E-Commerce is another name for Electric- Commerce. Electronic-commerce offers what many people believe to be a useful property of the Web. That property is the ability to adjust sites to the different needs, wants, desires and, even personalities of each customer. This ability is known to many experts as cognitive computing, a blend of behavioural sciences and computer science. Increasing competition worldwide, increasing demands made by customers, and the rapid pace of change in technology are forcing companies to review the way they do business, the kinds of products and services they offer, and the speed with which they release products to market.
Today, most companies have worked to expand and improve their process and practices internally. But, the extensive use of the Internet by the consumers is forcing businesses to focus on external relationships and their business models. To meet the demand made by Internet users, organisations are now beginning to rely on the e-commerce solutions that help reach and keep customers, open new markets, and condense the business processes.
E-Commerce has various advantages for the provider. One advantage is it allows companies to build a name for their company, quickly and inexpensively. Another advantage is it offers, suggestive selling. The user can recommend similar or other products that they might/will buy. And its often done through surveys.
The last advantage is the speed at which the transaction is complete. Many times Web users give up in trying buying something due to the frustration that was caused in trying to get to that particular item. There are also many advantages to E-Commerce for the user. The information can be updated in no time and while the user is using it. The pages can be updated without having to redesign the page. Site visitors can manoeuvre and control the data, as it is displayed, to suit their preferences and need-to-know.
The interactive capabilities, such as purchasing on-line, can be utilised, and the site visitor can filter information. Overall, E-Commerce delivers a solution to businesses that will help their clients better interact with their customers, suppliers and partners. Customer Relationship Marketing Literature Review The Evolving Sales and Marketing Landscape Marketing and business development professionals are confronting a rapidly different and changing business landscape. The traditional business model that was once the standard is now being transformed due to technology drivers that make advanced marketing and sales capabilities possible.
The business model of yesterday supported mass marketing, mass production, and standardised cookie-cutter products and services. Enterprises will have a fall behind the competition if they continue to rely and operate on this substandard model. Today, companies are re-engineering their operations and investing in enhanced IT infrastructures, which enable them to provide customised, personalised, information-rich products and services. The new objective for marketers and business developers involves understanding the needs of their clients and the markets that they serve. This new focus on providing customer value is redefining business processes. Professionals, who understand and anticipate this shift are positioning themselves ahead of the competition.
The Impact of Technology-Enabled Business Processes There is no denying the effect that technology has had on the way we conduct business. In recent years, technology has begun to play a significantly more significant role in all aspects of business, including sales and marketing. Business processes must be re-engineered to incorporate a pro-active strategy for using the information and IT to build a competitive advantage over other organisations. In many instances, the functionality provided by sales and marketing technology only automates current processes. Therefore, methods must be clearly defined and well-proven.
Automating a poorly understood or followed process usually fails. Technology must be used as an enabler to support an already sound sales and marketing strategy. Beyond automating sales and marketing capabilities, technology is now design to provide professionals with a wealth of information about their company’s clients and the markets that they serve. Companies are now able to collect data about their customers that when analysed and utilised correctly, can result in a competitive advantage. Online shopping is a prime example. If a customer makes a purchase, then the transaction is completed, and revenue is generated. However, if a sales transaction is not made, the company still collects the shopper’s behavioural data and stores it in a marketing database.
The company then has the opportunity to segment and analyse this data in order to learn more about that particular customer shopping habits. An analysis can then be performed to determine why this person did not make a purchase as well as what can be done differently to persuade this person to buy their product. The company can now position the four Ps of marketing: product, price, promotion, and place to better serve this customer. This process the company has taken, ultimately succeeds in developing a relationship with the customer. The company now knows more about what the customers’ preferences are and how to offer them. Consequently, the customer has a vested interest in the relationship as well and is more likely to conduct business with that company in the future.
The Shift to Relationship Marketing Though many of today’s marketing practices have evolved due to increasing technology; the marketing environment still centres around the four Ps of marketing described above. However, to remain competitive, companies must create a unique set of those four Ps which appeal to each customer and sets them apart from their competitors. Target marketing is no longer an efficient use of marketing efforts because plenty of resources can be lost to uninterested individuals while trying to capture potential customers. Because of the possible loss of support, there is now a movement away from targeting markets to specific individual customers. What is now required is customer-oriented relationship marketing.
Many studies have shown that it can cost anywhere from four to ten times as much to acquire a new profitable customer as it does to maintain repeat buyers. These statistics are one of the driving forces behind the move to relationship marketing, which focuses its emphasis on customer retention rather than attraction. This type of strategy calls for a different kind of marketing technique that is customer and information-driven as opposed to product-driven. With this in mind, marketers and business developers are now seeking new ways to obtain, manage, and analyse information on their customers.
As we are increasingly finding, one of the most effective ways of capturing and utilising customer data for marketing and sales efforts is by investing in technologies such as a customer relationship management system (CRMs). The Benefits of a Customer Relationship Management System According to the Gartner Group, the term CRM describes methodologies, software, and usually Internet capabilities that help an enterprise manage customer relationships in an organised way. From a technological standpoint, CRM can be categorized as the most extensive compilation of IT concepts to date. It involves moving the ownership of customers away from individual departments to the enterprise level. In addition, its focus is also on best serving the needs of each customer on a personal level rather than serving the needs of target markets as a whole.
The primary functionalities of CRMs are still debated by experts, and often it varies depending on the purpose the system is intended to serve in that instance. However, the high-level buckets of CRM capabilities can be categories according to customer service, marketing, and sales. Although customer service is an essential aspect of customer relationship management, it is primarily employed by companies who sell products as well as have call centres and websites to market and sell their merchandise. For example, most consulting firms are in the business of marketing and selling professional services. This results in their consultants.