Ecommerce to small businesses
Electronic commerce refers to situation when business trade over electronic systems such as use of internet, computer peripherals and other computer network accessories. All transactions regarding trading are done via internet. Transactions may include; inventory management, data interchange and communication, fund transfer, supply of goods and services virtually, marketing/promotions, etc.
Electronic data interchange plays the greatest role in facilitating financing and payments of the trading transactions. When starting to trade online lot of information regarding the assets needed, fees paid and other accessories to facilitate business are needed. This information is useful for developing a powerful electronic marketing. Ecommerce has brought about opportunities for small up coming business to expand rapidly in the global market arena.
A thorough analysis on the requirements on financial capabilities, strategies available to get to e commerce, how to position the products, competitors available in ecommerce, strengths and weakness of the enterprise and the future prospects of the firm are needed particularly to small businesses(Fazlollahi, 2002). To make development of ecommerce successful all these information is vital and problem lies on where and how to achieve this information. Information needed
With development in global electronic marketing, opportunities of small firms to benefit from it there is substantial increase
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Therefore, it is crucial to develop ecommerce business plan highlighting in details the required capital and the activities to be carried on. Business plan summarizes all the information and activities the business is prospecting to achieve. Through ecommerce business plan I will be able to come up with required strategic plans, competitors’ analysis will be done accurately, and it will provide a base for generating business ideas. Information on business plans can be achieved though marketing analysis, ecommerce industry evaluations, and competitive analysis (K2Commerce, 2010).
Connecting computer to the internet will be the first thing to do. Because the business wants to trade via internet the first thing is to connect the business information system to the internet. Knowledge on computer networking either locally or internationally becomes very important for the owner to learn. Learning about the internets and functioning of systems on the internet is the single most first step in ecommerce. Without knowledge on internet connectivity means working with tools without expertise required to operate with.
Internet service provider must be linked upon to provide for internet facilities. This will be done by installing cable modem or dedicated high speed interconnects for data transmission. This internet access provider is hoped to provide emails accounts and installation of virtual internet service operation which can allow the business customers to get access the business internet infrastructure (Ropelato, nd). This will enable customers to access data files, services and goods traded by the business electronically via internet, access provision owned and operated by the business.
Before getting connected to a certain internet service provide it is important to analyse the available providers for; rates, features, promotions, licensing, speed for service, pricing, and broadband capacity to make informed decision (Ropelato, nd). All this information will be achieved from service providers and software consultants. Once computer peripherals are connected to the internet the next information and the process is developing a web site. Electronic commerce is facilitated by a web site (Ropelato, nd.
) This is the site where all business details can be found including products offered, term and conditions of trade and more specifically detail all marketing feature or the marketing mix. These will include prices, promotions sites, places of the business/ locations and the products features. In addition to the marketing mix the website may includes details for services offered, advertisements and all other marketing aspects required in ecommerce (Wiedemann, 2006).
The website should be easy to use, it should provide useful information and a mailing list is important to add all the contacts of previous customers Websites should encourage feedback and this can be done using online forms and email address. All the required information can be achieved from web developers and using research. Websites are sensitive area in ecommerce thus they need proper management and network security is appropriate (Ropelato, nd. ). Proper website managements entail providing securities regarding penetration to certain parts of sites or access to vital information.
Security on network can be developed at the time of website developing stage or from the internet service provider. Website usage policies are recommended for business to restrain access to certain areas and prevent overlapping of usage (Ropelato, nd). Communication online is supposed to take diplomatic and customer friendly manner, thus need to have security and barricade hacker from penetrating sites. Understanding electronic data interchange is critical information needed by a firm in ecommerce. Ecommerce business transactions are interchanged between the business websites and the customers on line (Ropelato, nd).
How money and products are exchanged online matters a lot in ecommerce and information must be fully understood. The information on data interchange can be achieved from the business banker or the internet service provider. Ways of accepting payments either by credit cards or opening merchant accounts are developed and rules regarding how products are bought, sold and paid are set. Electronic commerce usually operates under one virtual store of products and services. The information on how to develop and promote virtual stores in the internet should be treated as a starting point for displaying business products in the websites.
Marketing information on the ecommerce are other factors which need to be considered. Promotion, advertisement and pricing of product need to be done critically (Fazlollahi, 2002). This cannot be possible without knowing ecommerce competitors in business industry. All seller selling and buying used computers need to be done competitive analysis. Information regarding competitors may be achieved through internet research of physical research through use of questionnaires. In online trading, marketing is very important because the business must have a marketing strategy which can attract customers easily and retain them.
(Fazlollahi, 2002). Competitive analysis such as swot analysis and porters five forces should be conducted to give the business a competitive advantage over its online competitors. Consumer analysis needs to be conducted also to develop on line commerce segment that is fulfilling and where competition is not stiff. Market segmentation in ecommerce may be done based on demographic segmentation, geographical segmentation or behaviour physiological segmentations. This information is available in the internet and research can be conducted to boost the opinion.
Electronic marketing and promotion can be done using search engines as a Marketing tool (Ropelato, nd). Information on what people are looking in terms of computers and how this can be incorporated in search engines remains another issue in ecommerce. For customer winning strategies websites needs to focus on qualities such as customer perception, retention, competitive advantages, able to understand consumer needs and behaviours and that can satisfy customers online (Kotler & Armstrong, 2010). The information pertaining customer analysis and the competitive analysis can be achieved through assessing social media.
In the global market arena ecommerce is becoming more and more interactive between either state to state, individuals to individuals, or region to regional thus strict international laws and treaties are implemented. For the purpose of preventing country’s individuals prone to fraud through ecommerce certain laws have been formed to govern this market. Information regarding international laws and country’s law pertaining to ecommerce become critical. Regulations on ecommerce will be achieved through partners and the existing ecommerce dealers.
In addition to international laws on ecommerce certain ethics are enforced to protect online consumers from unethical behaviours of stakeholders (Plotkin Mark E. , Wells Bert &Wimmer Kurt A. 2003). Conclusion Ecommerce in the business arena is dominated by large business but still small businesses have the opportunity to access their customers online. Through information gathering and analysis is critical when starting up ecommerce business. It is evident that a lot of information regarding ecommerce is available on analysis and research. Bibliography Fazlollahi, B. (2002). Strategies for ecommerce success.
Chocolate Avenue, Hershey Idea Group Inc (IGI). Kotler, P& Armstrong, G. (2010). Principles of marketing. New York . Pearson. K2Commerce, (2010). ECommerce Business Plan: Planning a Successful ECommerce Business. ISBN 0615354548. K2Commerce Plotkin, M. E. Wells B & Wimmer K. A. (2003). E-commerce law and business. Volume 2. Aspen Publishers Online. Ropelato J (nd). What is needed to start an E-commerce Site? Available from: http://shopping-cart-review. toptenreviews. com/what-do-i-need-article. html. Accessed on 28 Jul. 2010. Wiedemann J. (2006). Web design: e-commerce. ISBN 0735541493. Taschen,