SUBJECT: E-Commerce and customers
According to International Data Corporation more than ten million people are purchasing goods and services online in the United States alone. E-commerce allows people to exchange goods and services immediately with no barriers of time or distance. E-commerce at its simplest form, is a goal to improve the way business is conducted through technology. I found many E-commerce business sites growing at an exceptional rate. This technology includes marketing and online sales. A business using e-commerce must provide a positive experience for their customers. Because of the increase in the demand by customers, the business must be able to provide properly functional sites. Customers online want the freedom to buy items online from the convenience of their own home.
Brand equity is providing access to your site that is error free. Your site should be easy to use and easy to access. By having these things you build customer loyalty. This loyalty becomes an extra that will differentiate your business and products in the eyes of the customer. The most important part of the site is it should be available and ready to take orders. If your system crashes when taking orders, not only are your customers going to have a bad experience but they will not be able to place their order. Most people will take their business elsewhere and there is plenty of competition within E-commerce.
CONTROL OVER A WEBSITE
In order to run a successful e-commerce site you must be able to control the surges of traffic on your site. These are times where heavy traffic flow could possibly slow your site to a crawl. Websites have a considerable amount to look at when high volumes of traffic occur. The level of control a company has over their site is called Internet Quality Control. There are four main elements such as server control, network control, control of applications and content, and network management. You need these four elements in order to have high control over your web site.
ELECTRONIC DATA INTERCHANGE
An important aspect of e-commerce is the development of EDI. EDI stands for Electronic Data Interchange. EDI was developed to increase supplier relationships and reduce costs. The goal of EDI is to eliminate the use of mail courier and fax. With a new paperless exchange companies would be connected electronically. All transactions are conducted through standardized processes to a trading partner. EDI has allowed firms to increase productivity, improved channel relationships, reduce operating costs, and increase ability to compete internationally. The first benefit of EDI is the increase in productivity. Gains in productivity can be seen in both internal and external operations. Externally, companies can find increases in productivity trough in fewer operations. For example most companies traditionally would create invoices with computer systems. The invoice then would be printed out and sent to the customers. The customer would then enter the invoice information into their computer system and then process the order. This process can take days, but with EDI it can happen with minutes. Internally, companies gain productivity through faster transmission of information as well as reduced data entry redundancy. A study by EDI Group, Ltd., reported the companies using EDI experienced reduced cycle times of 40.3% and a drop of error rates of 10.1% to 4.4%. This study shows how EDI can cause firms productivity to increase.
E-commerce is revolutionizing how business operates. Be it through improved customer relations and service or increased efficiency leading to immense savings. It is being recognized as not just improving clerical tasks, but as an integral part of doing business today. Within these necessary steps as in brand equity, control over your website, and Electronic Data Interchange will help you land your customers with satisfaction.