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E-commerce seemed to be very unsuccessful and unprofitable to launch just a few years ago but with the rise of Internet technology nowadays it is quite impossible to start out any business without considering its online policies. Although creating an online business or staring mobile commerce seems to be very beneficial, the manager has to think the online strategy over in order not to be left out by the competitors. This is a very competitive market with many challenges but as soon as the manager finds the solutions to the arising problems it will turn into an impressive success. Our business plan will incorporate the complete SWOT analysis including the strengths, the weaknesses, the potential threats and the opportunities available for the company.
When it comes to discussing the infrastructure of e-commerce it is worth remembering that the success here lies in the company’s ability to overcome obstacles. These obstacles include language barriers, shipping overseas difficulties, currency exchange, documentation peculiarities, legal restrictions in every particular country, tariffs and customs (Amoroso & Jennex, 2004). The effective infrastructure of a commercial website should be adapted to the local requirements and expectations of the customers, consider cultural peculiarities and anticipated technical difficulties of the target audience, be tuned up to the pricing constraints. It is reasonable to make all the automatic processes such as catalogue search and checkout as user-friendly as possible. Some customers may still feel distrust for the online companies, and that’s the reason why all sensitive private information should be guarded with the newest security systems available. The focus of the website designers should be set on the operating processes that guarantee information exchange, customer feedback, convenience, and pricing. The infrastructure should also consider some outside factors such as search engine rank, the expansion of technology outside the organization, and plan for the mobile connectivity (Amoroso & Jennex, 2004).
Marketing strategy is also changed with e-commerce influence. Although the technology provides better ways of receiving customer feedback and expanding the range of accessible potential clients, the client is also not limited in accessing the information about product features, comments, reviews and price policies. That is why it is harder to hide anything from the customer or set a higher-than-average price for the product (Tong, 2010). The company needs to comprehend the needs of the customer and fulfill them with the products or services offered in online catalogues. The communicational barriers should be eliminated with the localization of the website and making contacts as simple as possible. Sometimes it is important to state physical address information and e-mail of the company in case the customer is expected to feel distrust (Tong, 2010). The customers who are going to purchase or order anything from the Internet usually evaluate their time very much, so any procrastination in communication will be perceived negatively. The responds should be immediate and proceeded through customer-oriented systems. The website structure itself should be clear and not overwhelming to observe. It is sufficient to make sure that the sensitive information sent over the Internet is preserved from any attacks. Security platforms and software should be upgraded at least every month because of the growing amount of computer viruses and hacker inventions. It is worth remembering that if a particular website looks a little less professional, colorful or attractive to the customer, it will take just a couple of clicks to switch to the competitor’s proposals. When it comes to the issues of ethics in online shopping the website designer should remember that many customers have less trust for the product or service simply because they can experience it through the screen images instead of familiar touching or seeing it in real life. Many websites make it difficult to acquire additional product or service information. Conducting business online the major challenge is the recoverability of all information imaginable – and time does not appear as an obstacle in recovering or copying. The violation of copyrights is no surprise with the rise of e-commerce. The spread of negative information may lead to legal consequences too. The website should be honest, trustworthy, respectful for the client’s privacy, and integral. Putting the customer satisfaction as the second priority is really dangerous for the business success. The integrity of a website should go further – all the services supported by online and mobile companies should integrate with each other and social networks to make service speed higher and shopping more absorbing. One of the most interesting directions of B2B implications is the Augmented Reality (AR) technology (Ernest Agency, 2010). This flexible instrument allows brand reinforcement, campaigns targeted at a particular audience, presenting online exhibitions, create impressive product demos, improve customer service satisfaction after the purchase, and achieve higher rates of commitment from the employees.