Chapter 4 (E-commerce)

Global business grew because of the development of transport and communication systems over the world. Technologies today have created a business environment with secure payment systems, around the clock access to online shopping and the digital distribution of products. Currency conversions are automated, language can be translated and payments and communications are protected by encryption.

Technology has created new industries and business opportunities for global expansion; specialised technologies such as nanotechnology and biotechnology. Technology enables people and companies to provide their goods and services around the world.

Online and Digital Technologies

  • A website gives customers access to the business all the time from anywhere in the world.
  • Orders on a website can be linked to delivery and payment systems.
  • Difficult to keep up with emails and online orders but automated processes can help staff cope with the demand.
  • There is free or low-cost online design, word processing and spreadsheet software that businesses can use that is much cheaper than buying software licenses.
  • Internet is used to research businesses and markets to gather business intelligence.
  • Software and designs can be distributed quickly and securely and web conferencing can occur with broadband large files such as contracts.
  • Mobile devices such as phones, laptops and digital assistants can facilitate better communication with staff, customers and suppliers.

eBusiness

  • Refers to a business built on the use of information and communication technologies (ICT).
  • Selling products and services online may help you save on costs, reach more customers and be able to complete orders and projects in a shorter time.

eBusiness methods

  • Communication via email and SMS
  • Send emails to other businesses to order products and services
  • Sell via a website
  • Use the Web to find information such as prices, phone numbers and reviews of products
  • Staff work at home and keep in touch with the business online
  • Use the Web for research such as the latest industry trends
  • Use the Internet for online banking and to pay bills

M-commerce

  • An emerging technology based on the use of wireless mobile devices to conduct business over a high-speed Internet connection
  • Combination of a mobile phone, a WAP Internet connection and a payment system
  • A mobile phone will become an electronic wallet
  • Predicted to grow because of the increased capability of the mobile network

Issues of concern with m-commerce

  • Spams and scams
  • Privacy
  • Informed customers
  • Consumer debt

For success retailers must:

  • Optimise tablet and smartphone experience
  • Use social media and mobile marketing to drive store traffic
  • Provide exceptional service

E-commerce strategies

  • An e-commerce strategy should support the business as a whole
  • Can be a costly venture and it should be considered carefully because e-commerce failure may have an impact on overall profitability and survival

Examples:

  1. International shipping
  2. Branded website
  3. Wholesale online
  4. Local market URL