The evolution of e-business, and how technology is driving sales in a multi-channel landscape
Today, e-business is everywhere we turn from advertisements on social media to tailored e-shots to smart ads which follow you around the internet as you browse.
In this blog we will reflect on how technology continues to shape business carried out electronically, or e-business. The evolution of e-business dates from the development of the commercial Internet in the 1990s. The emergence of the internet as a tool for businesses was set with the growth of the browser Netscape in 1994, and the founding of Amazon and eBay in 1995. Websites were initially seen as a tool for enterprise size businesses, however over time SMB’s have seen the power of technology and the web in aiding business growth and development. The rising consumer and business use of mobile technology is increasing the impact of the web.
Irrespective of where a certain company or industry is situated on the transition scale towards utilising e-business as a platform, it is clear that e-business influences the value-chain process in the exchange of products, services and information, as more and more businesses are establishing an online presence.
How has e-business changed how we do business?
Technology has changed the way companies disperse and store information, from paper to servers and more recently from physical servers to the cloud. This has increased the volume, storage and speed of data as well as the accessibility and accuracy of reporting.
A web presence gives a company credibility through reach and relevance in a cross-platform buying world, 58% of consumers already combine online and offline shopping, without a website consumers are likely to go to a competitor. Website design can also affect your revenue, customers are less likely to recommend a brand if they have poor website design and your website design has less than a second to create a positive impression.
Technology has changed how businesses are marketing to customers. An online presence – reaching into social media also improves customer service, makes it possible to target a wider market, keeps your customers informed of the latest promotions and products as well as delivering a true two-way experience.
Technology has changed how we track our customer behaviour and made way for sentiment analysis, allowing companies to analyse what people think of their marketing messages and what they are saying about your brand on social media in real-time. Digital consumer insights allow companies to personalise the customer experience and strengthen their business messaging by moving from being reactive to proactive.
How has the consumer evolved in the utilisation of e-commerce?
As our business and personal lives are converging because of online technology, and as businesses further embrace e-business , a number of unique secondary effects are taking place. These effects include increased customer empowerment, product development processes becoming more collaborative and marketing techniques becoming more targeted.
The online retail experience continues to develop as consumers increasingly trust in their social networks and online references to drive their purchase and repurchase decisions. Mobile technology is fuelling the consumers’ ability to connect anywhere and everywhere, making e-commerce even more prevalent in our everyday lives.
Consumers are increasingly using their smartphones, tablets, and other mobile devices to conduct research on and purchase products and services they’re interested in. In fact, more than half of consumers regularly use two or more digital devices at one time and 37% of all UK grocery e-commerce sales in October 2014 came from purchases on a mobile device like a phone or tablet.
Research from PwC shows that one in five consumers who use multiple channels spend at least 25% more at their favourite retailers. All businesses, whether they operate within B2B or B2C (or both) are affected by this “channel shifting” behaviour as buyers research, compare and buy products and services online.
e-business suite, by Prodware is a full-package solution which allows you to create an e-commerce website, connected to ERP software. e-business suite is innovative e-commerce software that allows businesses to increase their sales by widening their audience reach and speeding up the supply chain. This solution enables companies to easily manage their product catalogue, control their website design and utilise promotions and other marketing options to increase revenue and reduce operational costs.