Components all over the world including the healthcare industry.
Components of a Good E-commerce Strategy.Stella Gaewornu.MBI 645: Electronic Commerce.Spring 2018.Date: Jan, 31st, 2018.AbstractE-commerce has been a rising hot topic in today’s business and steadily gaining popularity throughout the world. Currently, most bigger organizations and businesses has most if not all of transactions completed electronically. Even healthcare systems are going e-commerce with the emergence of e-health. This paper will concentrate on the elements or components that constitute a good e-commerace strategy. Some of these components discussed in this paper include security, effective operations systems, e-commerce branding, customer service , positive end-user experience, and efficient marketingsystem. A literature review on these components will be discussed in this paper and conclusions will be derived.Key Words: E-commerce, strategy, operations, security, customer service, marketing, branding, and end-user experience. IntroductionI have always known about Amazon, eBay, rebel, uber, and many other electron businesses but the first time I heard and learned about e-business and e-commerce as an area of business was in my introductory course to the health informatics program. E-commerce, as defined by searchcio.techtarget.com is ” the buying and selling of goods and services, or the transmitting of funds or data, over an electronic network, primarily the internet. These business transactions occur either as business-to-business, business-to-consumer, consumer-to-consumer, or consumer-to-business. The terms e-commerce and e-business are often used interchangeably.” (www.searchcio.techtarget.com). E-commerce as a business discipline has been recorded to have been introduced back in the 1960’s when businesses started to include electronic data interchange in their business transactions and data sharing. The concept of e-commerce was later hyped with the rise of eBay and Amazon in the 1990s. Currently, e-commerce has evolved into a huge business concept and there are millions of e-commerce industries and organizations all over the world including the healthcare industry. E-commerce success depends on a lot of criteria including applications it has to use for its operations. Some of these applications include emails, online catalogs, shopping carts, social media marketing, digital coupons, electronic data interchange, file transfer protocol, and many others.(www.searchcio.techtarget.com)Literature Review (components)Literature and resources on e-commerce and its strategy were reviewed into details. The components of a good e-commerce strategy were the focus of this literature review and that is what this paper will address. The components of a good e-commerce strategy are as follows;E-commerce Security Security and privacy is the hot issue of internet operation in today’s world. Every website you visit requires for your personal information which makes it very difficult to safeguard such information due to cyber-criminals. It must, therefore, be a top priority for an e-commerce to ensure the security of its customer’s information. The threat of fraud and identity theft makes it scary to share your information with anybody. A good e-commerce strategy must include a plan on how to protect its customers’ personal information, credit card information as well as their devices from viruses, malwares, and all other online attacks. An e-commerce website must be set-up with an outstanding firewall system to protect all of its entities. Payment methods can utilize a highly-reputable payment portal such as PayPal can help ensure customers of the security of their sensitive payment information. Meeting the requirements of government regulations must also be of top importance to e-commerce. Customers always want to know that an e-commerce is legit and secure. It is, therefore, an e-commerce top responsibility to promise its customers of legit, reliable and secure transactions and live up to it. (www.tradeready.ca)Positive End-User ExperienceEnd-user experience is one of the most important components of a good e-commerce strategy. I can testify to this because I have stopped patronizing most e-commerce websites due to the poor end-user experience I had. Some of the great end-user experience products include:A great end-user navigation system: this entails a good app customization, integration, app simplicity, mobile responsiveness, multiple payment options, and an effective search tool and recommendation system. Personalization of customers’ experience is also a good way to improve end-user experience. People tend to visit sites that meet their needs.A stress-free onboarding (registration procedure): customers should be willing to register and registration procedure must be effortless and uncomplicated.A stress-free checkout with guest checkout availability for customers who do not want to register with their information. This also includes multiple safe options for payment and shipping.Product information and images: products displayed on websites and associated apps must be described in a detailed note accompanied by outstanding images for the clear view of customers. Choose colors that complement the page and site as a whole. Customers must have a very fair idea of the products and services they’re purchasing. This will help decrease disappointments and unsatisfactory issues. (www.acquisio.com)Exceptional Customer Service (customer-centric) The secret to any successful business is an exceptional customer service delivery and this is no different in the e-commerce world. A good e-commerce strategy must include CRM (client relationship management) services in its system. This should take into consideration all aspects of the business including software and policies. An e-commerce strategy must have a defined contact list for all customer related issues and must provide customer service experts around the clock to deal with issues. Communications on policies concerning shipping and returns must be clearly defined for customers to understand and handle returns with grace. Also address negative customer reviews promptly and professionally. To be a customer-centric e-commerce, customer satisfaction must be a priority of a good e-commerce strategy and all workers must be trained on quality customer care. (www.fouthsource.com)Effective E-commerce OperationsA business cannot function without its operations systems. Operations are usually handled at the backstage of an e-commerce but we cannot deny the fact it is a very important aspect of it. All aspects of its operational systems (warehouse and virtual) must be taken seriously. These aspects include supply chain management, experts for services, warehouse operations, and hiring a reliable shipping provider. Seasonal changes to business operations must also be considered when staffing workers. For instance, hiring more staff to take care of orders during holidays in a company like Amazon is very necessary to get all orders take care of. (www.netonomy.net).E-commerce BrandingBranding your e-commerce is the best way to get customers attention to your site. Clearly define e-commerce vision statement, mission statement, and priorities. Share your story on how the business came about and insist on quality products and services for your customers. Choose an outstanding easy to remember logo for your business and assure your customers of how products and service meet and exceed standard regulations. E-commerce branding can also depend greatly on quality photography and detailed information on product and services. Another good way to brand e-commerce is to use an influential person as a brand ambassador. People tend to purchase products they believe is patronized by their favorite celebrity. It is always good to remember that “your brand represents who you are”. (www.shopify.com).E-commerce MarketingEvery business must take its marketing strategy seriously if it wants to survive the competition outside of its walls. Marketing of e-commerce is, therefore, a very important aspect of its strategy. Some marketing strategies that can be used include;Rewarding social media platforms.Incorporating loyalty programs like Macy’s plenty rewards, Walgreens rewards card, Amazon rewards card and many others. This is where customers get reward points toward a discount as they shop or patronize services.Using email marketing by sending emails to customers and future customers on ongoing deals and discounts as well as new products and services.Adding mobile apps. Mobile apps make it easy and convenient for customers to patronize e-commerce services. For instance, I tend to visit my mobile app stores more than I do the web sites.Using push notifications is also a good way to entice customers to visit the product page or site. For instance, a customer who forgets items in their shopping cart will appreciate a notification to check out. Amazon has this feature and I can say that I enjoy it a lot, especially when I have to checkout at a certain time to get my expected delivery.Language is an essential aspect of marketing and must therefore me a consideration. If an e-commerce’s target is global, then its marketing team must provide information to customers in their first language or dialect. (www.ecommerce-platforms.com).ConclusionIn conclusion, it can be derived from the above literature review that e-commerce business delivery can be very challenging amidst all its competition. However, certain elements/components, when addressed properly will distinguish an e-commerce from its other competitors and make it a successful one.References:Acquisio.com., (2015). 7 Key Elements to a Successful eCommerce Website. Retrieved on 1/21/18 from https://www.acquisio.com/blog/agency/7-key-elements-to-a-successful-ecommerce-website/Searchcio.techtarget.com., (2018). E-commerce (electronic commerce or EC). Retrieved on 1/21/18 from http://searchcio.techtarget.com/definition/e-commerceTradeready.ca., (2017). How to Protect Against 4 E-commerce Security Challenges. Retrieved on 1/22/18 from http://www.tradeready.ca/2017/topics/marketingsales/how-protect-4-e-commerce-security-challenges/Fourthsource.com., (2012). The Components Of A Successful e-Commerce Business Strategy. Retrieved on 1/22/18 from http://www.fourthsource.com/ecommerce/components-successful-ecommerce-strategy-12092Netonomy.net., (2015). The 7 Most Important Components of an Ecommerce Business…that are usually ignored. Retrieved on 1/23/18 from http://netonomy.net/2013/10/16/most-important-components-ecommerce-stores-ignored/Shopify.com., (2015). 5 Brand Strategies to Uniquely Position Your Ecommerce Business Above the Competition. Retrieved on 1/23/18 from https://www.shopify.com/blog/16692816-5-brand-strategies-to-uniquely-position-your-ecommerce-business-above-the-competitionE-commerce-platforms.com., (2018). 50 Out-Of-The-Box Ecommerce Marketing Tips to Skyrocket Conversions. Retrieved on 1/23/18 from https://ecommerce-platforms.com/articles/50-unbeatable-ecommerce-marketing-tips