The Role of E-Commerce in Marketing of Coconut Oil in Thailand
E-commerce has been defined as the process in which buying and selling of goods and services is done on the Internet via online services. The number of e-commerce users in Thailand is currently 12.1 million and is expected to rise with an additional of 1.8 million users doing businesses online by 2021. The major contributor to the increased use of e-commerce marketing services according to the respondents is the increased use of Internet services where many can access it on their smart phones and personal computers. With the onset of smart phone penetration in Thailand many people have the ability to access Internet easily therefore increasing the numbers of online shoppers.
The dissertation focuses on uncovering the critical role of e-commerce in marketing of coconut oil in Thailand. According to the outcome of the research that involved 80 respondents out of 100, 92.5% strongly agreed that e-commerce has a vital role in increasing the sales of coconut oil products in Thailand. A mean of 1.1625 that was recorded signify a direct relationship between the increase in sales and the use of e-commerce marketing services.
Ecommerce marketing channels such as website and social media have been listed as the leading channels that have shaped the field of marketing coconut oil because many customers have now shifted to the use of such channels in carrying out all their business transactions. 96.2% of the respondents strongly agreed that Internet is the driving factor behind the increased use of e-commerce marketing channels because a larger number can access it through their smart phones and personal computers anytime and anywhere.
The research finds a direct influence of e-commerce marketing services on consumer behaviour towards the ability to make coconut oil purchases. 92.5% of the respondents indicated that e-commerce services mostly determines who to buy or not buy the products in most cases attracting many people to make purchases due to their ease and fast way of doing transactions.
Research objectives are very important in providing the expectations of the study. They have acted as guidelines towards developing a good research paper. The main objectives of the study include;
To investigate the role of ecommerce in the marketing of coconut oil in Thailand
To analyze the commonly used ecommerce marketing channels in Thailand
To examine consumer behaviour in relation to the use of ecommerce in marketing of coconut oil in Thailand
1 – Introduction
2 – Literature Review
History of ECommerce
Summary of the History of ECommerce
Theories explaining the rapid growth of e-commerce
Examples of E-commerce Businesses in Thailand
Types of Ecommerce in Thailand
Business to Consumer (B2C)
Business to Business (B2B)
Consumer to Business (C2B)
Consumer to Consumer (C2C)
Consumer to Administrator (C2A)
Business to Administrator (B2A)
The Role of ECommerce in Marketing
Planning a content or suitable marketing strategy
Automated email marketing campaigns
Diversification through social media
Enhances personalization strategy
Ensures original content
Advantages of using ecommerce in marketing
Sites of E-commerce in Thailand
Social media and Digital marketing
E-Commerce Marketing Channels in Thailand
Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
Consumer Behaviour and Values in Ecommerce
Factors Influencing Customer Behaviour in Ecommerce
3 – Research Methodology
4 – Data Presentation, Evidence, Analysis and Discussion
Role of E-commerce in Marketing
Promoters of E-commerce Marketing
E-commerce Marketing Channels
Leading E-commerce Channel in Marketing of Coconut Oil in Thailand
Online marketing services vs. the traditional marketing services
Findings of Quantitative Method
5 – Discussion and Limitations of the Study
6 – Conclusion and Recommendation of the Study
I hope you enjoyed reading this post on The Role of ECommerce in Marketing. There are many other titles available in the Marketing Dissertation Collection that should be of interest to marketing students and practitioners. There are many dissertation titles that relate to other aspects of marketing such as branding, corporate advertising, marketing strategy and consumerism to name a few. I would be grateful if you could share this post via Facebook and Twitter. Feel free to add your thoughts in the comments section. Thank you.
E-Business is a term used to define a business or mode of operations that have their existence on the internet or which conducts it operational tasks electronically. E-business is the ability to provide products/services on a secure domain with low costs, which allow hundreds of people to be looking at them and it also helps to make up to date changes on a regular basis. In its simplest form E-business can be taken as providing service and ease with satisfaction with the use of technology.
Ethics is a part of the study of psychology, which shows what is right and wrong, what acceptable behavior is abiding by the law, business ethics too involve such measures that needs to be taken care of in relation to communicating or dealing with other people whom being a stockholder, stakeholder or a shareholder may have influence over your business (Gauer.2000). E-business do have ethical rules associated with it, as in this case the targeted number of people is much larger and their privacy and content should be given preference while dealing.
The ethical/legal issues involve in an E-business can be of different types and genres. The internet was once taken as the source only to search for some important information, but with a gradual update of time it is getting more commercialized, now it’s seen most of the trading is done through the internet even banking has been made online, this is done not only to provide ease but it is also considered as the cheapest and fastest service to cater the needs. But E-business does not come alone without having any constraints, these issues might be considered as normal, but they do have serious impacts on the sources (Gehling and stankard, 2005).
Ethical and legal Issues
The issues involve can be:
It refers to the technique used over the internet where attackers form a fake website, made on the same criteria and setup as the original one and demands from customers to give their credit card numbers and other personal information that then can be used in any of the disruptive activity which they will not be aware of.
This technique involves when a domain name of a well known business or organization is purchased, registered or used illegally for the purpose of infringement of its trademarks. This is done to wring payments from the original owners of the trademark. This is a source of manipulation done by the hackers to demand high payments for getting back the domain; otherwise their trademarks will be distorted.
This issue is mainly related to consumers, when their personal information is leaked out and used for unauthorized purpose. This involves getting personal information of consumers using different web technologies. The information provided can be used by anyone other than in authority. The malicious programs that run silently on web pages can reveal the personal data of consumers.
It is also referred to as unsolicited commercial email. This is done by spammers as they send fake emails representing an authorized name and get access to the personal data of the customers as if by mean of asking this for promotional purposes or other related activities.
These ethical/legal issues of E-business can be associated with hacking as becoming a serious issue with ever growing responsiveness for the online operations of the business.
Hacking is a major cyber crime, it refers to when a person or a chunk of people get access to the data with unauthorized measures and uses it for the purposes of infringement of information and dispossession of online operations a business.
The recent incident of hacking has been reported which discusses the ethical/legal issues of this activity and its effects on consumers, the further part of this paper will elaborate as how this intrusion could have been prevented and what measure could have been taken.
Sony Pictures and PlayStation 3.0 Hacking
Sony PlayStation accounts – about 1 million were hacked by hacker George Hotz. Sony took legal action against him and in retaliation, the group Lulzsec headed by founder Sabu hacked into Sony Pictures accounts. Data including user names, their passwords, addresses and email ids were stolen. Sabu ultimately pleaded guilty, turned an FBI informant and helped arrest 5 more member hackers (Caldwell, 2011).
Discuss the ethical & legal issues involved in a recent hacking case
The ethical/legal issues that we have discussed earlier can be identified with respect to this incident because this incident is related to the intrusion in accounts of consumers where they have stored their personal information and other data that can be used for unauthorized purposes.
Web spoofing can be related to this incident that the hackers from attacking the accounts of consumers have authority over their passwords and user names, what they can do is, by making a fake website they can add up all those accounts to it without knowing the customer about it and then these accounts can be used for infringement purposes. These acts will not only affect the reputation of Sony but also the trust built and the relationship between customers and the company may be distorted.
This act of web spoofing can lead to cyber squatting by the attackers as by making a fake site they are using the domain name of Sony or they have purchased or made illegal use of the name for unauthorized purposes, they can either use the domain as infringement of information as per to the operations of Sony, or they can push up several measures that will destroy the reputation of Sony in the market and in the eyes of its present and potential customers, the attackers may demand for huge amounts of money if Sony wants to prevent destruction of its reputation and operations in the market.
The other issue is about privacy invasion which has been done in this case by violating the rules and leaking the personal information of the customers by hacking their accounts and getting access to their user names and passwords. The intrusion in the case can be malicious because the personal data of the customer can be used for any purpose once it has given access, this may lead to devastating results because personal information can be comprised of names, credit card numbers, phone numbers, email address, which are quite sensitive to handle. They can be used by hackers in illegal tasks, and this will lead to furious results for the poor customer who is all unaware of the fact.
The last issue discussed is of email spamming, after getting personal information or access to the site or domain, the attackers can generate fake emails to the clients asking them for money contribution as act of promotions or other personal data that is not available on the site and make use of it for illegal tasks, making money through this act is common among the spammers and it is found to be the easiest of the technique, because customer is unaware of the fact and being a loyal consent gives information for what they are asked for.
Describe what happened and the consequences. What did the company involved do as a result of the intrusion?
Sony has been a victim of this cybercrime for twice, they have to look for prevention techniques to avoid threats that have been intruded their network. The responsibility of this spoofing has been taken by the group named LulzSec, they have stated that “they have stolen information such as names passwords user names email addresses and other private data of the clients by just breaking into the Play Station network, and to be worst for Sony and to their best they found the data that was not at all encrypted, Sony has saved about 1,000,000 passwords that were in the form of plain text which makes it easier for anyone with some polished skills of hacking to be taken away very easily”.
LulzSec has stated that the theft of data also included 75,000 music codes, and 35 million music coupons, they also have provided with a sample of data which they claim they have taken from the company’s networks and show it as their accomplishment of the mission.
As a result of this intrusion Sony has been victimized and more vulnerable to threats and losses it can generate. As a result of web-base being hacked Sony will now have to incur interconnected cost, the play station hacking instance, has caused Sony a loss of more than $170 million. Apart from the monetary cost rose from hacking theses instances will also add up as a cost for organization for putting in considerable time of the employees which otherwise can be used in their several operational tasks, which will result in a loss of more money being generated.
Computer hacking is what is called the intrusion or interruption of information, Sony Play station is a digitized client database that has names, passwords, email addresses of the clients. The loss of such information can result in a partial loss of competitive edge in the market and it will also affect the client base as they will feel hesitant to trust the source again.
The organization that has been most prudent to the threat of hacking just as in case of Sony needs to develop an organizational structure that is comprised of extensive information technology teams, (Nissanoff, 2006) which will work for the development and improvement of computer networks and safety to secure the network to stop and dissuade hackers from distorting the information available on the server. To make this effective these measures should be made part of the initial business plan so they get implemented timely.
The database being hacked can also lose consumer confidence, once their data has been manipulated, just as in the case of Sony, it’s been twice that they have been a victim of hacking, now the consumers will feel hesitant to provide sensitive information such as credit card numbers and other personal data with a nuisance of their data being stolen and misused. It is very hard to restore the trust and satisfaction of customers once they have been maltreated by a cyber-attack.
What should they have done?
According to Stephen Gates, it is not easy for hackers to manipulate into a server with quite an ease there is some backdoor holes which is helping them to knock the networks so easily, he suggested that companies like Sony should put some protection barricades to identify these persistent threats and stop them from destructive actions.
Sony must introduce tapping technology like intrusion prevention systems (Logan, 2005) which will enable the server to examine the protocols that are being parted of its network. It will also make it too easy and clear to identify protocol anamolies, which will help it to identify the threats and closing them down without facing any fierce consequences.
The security analyst of AppRiver Fred Touchette also stated that companies like Sony should be warned by this incident and should take proactive inspection measures, as most of these companies are not concerned about what is being taken out of their network. All they want is to keep track of information that is being injected into the server which is not appropriate enough. If they will give a consideration to this fact then the harm created by these persistent attacks can be minimized. Sony being hacked for twice needs to put more emphasis over the cyber security issue. The group of hackers has claimed that they have used a simple SQL injection attack to reach into their database and access all the private information which was stored unencrypted in plain text. Learning from the previous experience Sony should have moved a bit faster and should have taken measures to harden their servers company wide. Carrying personal information about people is not a small thing. It’s basically the level of trust they show to you. Companies with established names such as Sony should not have taken this measure to be a light issue, despite of knowing what vulnerable consequences they might end up facing.
The PlayStation or PSP network of Sony after being intrigued was put down for not more than 3 weeks until Sony struggled to secure the system.
What could have been done to prevent the intrusion?
There has been an extensive threat of hacking to the online business. To prevent such threats several measures have been designed that will help any business to prevent it from being captured.
“Ports” are the means of access given to the user to have a right of entry to use the data but not being part of the server. Using ports, data can be easily utilized and transferred in both ways. The access of ports and utilization of these is considered as a very sensitive issue and its access has been given to professional people as to protect the vulnerability of the matter if attacked. But these ports are sometimes used as an open and close access to support programs such as FTP (File Transfer Protocol). Here comes the issue (Kemmerer, 2003) when hackers find it convenient making an attempt to use your sensitive files, it is very essential to confirm that all the unsecured ports are closed to save content.
Updated security patches
Be sure that the security patches provided to protect the latest data and their protection measures are updated regularly. There is a very popular program by the name of content management systems is being used by many hackers, who are trying hardest of efforts to hack the sensitive information on the net/servers. So release and update the security patches regularly to keep track of your plug-ins/core files.
Comments being the most extensive feature considered to get an instant mark and helps creating a good relationship between the server and the customer. But in this case, the server should be very careful, it needs to validate the form of input it is getting before its acceptance in the server, it will help to strip out the unwanted content and prevent any hideous measure to take place.
Unsolicited installation of scripts
It is better to avoid installing third party scripts on the main server of your webpage, unless knowing the fact that what are they and what function it acquires. Even if there has no need arisen to understand the program itself, what you can do is just simply read through the code and look for references and examine third party URL’s. If they are not safe it can be easily prevented.
Using correct CHMOD Permissions
CHMOD allows specific value grant to files and folders on the server, that can determine different levels of access. The permissible range in this specific program varies from 000 (no access) to 777(full access), it’s your decision to allocate permission levels to every content. Make sure that the third party software or might be intruders has to be allowed higher permissions to access if they want to be functional at a proper level. There comes a sensitive decision which has to be taken by you being the authentic party to make a balance between security features.
Prevention of harvesting your lists
Hackers often use techniques to harvest email addresses as in the case of Sony to use for malicious activities. If the domain is saving email addresses for particular reasons of requirement, then be sure they are secured in secure formats, as in most cases the preferred form of storing this type of sensitive data in MySQL database.
Hacking can be prevented through mutual collaboration of both the server and the customer, in order to be successful in the prevention of hacking activities, companies like Sony can provide guidance and manuals as how to take measures and prevent their information from being stolen as per their part.
Use of Generic user names
The clients of a website/server should be educated by the concerned parties as what type of username they should be using. Making common/ generic words as your username makes it very convenient for the hacker to be successful in completing his mission.
It is considered as the best technique which can be implemented on behalf of the customer for the protection of matters. It is considered very easy for the hacker to plow huge amounts of data in a very quick time, so generally it is advised to have longer passwords to increase the security of the content, and it is also advised to have a password which contains a combination of characters including alphabets as well as numbers. In such cases, hackers use a method called dictionary attack in which they try different user names and combination of passwords repeatedly that they think are most appropriate for the selection until they get lucky. So it is generally advised to have random strings of combination in your password, then by using a generic form of text.
It is very essential to clear the history before you leave the computer, because the information you left behind might get to a source by an unreliable ISP and can be used for illegal unauthorized purposes. Do it often no matter, the server provides you with the claim that there is “no tracking of privacy”. Just be sure to clean the cache to maintain your safety quotient (Iec and abowd, 2005).
The internet today has been taken as the most convenient and easy to approach source in conducting every kind of business. The WebPages and networks/servers contain an enormous amount of data stored after it that can be viewed with a single click. The most challenging scrutiny for the service providers is about the protection of this data, which sometimes creates a big hassle, if lost it can result in fierce outcomes for a business. The measures designed to provide prevention are the most authentic sources, they can make you relax regarding protection, but as they always say there is always room for improvement. With growing networks of hackers, prevention techniques should also be improved.
Gaur, N. 2000 „Assessing the Security of your Web Application‟ in Linux Journal, Vol 2000, Issue 72es, Article No. 3. Specialized System Consultants Inc. Seattle
Gehling, B. & Stankard, D. 2005 eCommerce Security in Information Security Curriculum Development Conference, September 23-24 2005 pp32-38, Kenneshaw GA.
Iac hello, G. & Abowd, GD, 2005 „Privacy and proportionality: adapting legal evaluation techniques to inform design in ubiquitous computing‟ in Proceedings of the SIGCHI conference on Human factors in computing systems, Portland, Oregon, USA, pp91-100
Kemmerer, RA. 2003„Cybersecurity‟ in Proceedings of the 25th International Conference on Software Engineering Portland Oregon, pp705-715, IEEE Computer Society
Logan, PY. & Clarkson, A. 2005 „Teaching students to Hack‟ in Proceedings of SIGCSE ’05, February 23- 27, St Louis, Missouri, USA.
Nissanoff, Daniel (2006). Future Shop: How the New Auction Culture Will Revolutionize the Way We Buy, Sell and Get the Things We Really Want (Hardcover ed.) The Penguin Press. pp. 246 pages.
Caldwell, Tracey (22 July 2011). “Ethical hackers: putting on the white hat”. Network Security 2011 (7): 10–13.
Ecommerce Industry And Competitive Environment Study
Ecommerce is not a new name for any of us and at the pace it is growing, Ecommerce is certainly proving to be the new face of how we to do business today. Before going into the details of Ecommerce industry study and its competitive environment, let us briefly analyze initially what Ecommerce is?
Ecommerce also known as Electronic Commerce is referred to the selling, purchasing and exchanging of services and goods over computer networks and all sales terms and transactions are performed electronically. It is believed that Ecommerce is referred to business done via internet only, which is not true as even before introduction of the internet, business to business transactions took place electronically via Value Added Networks (VANs) and Electronic data Interchange (EDI).
Ecommerce can be parted in mainly four categories
Business to business (B2B)
Business to consumer (B2C)
Consumer to business (C2B)
Consumer to consumer (C2C)
B2B category refers to companies doing business together in form of manufacturers selling to wholesalers and distributors and then to other retailers. B2C business is the best known form where businesses sell directly to customers. Whether you require to purchase a diary, a dress, a book or a toy, everything is available very easily on the net in a wide variety. B2C being a popular form of Ecommerce will be the main topic which will be discussed in this paper. C2B is referred to people selling their services to companies. For example companies on a budget post their job requirement along with their budget on special websites on which potential service providers bid to perform the job. The company then selects from scrutinizing candidates. C2C is referred to direct consumer to consumer selling in bidding sites or on auction sites. Many websites today offer the facility to directly post ads by consumers for consumers. These sites serve as a mutual trading location for sellers and buyers.
There are also other forms of Ecommerce too such as Government to Government (G2G), Government to business (G2B), Government to Employees (G2E), Business to Government (B2G), Citizen to Government (C2G), Government to Citizen (G2C) and several other types of other Ecommerce classifications.
Historical Ecommerce Industry Overview
The very initial instances of Ecommerce appeared in the initial phase of the internet in 1970s when electronic transactions began taking place in business networks designed specifically to simplify and modernize certain processes of a business such as sending invoices and filling of orders by customers. Ecommerce however became popular when electronic transactions became possible and home computers became common. Businesses availed this opportunity and the early birds are among the highest profit reapers online today.
With a history dating back to a few decades only, the growth experienced in computing technology and networking is exponential and even with a slumping global economy, the sales related to online retailing has is ever increasing.
One prominent name in Ecommerce is Amazon.com which presented the first full scale model of Ecommerce business in 1995 after the World Wide Web was introduced in 1990 by Tim Berners-Lee. 1994 and 1995 were the years that initially saw third party services being introduced in online sales in form of credit card sales.
The next name prominent in Ecommerce history is eBay. As Amazon introduced to the world a common platform practicing B2C Ecommerce practices, eBay levelizing the concept proved that one is not required to be an established entrepreneur or an existing online business to sell goods online. eBay paved way for C2C type of Ecommerce. Today people can buy almost anything online from home goods to shoes, fitness products and even a real shark tooth and all this owed initially to Amazon and eBay who paved the base road for Ecommerce merchants of today.
Although Amazon and eBay are the biggest and famous names that arose as first examples of Ecommerce sites, however they were not the first. The first reported Ecommerce site that initiated the online transaction process was Netmarket, and was the first online retailer that conducted the first secure web retail transaction. The transaction took place on the 11th of August, 1994, where Netmarket sold a Sting CD copy of the Ten Summoner’s Tales. The transaction amounted to $12.48 exclusive of shipping. Similarly the first online bank that performed financial transaction online was on October, 1994 when the Stanford Federal Credit Union offered internet banking facilities to its customers.
Assessing Ecommerce Industry Based on Michael Porter 5 Forces
The model depicting the intensity of the five forces in terms of Ecommerce industry highlights the Rivalry and Buyer power in Red depicting higher levels of intensities compared to substitute threats in Orange.
Model 1 – Michael Porter 5 Forces Analysis of Ecommerce
Assessing Ecommerce on the five forces defined by Michael Porter namely degree of rivalry in an industry, threat of substitutes, barriers of entry, supplier bargaining power and buyer bargaining power allows us to better understand the underlying situations of the industry and accordingly a brief analysis of the industry in terms of the 5 forces is given below.
Rivalry in Ecommerce is great owing to several sellers or players in a single field competing against each other to attract more and more customers. Competition among Ecommerce site is fierce especially with regards to prices as even a small shift in price goes a long way in defining the sales of a particular site within the whole lot.
The threat of substitutes is also relatively higher in the Ecommerce industry owing to a million different players offering the same or somewhat same (substitute) form of goods and services. Since the web has in fact transformed the entire globe into one single market place, this makes availability of substitutes even greater as newer techniques are defined every day that can easily and effectively replace older one, thus turning the strength of a seller on a single day into his weakness on the other. Staying updated constantly and continuously is a prerequisite in Ecommerce industry.
There is literally no barrier of entry in Ecommerce industry. Barrier to entry formerly in brick and mortar industries was associated highly to expertise and capital which has transformed into the least of new entrants worries today. This however does not mean that everyone who enters the industry will get noticed too. In a particular sector of Ecommerce where an old player has invested in time and money along with required knowledge, skill and capability, entrance for new potential sellers is not an easy task. For example any business that has heavily invested in EDI and is using it, will automatically create a barrier for new entrants in the particular trade center. However conversely, owing to the advancements in technology, new ideas emerge every now and then paired with the fact that need to invest heavily in infrastructure is also eliminated, it becomes easy in several sectors of the industry to enter, for example online banking. Since physical buildings are not required, through using advanced internet technology paired with an excellent marketing plan a very unique and successful online banking service program can be initiated.
Bargaining power of suppliers is great in Ecommerce in sectors where relatively low number of suppliers exist such as specialty products. However since generally a lot of suppliers are available, supplier bargaining power is compromised. Every business would want the best bargains from its own suppliers and lot of competition between suppliers equals to reduced bargaining power and vice versa. Also if any supplier is not enabled electronically, automatically its bargaining is reduced.
Bargaining power of buyers is immense in Ecommerce industry owing to the need of keeping production and management costs as low as possible to stay profitable at maximum levels. Also in terms of competing with rivals, Ecommerce businesses require to be as efficient as possible. Also the bargaining power of buyers in any particular sector of Ecommerce is associated with two factors the supply of the product and the number of competitors in a market. With a larger competitor count, buyers bargaining power is at maximum and vice versa. Similarly a surplus in the supply of goods in the market leaves the buyers at a higher bargaining power position. Citing the present Ecommerce scenario, buyers are by far in a much higher bargaining power in a majority of Ecommerce sectors.
Ecommerce Supply Chain Model
Typically an Ecommerce site’s supply chain can be broken down into Customer’s Demands and Feedback, Research Team Proposals, Manufacturers/Suppliers, Ecommerce Business, Digital Financial Institutions, Shipping Companies, Consumer.
Model 1 – Ecommerce Supply Chain Model
Owing to the abundance of competition and the soul nature of Ecommerce industry as being closer and more aware of customer’s requirement, makes awareness of customer’s demands and receiving of feedback regarding product or service a prerequisite in many sites that operate online. Many of the top sites online follow the system of collecting feedback data from customers to device products accordingly to customer’s demands. Although there is a lot of other technological advancement and expert analysis going on in between the main players involved in the Ecommerce transactions as everyone wants to offer the best goods to customers in the easiest possible way however here we will be discussing the above mentioned cycle in particular. For a complex picture of the supply chain in Ecommerce industry refer to the Model 3 at the end of the report.
The normal transaction in an Ecommerce site starts from the manufacturer producing and presenting for sale a particular product that is designed according to present market demands. The products is then priced and presented online to be viewed by customers in the most appealing way that compels them to purchase it. One a purchase is done from a site; the next involved party is the financial institution that will take care of the transfer of funds from the purchaser to the seller. Finally when the customer is done with the buying experience from a site and receives the product, the last step is a feedback which every customer is asked to give regarding the experience and the product/service.
To particularly explain the buying experience of a consumer on Amazon, to better understand the working facet of Ecommerce sites, let us analyze a case study where a particular customer wishes to buy an iPod from Amazon.com. The very first step to shop online and benefit from eShopping facilities is to visit the Amazon.com site and search for the desired product (iPod in this case). The customer has three options to find products related to iPods purchase. Firstly he can find the iPod section on the main page of Amazon or search for it in the “shop all department” or simply visit the electronics category and find the iPod section. As soon as the customer reaches the iPod section, a wide choice of different types and makes of iPod will be available to choose and from them the customer can decide on the one that he wants. The customer will then select that product and add it to his shopping cart on Amazon. If the customer wishes to buy any other thing he can go for it before the payment options appear before him. Once the customer is done with his shopping, he will then proceed to checkout where he will have to go through the membership option if he is a new customer, whereas if he is not he will enter his email ID after which he will be giving all relative details including name, address, postal, etc.
After the shipping details are done with, the customer will then choose the shipping mode he prefers from the various different options provided by Amazon before moving on to the payment mode selection part. Amazon allows you to choose from whether you will be paying through your bank account, your credit card or through the Amazon.com store card. Next you can enter the promotion code for the product and after confirmation of the details being valid, the customer can finally once again confirm the order and the purchase is complete.
Manufacturers today are engaging more and more with their potential customers to offer them exactly what they want, as only those can compete in the industry that are fulfilling the demands of the customers. Knowing what a customer wants previously was associated to very few ways such as surveys, etc. Today however, finding out the preferences and demands of customers is easier as technology has enabled every business to reach out to its customers via social networks and direct online interactions. The supply chain of the Ecommerce industry has thus changed a lot as initially the manufacturer paid more attention on the emerging trends and produced products which were then sold to the customers and feedback was received. Today the supply chain starts and ends at the customers. Manufacturers today interact with potential customers to inquire and know more about their expectations and demands and then accordingly move on to the production phase.
One such example is Amazon itself which sores all data of the customer’s visit and the products they purchased, every comparison they made. Etc. Amazon literally stores in all information coming from every click of every visitor that visits the sites and through compiling these date along with the customer reviews, Amazon.com knows perfectly what a customer wants, prefers and demands.
Once this phase is completed, presentation of these products on the online site is the next place that is evolving through time. Initially sites that offered services or products for sale use to present simply the description of the product or a photo of it to its customers, however today technology has enabled Ecommerce sites to upgrade to phenomenal levels. Not only does these sites regularly upgrade what they present rather a very thorough description and closer to reality images of the product present the same feel and look that is offered in a brick and mortar store. Today you can investigate every corner of a product before purchasing it. In terms of prices, there are several sites that offer services in comparing what a site offers in contrast to others and based on features, effectiveness and price comparability one can easily choose the best service or products for themselves.
Next comes in the financial institutions that play a major role in transforming the Ecommerce industry today. Almost every bank operates online today offering online banking solutions. Ecommerce sites in order to facilitate customers offers a variety of online financial solutions to choose from. You can pay easily through credit cards, direct online transfers or also through online financial institutions such as PayPal. Every Ecommerce site offers a variety of payment options so that customers from the world over feel easy to purchase from that site.
In the past banks have been slow in introducing mobile banking payment options however today they too realize that it is the need of time and more and more banks are introducing mobile payment options. These options today are not only found in form of mobile banking apps but also non-banking players are moving in this area of providing NFC (Near field communication) services of payments to customers.
One latest example of NFC services incorporation with mobile payments is the Apple Pay. Recently Apple has announced its new payment feature, named Apple Pay, which is a NFC compatible system that will allow the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus users to make their payment at more than 200,000 US retail locations. Apple has also boosted up its security features addressing some of the top mobile payment concerns of the consumers. With this massive mobile payment option, the world of mobile wallet is expected to boom to new heights.
Mobile payments are not still very popular as at the end of 2013, according to a survey only 6% of adults in US claimed to have used a mobile payment option at the payment terminal however the percentage is expected to grow by 33% by the end of 2014. Mobile wallet adoption is at a high and the new millennial (individuals aged 18 to 34) are the top users of mobile wallets. The newly arising in-app crowd that is allowing a bypass payment terminal for users to make purchases via their phones is promising a fundamental change in how we pay in restaurants and bars making the whole process completely software driven.
Shipping companies or courier services are also a major part of the supply chain as the assuring processing of the goods to the customers in the shortest possible time effects the whole purchasing experience tremendously. Earlier on a few shipping options were present only and normally companies used to cater to local markets only, however today the scenario has changed completely. Companies today cater to international markets as well offering competitive ways to ship products to purchaser.
Lastly the process of receiving feedback which can also be termed as the initial part too is critical to the whole process as special research teams analyze the feedback and accordingly not only improve and enhance services and products but also the purchasing experience of the customer.
Through time as lot of change has been seen in this typical Ecommerce supply chain as earlier on the number of online financial solution providers was limited whereas today several different options are available. User interface has been improved tremendously owing to technological advancements and international shipping companies have made international shipping affordable and a pleasurable experience opposed to a few years ago.
Earlier on in Ecommerce scenario, the product was the main focus of attention for a buyer as they were more interested in the quality and price of the product, however with the increased competition online, a buyer can easily find today, the best product and prices and so the concern of customers has shifted considerably towards the best shipping and secure financial dealing options. The widespread of the internet has also conjured up a lot of fraudsters that are always after tricking people off their money and financial institutions to overcome this fear of shoppers regularly update and ensure safe and secure transactions of finance and related information. The margins of Ecommerce industry although do focus on the product and service however a shift towards secure financial options has been observed and the online financial institutions seem to be in a bliss of time currently in terms of earnings online.
Companies that offer secure financial transaction ability, diversity in product portfolio and a diverse selection of shipping options today are gaining that competitive edge over competitors. Owing to the same fact new payment options such as Apple pay or other forms of mobile payment will further revolutionize the online financial sector and the already blooming segment of Ecommerce industry is expected to see more enhancement and progress through introduction of more secure and easier payment options.
The supply chain network of Ecommerce industry is continuously showing shifts as initially the Ecommerce sites through a variety of low priced and competitive products were luring customers towards themselves and earning more money. However today with more and more easy mobile payments, big companies like Apple can reap benefits of the financial payment methods and sell their products easily to customers. Although sites that offer diverse products are the high earners today, the trend is definitely shifting.