E Commerce 3432 - Essay Example

An e-commerce solution for a business is the incorporation of all aspects of the

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business operation into an electronic format. Many well-established businesses

have been selling on-line for years. For example, Dell Computers Corp., has been

selling computers directly to end-users for years. Currently, Dell is selling

excessive of 1 million dollars worth of computers everyday on the World Wide Web

(WWW). When a business has incorporated an e-commerce solution, the business

will experience a lower operation cost while at the same time increasing its

profit. The e-commerce solution will allow businesses to eliminate unnecessary

paperwork. All paperwork and data can be transformed into an electronic format.

Thus, it will eliminate valuable shelf space and data can be searched and

accessed in matter of seconds. E-commerce will also automates the sales process.

Customers can “point & click” on the products they wish to

purchase, fill out the customer information, and the product will be shipped and

received in a matter of few days. The administration department does not have to

fill out any paperwork because the customer had done it already. Thus, the

efficiency will be greatly improved. With an e-commerce solution, the business

will be open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. People from anywhere in the world

with an Internet access will be able to visit the site at any time. They will

not be restricted to the “normal” business operating hours. A

“brick + mortar” business is normally limited to serving the customers

in its local geographical location. With an e-commerce solution, that business

will not be limited a geographical restriction, rather it opens itself to the

global on-line market. Essentially, the business’ market exposure will be

greatly increased. In conducting my study, I have researched extensively on the

Internet for resources. I chose the Internet as my primary research medium

because e-commerce is still a fairly new technology. Since it is technology

related, the Internet will provide the most recent data available. Printed

publications will not be able to adapt to changes as fast and efficient as

electronic publications. I researched many e-commerce related web sites along

with some companies that conduct statistical studies. Some of the e-commerce web

sites that I looked into are E-Commerce Times, eRetail, and eMarketer. The

statistical research firms that I researched are Forrester Research and Jupiter

Communication. Both firms provided valuable statistical data that shows the rise

of consumers shopping on-line and the predicted dollar amount that will be spent

in the coming years. Methods In conducting my study, I completed the following

tasks: – I searched extensively on the Internet for sites that are e-commerce

related. Upon visiting the sites, I evaluated each site for the contents,

thoroughness, and objectiveness. There are literally hundreds of sites that are

devoted to e-commerce. However, after my careful examination of most of them, I

narrowed down to four sites that I will research for this report. – I have also

researched many firms that conduct statistical researches. The two firms that I

will be utilizing for this report are Forrester Research and Jupiter

Communication. Both firms are known for their preciseness, non-objectiveness,

and thoroughness. The statistical data I collected from these two firms will

support my recommendation that every business should have an e-commerce solution

implemented. Results From my research, I have developed fifteen reasons why

every business should incorporate an e-commerce solution into the business

operation. They are listed below. 1. To Establish A Presence There are

approximately 70 million people worldwide that have access to the World Wide Web

(WWW). No matter what industry or business one is in, one can not ignore 70

million people. To be part of that on-line community, one would need to be on

the WWW for them. Because if one doe not do it, one’s competitor definitely

will. 2. To Network A lot of what passes for business is simply nothing more

than making connections with other people. Every smart businessperson knows, it

is not what one knows, it is whom one knows. Passing out one’s business card is

part of every good meeting and every businessperson can tell more than one story

how a chance meeting turned into the big deal. Well, what if one could pass out

the business card to thousands, maybe millions of potential clients and

partners, saying this is what I do and if you are ever in need of my services,

this is how you can reach me. One can, 24 hours a day, inexpensively and simply,

on the WWW. 3. To Make Business Information Available What is basic business

information? Think of a Yellow Pages ad. What are one’s business hours? What

does one do? How can someone contact the business? What method of payment does

one take? Where is the business located? Now think of a Yellow Pages ad where

one can have instant communication. What is today’s special? Today’s interest

rate? Next week’s parking lot sale information? If one could keep one’s customer

informed of every reason why they should do business with them; doesn’t one

think one could do more business? One can on the WWW. 4. To Serve the Customers

Making business information available is one of the most important ways to serve

the customers. But if one looks at serving the customer, one will find even more

ways to use WWW technology. How about making forms available to pre-qualify for

loans, or have one’s staff do a search for that classic jazz record one’s

customer is looking for, without tying up one’s staff on the phone to take down

the information? Allow the customer to punch in sizes and check it against a

database that tells him what color of jacket is available in one’s store? All

this can be done, simply and quickly, on the WWW. 5. To Heighten Public Interest

One won’t get Newsweek magazine to write up about one’s local store opening, but

one might get them to write up one’s Web Page address if it is something new and

interesting. Even if Newsweek would write about one’s local store opening, one

would not benefit from someone in a distant city reading about it, unless of

course, they were coming to one’s town sometime soon. With Web page information,

anybody anywhere who can access the Internet and hears about one’s site is a

potential visitor to one’s Web site and a potential customer for one’s

information there. 6. To Release Time Sensitive Material What if one’s materials

need to be released no earlier than midnight? The quarterly earnings statement,

the grand prize winner, the press kit for the much-anticipated film, the merger

news? Well, one sent out the materials to the press with

“The-do-not-release-before-such-and-such-time” statement and hope for

the best. Now the information can be made available at midnight or any time one

specifies, with all related materials such as photographs, bios, etc. released

at exactly the same time. Imagine the anticipation of “All materials will

be made available on our Web site at 12:01 AM”. The scoop goes to those

that wait for the information to be posted not the one who releases one’s

information early. 7. To Sell Things Many people think that this is the number

one thing to do with the World Wide Web. However, I have made it number seven to

make it clear that I think one should consider selling things on the Internet

and the World Wide Web after one has done all the things above. Why? Well, the

answer is complex but the best way to put it is, does one consider the telephone

the best place to sell things? Probably not. One probably considers the

telephone as a tool that allows one to communicate with one’s customer, which in

turn helps one sell things. Well, that’s how I think one should consider the

WWW. The technology is different, but before people decide to become customers,

they want to know about one, what one does and what one can do for them. Which

one can do easily and inexpensively on the WWW? Then one might be able to turn

them into customers. 8. To make picture, sound and video available What if one’s

widget is great, but people would really love it if they could see it in action?

The album is great but with no airplay, nobody knows that it sounds great? A

picture is worth a thousand words, but one does not have the space for a

thousand words? The WWW allows one to add sound; pictures and short movie files

to one’s company’s info if that will serve one’s potential customers. No

brochure will do that. 9. To Reach a Highly Desirable Demographic Market The

demographic of the WWW user is probably the highest mass-market demographic

available. Usually they are college-educated or being college educated, making a

high salary or soon to make a high salary. It is no wonder that Wired magazine,

the magazine of choice to the Internet community, has no problem getting Lexus

and other high-end marketer’s advertising. Even with the addition of the

commercial on-line community, the demographic will remain high for many years to

come. 10. To Answer Frequently Asked Questions Whoever answers the telephones in

one’s organization can tell one that their time is usually spent answering the

same questions over and over again. These are the questions customers and

potential customers want to know the answer to before they deal with one. Post

them on a WWW page and one will have removed another barrier to doing business

with one and freed up some time for that harried phone operator. 11. To Stay in

Contact with Salespeople One’s employees on the road may need up-to-the-minute

information that will help them make the sale or pull together the deal. If one

knows what that information is, one can keep it posted in complete privacy on

the WWW. A quick local phone call can keep one’s staff supplied with the most

detailed information, without long distance phone bills and tying up the staff

at the home office. 12. To Open International Market One may not be able to make

sense of the mail, phone and regulation systems in All the potential

international markets, but with an e-commerce solution, one can open up a

dialogue with international markets as easily as with the company across the

street. As a matter-of-fact, before one goes onto the Web, one should decide how

one wants to handle the international business that will come one’s way, because

one’s postings are certain to bring international opportunities to one’s way,

whether it is part of one’s plan or not. Another added benefit; if one’s company

has offices overseas, they can access the home offices information for the price

of a local phone call. 13. To Create a 24 Hour Service If one has ever

remembered too late or too early to call the opposite coast, one knows the

hassle. Not all businesses are on the same schedule. Business is worldwide but

one’s office hours aren’t. Trying to reach Asia or Europe is even more

frustrating. However, Web pages serve the client, customer and partner 24 hours

a day, seven days a week. No overtime either. It can customize information to

match needs and collect important information that will put one ahead of the

competition, even before they get into the office. 14. To Make Changing

Information Available Quickly Sometimes, information changes before it gets off

the press. Now one has a pile of expensive, worthless paper. Electronic

publishing changes with one’s needs. No paper, no ink, no printer’s bill. One

can even attach one’s web page to a database, which customizes the page’s output

to a database one can change as many times in a day as one needs. No printed

piece can match that flexibility. 15. To Allow Feedback from Customers One

passes out the brochure, the catalog, and the booklet. But it doesn’t work. No

sales, no calls, no leads. What went wrong? Wrong color, wrong price, wrong

market? Keep testing, the marketing books say, and one will eventually find out

what went wrong. That’s great for the big boys with deep pockets, but who is

paying the bills? One is and one doesn’t have the time or the money to wait for

the answer. With a Web page, one can ask for feedback and get it instantaneously

with no extra cost. An instant e-mail response can be built into Web pages and

can get the answer while its fresh in one’s customer’s mind, without the cost

and lack of response of business reply mail. Conclusion After detailed analyzing

and studying of the effects and benefits of incorporating an e-commerce solution

to an existing business, it is clear that an e-commerce solution will benefit

the business in every aspect. The implementation of an e-commerce solution will

generate a brand new revenue stream, expand the market exposure, and decrease

the operation cost. Many Fortune 500 companies, such as Dell Computer Corp.,

have already adapted e-commerce into their business operation. As I have

mentioned earlier, Dell Computer Corp. is currently generating over 1 million

dollars in revenues from their web-site. Many well-known “brick &

mortar” businesses are starting to establish their presence on the web. For

example, Barnes & Noble Booksellers, the top book retailer in North America

has just launched their web-site earlier this year following the success of

Amazon.com. Amazon.com, the top book & music seller on the web, has been

referred to have one of the most efficient business operation in the world

today.

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