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Unit 34: E-commerce

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Introduction

UNIT 34 - E-COMMERCE Assignment 1 Table of Contents Task 1 2 TASK 1 Social Implications of E-Commerce Changing Customer Perspective: Value - Customers will always want the best price when spending their money, and this is generally found in E-Commerce (on the internet). Any 'bricks' that are competing with 'clicks' will have serious difficulties competing with these prices due to overheads. Overheads include bills (water, electrical, etc.), assets, rent, etc. If a 'click' wants to be successful then they must offer deals and services to compete with other 'clicks' these could include: BOGOF, free postage and price comparisons. Services - 'Bricks' can usually offer better services than 'clicks' because they come into direct contact with the customer. The customer can ask the store for exactly what they want and how they want it and it can be done instantly. However, clicks can compete with this by offering a number of services on their sites, these could include: next day or even same day delivery, gift wrapping, recommendations (suggested using customers shopping history) and after sales aid (troubleshooting, online help). Ease of Use - Customers being used to walking around stores and finding everything in logical sections will expect the same practicality online. Any web site must by easy to read and navigate and must have the ability to create user accounts quickly and effortlessly. ...read more.

Middle

Shopping is then delivered straight to their doors. 24/7 Trading - Customers can shop online day and night all week long, even if your business only supplies during the working week, your site can store and process orders ready for the next working day. Also no staff are needed to overlook the orders until they are ready to be packed and delivered, this lowers costs. Relatively low Start-up and Running Costs - If your business is changing from a 'brick' to a 'brick and click' then these costs are minimal as the overheads are already being paid to maintain the 'brick'. This will increase running costs as more customers will be shopping with you, so more staff and assets will be needed. Competitive Edge - This will give your business a big edge on any 'brick' in your niche. Better deals and cheaper prices will be viable due to the profits of more customers but only slightly increased running costs (overheads). Search Facilities - Customers can shop for specific products easily by either using the general search or using an advanced search that allows you to define further search criteria, such as price range, brand, rating, availability, and much more. This makes shopping faster, more rewarding and convenient for the customer. Pricing Opportunities - Stores on the high street need to charge higher prices to balance out their overheads. ...read more.

Conclusion

This saves Boots customers from having to travel to buy their pharmaceuticals and pay lower prices. People either in other countries or without the opportunity to go to a Boots store now have the chance to shop online; this will increase profits and exponentially affect popularity. The main benefits of this move into E-commerce is the ability to have completely flexible prices that can be changed in minutes, this gives the online branch of the store better deals and lower prices. Boots can afford to offer deals and low prices online as they have next to no overheads; the main overheads are lost at the high street stores and warehouses. However the drawbacks of this move are that customers lose the contact with the trained Boots staff that helps them make their choices and give them general healthcare advice. Also I think that Boots is focusing too much on UK and Europe, in their mission statement they stated that they want to secure a monopoly on health and beauty in the UK which they have secured already, they should now be focusing on getting high street stores in large international cities like New York and Beijing to give residents a sense of trust in the company that current boots customers have already. To advertise further they could supply a series of free samples of exclusive products like No7 range and Bliss. ?? ?? ?? ?? Unit 34: Assignment 1 5/5/2009 8 ...read more.

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