson. It exploits common behaviors, such as sending an e-mail.

Viral marketing uses communications networks that are already in place. In the case of Hotmail, it implies endorsement from a friend. People who received an e-mail from a friend using the service learned that the product works and that their friends use it. And most importantly, viral marketing offers the ability to spread a message exponentially faster and to more people than conventional third-party ad campaigns.

There are different types of viral marketing, all using the same fundamental principles. Pass-along messages encourage users to send them along to others, such as e-mails with instructions to forward at the bottom or humorous video clips. Incentive-driven messages offer rewards in exchange for providing e-mail addresses. Undercover viral marketing presents messages in an unusual page or false news item without any direct incitement to pass it along, in the hopes that word-of-mouth will spread the message. Gossip or buzz marketing seeks to get people talking about something by creating controversy.



From the Internet

Online shopping is the process whereby consumers directly buy goods or services from a seller in real-time over the Internet, without an intermediary service. If an intermediary service is present the process is called electronic commerce. An online shop, eshop, e-store, internet shop, webshop, webstore, online store, or virtual store evokes the physical analogy of buying products or services in a shopping mall.

In 1990 Tim Berners-Lee created the first World Wide Web server and browser. It opened for commercial use in 1991. In 1994 other advances took place, such as online banking and the opening of an online pizza shop by Pizza Hut. During that same year, Netscape introduced SSL encryption of data transferred online, which has become essential for secure online shopping. Also in 1994 the German company Intershop introduced its first online shopping system. In 1995 Amazon launched its online shopping site, and in 1996 eBay appeared.

In order to shop online, one must be able to have access to a computer, a bank account and a debit card. Consumers find a product of interest by visiting the website of the retailer directly, or do a search across many different vendors using a shopping search engine. Once a particular product has been found on the web site of the seller, most online retailers use shopping cart software to allow the consumer to accumulate multiple items and to adjust quantities, by analogy with filling a physical shopping cart or basket in a conventional store. A "checkout" process follows (continuing the physical-store analogy) in which payment and delivery information is collected, if necessary. The consumer often receives an e-mail confirmation once the transaction is complete.

Online shoppers commonly use credit card to make payments, however some systems enable users to create accounts and pay by alternative means, such as:

Billing to mobile phones and landlines

Cash on delivery (C.O.D., offered by very few online stores)

Check

Debit card

Direct debit in some countries

Electronic money of various types

Gift cards

Postal money order

Wire transfer/delivery on payment.

From the Internet

 

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