The Need to Be Online

One can say that things seem to be more difficult for a manager, who deals with e-commerce, as any action taken must be made with speed and accuracy. But as the new economic rules show, speed and accuracy is considered to be a must for any type of company. This is the outcome of a very important shift that has happen to retailing. The power has gone to the buyer. Since competition and global markets have given to buyers more choices-more products/services to choose from, more ways to buy, and more access to information-they are more and more in control of both transaction and sales. Where once there was scarcity of choices, there is now an overabundance of options.

Thus, companies must now formulate marketing strategies to achieve the desired competitive advantage. The interesting issue here is that the battlefield where competitive advantage is won or lost is not on based on best price but on access. What is critical today is accessing the customer. How, where, when, and what he or she buys and, most importantly, owning the relationship with them.

Internet enables business models and the emerging marketing strategies give e-businesses the tools to reach the consumers whenever and wherever they choose to perform a purchase. As specialists believe, the companies that first will recognize and act to incorporate the strategic changes happening in their industries will be the winners in the recently formed new economic state. But, as competition in almost all markets has proven to be very adaptive to change and the reaction patterns used can easily transform the scene, Internet and e-commerce have become a highly important matter for companies that strive to find ways to reduce operating and transaction costs, find new resources, upgrade services and actually fulfil customer expectations better than competition. At the same time today's corporations have to overcome threats and problems that arise and keep their clientele satisfied at all times so as not increase the number of lost sales. At this point it must be noted that some customers are more interested in receiving a better service than enjoying a lower price deal, especially when prices have very small variations between competitors. Thus, companies actually have little choice regarding whether or not to invest in e-business.

The pace of innovation in this highly technology-based environment demands that companies have to take risks so as to be viable. In fact, lack of action in the Internet era may result in most cases in commercial death. Through the use of newly developed technological systems, which can work either via the Internet for direct use by the customer, or via Intranet for indirect use by the customer and direct use by a company's employees located in the premises of an actual e-shop, precious time can be saved, costs can be minimized, and the whole communication process can become even more simple. These types of innovative strategic techniques, which cover the needs of the customer when planned and executed with care and precision, can elevate a company from being a follower to the innovator's place and gradually even to the position of a market's leader.

Jonathon Hardcastle writes articles on many topics including Investing, Business, and Finance

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