The general benefits of online trading are quite straightforward Global Presence The John Lewis website is available to customers from any location in the world. This can greatly increase promotional and trading opportunities, especially for small businesses. 24 Hour Service The John Lewis website is never close and it’s available to customers 24 hours a day seven days a week so orders received at any hour of the day of night – and automatically approved or information can be provided. Equality Of Presence Regardless Of Size Of Business
The customer judges the business on the appearance and usability of its website, not on the size of the business. Therefore, a small business with a well-designed site and excellent service can compete, in theory, with much larger businesses. Rapidity Of Response To Customer Interest A website can provide several opportunities for customer contact, such as ‘call me’ buttons and email messages, but speed of response is vital. In 21st century Internet provider, provided good service and faster response to customers who enquire by telephone or letter.
If the John Lewis responds very late or even worse, fails to respond altogether, then not only is potential sale lost, but the image of the business is tarnished. To put off this, nominated staff must be given the task of responding to site enquires promptly. On the other hand, this can be handled through an automated system. Opportunities To Analyse Online Competition It is easier and quicker to understand and compare opponent activities online than by visiting their stores or obtaining information on their products and services offline.
Before businesses go online it should analyse the web presence of each of its main competitors. This shows the style of their site and the size of the electronic marketplace and content of competitors’ websites. The aim must be to be at least as good – and if possible better. Businesses should also understand, through, that once they are online then their competitors can also keep an eagle eye on their operations. MARKETING BENEFITS The benefits of the businesses increase by going online depend upon the type of business activity carried out and the size.
Most service industries go online mainly for promotional reasons, to give themselves a higher profile and provide more information about their work to the customers. A small manufacturing company , for example, may went to reduce its costs by buying its supplies online and reducing its storage space, whereas an online store will want to attract new customers and increase sales. Getting on a ‘links’ list is an obvious benefit for firms because it encourages more people to visit their site.
The target market of this business, actions of competitors and the budget available. Promoting products or services is also a benefit; at the same time as promotion is one part of the marketing mix, many firms talk about their promotional mix, the best mix will depend upon the type of product, The main reasons for promoting the business include:Planning Issues- Any local independent traders, such as taxi firms, plumbers and also hairdressers do not have an online operation but the organisation should have one.
By traditional advertising and personal recommendation for example, yellow pages or a local newspaper are the reasons their customers can find them not by looking up on the Internet. Implementation Issues – The availability of decision support and productivity software is providing opportunities for small and large businesses to develop systems, which make use of operations research models to support decision-making it.
A framework for the development of small business decision support systems is presented and is applied to inventory management decision support system, which utilizes economic order quantity models. For example, Issues related to design, development, and implementation of small or large business decision support systems are discussed in detail and many aspects of the framework are illustrated using the inventory decision support system in a small and large business environment.
Operation Issues- Most online customers expect to be able to pay by credit or debit card. They also have to be certain if their personal details will be kept confidential. People get put off by hearing about fraud, identity theft and hackers. All online payment needs to be secure so they are secure. For example buyers are protected by secure sockets layer (SSL) but not the seller. It’s because there are no checks that the buyer is the owner of the credit card used to buy the goods or the buyer is genuine. SET (secure electronic transfer protects both parties.