Web applications are popular due to the ubiquity of web browsers, and the convenience of using a web browser as a client, sometimes called a thin client. The ability to update and maintain web applications without distributing and installing software on potentially thousands of client computers is a key reason for their popularity, as is the inherent support for cross-platform compatibility. Common web applications include webmail, online retail sales, online auctions, and many other functions.
Over the past decade or so, the web has been embraced by millions of businesses as an inexpensive channel to communicate and exchange information with prospects and transactions with customers.
In particular, the web provides a way for marketers to get to know the people visiting their sites and start communicating with them. One way of doing this is asking web visitors to subscribe to newsletters, to submit an application form when requesting information on products or provide details to customize their browsing experience when next visiting a particular website.
The web is also an excellent sales channel for a myriad of organizations, large or small: with over 1 billion Internet users today