E-commerce success factors and business adoption

With the rapidly changing technology, the world market has become increasingly accessible to a lot of companies and firms. This has led to the emergence of electronic commerce or e-commerce as commonly known. Businesses, therefore, have been forced to embrace e-commerce. In this context, E-commerce can, therefore, be defined as commercial transactions conducted electronically on the Internet. Electronic commerce is a business platform where commercial transactions are performed by use of electronic technology on the internet. It has been termed as the supreme reflection of the world-wide reach of business. Predominantly, the platform can be interpreted as the acts of: selling or purchasing or marketing of services and goods by the users; economic exchanges and social interactions-commerce that allow participating organizations to collaborate with partners, fully service customers as well as carry out e-transactions without the need of having physical address within the market. From customer based retail locales, through music sites and auctions, to business trades that exchange services and products between companies. It covers a wide range of businesses types (Wymer, 438).  For the past seven years electronic commerce has expanded rapidly and is expected to accelerate in the near future due to the increased reach of technological awareness in the global market, this therefore will soon blur the barriers between convectional and e-commerce as more and more businesses are increasingly embracing online trading and hence are moving sections of their operations to the internet as it eliminates barriers of time and distance

Depending on how E-commerce is applied by different businesses, it has often been classified into different classes or categories; however categorizing e-commerce can be tricky because the purpose and basis of the business on the internet may be misunderstood. There are two parameters that are almost always used to classify e-commerce businesses, and these are the type of goods sold and the nature of the participants. Classification is often done so as to give insight into the business model to be employed and additionally the financial model to be used. For example firms in the business of logistics of delivering physical goods face a huge challenge regarding transport and on time deliveries. Vendors of digital goods are not presented with these challenges (Thomas and Simmons, 312).

The two most common participants in e-commerce are businesses and consumers therefore based on this there are four primary types of e-commerce: B2B; B2C; and C2C. B2B is an e-commerce that mainly focuses on electronic transactions that exists between businesses. The volume and value of B2B e-commerce can be huge. An example is an industrial manufacturer of steel sourcing raw materials online. B2C is based on Electronic transactions between a customer and business or vice versa. It eliminates the need for physical retail stores, and this is the biggest rationale for its adoption, however, the complexity and logistics involved is its biggest barrier to adoption (Dubelaar, et al. 1251). An example of this kind of business is Amozon.com the final category of the e-commerce business is the C2C, and it involves Customers doing transactions electronically among themselves on a service provider platform. It enables consumers to sell to other consumers. An example of the C2C electronic business is eBay.com .This paper focuses on only two model of e-commerce being B2C and C2C models.

 

 

Reasons for E-commerce adoption

Various institutions have adopted the e- commerce business platform for various reasons amongst which includes having operations with vendors and business partners to meet the interests of the customer, access the market and also to build a good reputation. Also, there is a remarkable difference existing between the companies that possess international practices and the domestic ones in terms of the adoption intention to the markets. Furthermore, companies believe the ability of e-commerce to thrive internal business operations, improvement in the efficiency and effectiveness in relations with vendors, increase in customer satisfaction, competitive advantage an improvement of the internal communication as well as a positive image of the business. (Daniel & Wilson 2002)

B2C business model

As a business model, B2C e-commerce enables e-commerce companies to source in large quantity directly from manufacturers, sell directly to consumers or store it in their warehouses. This will eliminate the middlemen in the process; reduce risks for the manufacturer in dealing with distribution systems. This helps in the creation of a very competitive pricing for customers and manufacturers. In B2C e-trade, organizations offer straightforwardly an assorted gathering of items and administrations to clients (Manzoor, 113). Notwithstanding, unadulterated B2C e-trade players like  hepsiburada.com and Amazon as well as other conventional organizations have gone into the virtual commercial center through building up far-reaching sites. E-business aids in supplementing the conventional trade by offering services and goods through electronic channels. Examples of companies with a highly dynamic B2C type of e-commerce are the Gap and Wal-Mart Stores. Such types of e-commerce have many benefits to the companies including easy access to the stores, easy access to the profits, and easy access to customer service in the company’s stores (Thomas and Simmons, 312).

A B2C Cycle has five noteworthy exercises included in carrying out B2C e-trade. Info sharing in B2C e-business might utilize a few or the majority of the accompanying applications and advances to impart data to clients: Online ads, email, newsgroups/dialog bunches, organization site, online lists, message board frameworks, release board frameworks, multiparty conferencing (Dubelaar, et al. 1251). Ordering is also a B2C cycle where customers have the opportunity of using electronic e-mail or forms that are found on the company’s website in ordering goods from a B2C site.  With just a mouse click, vital data or information that relate to the needed products are sent to the site. The second one is payment where electronic checks, Credit cards, and digital cash are greatly used as the traditional options to pay for the goods or services. This makes it easy for a transaction process to be finalized therefore saving on time and other extra costs involved in the use physical cash that would bring in the risk if theft or loss due to misplacement. Likewise, satisfaction is in charge of physically conveying the items from the seller to the customer. This enhances quicker delivery even if clients would have to pay extra charges (Belkhamza and Wafa, 236). As for the case, digital products such as software, and music among others, the e-commerce enhances the engagement of digital documentations in giving assurance of integrity, safety and confidentiality of the sent product. It could likewise include issues of conveyance address check and computerized warehousing that stocks digital items on a PC until they arrive at the client’s destination. E-business has the alternative of taking care of own satisfaction operations or hotspot for the task from outsiders with moderate expenses (Molla and Licker, 83).

Service and support are less expensive to keep up existing clients than to draw in new ones. In this manner, it’s fitting for e-businesses to do whatever that they can in order to give convenient, top notch administration and backing to their clients. Since e-business organizations don’t have customary physical vicinity and look for different approaches to hold existing clients, administration and backing are then extremely fundamental in e-trade than conventional organizations. Email affirmation, intermittent news streak, and online reviews are a percentage of the samples of advances and applications that are utilized for giving administration and bolster and might likewise be utilized as advertising apparatuses. By and large, the email affirmation gives the client with an affirmation number that they can use to get the item or administration. This guarantees the customer that a particular request has been settled and that they will have the capacity to get their items by a particular date. Secondly, there is a Periodic news streak utilized in updating clients with the most recent data on the organization or a particular item or offer (Belkhamza and Wafa, 235). This is a platform that strengthens market penetration and customer attraction. Thirdly, the results of online Surveys can help the e-business webpage to offer better backing and services to their customers in light of what has been assembled in the study. This happens despite the fact that essentially online overviews are generally utilized as a marketing tool. Fourthly, they offer work areas some assistance with providing answers to basic issues or offer guidance for devouring items or administrations. This has the same effect as that of conventional organizations. At long last, guaranteed secure exchanges and online barters ensure a customer that the e-trade webpage caters for all the security and protection issues, since numerous clients are still not happy with doing online business, the security, and protection administrations are extremely basic (Fillis et al. 178)

 

C2C Business Model

The C2C e-trade plan of action as said before includes buyers offering straightforwardly to different customers by utilization of the Internet and web advances. People everywhere throughout the globe offer a wide assortment of items on the Web or through closeout locales like eBay.com, Craigslist, and gittigidiyor.com through characterized promotions or by publicizing. Purchasers can air the advertisements of their services and products in authoritative intranets and offer them to different associates (Taylor and Murphy, 282). Monetary trades include the strong and money related part of working together on a C2C stage. Social communications, also, allude to the social practices that two or more people are included when following up on the stage. The purchasers and merchants on a C2C stage often do not know each other, and the monetary exchanges are reliant on time-asymmetry yielding from non-synchronous installment and conveyance. However, C2C stages give shoppers the benefits of having the capacity to impact the monetary terms of the exchanges and accomplishing stock, which might be missing through different channels (Fillis et al. 179).

Given this income is created by the Platform suppliers by charging expenses on the financial exchanges directed through the stage, and by offering different administrations. Rivalry, be that as it may, is likewise a main consideration for these suppliers as it can be wild as Internet-based stages are effectively duplicated, and the exchanging costs for customers are basically non-existent. Stage suppliers don’t keep their own particular load of products and administrations, but instead administration the purchasers by the utilization of the stage going about as go betweens (Manzoor, 114. Subsequently, Platform suppliers are, to a great degree subject to material created by clients and on clients’ interpersonal organizations, which can be seen as the suppliers’ center aggressive assets (Grandon et al. 197). Moreover, making a positive association with the clients can be seen to speak to a key vital test for stage suppliers on account of clients’ communication. In C2C e-trade, charge cards are the regular installment strategy for exchange.

The different e-commerce models discussed above present varied advantages and benefits to businesses employing them .To begin with, geographical reach assured and there is no hindrance for members as they can achieve any physical area on the globe through correspondence systems. Furthermore, the rate of communication between the members of e-trade happens inside of a limited ability to focus time along these lines expanding Productivity because of the quick speed of Internet exchanges. Members of e-business can have a great deal of time that they can focus on different exercises (Dubelaar, et al. 1252). This means that they are able to do more work than they actually planned, leading to increased output.  E-commerce is also beneficial in the sense that it allows for Information sharing, for instance, graphics, text, video, and audio can be shared to all logged in users into that network. In addition, to the ability to accesses, varied information e-commerce provides for the option of adding new features to the products and services .Effectively, the cost of the business transaction is cut down as compared to the traditional methods because of the Internet’s nature as producers can communicate directly with buyers, eliminating any middlemen (Belkhamza and Wafa, 239).

Organizations and people who practice e-trade have a tendency to have an upper hand as it is contended that they create and actualize a compelling e-trade system, in this manner, picking up a business corner over others in their industry that can’t offer comparative items and administrations. The real uptake and acknowledgment of advantages in e-trade selection have been in huge enterprises particularly in created countries. Research ponders have noticed that while some expansive firms have profited extraordinarily in e-trade reception because of the wide assets available to them, SMEs in creating nations do not have a few assets and skills and the political and business environment in their nations give little help to support e-trade appropriation Taylor and Murphy (pg. 282).

Boundaries that prevent adoption of e-commerce

Given the benefits of e-commerce it is presentable as the future way of doing business; however, it is not without its challenges and shortcomings. These short comings hinder and will probably hinder the infinite growth and entire adoption of e-commerce by as many businesses and user as possible. These factors that disadvantage e-commerce is security as Customers demand a high level of trust with monetary transactions and need to be confident and trust the provider of payment method. Cybercrime has posed a great threat to the credulity of online platform transactions, and this has been of great disadvantage hence firms must ensure that their online trading platforms are secure (Fillis et al. 178). Another disadvantage of e-commerce is that its scalability of the system as the platform needs to be robust and large enough to accommodate some customers at any given time. If this is missing the growth of the business is not guaranteed and could lead to market death or business ‘death’. Naturally, the integrity of data and system is a core requirement that if compromised the whole essence of support is lost as secure access to the platform assure the customers of the credibility a confidence. For instance, in the year 2012, the EBay data systems were compromised leading to loss of customer information and passwords. This poses a direct impact on the market share as some customers lose their trust in the system (Dubelaar, et al. 1255).

Sometimes, some consumers would prefer the physical interaction in the market that is characterized by aspects like feel, try and sit on the couch. This demographic portion misses out on the online business platform thereby reducing the e- commerce market share. E-commerce business platform is faced with the Customer Service and Relation Problem as the one-on- one interaction with the customer is mostly not possible. This may lead to detachment of some potential and existing customers as people need the psychological feel of appreciation and empathy. Therefore, there is a need to realize that disadvantages are also part of the business experiences and provider’s needs to come up with more robust systems that give customer reasons to adopt the on-line business idea amidst these shortcomings (Taylor and Murphy, 281).

E-commerce is dependent on various factors that need a keen check to ensure the business growth. These factors include internal factors that can be influenced directly and the external factors that have little or no control over. Amongst these factors are Legal and governance. The 2010 e-Transactions and e-Commerce Law needs further clarification, implementation, and communication. This includes further clarification of the current roles and responsibilities of the relevant players as well as building awareness of the law among affected stakeholders. Also, the law strongly privileges PKIs (public key infrastructure) based on electronic signatures, creating uncertainty about other alternatives (Taylor and Murphy, 280).     Customer adoption is yet another factor that influences the expansivity of e-commerce. Limited e-commerce conversion of digital browsers (due to low consumer awareness around e-commerce options and a lack of local offers are current challenges. Other issues include problems with websites of local merchants: low attractiveness and accessibility, less-than-optimal, non-user-friendly navigation, and failure to address the needs of different segments of the population. Also, poor e-commerce penetration among a large population of low-wage laborers (both blue collar and transient laborers) inhibits a robust e-commerce effort (Grandon et al. 197).

 

 

E-commerce Success Factors

With the knowledge of the shortcomings of e-commerce, major businesses have been able to address some of the emerging issues in e-commerce and manage some. This has led to major success stories. Some of these success factors that have led to the phenomenal growth of e-commerce include technological advancement and the more increasing internetworked global network created by the network and perpetual improvements in technology. It is worth noting that tech skills have also played a major role in the success of e-commerce. Competent and skilled personnel have helped created websites that are secure enough to allow transactions without compromising the security of these sites and additionally they have maintained and made continued improvements on these sites.

Another success factor of e-commerce has been the ability of the transaction platforms i.e. website to handle data traffic adequately. Customers are more inclined to use online platforms that are reliable regardless of if the season is high or low. Platforms should be able to handle traffic without crushing and allow a seamless transition of transactions so as to gain customer confidence. Amazon.com has been a success majorly because they have been able to develop a platform on which the values of reliability and availability have been a non de cue.

In as much as technology is advancing, the market is demanding a more and more user-friendly interface to the e-commerce platforms that they utilize. This has contributed largely to the success of the large corporations that today operate online.  Reputation and strong credibility are another success factor in e-commerce. The customers have to be conversant with a business that does transactions online and they must without a doubt trust that their money will return value once they entrust it to the e-business.

Clear Value Proposition is also a critical success factor. One mistake that most start-up e-businesses have made is to assume that just building it will attract customers to the web. Just having a tech-driven website does not attract customers and allow organization make money(Manzoor, 113). Businesses have to understand basic business facets involved in delivering an excellent value proposition. Knowledge of focused clients, a particular item or service offering, an effective appropriation or conveyance framework, income improvement and cost controls and Web support all add to customer-oriented value propositions.

E-trade has possessed the capacity to reduce or even eliminate advertising distribution channels subsequently making items less expensive and hence expanding merchant’s benefits as this is an immediate impact of diminished expense of making, handling, appropriating, putting away and recovery of data by digitizing the procedure. It is additionally noticed that e-trade is gainful to associations as it permits inventories by encouraging force sort store network administration; this permits item customization and decreases stock expenses. Telecommunication expenses are likewise decreased in light of the fact that the web is much less expensive than quality included systems. E-commerce successfully empowers little new companies to contend positively with expansive enterprises for the piece of the pie as often as possible gives less costly items and administrations by permitting buyer to lead fast online examinations (Manzoor, 113).

EBay

Ebay is a classic example C2C business model of E- commerce that was established in 1995 by Pierre Omiya in his living room in San Jose. It was intended, to be a commercial center for the offer of products and administrations for people from the beginning (Grandon et al. 199).

The EBay plan of action has assembled an online individual to-individual exchanging group on the Internet, utilizing the World Wide Web. This, therefore, lists it as one of the businesses that employ the Customer-To-Customer e-commerce business model. Traders are united in a way where venders are allowed to rundown products available to be purchased. Purchasers are then able to bid on the products they like, and all eBay clients can scan through recorded items in a completely mechanized manner (Eikebrokk et al. 364). Traditionally, person to person trading was carried out through physical market sales however EBay came up and filled this market gap with streamlined and globalized trading, with their web interface which has encouraged simple investigation for purchasers and empowered the dealers to instantly list a thing available to be purchased inside of minutes of enlisting. EBay generates a large amount of its revenue from fees and commissions associated with trading services on its platform both online and offline (Dubelaar, et al. 1251).

Feedback

For every e-business feedback is an important ant in maintaining customer satisfaction. EBay has customized its feedback system that allows the buyer to communicate their concerns and feel of service once they are through with their transactions and uses these feedbacks to fix service delivery bugs and hence ensures continued customer loyalty.

In Qatar e-business startups should pay keen attention to feedback as businesses are built on customers and share of the market. If these startups and companies adopt such a policy on feedback as eBay, then-then potential of business growth is imminent.

EBay ensures a flowing feedback that keeps the customers in the loop of the transaction therefore making it a very reliable to the users. Users do not have to worry about the updates as they are in the light of every stage of their transaction from ordering to delivery. EBay also gives feedback that addresses the concerns raised by the customers in their Fraud protection.

Fraud within an e-business platform can have a devastating effect on the reputation of the business as this leads to customer losing confidence in the business. EBay has created systems that are fraud-proof and hence customers cannot lose their money to fraudsters on its platform. This has led to a high trust rating among its users and has continually led to its massive growth over the years. In Qatar fraud is a major concern in and out of the online community. Businesses in Qatar looking to adopt e-commerce must emulate measure employed by eBay to protect their customers against online fraudsters.

Buyer protection

The key to the success of any e-business is the ability to securely keep and maintain their customer’s records and databases. A customer entrusts a lot in these online platforms i.e. their credit card information, passwords, and any other financial records. EBay has managed to fairly control and securely keep their customer information. However, it must be not that eBay still faces this challenge if the incident in 2012 is anything to go by.

Qatar business should consider this factor when venturing into e-commerce if the businesses are going to be a success. Strict measures should be adopted, and that protect the buyers who are the only reason for the business existence.

In Qatar, payments are mostly made on a cash-on-delivery basis, therefore resulting to limited e-payment methods such as debit cards, prepaid cards, digital wallets, etc. Complex e-payment rules and regulations, complexity in merchant e-payment setup, an acquiring process with high associated costs, and the absence of aggregators in the market inhibit e-commerce development. Logistics is such a critical aspect of business and if wrongly planned can cost the business a big fortune. There is a low performance in Pricing and delivery than leading practice standards because of limited volume and the dominance of the national postal operator. The absence of enhanced competition in the local parcel delivery segment of the market affects sales inbound volume (Taylor and Murphy, 280). Additionally, lack of free-trade zones lowers the trade and export lucrativeness of Qatar. Due to low presence of local online merchants presence, there are limited results from local e-commerce. Furthermore, local merchants generally have limited knowledge and insufficient ICT skills to facilitate e-commerce and Omni-channel strategies. There is limited access to financial services resource with due to the complex and expensive registration and start-up procedural policies that needs to be simplified to address the needs of online businesses. Finally, foreign investments are restrained by stiff regulatory requirements and a non-competitive environment, lowering the appeal of doing business in the Qatari market (Belkhamza and Wafa, 235).

In conclusion, we must realize the dynamism of business and realize that E- commerce has changed the traditional way of doing business. Technological advancements and generation Y expectations have presented us with this, and it’s here to stay; therefore, we need to embrace it and exploit the benefits that come with it. Citing the major advantages that come with the adoption of the on-line platform, we are better with using it as opposed to the traditional business platform (Grandon et al. 197).

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