Essay, Research Paper: E Commerce


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An e-commerce solution for a business is the incorporation of all aspects of the
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, the top book & music seller on the web, has been
referred to have one of the most efficient business operation in the world
today.Bibliography1. "E-Commerce Times: Everything You Wanted to Know about Doing Business
Online." E-Commerce Times. 1999. **. (9 August
1999). 2. "E-Marketer, Where Business Begins On-line." E-Marketer.
1999. **. (9 August 1999). 3. "E-Retail, News and
Information for Internet Retailers." E-Retail. 1999. **.
(9 August 1999). 4. "The Electronic Commerce Guide."'s
Electronic Commerce Guide. 1999. **. (9 August
1999). 5. "Forrester Research: Helping Businesses Thrive on Technology
Change." Forrester Research. 1999. **. (9 August
1999). 6. "Jupiter Communication: Market Research on the Consumer Online
Industry." Jupiter Communication. 1999. **. (9 August
1999). 7. “American Electronics Survey.” Duncan Group. Wall Street Journal
14 November 1998. 34-34E. 8. “Shopping this Holiday Season, Watch out!”
Sparkman, Guy. Sun- Sentinal Special edition 23 November 1998. 24. 9. “IBM
Security Software is hot stuff.” Segal, Hy. Byte August 1998. 45-46. 10.
“Online commerce in he 90’s. Are you ready?” Thomas, Jan. E-Com September
1998. 34.
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