Internet has ushered in the information age. Explosion of information, speed of information retrieval has changed the thinking process of individuals. Similarly online business too has had far reaching effect on consumers. Convenience, time, effort, resource saving coupled with ease of transactions is driving online business to newer heights. Man is a creature of habits and comforts. These two basic factors will fuel online business in the times to come.
Organisations and businesses have got to understand this factor and appreciate the inevitability of linking their products and services to this engine called E Commerce. Online selling is going to be the engine driving the businesses in future.
Adapting E Commerce benefits both the Organisation as well as the Customer. Organisations need to keep finding new markets and new customers to ensure they grow. This means covering new geographical territories.
Engaging new customers requires efforts in carrying out the pre sale process. When it comes to managing huge volumes of transactions, as well as with limitations in the traditional selling methods, the sales processes gets tougher. Humanly it becomes difficult to provide quality pre sales and marketing services to a huge market and court potential customers effectively. In case of E Business the concept of geographical boundaries as well as availability of information have no limitations. Understanding these dynamics, the service sector businesses like airlines, travel, real estate, finance, insurance etc have quickly moved to E Commerce platform and benefitted from the use of technology.
Acquisition of new businesses, products and mergers have become the vehicle for growth and expansion of business organisations. Marrying two diverse cultures, products and synching them into a new format, can be a huge challenge as well as crucial for the survival. Adapting E platform at this juncture has proved to be the engine for success with most Organisations. Electronic commerce platform has enabled the new business units to expand their market reach and provide several products and services to the customer under one brand umbrella. Take the case of any financial services bank or company. They offer in addition to private banking, commercial lending, home mortgage, fixed deposits, wealth and portfolio management services, money transfer, mutual funds and access to stock markets, trading as well as insurance and related products. Using E technology, the Organisation is able to provide systematic and consistency in service delivery in a transparent and speedy manner. Standardization of systems and processes enables the Organisation to upgrade its service levels irrespective of the size of the customer base besides providing transparency in its transactions. The use of processes and e platform helps build the brand image too.
Looking at the Customerâ€™s point of view, e platform facilitates availability of information at finger tips. Information is the key to the Customerâ€™s decision making process. Using internet, customer can download all the information about product, competition, as well as compare the pricing and do all of the homework that he would need to do to arrive at a decision comfortably without having to move out of his home or office. The information is all available at the click of a button. Let us look at the other factors that play an important role in his decision to go ahead and buy. Typically the customer looks to cheapest but the best product besides looking for the fastest delivery times. Again referring back to the banking sector, the companies offer the best products at very competitive rates for the competition pressure successfully keeps the pricing on a tight leash. The customer is able to check out the prices across competition easily.
With all things being equal, the differentiating factor for the customer to make a decision in favour of a particular company would be the brand image and the online service capability of the business Organisation. Once the customer is used to and is ready to make his purchase online, he is essentially expecting a hassle free transaction, a speedy transparency of process. All these translate to the online service features and capabilities that have been built into the website. The quality of the online service including the website attractiveness, features, speed and safety play a vital role in engaging the customer positively. The customer who is confident in a particular brand or is confident about the online website and the transactions of a particular organisation would ultimately choose to go and make his purchase online. Especially in the case of service industry, the deliverables and the visibility created on the website conveys the service capability of the Organisation in the absence of human interaction.
Understanding the different aspects and dynamics of the E commerce helps the business managers to appreciate and adapt to the emerging scenarios and make the business as well as professional transition smoothly.