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Professor Ghulam Yasin
Hafiz M. Sabir 205
Hailey College of Commerce University of the Punjab Lahore
in its simplest form. both large and small have already discovered how to use the Internet successfully.Definitions: E . Subsequently. many "brick-and-mortar" retailers recognized that such companies had identified valuable niche markets and began to add e-commerce capabilities to their web sites.Business EBusiness (electronic business) is. Companies are using the Web to buy parts and supplies from other companies. E . it took about four years for security protocols to become sufficiently developed and widely deployed (during the browser wars of this period). many journalists and pundits forecast that e-commerce would soon become a major economic sector. eBusiness. IBM. Today. In practice. especially the World Wide Web. many corporations are rethinking their businesses in terms of the Internet and its capabilities. and to do joint research. are often used interchangeably. to collaborate on sales promotions. and global reach of the Internet.Commerce Ecommerce (electronic commerce) is the buying and selling of goods and services on the Internet. this term and a newer term. the conduct of business on the Internet. a substantial number of businesses in the United States and Western Europe developed rudimentary web sites. many companies. It is a more generic term than ecommerce because it refers to not only buying and selling but also servicing customers and collaborating with business partners. availability. between 1998 and 2000. in 1997. . Although a large number of "pure e-commerce" companies disappeared during the dotcom collapse in 2000 and 2001. When the Web first became well-known among the general public in 1994. However. Exploiting the convenience. was one of the first to use the term when it launched a campaign built around the term.
•Search-engine Friendliness You’ll want your shopping cart solution to provide you with control over your own title tags. the card industry mandates that any merchant. If you don’t know anything about PCI Compliance. Make sure that your shopping cart solution offers these valuable recommendation tools. I’ve compiled this list of top ten must-have ecommerce features that you should be looking for (and asking questions about) as you seek a suitable shopping cart to serve your online store. stores or disseminates credit card data must be PCI DSS compliant or they risk hefty fines and/or losing the ability to process credit cards altogether thus putting your entire business in jeopardy. But do you know which ecommerce features are essential to making your website successful at selling and managing your product long term? As the selection of shopping cart technologies and ecommerce solution providers on the market continues to grow and vie for your business. Meta descriptions and keywords so that you can easily optimize at-will for the search engines. you’ll need to understand your role in complying with the DSS (Data Security Standards). •PCI Compliant Hosting & Security Because your website will need to accept online payments.0 strict compliant. you must find a provider who can host your website in a PCI (Payment Card Industry) compliant environment. you already understand the importance of having a professional looking website. a poor or lacking ecommerce feature set can “break” your business just as easily. To help you navigate the sea of competing ecommerce platforms and identify the best solution for your business. While a professional and compelling design is necessary and can “make” your business. there are a handful of critical features and feature-sets that you should insist upon having. Cross-selling refers to selling items that are complementary to the item they are purchasing. You’ll also want your solution to automatically generate keyword-rich URLS based on your product and category names and to generate page code that is XHTML 1. Although there is a lot more involved with PCI compliance than just hosting your site in a compliant environment. .Features of E – commerce If you’re an online merchant. Any suitable shopping cart technology will offer automated features that can accomplish these marketing techniques for you with some simple set-up. •Up-selling & Cross-selling Features Up-selling is offering customers a product that is of greater value than the product they are currently considering or adding options/features to the product they are buying in an attempt to increase their spend. this is your first step. Currently. organization or software that processes.
order. You can always review the posts before you choose to display them or choose to display reviews automatically on the website. You’ll find that this feature will support you throughout the life-cycle of your business and not just at startup. etc. You’ll want an ecommerce solution that lets you enable customers to post reviews of the products that you sell.•Product Review Feature Product reviews are a very powerful product marketing tool. and that will allow you to create multiple product feeds for each comparison engine. accepts coupon codes. Google Product Search. In fact. Shopping. •Robust Catalog Management Identify a solution that allows you to get your store started quickly by offering a bulk import/export of your catalog. . UPS and Fedex and you’ll want the ability to markup shipping rate-quotes by a percentage or by a flat amount so that you have the option to charge transparent handling fees.com. •Gift Certificate/Wishlist Features Gift Certificate and Wishlist are two website features that play a major role in holiday sales conversions (according to a Demandware study). 64 percent of those surveyed said gift certificates equaled 25 percent of their online purchases and half of those surveyed said they shopped using someone else's wishlist. Make sure that the solution also offers product cloning to simplify catalog additions. which you’ll need to accurately monitor your business. •Solid Analytics & Reporting Look for a solution that integrates with Google Analytics to demonstrate real-time site and search ranking data and that offers a variety of other product performance reporting capabilities. So. customer. wholesale or retail pricing (or both) displayed to your customers via the same catalog interface and which allows you to set-up affiliate pricing. Be sure that you can export and save these reports. •Flexible Pricing Management You’ll want to find a shopping cart that offers flexible pricing features and allows you to set-up multiple pricing options to accommodate things like promotional pricing for any product. automatic resizing of your product images and has some strong inventory management capabilities such as letting you set minimum quantities and identify backordered items. •Product Feed Support You’ll want your shopping cart solution to have a product feed feature that will allow you to easily create a feed of your products that you can then upload to shopping comparison sites (aka “shopping engines”) such as Shopzilla. •Integrated Shipping You’ll want your shopping cart solution to integrate with the major shipping providers such as USPS. allows for quantitybased pricing and has tax-exempt support. or time frame. be sure to utilize these features on your site and do not consider an ecommerce solution that does not boast a robust online gift certificate and wishlist feature-set. research shows that even bad reviews help to sell more product than not showing reviews for a product at all.
Therefore extra effort must be made to capture customer and payment information. as follows: B2B (Business-to-Business) E-Commerce really refers to supply chain technology. this data is typically verified before orders are fulfilled. In this respect. Admittedly. the parties are "Trusted Business Partners" who have an established working relationship. From here. maintaining employee information has little to do with commerce. However. but this really has grown to encompass much more. This typically means that orders and payments pass electronically. the term commerce is defined as follows: "The buying and selling of goods. the retailers is often selling to unknown. However. According to Dictionary. there is no need to link together two complex accounting systems. With B2B implementations.the order is entirely electronic.Types of E. and supervisors are asked to approved the requisition in the event that the total order exceeds preset limits for that particular employee. especially on a large scale. Many companies have found that B2E technologies have dramatically reduced the administrative burdens with the human resources department.Commerce The term e-commerce is really a "catch-all" phrase that encompasses many concepts. or maintain their internal resume. which is by far the largest and most successful e-commerce technology employed today. B2E makes it very easy for an employee to requisition a new toner cartridge and printer paper . B2E has grown into technologies that allow the employee to access their employee records to update address information. You can read my Insights about B2B E-commerce here. shift investments in the 401K plan. B2B is a much tougher solution to deliver. B2C is a tougher solution to provide than B2B. However. B2C (Business to Consumer) E-Commerce refers to the selling and buying of goods and services via the web from web retailers to web customers. To help you better understand. B2E (Business to Employee) E-Commerce generally refers to the requisitioning of supplies by employees for use in their jobs. we add the "e" for "electronic". In this respect.COM. . presented below is my over-simplistic definition of ecommerce. B2C almost always involves a customer typing information into an order screen. un-trusted strangers. there is more to this . as between cities or nations". and we derive the definition: "buying and selling of goods electronically". This definition is straight forward and easy to understand. Further. For example. This really is the same thing as B2B E-Commerce with one key exception.much more. With B2C E-Commerce. but this term has grown to encapsulate this activity into the B2E definition.
In this manner. An excellent example of this is found at Ebay. B2M (Business to Machines) E-Commerce is a fast emerging area within ecommerce. the buyer can instead send the money to Pay Pal. Assume that you drive a truck for Coca Cola and that it is your job is to refill Coke machines throughout your community. To use this.000 customers .C2C (Consumer to Consumer) E-Commerce has also emerged that allows unknown. future prospective purchasers may see that a particular seller has sold to more than 2. Instead of purchasing items directly from an unknown. Another technology that has emerged to support C2C activities is that of the payment intermediary. both sides need to install the required software so that they can communicate on the common platform.all of whom rate the seller as excellent. and their accounting system produces a restocking report advising the driver accordingly. Pay Pal is a good example of this. It is a technology in itself which helps people to directly share computer files and computer resources without having to go through a central web server. Firstly. To accommodate this activity. . In another example. un-trusted parties to sell goods and services to one-another. You stop at a high rise building that contains a Coke machine on every floor .now what? Do you leave the drinks behind and visit every Coke machine first to determine how many of which brands are needed? Do you carry cases of drinks with you as you go? With B2M technology. This type of e-commerce has quite low revenue generation as from the beginning it has been inclined to the free usage due to which it sometimes got entangled in cyber laws. un-trusted seller. This information is then used to schedule efficient delivery routes that allows you to restock the appropriate Coke machines just in time before the inventory is depleted. Coca Cola can monitor their machines from afar to determine if they need repair or restocking. Here is an example. This type of information is helpful. Ebay allows all sellers and buyers to rate one another. M-Commerce It refers to the use of mobile devices for conducting the transactions. In this manner. where consumers sell their goods and services to other consumers. several technologies have emerged. the folks at Coke know exactly how many drinks are in each machine by type of drink. The general idea is that companies can link to remote machines via the internet. a prospective purchaser may see a seller who has previously sold only 4 times and all 4 rate the seller poorly. Pay Pal notifies the seller that they will hold the money for them until the goods have been shipped and accepted by the buyer. From there. Even the web design and development companies optimize the websites to be viewed correctly on mobile devices. Peer to Peer (P2P) Though it is an e-commerce model but it is more than that. The mobile device holders can contact each other and can conduct the business.
All told. Prior to the introduction of this B2M system in the early nineties. tire wear.including federal. Specifically.Business-to-government (B2G) is a derivative of B2B marketing and often referred to as a market definition of "public sector marketing" which encompasses marketing products and services to various government levels . As another example. filter life. consider the $5 billion Ryder Truck Company . local or federal contracts and some may be grandfathered in by other entities (ie. Sources Sought.000 trucks. Now the sources of trouble are identified more quickly and a truck's downtime is often cut in half. RFQ's. Public sector organizations (PSO's) post tenders in the form of RFP's. these sensors track information related to 65 different aspects of the truck to oil life. but with the B2M system. and web-based communications. marcom. Government agencies typically have pre-negotiated standing contracts vetting the vendors/suppliers and their products and services for set prices. These can be state. and suppliers respond to them. The company manages almost 10. state and local through integrated marketing communications techniques such as strategic public relations. There are multiple social platforms dedicated to this vertical market and they have risen in popularity with the onset of the ARRA/Stimulus Program and increased government funds available to commercial entities for both grants and contracts. inventory tracking. RFI's. . advertising.000 technicians and 175. and much more. a technician simply touches a probe on the end of a handheld computer to a coin-shaped disk on the truck's cab that has been busy gathering information on engine performance and fuel consumption from electronic sensors under the hood. California's MAS Multiple Award Schedule will recognize the federal government contract holder's prices on a GSA General Services Administration Schedule). When a truck rolls into one of the company's maintenance bays. gas mileage. the company's mechanics were wrong almost 50% of the time when it came to identifying problems with the trucks. the attendant need only push a button to instantly determine the status of that vehicle.Ryder System Inc. etc. branding. B2G networks provide a platform for businesses to bid on government opportunities which are presented as solicitations in the form of RFPs in a reverse auction fashion.
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