E-business refers to the business activities beyond buying and selling such as using the internet to enhance customer service, coordinate activities with business partners, and facilitate communication and electronic marketplaces to better serve the collective needs of the industry.
The cost of the technology involved in e-business is relatively high compared to a physical business environment. The technology involved demands a relatively high-cost standard e.g. maintaining a website and securing the transactions involved in the business. It requires highly expatriate personnel in the development and maintenance of the site.
The website should be designed in such a way that is user-friendly to the customers and business partners. It should provide specific link areas to the customers and business partners to enhance user efficiency i.e. should be able to generate pop-up adverts and generate questions to the user to enhance their sense of direction.
The marketing strategies to be used should include a direct e-mail where the specifically targeted customers are delivered the mails according to their product preferences and alerts on the availability of new products or changes in the product composition. This strategy is most appropriate since it will ensure that the message achieves the exact target customer or partner therefore the possibility of it being given the attention and therefore the response required.
Target marketing is also one of the most appropriate strategies to use where the customers are contacted according to their tastes and preferences. The strategy targets a given clientele or market niche in a market i.e. a specific consumer group that is perceived to be the best consumers of the given products.
Search engines can be used as another strategy where adverts are placed in a search engine site such that customers and partners worldwide can log on to the company’s website and get to know more about the company’s products and services that are offered by the company and then utilize the appropriate areas of interest. This is achieved through the creation of a company’s website detailing all about the products and the services.
Products to be sold include long-lasting food products. This can be achieved through the EFT (electronic funds transfer) whereby the transactions are carried out electronically between the trading partners through the use of credit cards with the assistance of an automated clearinghouse.
Online communication expands a company’s marketplace to national and international markets. With a minimal capital outlay, a company can quickly locate customers, the base suppliers, and the most suitable business patterns worldwide. It enables consumers to have customized products from PCs to cars at competitive prices.
It lowers telecommunication costs because the internet is much cheaper than VANs (Value Added Networks).
It enables companies to procure materials and services from other companies rapidly and at less cost due to the internet efficiencies.
The risks of doing business on the internet may involve a lack of universal standards of quantity, security, and reliability.
There may be difficulty in integrating the internet and e-commerce applications and software with some existing (legacy) applications and databases.
There is a need for special Web servers in addition to network servers in the case where e-marketing is involved.