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  • Level: GCSE
  • Subject: ICT
  • Word count: 2586

E-commerce strategy

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INTRODUCTION: E-commerce is about doing business electronically. It's more than just buying and selling using the internet, though the Internet and World Wide Web play a fundamental role, but includes any form of business or administration transaction or information exchange executed using information and communication technology (Rowley, 2002). Organisations are now building E-commerce Strategies into their Business Strategies in an effort to increase their competitive advantage and market share. Organisations must take careful consideration of many factors when designing and implementing an e-commerce strategy. It is important to consider factors in the internal and external environments, the external being the operating and remote environments (Finlay, 2000). The immediate marketplace shaped by customer needs and the way in which services are provided to them via competitors, intermediaries and upstream suppliers has the most significant influence on an e-commerce strategy. Wider issues such as government pressures and actions, legal and ethical issues, local and international economic conditions, demographic trends, information technology developments and the society at large (Chaffey, 2004) also need to be examined and understood to ensure potential problems facing organisations wishing to develop a revenue stream through B2C e-commerce are overcome. An effective e-commerce strategy establishes goals and objectives and sets out how objectives will be achieved. It is therefore important that organisations develop e-commerce strategies as effectively it creates a framework for future operational decisions and planning (Rowley, 2002). ...read more.


The following will highlight potential problems e-commerce strategies will face relating to the elements of the remote environment: 2.1: SOCIAL Society's reluctance to adopt the internet can effect organisations implementing e-commerce strategies. This reluctance stems from the following: 2.1.1: Cost of access: purchasing a PC/laptop and the additional equipment/services necessary to connect to the internet are not cheap. As a result fewer people have access to the internet and the ability to operate online. However, Internet cafes have been a huge hit in all quarters of the world and do provide access to PCs and the Internet at a relatively cheap cost. 2.1.2: Value Proposition: for the internet to be adopted there needs to be a perceived need for its use. Society needs to be shown what the internet offers that other media does not - if not fewer people will access the internet and operate online. A good example of how the UK Government has tried to enforce the value proposition of the internet is through the Tax Return Online scheme (www.inlandrevenue.gov.uk) with the added benefit it will do all the financial calculations for you. 2.1.3: Ease of Use: with difficulties first connecting to the internet and navigating through web-sites, less people access the internet and operate online. Email and even different systems can be a problem. 2.1.4: Security: much of society's perception is that the internet is unsafe - mainly exacerbated through the media - resulting in fewer people wishing to provide their bank and personal details over the internet and operate online. ...read more.


in international shipping and the regulatory and customs handling legislation that is coupled with it * organisations need a prior and in-depth understanding of foreign market environments Organisations that lack this type of knowledge and experience will find it difficult succeeding with e-commerce strategies. Further problems of globalisations is the lack of ability organisations have in developing multi-language versions of their web sites due to lack of revenue and resources, again making it difficult to operate on a global scale. A solution to problems associated with globalisation is localisation. Organisations could identify the specific needs of the countries/regions they were operating in and tailor their products and services to their needs, however, this is an expensive task and one possibly only the largest organisations could implement. 2.6: TECHNOLOGICAL Finally, organisations wishing to implement an e-commerce strategy will need to decide which technological innovations to use to create competitive advantage. Although not immediately seen as a potential problem, organisations which choose to ignore new technological innovations, or wait for its competitors to test and implement new technologies first so as to identify where potential problems may lie can fall 6-12 months behind if the new technologies prove a success. For those organisations that take the risk of immediately implementing new technologies to support their e-commerce strategies the rewards can be high, but at the same time any problems there are with the new technologies will effect the organisation badly and play into the hands of the competition. ...read more.

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