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To be successful, e-business stakeholders should remember that people are still the main users of e-business applications. The web site of an e-business might in many cases be the main "front" of the business to the outside community. It's very important to make the web interface user-friendly as well as ensure that the navigation of the web site is acceptable to all types of users. As discussed in this article, the users of your system could be categorized into various types, depending how they use the web site. Market research should be done to determine the category of users who are mostly likely to be the user base for your business, and the web site should be designed with these users in mind.

In the past, businesses and online ventures devoted much of their energy and marketing efforts to winning customers and increasing market share. While this is still important, it's now more important to build on the existing customer base and strengthen relationships with existing customers. In the web world, customer loyalty goes a long way in increasing revenues. A research conducted by the Harvard Business Review indicated that it cost about six to ten times as much in marketing and advertising costs to obtain a new customer as to retain an existing customer. Unfortunately, the same research revealed that less than 40% of the customers in an e-commerce environment were repeat customers.

Targeting a particular audience in an e-business essentially involves three steps:

  1. Managing user profiles.

  2. Segmenting users to various categories based on their profiles.

  3. Managing content for various categories.

When it comes to customers, the web world is not much different from the "brick and mortar" world. Customers like to deal with businesses that they feel comfortable with. Some of the techniques discussed in this article should help you in understanding the needs of specific types of audiences and how you can cater to those needs.

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