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A history of internet purchasing: suggestions for web‐based entrepreneurs and SMEs

Alun Epps (Business School, Middlesex University Dubai, Dubai, United Arab Emirates)
Robert Govers (Consortium University of Leuven, Heverlee, Belgium)
Frank M. Go (Centre for Tourism Marketing, Department of Marketing Management, Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University, Rotterdam, The Netherlands)

Journal of Research in Marketing and Entrepreneurship

ISSN: 1471-5201

Article publication date: 31 December 2008




The purpose of this paper is to examine the marketing developments since 1992 at the interface of information and communication technology (ICT) from a marketing channel and consumer perspective.


The research method used was a review of contemporary literature in the field of ICT with particular emphasis on the internet in relation to web‐based purchasing behaviour. This paper examines the usage of the medium as an aide to shopping and selling since its inception and suggests future directions and areas for further investigation.


The findings chronicle the evolution of the internet from a mere tool to enable web‐based shopping to an entity that is able to think; and with the possibility of being able to express or channel emotions and social interaction among users.

Research limitations/implications

This research, whilst purporting to be a conceptual theory building paper, based on thorough literature review, would by no means pretend to be comprehensive and aims to engender further scholarly discussion and empirical testing

Practical implications

In what ever way the web‐based entrepreneur and small to medium‐sized enterprise view the internet, it is not a business‐facilitator to be ignored; and those that do not treat it with the urgency and seriousness that it deserves, do so at their peril.


The paper suggests a novel way of viewing what we have come to take for granted. It is hoped that the discussions will be of value to academics and practitioners alike.



Epps, A., Govers, R. and Go, F.M. (2008), "A history of internet purchasing: suggestions for web‐based entrepreneurs and SMEs", Journal of Research in Marketing and Entrepreneurship, Vol. 10 No. 1, pp. 4-18.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2008, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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