Customer decision-making processes and E-Commerce
Nowadays many companies are utilizing the intervening variables to influence customer decision-making processes in the realm of E-Commerce. Electronic commerce or e-commerce is basically about doing the business using the Internet and the World Wide Web. Other terms for e-commerce are e-business and e-tailing. Online catalogs are available on the websites from the where the customer can easily see the list of products i. e the catalog available alongwith other details such as price. They can even compare prices of their desired products on the Internet and can place the order easily from home.
This way of doing business is advantageous in one of the ways that the customers can place their order at any time of the day and at any place using Internet on their computer as there is no restriction on time to place the order. Nowadays more of the rich consumers are also engaged in their own business activities so they don’t have ample time to visit a store to place an order so they might prefer to place online orders and so they will prefer those companies that provide online services to the customers.
Although e-commerce has many advantages, it has drawbacks too. Although more and more people now know and are learning to use this technology, still people resist providing their financial information such as credit card numbers on the Internet. Other than online catalogs, the company can also mail the catalogs to the prospective customers at their homes or work place. For this purpose, companies should also develop tracking systems so that hackers can’t take any negative advantage of this technology. Another way of increasing sales is the trend of e-mails and faxes.
Some people themselves subscribe to online newsletters but some may also get mails from companies advertising about their product without any subscription. Companies send mails about any particular product they want to sell via mails to the people. This is also one of the easiest and cheapest sources of advertising. Advertisments are also placed on websites that are commonly viewed by consumers but the people advertising should also take care where they are placing their ad. Do the prospective conumers of that particular product visit that website?
And how often do they visit, etc. New computerized technologies are being implemented by the manufacturing enterprises at very-increasing rate. This trend is increasing due to international competition but this is not the case with the independent retailers. Competition is less intense in retailing and they even have an advantage of location, information about their clients and goods they sell or profit from niches created by market segmentation so they do not have the dire need to get computerized.
Currently, most of the organizations are somewhat fulfilling the technology needs of the company but still there is a large room for improvement. Many more technologies can be introduced to improve the efficiency of the organization. This not only increases the satisfaction of the customers but it also attracts new customers and retains the existing ones. It can also find new markets for their existing and upcoming products. Other than that, feedback is also very important.
Customers mostly have complaints about something or the other. For this, Internet and wireless technologies very important as it is easy for both the customers and the retailers to have access and so they can easily forward their complaints, suggestions and get feedback from the organization. Even new softwares’ are available these days that reduce a lot of workload for the employees but the disadvantage of this new technology is that training has to be provided to the employees and it is also reducing the rate of employment.
This is beneficial for the company as they can reduce costs by reducing the number of individuals employed but this is not good for the country’s population. Therefore, E-commerce does affect the decision making processes of the consumers and the companies can benefit a lot by opting by this technology. (Laudon & Traver, 2008).
Laudon, K. C. & Traver, C. G. (2008). E-Commerce: Business, Technology, Society. 4th Edn. Prentice Hall.