While there have been many technological advances that have had a positive impact on the world, few have had the same impact as the Internet. Few people realize that the Internet began its life as a humble global communications device for the military, especially considering that millions of people use it every day to keep in touch, get the latest gossip, and even to conduct business. Many businesses have moved away from the traditional brick and mortar model in favor of the dynamic, fast-paced world of conducting business online. This shift has had a huge impact on the global economy and has often been referred to as “the new economy”.

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Regardless of what it is called, having an online presence and conducting business is vital for companies in all industries in order to grow and thrive. E-commerce is growing steadily by the day and those companies who don’t embrace the shift will find themselves left behind.

But, what are the benefits to having an e-business?

Studies show that businesses that conduct a large portion of their business activities online not only save money, it also saves time and helps improve communication between the company and its customers. Business processes become more streamlined and sales increase thanks to having a much larger audience.

And the benefits of conducting business on the Web don’t stop there. For many e-commerce businesses, it’s as straightforward as buying a product from a website. However, for larger companies, it means that many business processes can not only be automated on the Web, but can be accessible by anyone, anywhere, with just a computer and an Internet connection.

For businesses just starting out on the Internet, whether they intend to conduct 100% of their business online or just a portion, it is important to understand the differences between e-commerce and traditional brick and mortar business practices in order to be successful. Finding information regarding what practices are the best for particular types of businesses and how to set up an e-commerce presence can be daunting. However, there are plenty of websites out there designed to help companies develop their online persona and move them towards e-commerce nirvana. Companies like Report.com offer things like a web business 101 blog and other reference material that can help any company formulate a sound online foundation, regardless of the type of business they conduct and how long they have been in business. Taking advantage of such materials will help make the online transition easier as well as provide a solid foundation for success.