Greenmountaincoffee represents a new breed of retailers; changing the way business is conducted online with their business to consumer model (B2C. ) and business to business model (B2B) models. It is a virtual reseller, one of the main new intermediaries (Sarkar et al, 1996. ) They are an electronic-commerce only intermediary; business and customer relationship management (CRM) is conducted purely via their website; a virtual marketplace with no direct contact between buyers and sellers.
Greenmountaincoffee have created a virtualized value system through their accelerated ordering, delivery and payment of goods and services, while reducing operating and inventory costs associated w...
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...ith traditional bricks and mortar stores. They have access to global markets, economies of scale and the ability to personalize. Greenmountaincoffee business model as a virtual community, which “helps build customer loyalty and trust through an interplay of virtual and physical realities. ” (Hagel and Armstrong, 1997.
) Greenmountaincoffee strengthens their association as a virtual store with “shopping trolley technology” (Cooke, 1997. ) Shopping carts and checkouts act as reminders of physical environments. (Weick, 1995. ) Collaborative filtering helps them achieve personalization and mass customization. Customer extension is offered via their site and e-mails. This has enabled “mutual close relationships” (Berscheid, 1985) significantly increasing customer loyalty, a major source of competitive advantage.
Technology is integral to Greenmountaincoffee sustained competitive advantage. Greenmountaincoffee operates on a client to server basis. Their technology consists of a web browser linked to the Internet, which goes to a web server. The web server is linked to a business process server, which may be linked to a series of other servers such as payments and security servers. As previously mentioned they also use SSL technology to protect e-commerce transactions.