In the article you will learn how the development of the Internet from the business and sales side shapes modern professional and business competences, also in a cross-border perspective.

The importance of the Internet for building and developing professional and business competitiveness


From the very beginning of its existence, the primary goal of the Internet was to improve communication between websites located in different places in the real world. The priority was to optimize data transfer, as well as sharing key information.

After nearly 30 years of operation of the Internet, it can be argued without a doubt that the importance of a virtual network today is far from what was originally expected. Progress in this area has exceeded all initial anticipations and has revolutionized almost all areas of human life. As users, we feel it every day when we need to search for specific information, perform certain activities or share our observations. We have a tool at our disposal that meets the needs of modern man in every respect. Undoubtedly, it is difficult to imagine the functioning of individuals without access to the virtual world, even if it is also associated with numerous threats.

The development of the Internet would not be possible without the involvement of companies and businesses which already in the 90s of the twentieth century saw the enormous potential of the network in shaping relations with their consumers. Broadly understood e-marketing is still the main engine of progress in the field of virtual world optimization. Every year, new solutions appear, which on the one hand facilitate the functioning of the average user, but on the other hand, provide entrepreneurs with better and better tools for implementing and developing their online businesses. Naturally, it is debatable to what extent the Internet should be commercialized, but without this area the benefits of the Internet would be much more limited.

At this point, it is worth realizing what it actually is an online business. By online business we mean any business that uses digital technology. In practice, this means that a company with e-mail addresses is an example of a company that operates in the area of ​​online business. Therefore, you do not have to sell via the Internet at all to be included in the broadly understood online business market. Of course, e-mail accounts are just one example, most companies take advantage of many technological innovations, usually without realizing that this is online business. In common understanding, online business is naturally equated with sales, but selling on the Internet is only one of the online business areas.

In order to distinguish online business from e-sales, the term e-commerce can be used, which is rightly understood as electronic commerce, i.e. trade conducted through electronic technology, including, for example, the Internet. However, while at the very beginning it was about selling physical (tangible) goods, today the meaning of e-commerce is much wider and also includes other products offered on the Internet. It can be said that modern e-commerce is the promotion, sale and distribution of products, i.e. goods, services, information and other values, using electronic technology. In this sense, e-commerce is an area of ​​online business activity focused primarily on the paid delivery of products to recipients, i.e. e-sales.

It is hard to imagine modern companies and businesses that do not use the Internet to sell and / or promote their products. Online, you can sell not only physical goods (e.g. clothing, electronics, books, cosmetics, etc.). This is just one of 8 product categories that are currently offered for sale worldwide. Online products are, in the broadest sense, all things and values ​​offered and sold via the web. The use of the term “online products” does not mean, however, that these products exist only in the virtual world. Every product of the real economy becomes an online product when the Internet is used for its broadly understood distribution. In the modern sense, every sale on the Internet is therefore an e-commerce activity.

E-commerce solutions are naturally implemented by stationary businesses (local stores, restaurants, etc.), for which the Internet is an additional, and sometimes even the main sales channel. This is also what Internet businesses (e.g. online shops) do, which do not have a real presence. Due to the increasingly stronger competition from both domestic and foreign entities and the growing demands of consumers (the so-called prosumers), only those companies and businesses that have managed to implement a professional online presence optimally adapted to their target group are increasingly successful in commercial terms.

Presence means simply the activities of a company or business on the web, i.e. having your website, social profiles, etc., while professionalism is undoubtedly the contemporary added value that determines whether we have sales, what sales we have and whether we create loyal returning customers. . Professionalism can also be called a Unique Sales Offer (USP), which gives companies and businesses huge competitive advantages and opportunities for long-term success , i.e. building a professional brand that will stay in the user’s / customer’s mind for a long time and guarantee adequate profitability necessary for long-term survival on the market.

Here, it is undoubtedly necessary to emphasize the fact that all online businesses, e-commerce activities and professional online presence are created by people who have key competences to properly use the broadly understood e-marketing tools to serve their selected target group. E-marketing includes all activities leading to the provision of appropriate offers to the relevant recipients, i.e. activities related to market research and the needs of potential customers, production, promotion, sale and distribution. At each stage, specialists are needed whose know-how will contribute to the optimal use of the company’s resources and commercial success.

This is best illustrated by modern startups, i.e. companies built from scratch and often operating in the area of ​​new technologies. At the stage of building such an undertaking, programmers (developers), e-commerce specialists, specialists in promotional activities, positioning (SEO), social media, e-mail marketing, etc. are gathered. Each area of ​​activity is now a separate profession, for which there is a growing demand. Professionals who are able to support companies and businesses in building their professional presentations can usually count on very good cooperation offers. The fact that these competences are universal, and therefore can be used in various industries and market segments, is also of key importance here.

Online business and e-commerce are undoubtedly the future of any economy. More and more companies and businesses will strive to implement, optimize or develop their online presence, as this is undoubtedly the fastest way to reach the consumer. Proportionally to this, the demand for appropriate competences in the field of online business and e-commerce will also grow.

For the labor market, this means the need to reorient and shift the focus from traditional competences to modern ones. This does not mean, of course, that every employee will have to have the skills to build websites, implement promotional campaigns or run social profiles of their companies. Rather, it is about consciously supplementing the existing qualifications with new competences, which, on the one hand, will increase the professional competitiveness of employees, and, on the other hand, will open the way for their own business activity. It is already visible today that the so-called employee market concerns mainly those professions that are directly related to the Internet.

The virtual world is a world without borders and it is much easier to implement a market development strategy now than a dozen years ago. It is enough to open an online store in a different language and direct your offer to foreign customers. The only challenge remains logistics, but here too numerous businesses specializing in servicing this type of activity have already been established. In practice, each company may be tempted to sell its products abroad, and specialists who will have the appropriate competences to implement such a solution can count on high professional and business attractiveness.

At this point, it is worth mentioning the possibilities related to cross-border areas, which are by definition oriented towards crossing borders. In the coming years, we can imagine an even greater demand for specialists who are able to support companies and businesses from one country in e-marketing activities in another country. Apart from modern competences related to the Internet, there is also a local advantage here resulting from the knowledge of border areas. It is certainly a combination that should be taken into account when planning your professional and business career.

dr Przemysław Jóskowiak
dr Przemysław Jóskowiak
Founder of EECOM (European Institute for E-commerce), owner of Stratego24, a practitioner with many years of experience, author of know-how courses "E-business in practice", "E-marketing in practice", "Business & Management", "E-commerce in practice", "Promotional campaign on the web", "Social media in e-commerce", "WordPress in e-commerce" and know-how manuals for companies and businesses on building a professional presence on the web, lecturer at the University of Warsaw and UO UW, expert at the Incubator of the University of Warsaw
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