Everything you need to know about the advantages of e-commerce. E-commerce has the potential to redefine marketplaces as it changes value networks.
The advantages of e-commerce are many beginning with the ability to broaden the reach of the firm and offer a larger potential customer base.
Benefits and opportunities an enterprise can have when using e-Business are related to its e- Business strategy and commonly are multiple.
The e-Business should help the enterprise in meeting its business goals and the needs and expectations of its customers, partners and suppliers. An enterprise should become more competitive.
The advantages of e-commerce are:-
1. New Business Models and more Revenue 2. Extended Hours 3. Global Reach and Up-to-Date Company Material 4. Cost Reduction 5. Improved Customer Relations and Service 6. Transaction Costs
7. Disintermediation 8. Transparency in Pricing 9. Economies of Scale and Network Effects 10. Overcomes Geographical Boundaries 11. Wider Customer Reach 12. Lowers Cost 13. Remains Open all the Time and a Few Others.
Advantages of E-Commerce: New Business Models and More Revenue, Extended Hours, Cost Reduction and a Few Others
Advantages of E-Commerce – 5 Main Advantages: New Business Models and more Revenue, Extended Hours- 24/7/365 and a Few Others
Benefits and opportunities an enterprise can have when using e-Business are related to its e- Business strategy and commonly are multiple. The e-Business should help the enterprise in meeting its business goals and the needs and expectations of its customers, partners and suppliers. An enterprise should become more competitive.
Advantage # 1. New Business Models and more Revenue:
The enterprise can create additional revenue. Some businesses are fortunate because they provide information, goods and services that users are willing to purchase online. Such sectors are travel, financial services, books, CDs, entertainment and many items traditionally bought through mail-order catalogues.
For many businesses this is a whole new revenue stream. One of the great benefits of e-Business is that it can help broaden an enterprise’s customer base at a relatively low cost. As more and more people get access to the Internet and become confident e- Business users, the potential to expand customer-bases will increase proportionately.
An appropriately designed and promoted website can attract new customers and open new markets for products and services e.g. by providing affordable access to customers globally and offering access to products and services for people with a disability.
For some, their website will not generate income directly; rather it supports their offline activities and contributes to meeting business goals and financial targets. The Internet can be used to help businesses research their business plans and as a tool for achieving the aims of the plan. The Web provides a relatively cheap means of investigating competitors, testing out the market, entering new markets and seeking new strategic partners.
Advantage # 2. Extended Hours- 24/7/365:
Increasingly today, the terms “available” and “accessible” to a business mean twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week access to information, products and services. Customers, suppliers and interested parties are less and less satisfied with being restricted to the traditional opening hours of business and will not be impressed if they cannot do such things as order items or discover information for themselves in the comfort of their own homes and offices when it suits them. The expectations of online audiences will not diminish over time – they will only increase.
For Example – The increasing ability to provide video and sound online at premium quality and speed is likely to force many businesses into presenting information in multimedia format on their websites. This will raise the bar in terms of delivery methodology, content, structure and quality of online material.
To fail to be online or to fail to provide a website that is user-friendly, informative, and up-to-date in every respect is to risk alienating web-enabled customers and suppliers and thereby lose their confidence and business.
The e-Business can improve marketing and be a highly effective promotional tool. It is another promotional tool that should complement other forms of promotion. Besides being visible to potential customers and suppliers 24 hours a day, seven days a week it does not know about borders and so is visible to potential customers wherever they are in the world.
A great deal more information can be provided on a website than in a brochure and the information can be up-to- date all the time. Products can be illustrated from multiple angles and animations can be used, allowing the user to turn an image of the product around, up and down, giving a better understanding of its advantages.
It is also very easy to collate and analyze information about those visiting and buying from the site and equally easy to change the promotional aspects to maximize their impact on sales.
There are many ways in which an enterprise can save costs and improve operational efficiency through e-Business. It helps streamline processes. For example, data entered online into the organization’s systems bypasses staff and frees them from unproductive tasks, giving them more time for the things that matter.
It can reduce the time staff spends on administrative tasks. Accounting systems reduce the processing of accounts; reconciliation, banking and can improve cash-flow. Communication and meeting costs can be reduced, e.g. email can reduce phone calls and time consumed in arranging and attending meetings.
It can reduce staff time on the telephone with customers by providing information to them via website. The e-Business offers also tools for cheaper and faster procurements.
An enterprise can make it easier for companies and people to do business. A website is an additional tool for facilitating business. It should be quick and easy to navigate, customer focused, offer abundant relevant information, provide opportunities for two-way communication and provide a variety of convenient ways to do e-Business.
In fact the “cost” of not having credible and effective e-Business can be measured in terms of lost opportunities to create more revenue and cut costs. Customers can be lost to competitors who do have a good website and E- Business contacts with customers.
An enterprise not using E-Business may also lose its credibility as an innovative and forward-thinking organization.
For some customers the first impression of company size is an important factor in determining whether they will even walk in the front door. In a website a small business can appear to be as large as any of its larger competitors, and large companies can appear to be as small as the corner shop.
The E-Business can be used to make supply chains more efficient and more reliable. The company can customize its service to customers and have more rapid time-to-market.
The E-Business and its application form a vast subject. Having developed far beyond a mere means of communication, it now points the way forward for all businesses eager to develop their marketing channels, capture new customers and partners.
With it an enterprise can build lasting relationships, increase revenues and ensure that it has the competitive edge also in the future. The E-Business is more and more an opportunity an enterprise can’t afford to miss.
Advantages of E-Commerce – 17 Major Advantages
1. Enables consumers to shop or do other transaction 24 hours a day, all year round from almost any location.
2. Provides consumers with more choices.
3. Provides consumers with less expensive products and services by allowing them to shop in many places and conduct quick comparisons.
4. Allows consumers to interact with other consumer’s in electronic communities and exchange ideas as well as experiences.
5. Facilitates competition which results in substantial discounts.
6. Allows quick delivery of products and services (in some cases) especially with digitized products.
7. Consumers can receive relevant and detail information in seconds rather than in days or weeks.
8. Makes it possible to participate in virtual auction.
9. Enables more individuals to work at home and to do less travelling for shopping, resulting in less traffic on the roads and lower air pollution.
10. Allows some merchandise to be sold at lower prices benefiting less affluent people.
11. Enable people in third world countries and rural areas to enjoy product and services which otherwise are not available to them.
12. Facilitates delivery of public services at reduced cost, increases effectiveness and or improve quality.
13. Consumers can surf the internet and look for products they need from home.
14. Consumers can order the products from home and pay delivery charges that are lesser than their cost of travel.
15. Consumers can book tickets for buses, trains and air without standing in queues and looking at the best options available at that time.
16. Travel arrangements like hotel bookings at right locations at bargain rates can be made.
17. All new and latest products with novelty can be known through web advertisements and there is no need of window shopping.
Advantages of E-Commerce – 4 Important Advantages: Transaction Costs, Disintermediation, Transparency in Pricing and Economies of Scale and Network Effects
Advantage # 1. Transaction Costs:
There are three cost areas that are significantly reduced through the conduct of B2B e- commerce. First is the reduction of search costs, as buyers need not go through multiple intermediaries to search for information about suppliers, products and prices as in a traditional supply chain.
In terms of effort, time and money spent, the Internet is a more efficient information channel than its traditional counterpart. In B2B markets, buyers and sellers are gathered together into a single online trading community, reducing search costs even further.
Second is the reduction in the costs of processing transactions (e.g. invoices, purchase orders and payment schemes), as B2B allows for the automation of transaction processes and therefore, the quick implementation of the same compared to other channels (such as the telephone and fax).
Efficiency in trading processes and transactions is also enhanced through the B2B e- market’s ability to process sales through online auctions. Third, online processing improves inventory management and logistics.
Through B2B e-markets, suppliers are able to interact and transact directly with buyers, thereby eliminating intermediaries and distributors. However, new forms of intermediaries are emerging. For instance, e-markets themselves can be considered as intermediaries because they come between suppliers and customers in the supply chain.
Among the more evident benefits of e-markets is the increase in price transparency. The gathering of a large number of buyers and sellers in a single e-market reveals market price information and transaction processing to participants.
The Internet allows for the publication of information on a single purchase or transaction, making the information readily accessible and available to all members of the e-market. Increased price transparency has the effect of pulling down price differentials in the market.
In this context, buyers are provided much more time to compare prices and make better buying decisions. Moreover, B2B e-markets expand borders for dynamic and negotiated pricing wherein multiple buyers and sellers collectively participate in price-setting and two-way auctions.
In such environments, prices can be set through automatic matching of bids and offers. In the e-market place, the requirements of both buyers and sellers are thus aggregated to reach competitive prices, which are lower than those resulting from individual actions.
The rapid growth of B2B e-markets creates traditional supply-side cost-based economies of scale. Furthermore, the bringing together of a significant number of buyers and sellers provides the demand-side economies of scale or network effects.
Each additional incremental participant in the e-market creates value for all participants in the demand side. More participants form a critical mass, which is the key in attracting more users to an e-market.
Advantages of E-Commerce – Advantages to the Seller, Consumer and Society
Web is an interactive, economic, easily accessible source of communication. It provides many benefits to the seller, to the customer and to the society.
These advantages are explained as under:
1. Advantages to the Seller:
i. Goods and Services to all Markets:
With web marketing, a marketer can provide goods and services to all type of markets. Because with the help of web various type of limitations such as geographic location etc., are removed. A web marketer can attract consumers located all over the world, compete for the global market, build global supply chains and operate with global strategies. A website is like a marketing office, where anyone can reach instantly. In other words, we can say that this is a form of many branches everywhere in the world.
Not only big firms but small firms also can provide goods and services across the world with the help of web marketing.
ii. Scope for Growth:
With the help of web marketing a marketer can grow without any type of limitations. Limitations such as warehouse space, sales personnels, resources, showroom, retail shop space etc. are removed, when marketing is done through web. A marketer can perform their jobs on the web just like with one central point of sale and with less number of sales personnels.
iii. Increases Customer Services:
Because of wide scope of web, large number of population are linked with the web. Therefore, a seller can easily increase customer values and customer services.
A web marketer, can provide different type of product and services with the help of a single website. If a customer demands different varieties of a particular product and for a marketer if it is impossible to provide such products to the customer even then he provides him a path for getting to the agencies so that, those agencies provide those products and services to the customer.
This is possible just because of web. With the help of web a marketer can satisfy the customer individually, because web marketing is an interactive method of marketing. A marketer can obtain all type of informations from the customer located anywhere in the world and can also get all types of information from the customers just because of web. With the help of any other type of marketing e.g., tele-marketing etc., for a marketer, it is not possible to satisfy a customer individually.
In recent era, all customers require speedy response of their communication with the producer and all producers also require speedy distribution of product. Speed in such type of activities is also helpful in facing competition. With the help of web speed can easily be attained and therefore, helps in increasing customer services and customer value.
iv. Increases Relations with the Customers:
Because web marketing is an interactive way and also satisfies the needs of an individual customer therefore, through web marketing a marketer builds and increases good relations with the customers. Through web marketing a marketer can easily perform consumer research and collect all necessary information regarding demands of the customer and these information help him to satisfy his customer in a better way and all this helps in increasing relations with the customers.
v. Minimize the Costs:
(a) Business Costs:
The web marketing business is done through an electronic media which is paperless technology, so various business operations are reduced. It is estimated that in web marketing business cost is less than one tenth of what is in any other type of marketing. Moreover, web also reduces processing time of different type of operations in a business which ultimately reduces total business costs. In other words, we can say that web is the cheapest source for a business.
(b) Channel Costs:
In web marketing, there is no need of large number of showrooms, retail stores and sales personnels etc. Through web a marketer can introduce and sell his products and services to customers located anywhere in the world just from a single sales counter, web marketing only requires some core staff to download and execute orders. Because there is no need of stores to be maintained, therefore, cost of rent, insurance and sales personnel are not there which ultimately reduces the channel costs also.
(c) Promotion Costs:
An important type of marketing cost i.e., promotion cost can also be reduced in web marketing as web provides worldwide communication at a very low per unit cost. Promotion cost also reduces because of speedy delivery of goods, execution of orders, faster realization of money etc.
vi. Increase in Productivity:
Web marketing makes sales people more efficient because with the help of web a lot of time, energy, money etc. are saved and so these resources can be distributed to other important activities. All these bring efficiency in the production. Web marketing keeps the staff together electronically and transfer of information is possible immediately through one place to anywhere in the world, no matter how much physical distance is there between a seller and a customer.
vii. Horizontal Transfer of Information:
In web marketing, there is no need for a systematic transfer of information. Any type of information can be transferred directly to the particular person. In other words, in web marketing, informations are shared horizontally e.g., information need not travel up to the CEO’s office and then travel back down to reach the other.
viii. More Effective Method:
Web marketing saves most of the resources e.g. time, money, energy, etc. and makes sales personnels more efficient. Also, in the web marketing there is no need to remember a lot of informations at the same point of time. Therefore, here human memory limitations are removed. Once stored, informations are available anytime and anywhere and these can also be updated as per requirement of the work.
ix. Helps in Facing Competition:
Since, web allows its users to access all types of information regarding a nation or even international also, located anywhere in the world, marketers can adjust themselves to the changing market condition. Web is a combination of different type of communication medium e.g., television, radio, newspaper, magazine, telephone etc. So by providing timely and up to date information to the sellers it allows them to adjust themselves quickly and helps them for facing competition. Moreover, there is no limit of advertisement space etc. therefore seller can easily know what other competitors are doing.
x. Mass as well as Personalised Medium:
Web marketing provides a mass as well as personalized medium of communication. This is a Mass communication medium because with the help of web a marketer is able to communicate with a large number of buyers just from a single shop. From a central point a marketer can sell his products and services to his all customers and can satisfy them by providing services to them.
Web marketing is also a personalized medium of communication because with the help of web a marketer can serve his customer individually. He can satisfy his customer by getting information regarding demand of a particular customer and provides services to them according to their demand, located at any place in the world.
xi. Web Marketing is Pro-Active:
Web marketing is pro-active method of marketing. Firstly, a customer has to spend time on the web, for making a search about the product and service and at that time a marketer catches the consumer.
xii. National as well as International Growth:
With the help of web marketing, a marketer can grow himself not only in a nation but also in other nations. Web provides information all over the world therefore for a marketer it is possible to know what is happening in the world and then he can adjust himself accordingly and can grow internationally also.
2. Advantages to the Consumers:
For the consumer, easy availability, rational buying, alternative products, twenty four hour services, sales of old products, time saving, money saving, scope of complaints and suggestions, more in their favour etc., are some main benefits of web marketing.
These benefits are explained as under:
i. Easy Availability:
With the help of web marketing, a consumer has a lot of benefits. He can easily avail products and services from his home. There is no need to go to the shop or in other words, we can say that here physical visit is not required. Orders can easily be placed on the web from any corner, located wherever on the globe. Therefore, availability of products and services are more convenient to the consumer than any other type of marketing.
ii. Bargaining is also Possible:
Because web marketing is an interactive way of communication so a consumer can easily bargain on the web with the marketer for the price and quality of the product and service. Consumer can compare all type of brands, quality, feature etc. on the web and then secure the best deal.
iii. More Benefits at Low Cost:
Since a web marketer knows that a consumer on the web is able to access all the features and all details anywhere, anytime on the globe, that’s why he cannot charge high prices or in other words, a web marketer cannot exploit the consumer because a web consumer is more informed other than any other type of consumer.
iv. Less Scope for Fraud:
In web marketing, chances for fraud are very few because here business transactions are more transparent. Just by searching a particular website a consumer can easily come to know about all the sellers, the product and services they are selling, prices, terms and conditions etc.
v. More Factual Information:
In web marketing, informations on the web are more accurate than any other type of information medium. All information and details on the web are supported by a lot of proofs. Therefore, here available information are more factual and accurate. Dell computer is an example of this type of convenience to the consumer.
A consumer can place order for Dell computer sitting at home and for this he has to just log on to the Internet, go to the Dell website, select specifications and place order, with his credit card number. Dell delivers the computer to the consumer’s place within a few days of the order.
vi. Complete Online Communication:
In web marketing a consumer can have a complete online communication with the marketer e.g. online demonstration of the product, online placement of order, online payment system etc.
vii. Rational Buying:
Rational Buying is another important benefit of the web marketing to the consumer. All the information which a consumer requires are available to him just by one click on the web. In any type of marketing other than web marketing, search for a particular product or service of a consumer is limited to just four or five alternatives. But in web marketing situation is different.
A consumer can easily have access to a large number of brands of a particular product and service sitting at his home. On the web all type of details are available very quickly and also in a classified form so that consumer can choose the required product or service after comparing different alternatives. He can select the option which is quantitatively and qualitatively best for the satisfaction of his needs.
viii. More in Favour of Consumer:
Like any other type of marketing, where consumers have to visit the retail shops physically, in web marketing’ there is no need to go to the shop physically. A web marketer catches the consumers on the web when he is making search for a particular product.
ix. 24 Hour Services:
In web marketing, a consumer is able to make purchase or place an order any time that is all the twenty four hours in day are available to him for making a purchase. Thus there are no fixed market hours for shopping.
x. Time Saving:
A consumer can buy a product or service at any time. When he is free he can open that particular website where his requirements can be fulfilled and place an order. Moreover, he need not to go to the showroom physically, that’s why in web marketing, a lot of valuable time of a consumer is saved.
xi. Money Saving:
Web marketing is also an economic medium of marketing. Here, consumer can save transportation cost as he need not to go to the shop personally. And even need not to compare different brands by physically visiting four-five showrooms. Just by browsing the website he can compare different sellers’ products, sitting at his home. That’s why a lot of money is saved.
xii. Complaints and Suggestions:
Here a consumer can also put his suggestions on the website and he can also complain to the web marketer more quickly, if he faces any problem in the product.
xiii. Sale of Old Product:
Web provides a large scope for the sale of old products. Nowadays, different websites are there which help in selling old products. Therefore, consumer can easily sell their used products again to some others on the web very easily.
3. Advantages to the Society:
Web marketing provides many benefits to the society.
These benefits are explained as under:
i. Web marketing helps the society in getting products and services on reasonable prices.
ii. Products and services of better quality are available to the society.
iii. Web marketing provides goods and services at all the places anytime, anywhere located on the globe.
iv. Through web marketing standard of living of human beings is also improved.
v. With the inclusion of the concept of “Social Responsibility” through web marketing social welfare can be done in a better manner.
Advantages of E-Commerce – 6 Important Advantages over Traditional Commerce: Overcomes Geographical Boundaries, Wider Customer Reach and a Few Others
The key benefits of e-commerce revolve around the fact that it eliminates limitations of time and geographical distance, encountered while conducting business in a conventional manner.
The benefits of e-commerce over traditional commerce are listed below:
Advantage # 1. Overcomes Geographical Boundaries:
The reach of a physical store is limited to the area of its location. Even if it has several branches throughout the city or the country, the constraint of the physical space remains. However, an e-commerce web site can reach to customers beyond borders. This enables it to expand its market to national and international level with minimum capital investment.
Advantage # 2. Wider Customer Reach:
E-commerce businesses can get new customers more easily than traditional businesses. This is due to the fact that e-commerce has a wider reach than traditional marketing networks. They can promote their business on the internet, on various social networking sites as well as on television, newspapers etc., to reach their target audience.
Advantage # 3. Lowers Cost:
Setting up an e-commerce network is cheaper as compared to a traditional business set-up. The cost of labour, personnel management, infrastructure, advertising and marketing is comparatively less. A part of these lowered costs is passed on to customers in the form of discounted prices.
E-commerce also lowers the cost for consumers by eliminating travel time and costs incurred in commuting to the physical store. E-commerce allows them to access desired products and services, with just a few mouse clicks.
Advantage # 4. Remains Open all the Time:
E-commerce provides the option for the consumers to shop any time, as per their convenience. Unlike traditional shops, the e-commerce sites never shut down and that allows the businesses to thrive.
Advantage # 5. Enables Comparative Shopping:
E-commerce facilitates comparison shopping. Customers can compare between various brands and prices, which helps him in making the best choice.
Advantage # 6. Customer Care and Feedback:
E-commerce facilitates quick redressal of consumer’s grievances. These web sites provide users an opportunity to write down their feedback through which they can identify needs and demands of customers. Most of the traditional and local forms of businesses have failed to establish good relationship with consumers and customer service is slow.
Advantages of E-Commerce
E-commerce has the potential to redefine marketplaces as it changes value networks. The benefits of e-commerce are many beginning with the ability to broaden the reach of the firm and offer a larger potential customer base. Geographic boundaries no longer exist and the e-commerce site, depending upon the software and hardware behind the website can operate 24 hours day, 365 days per year.
The web opens a new channel to service current customers and build sales with new customers. Business-to-business marketers should be natural users to e-commerce, as they have a customer base that has computers and are likely to be connected to the web. Payment systems and delivery systems are in place and management control can be established through control of who is authorized to buy and where the product may be shipped.
E-commerce makes it possible to reduce the costs associated with holding large physical inventories as the time gained in order processing reduces the need for holding inventories in branch locations. The value network can be connected electronically improving the responsiveness of the system and reducing inventory.
The costs of serving a customer who specifies his needs and places an order over the web are significantly less than making a sales call or using a telephone sales system. Faster customer response is accomplished with 24-hour access. Customers with questions are able to access directly centrally maintained current information. Customers can see the status of their orders and shipment information.
Customer relationships exist at a different level from traditional relationships. Since e-commerce may offer the buyers a choice of how to connect with the company — either through a salesperson, over the web or a combination —customers will be able to build the type of relationship that they prefer.
A customer profile can be developed for each customer by running a data collection programme in the background. These data can be used as input for new product development, target marketing and gaining better understanding of the customer.
A database marketing system is the heart of web marketing. The data warehouse is built up on operational data such as customer descriptions, sales histories, billing and accounting records, responses to promotions and a myriad of other internal records.
External overlays are purchased such as credit ratings, usage of the product category and other relevant data that describe the customer. Data marts of specialized data are extracted from the warehouse to be used by marketing analysts to create new products or marketing programmes.
E-commerce will not replace traditional business-to-business relationships but will become an important extension as to how business is conducted. E-commerce will be a potent force in redefining value networks. Channel members such as distributors, may be most at risk, as their functions may be eroded as firms go direct to their customers. The term ‘disintermediated’ was coined to explain the removal of middlemen in the world of e-commerce.
Looking into the future it is possible to visualize a web-based customer system that would elicit customer needs from a technology buyer and then create a product to meet those needs. The buyer would then be able to manipulate the product and make a trade-off between different levels of engineering performance and price.