Electronic Commerce – eCommerce
The term electronic commerce (eCommerce) is used to denote the set of transactions for the sale of goods and services between the producer (supply) and consumer (demand), made via the Internet. In the telecommunications industry may be considered e-commerce as the set of dedicated applications to commercial transactions. According to a third definition of electronic commerce (eCommerce) is the communication and management of business through electronic means such as EDI (Electronic Data Interchange) and automated data collection.
Evolution of the term eCommerce
The meaning of the term “electronic commerce (eCommerce)” has changed over time. At first indicated support for commercial transactions electronically, usually using a technology called Electronic Data Interchange (EDI, introduced in the late seventies) to send commercial documents like purchase orders or invoices electronically.
Later were added the functions that can be known more accurately as “e-commerce – the purchase of goods and services via the World Wide Web using secure servers (HTTPS characterized the address, a protocol that encrypts sensitive customer data contained in the purchase details for the purpose of protecting the consumer), with payment services online, as authorized for payment by credit card.
Key factors for success in e-commerce
To create an e-commerce success takes a few key factors. Among the main note:
- Generating value for our clients. The seller can achieve this by offering a product or set which attracts potential customers at a competitive price as in traditional commerce.
- Service offerings and performance. The range of shopping experience with a high level of information with a friendly tone to the client as if we were in the shop below the house can afford to achieve these goals.
- Make a website attractive. The correct combination of colors, graphics, animation, images, typefaces, and a relationship between space and page space occupied by text and images can be decisive in this respect.
- Encouraging customers to purchase and subsequent retention. Trade policy in this regard may include coupons, special offers and various types of discounts. It may be useful also to the use of affiliate sites with the creation of link exchange as well as the realization of common advertising to other sites.
- Personalized relationship with customers. Websites that are customizable by the customer as possible, or through special interfaces, purchase suggestions and special offers on a personal basis can be effective substitutes for a direct customer-committed as occurs in traditional stores.
- Organizing a sense of community among visitors. Chat, discussion groups on the Internet, to receive suggestions from visitors, loyalty programs and trade integration with other sites can help strengthen the feeling among users.
- 7. Offer reliability and safety. Parallel servers, hardware redundancy, fault-tolerant technology, data encryption and firewalls can improve this aspect.
- The relationship with customers should be pursued as a full field, ensuring that all employees, suppliers and partners have a unique and complete vision of the client. But be careful because the customer might not like Big Brother type of experience, considering it too intrusive.
- Management of all commercial customer experience. The online retailers develop this aspect of managing every customer contact as if it were part of an experience, which in turn identifies with the brand.
- Streamlining business processes, possibly through the use of a re-engineering and information technology.
- Making a site easy to use without assistance, a self-service so that customers are independent. In this way, customers will feel more independent and autonomous.
- Assist clients in their consumers. The online retailers can help customers by offering assistance with broad comparative information about products and services and with good search capabilities. The presence of component information and comments on health and safety of products can support online retailers to identify the functions to be assigned to customers.
- Making a solid business model. If this factor had been present in the manuals of 2000, probably the majority of that time would not be dot.com failure.
- Design a computer industry, in which each participant focuses on a number of “limited” powers of the goods or services – that is the opposite of overall activity (shops online, depending on how they were planned, may seem generalist or specialist).
- Keep up to date as possible with regard to technological solutions on the site, bearing in mind that the basis of trade remain unchanged.
- Making an organization able to respond nimbly and quickly to changes that will occur in the economic, social and physical society in which we operate.
Issues of electronic commerce (eCommerce)
Even if a supplier of goods and services Electronic commerce (eCommerce) follow strictly the above 16 “key” to implement a strategy of selling online, but can also arise difficulties. Among the major include:
- Defects understanding of customer behavior, ie how and why they buy a certain product. If producers and sellers are unable to grasp the buying habits of consumers, as well as expectations and motivations, even a noble or renowned product may not achieve sales targets set. Electronic commerce (eCommerce) could avoid this potential problem with market research and targeted more aggressive, similar to those undertaken by traditional sales channels.
- Lack of analysis of the competitive scenario. You can have the technical capability to achieve business selling books online, but may be missing the will to compete with Amazon.com.
- Inability to predict the reactions in the environment in which the company operates. What will competitors? Introduce our brands to compete with or may create websites similar to ours and compete with us. Expand the services offered? They will try to sabotage a competitor’s site? Burst price war? How will the government? To mitigate these possible consequences is advisable to analyze the competition, industry sectors and markets involved, just as you would if a traditional activity.
- Overestimation of business skills. Employees, the system hardware, selected software and information flows among these subjects, can master the strategy all along? The online retailers have failed to properly train their employees and develop the necessary skills?. These issues may require a more detailed resource planning and training of employees expanded.
- Lack of coordination. If the controls and reporting are not enough, you can change the organizational structure by adopting a more flexible, reliable and straightforward, although it is said that this change in order to achieve a better internal coordination.
- Inability in securing the commitment of top management. Often the main effect means unable to attain a specific corporate goal due to limited resources allocated to it. It is advisable to involve from the outset in the new venture top management of electronic commerce (eCommerce).
- Inability in securing commitment from employees. If designers do not translate clearly their strategy to undergo, or fail to delineate their full context in which they operate, a remedy may be to offer a course dedicated to training as well as to establish a incentive scheme for employees.
- Underestimating the time required to achieve the business objectives. The implementation of an enterprise e-commerce may require a considerable investment of time and money, and inability to understand the proper sequence and timing of business processes relating to these transactions may lead to significant cost increases, than budgeted. A basic project planning, analysis of such critical path, critical chain, or PERT can alleviate the discomfort. The ability to generate profits may be sacrificed to achieve a certain market share.
- Inability to comply with planning time. A lack of verification of compliance with the targets initially as well as a reduced control of corporate performance than assumed in the planning stage, may raise difficulties in conducting business. You can overcome these drawbacks with traditional enterprise management tools: benchmarks (indicators of the competitors taken as reference), internal performance targets, indicators and changes in business analysis, establishing penalties for obtaining or negative performance, conversely, rewards for achieving business goals, and, finally, measures to realign the business.
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