The Seven Pillars of eCommerce Defined

Written by Stuart Martin

A study released by research firm "Gartner Group" predicts 75% of all e-business projects will fail due to poor planning and unrealistic expectations of technology. In order for any company to conduct successful business onrepparttar Internet, a process of evaluation must be utilized. One framework to which companies often compare their business is "The Seven Pillars of E-business equation".

Pillar 1) Online Marketing has been in existence since around 1994, whenrepparttar 109040 first wave of mainstream companies jumped ontorepparttar 109041 web displaying their rudimentary html pages containing product information. Still today, some companies do little more than place their information onrepparttar 109042 Internet using a pleasing layout; in hopes that someone will stumble upon their site and buyrepparttar 109043 product. Many companies have not yet reached pillar one. According torepparttar 109044 Yankee Group, only 31% of small business and 51% of medium-sized businesses inrepparttar 109045 United States have a website.

Pillar 2) Online Ordering isrepparttar 109046 process of allowing a customer to submit order information through a company website. Online Ordering is quite easy to set up through an online web-form created in static html. Whenrepparttar 109047 customer clicks on "submit",repparttar 109048 information is forwarded to a company email address. Customer follow-up and billing occurs offline through traditional business channels. Many tourism companies are at this level, receiving a request forma and even a credit card number. They think that they are now inrepparttar 109049 online business. However, all ofrepparttar 109050 information has to be processed byrepparttar 109051 vendor. In reality, this is another form of fax ordering.

Pillar 3) Online Selling takesrepparttar 109052 Online Ordering process one step further wherebyrepparttar 109053 customer's transaction is actually conducted online. Forrepparttar 109054 ease ofrepparttar 109055 customer, credit card information is recorded and through traditional business channels,repparttar 109056 company provides goods or services torepparttar 109057 customer. Credit card information is authenticated directly online and customers are supplied with proof of payment. The vendor receives payment direct to its Merchant Bank.

The third pillar is a stage most companies cannot seem to master. It requires sophisticated database-driven websites, intensive strategic planning, a large programming and insurance budget, and a bank that allows online credit card merchant accounts.

This is where and its services becomesrepparttar 109058 enabler. We provide all of this capability withoutrepparttar 109059 individual problems thatrepparttar 109060 vendor would encounter, at a very low cost.

Pillar 4) Online fulfillment happens afterrepparttar 109061 customer has been marketed to, placed an order, andrepparttar 109062 financial transaction has occurred. This step is divided into two categories:

The Rumors of Ecommerce Death

Written by Rob Spiegel

As Nasdaq sputters along in dot com shame, a few million few dogged Internet consumers have ignoredrepparttar crash. They continue to happily buy away. The good-news story is not popular with business writers, but Web retailing continues to grow seemingly unaware thatrepparttar 109039 online mall is crashing down around them as they choose garden tools, sell sports cards and order vacation packages. Things aren't perfect. There has been somewhat of a dip since Christmas, but I think most Net retailers can live with a post-holiday. Retailers have weathered after-Santa blues sincerepparttar 109040 English switched from wassailing to kids toys inrepparttar 109041 mid-1800s.

We decided to take a look at recent reports on Internet retail sales just to see ifrepparttar 109042 Net stock gloom was bluntingrepparttar 109043 steady expansion of online commerce. We found some softening inrepparttar 109044 rate of growth, but we certainly didn't find any contraction in consumer behavior. The shrinking effect right now seems limited torepparttar 109045 number of dot coms rather thenrepparttar 109046 number of consumers. In fact, if you subtractrepparttar 109047 bizarrely heightened expectations for repparttar 109048 Internet, its growth is coming along just fine. By any standards other thanrepparttar 109049 Net-boom mentality, Internet expansion continues to be fairly spectacular.

Net buyers hit ten quarters of continuous buying

Greenfield Online reported that for 10 consecutive quarters, 60 percent of U.S. Online consumers have made at least one purchase onrepparttar 109050 Web within a 90-day period. And 28 percent of these shoppers have clicked on Internet ads while shopping. Not surprisingly, those with an annual income of $50,000 and above are more likely to purchase goods (81 percent) than those whose income is below $50,000 (64 percent). Women onrepparttar 109051 Net buy at a slightly higher rate (74 percent) than men (71 percent). The top categories of goods continues to be books and CDs, followed by clothing, toys and computer software.

Rich buyers seek service basics online

Forrester Research looked atrepparttar 109052 shopping habits of rich consumers, those with investable assets on $1 million or more, and found that these shoppers are more interested in strong basic serve than they are in virtual exclusivity, extravagance and entertainment. Affluent shoppers have been buying linger, feel more comfortable buying, buy more frequently and, of course, spend more money," said Ekaterina O. Walsh, a senior analyst at Forrester. "They buy online forrepparttar 109053 same reasons forrepparttar 109054 same reasons that all online buyers do and care about price and positive experiences with Web stores." Forrester recommends that sellers of luxury goods should concentrate on purchasing ease and a convenience return process.

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