The Seven Pillars of eCommerce DefinedWritten 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 on 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, when first wave of mainstream companies jumped onto web displaying their rudimentary html pages containing product information. Still today, some companies do little more than place their information on Internet using a pleasing layout; in hopes that someone will stumble upon their site and buy product. Many companies have not yet reached pillar one. According to Yankee Group, only 31% of small business and 51% of medium-sized businesses in United States have a website.
Pillar 2) Online Ordering is 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. When customer clicks on "submit", 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 in online business. However, all of information has to be processed by vendor. In reality, this is another form of fax ordering.
Pillar 3) Online Selling takes Online Ordering process one step further whereby customer's transaction is actually conducted online. For ease of customer, credit card information is recorded and through traditional business channels, company provides goods or services to 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 www.TravellersMall.com and its services becomes enabler. We provide all of this capability without individual problems that vendor would encounter, at a very low cost.
Pillar 4) Online fulfillment happens after customer has been marketed to, placed an order, and financial transaction has occurred. This step is divided into two categories:
The Rumors of Ecommerce DeathWritten by Rob Spiegel
As Nasdaq sputters along in dot com shame, a few million few dogged Internet consumers have ignored 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 that 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 since English switched from wassailing to kids toys in mid-1800s.
We decided to take a look at recent reports on Internet retail sales just to see if Net stock gloom was blunting steady expansion of online commerce. We found some softening in rate of growth, but we certainly didn't find any contraction in consumer behavior. The shrinking effect right now seems limited to number of dot coms rather then number of consumers. In fact, if you subtract bizarrely heightened expectations for Internet, its growth is coming along just fine. By any standards other than 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 on 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 on 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 at 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 for same reasons for 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.