Whether on or off line, customers in today’s marketplace want quality products and information in a quick and easy manner. I’ve typed it before and I’ll type it again, the internet’s main benefit is that of speed and convenience. Therefore e-business, which uses the internet as the core for business dealings, can help make a company more customer-friendly in addition to many other things, such as creating a more efficient exchange of information and/or products and services.
1. Removes Location and Availability Restrictions
Users need not be in the same physical location as an e-business and the exchange of information and transactions may take place at any given time, twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week and from any location in the world with Internet access. A physical location is restricted by size and limited to only those customers that can get there, while an online store has a global marketplace with customers and information seekers already waiting in line.
2. Reduces Time and Money Spent
In e-business, there is often a reduction in costs required to complete traditional business procedures. Many of those same traditional business approaches can be eliminated and replaced with electronic means, which are often easier to carry out as well as easier on the pocketbook. For example, compare the cost of sending out 100 direct mailings (paper, postage, staff and all), to sending out a bulk e-mail. Also think about the cost of paying rent at a physical location opposed to the cost of maintaining an online site.
3. Heightens Customer Service
With e-business customers receive highly customizable service, and communication is often more effective. There is far more flexibility, availability and faster response times with online support. For example, think about the speed of e-mail inquiries and live chat as opposed to getting on the phone, especially when that business is closed for the day. There is also a faster delivery cycle with online sales, helping strengthen the customer/business relationship. The internet is a powerful channel for reaching new markets and communicating information to customers and partners. Having a better understanding of your customers will help to improve customer satisfaction.
4. Gives Competitive Advantage
The internet opens up a brand new marketplace to businesses moving online. Competition via the internet is growing as the internet itself grows and waiting too long to move online may cause you to lose your place in line entirely. Easy access to real time information is a primary benefit of the internet, enabling a company to give more efficient and valid information and helping to gain the competitive advantage over those that are not online.
Although there are risks associating with e-business, as with most business decisions, there is also the risk associated with the inability to adapt to the changing times. Change is inevitable in today’s marketplace and should be embraced with open arms and open sites!