Keller Graduate School of Management
Managerial Applications of Information Technology
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You want to start an E commerce business selling your products and services online but how to get started?
The business problem to be solved is how can an entrepreneur start and maintain a successful E commerce business online? Background:
The first key to starting a successful online business is to first understand ecommerce and how it operates. Most people understand that ecommerce or electronic commerce refers to the buying and selling of products or services over electronic systems such as the Internet and other computer networks. However, it stretches beyond just the buying and selling of goods; it also includes an online process of developing, marketing, selling, delivering, servicing and paying for products and services. “The use of commerce is conducted in this way, spurring and drawing on innovations in electronic funds transfer, supply chain management, internet marketing, online transaction processing, electronic data interchange (EDI), inventory management systems, and automated data collection systems. Modern electronic commerce typically uses the World Wide Web at least at one point in the transaction's life-cycle, although it may encompass a wider range of technologies such as e-mail, mobile devices and telephones as well”. (Electronic Commerce, modified November 2011, Wikipedia). Today it is said to be over 29.7 billion pages on the World Wide Web. Ecommerce today has gained so much popularity because its core technologies are constantly evolving and keeping up with a technology based world. Each year the number of ecommerce deals grows tremendously. The sales volumes of on-line stores run in a more than comparable race with physical retail stores. Methodology & Business Issues:
An E commerce business is in a total different ball park from the traditional style business. While of course there are many pros to becoming an online entrepreneur, you still have to deal with the cons of financial costs such as server costs and investments, legal barriers, privacy, marketing, providing great customer service, and being strategic. The method behind any issues with dealing with E Commerce, is when starting an online business selling products or services always anticipate that there will be some fees before you make your first sale; keep in mind the saying “it takes money to make money!” “Your online store is a sales channel and acts like a sales person for your business. Selling online can be very cost effective as there are less human resource and infrastructure costs unlike a "bricks and mortar" business”.(ECorner.com, copyright 2004-2009) In addition to understanding cost, online businesses should consider how it will be organized, i.e. the correct legal entity to operate the business (state by state it may vary), educate yourself on the current and possible future laws and build data collection and management function that will always be able to comply with the laws . Finally, understand that an online business that strategizes on social networking will always be able to reach new audiences. General benefits:
The benefits of solving such business problems can be far more rewarding in the end once accomplished. That explains why it is still a highly considered profession for many; especially during the downturn of the economy. One of the main benefits at the moment with this industry is that while many jobs are in the process of “laying off”, with an online business you can still find ways to generate income. Amongst being a career rebounder, it does not require large capital, you can operate a business from your home or smart phone (i.e. all you need is an internet connection), there’s no worry of renting a commercial premise, overheads can and will be low, it can work without human...