An online business on Internet is doing e-business.
E-commerce is the business transaction on the Internet. Internet is an
interactive media and allows bidirectional activities... a basic need of
the business processes. With improvement in the communication process
and its effect on the computer programming, site development and data
structuring; the Internet medium is becoming more useful for the
business world. Now the substantial part of business can be transferred
to the online activity. This helps business continue 24 hours of a day
and 365 days a year. The volume of business can be increased through
machine activity. It should, however, be clear that processing of the
order can be done mostly by human being.
Internet can facilitate business in following ways
MARKETING THE PRODUCTS; RECEIVE ORDERS; PROCESS PAYMENTS.
All the above activities are processed online and
save lot of time, effort and manpower to the business. Saving in these
activities is saving in cost. The activities are independent of the
geographical limitation for businesses and customers. We won't like to
enter into the legalities of the issue and restrict ourselves to the
available technological facilities.
After the above three activities, order remain to be
processed. This is a physical phenomenon, however, now order shipped can
again be located online on the Internet if the shipping company is also
involved in e-business activity.
THE BUSINESS AND INTERNET
The business can receive orders through telephone, of
course, from any part of the world. What is the difference? Let us start
with an example activity.
needs to know about your product and telephone No. This is possible
through word of mouth, familiarity or through some advertising media.
On telephone customer needs exploration about the product he is going to
Someone is required to respond to the customer on phone.
There might be accent or language barrier to overcome.
More persons are required to respond to the customers' queries.
Payment can be processed by a separate activity of the phone call.
All these activities are time consuming, costly and
needing additional manpower in certain cases.
Processing of order upto shipping is a separate
process and ends with the successful delivery of the shipment to the
HOW INTERNET HELPS
visits your site, look for the required item along with the price,
requisite detail, photograph of the product to satisfy customer's query.
Customer e-mails or chats if further assistance is required.
Customer places an order along with; say credit card details. No
overseas call is necessary even if customer is a foreigner.
The payment is processed online with possible confirmation of payment.
All these activities are done on the Internet, which
is a cheap interactive' medium to address this need.
Order is placed with proper processing department for
All the above activities can be executed in parallel
for numerous customers. So there is possibility of receiving multiple
orders in a single minute for processing for shipment. Imagine the
increase in the volume of business.
The processing for shipment procedure should,
therefore, have to be organized accordingly. It is further possible to
divide shipping orders according to set criteria or number to
geographically dispersed locations. You may choose to place these orders
in the employee's mailbox to be accessed from their home. They may
process the orders from the comfort of their homes to save time, cost of
transportation to office and even office or costly business space that
is required by the employee and goods to be shipped.
Idea of having agents for shipment processing is more
feasible. As order can be placed to the e-mail box of the agent, it is
possible to process directly from home. E-business, therefore, offers
new opportunities. Due to reduction in cost of this electronic
processing, cost of overhead expenses can be reduced resulting in
producing cheaper products to be offered to the customer, a major reason
for buying online.
In short, Internet is a business tool, mostly used
for marketing and sales. Internet, however, can bring about improvement
with in the business. An organized use of well defined job distribution
enhances business in a big way. It reduces the administrative time and
cost and allows for better organized business. Administratively
distributing the job may help in reducing the expensive space required
for execution of the business. For example: shifting the shipment
dispatch process, to home of agents or employees. Internet is everywhere
and communication can be made irrespective of the physical places.
HOW TO GET STARTED WITH INTERNET
Internet is a fast moving medium, e-business,
however, must be properly thought out before setting up. We will look
into the details of needed items for proper setup. There are practically
little barriers for entry. No rent is charged for opening a shop in the
cyber-world. Your business name can be extended to global audience with
least expenses on advertising. The site can be easily linked with other
Following few things will be needed to start with: A
Computer, modem, browser software, high speed link to Internet and an
Internet service provider ISP. You will need following more things in
place to start up. Some explanation will be given to clarify.
It is your address on the Internet. It is better to
have your own domain name. Setup site with AOL, Geocities or CompuServe
forces you to incorporate their name into your address. Like; www.members.aol.com/yourname
Such names are called sub domain names. It is better
to have your domain name like; www.vourname.com
Not only, it looks good, it is professional as well.
DOMAIN NAME SELECTION
If the business already exist it is good to have same
name online. You can pay for more than one name for the same site. It
helps in locating the site in case of typing mistakes by the visitors.
It is necessary to be clear about the objective of
taking the business online and the expected benefits. Web sites for
business are designed accordingly:
Generate Greater Brand Awareness
Offer Improved Customer Service
Provide up-to-date relevant information
Overseas Business Expansion
A point of contact for offline customers
Web Site Development
Creating a web site can be done through following options.
Use an outside consulting firm
Build web site with raw HTML code
Use of software that converts the HTML into web site
OUTSIDE CONSULTING FIRM
It is the easiest way to get somebody else does the
job of creating web site for you. Consulting firm does have more
experience of coding and designing sites. However, it might be expensive
from small business point of view.
The cheapest option is to learn HTML; the coding
language to develop Web sites. It is easier to learn. Write the plain
text. Think how it should look. Insert HTML tags for the Web browser to
display text, images and link other pages. Following points help in
understanding the HTML to make use of it for Web site development. Once
the site is developed and properly understood it will help you to change
it for the better at your discretion. Browsers allow you to see the HTML
commands for a particular site. You can change them to suite your needs.
instructions are formatting information and links.
To indicate the start of tag and stop of tags a pair of capital letters
within angle brackets are used e.g. if you want to put some text in,
bold, you can put <B> at the start of the text and </B> at
the end of the text you want to see as bold.
Tags are responsible for the display of information on the web site. The
command of the HTML which within the angle brackets are not seen on the
WEB DESIGNING SOFTWARE
Web design software allows you to build a web site
without learning HTML. This software cost money still much less than the
consulting firm. Software packages offer design templates for ready made
design futures. Some of the available packages are; FrontPage from
Microsoft, Dreamweaver from Macromedia and Go Live from Adobe.
Getting used to package is also time consuming job.
It is better to stick to one package to get the complete mastery.
Productivity of site development and improvement will be more this way.
When the site is online, next step required to
attract visitors to your site. Make sure that your site has sufficient
attraction for the visitors to visit repeatedly, to reinforce your
marketing efforts. Registering with the reputed search engines is one of
the beginnings of marketing campaign. Others are reciprocal links to
site of common interest, online media like journals, news letters etc.
and newsgroups. You need to get in touch through e-mail for example with
the editors of the journals, news letters or Webmasters.
BENEFITS OF E-MAIL
E-mail is cheap and convenient media to keep in touch
with the people around globe over 24 hours a day. Because it is more
convenient, it is required to be more organized for proper benefit. It
is suggested for business to:
asked questions can be placed in a library in order. Cutting and passing
the relevant answers will help to respond to the customer query faster.
Automatic response software, mostly available through the ISPs' helps.
Mail boxes for varied type of messages are setup to respond to different
reply for each mail box. Market software order ways to respond to
numerous separate responses to email coming to your mail box.
Best way is individual
responses, if possible.
Customer needs to know a few things to confidently
buy online. This must be clearly visible on your site.
1. The cost of
the product along with the taxes must be clearly written for evaluation
of the cost. Customer wants to know; how much a thing cost him online
and if he is benefited by paying less this way.
Time of delivery must also be clearly mentioned and must be met
seriously to let customer visit again and speak about to others to visit
BUSINESS TO BUSINESS ACTIVITY
After completing shipment process; it is possible to
send a message to the courier company to pick up the shipment and put it
on its way to customer This is a business to business communication.
This type of communication can be further extended to the raw material
supplier, banks, even government for submitting and receiving requisite
data and information. If this data or information is required on paper
only, it is already transmitted through electronic means for printing at
destination end. If, however, it is information for a physical activity
the message is also transferred for the same.
Intranet is a small Internet secluded from rest of
the world. Access is limited to the employees of the organization. There
is no difference in the technology used in intranet and Internet.
Working in a localized network gives security, better e-mail management
facility. The cost is reduced by using free Internet software. The
limitation is localized network, which, however, be eliminated by a gate
way to Internet.
Mobile devices are now taking the benefit of
Internet, e-mail connecting home, business and offices through PDA,
mobile phones etc. beyond the confine of wires. This is setting new
trends in executing business; e-business.