Online and digital technology
Global business grew because of the development of transport and communication systems all over the world. Technologies today have created a business environment with secure payment systems, around the clock access to online shopping and the digital distribution of products. Currency conversion is automated, language can be translated and payments and communications are protected through encryption.
“The first rule of any technology used in a business is that automation applied to an efficient operation will magnify the efficiency. The second is that automation applied to an efficient operation will magnify the inefficiency.” – Bill Gates
Technology has created new industries and business opportunities for global expansion; specialized technologies such as nanotechnology and biotechnology. Technology enables people and companies to provide their goods and services around the world.
E-business (electronic business) is the conduct of business processes on the Internet. These electronic business processes include buying and selling products, supplies and services; servicing customers; processing payments; managing production control; collaborating with business partners; sharing information; running automated employee services; recruiting; and more.
E-business can comprise a range of functions and services, ranging from the development of intranets and extranets to e-service, the provision of services and tasks over the Internet by application service providers.
M-commerce (mobile commerce) is the buying and selling of goods and services through wireless handheld devices such as cellular telephone and personal digital assistants (PDAs). Known as next-generation e-commerce, m-commerce enables users to access the Internet without needing to find a place to plug in. The emerging technology behind m-commerce, which is based on the Wireless Application Protocol (WAP), has made far greater strides in Europe, where mobile devices equipped with Web-ready micro-browsers are much more common than in the United States.
Some issues of concern have been identified with M-Commerce:
- Spam and scams are filling inboxes with unwanted and fraudulent messages.
- Privacy is no longer an option as businesses will be able to collect even more personal information about the customers.
- Misinformed consumers because of the screen size of mobile devices and the memory limits of customers may not see the full terms and conditions of sale or the details of other comments before making a purchase.
- Consumer debt because of how easy it is to use and access, and any hidden charges from cell and internet providers, consumers may get caught in high levels of debt.
For success retailers must:
- Optimize tablet and smartphone experience: offer an app or website that is designed for tablets and smartphones and integrate shopping carts and payment systems.
- Use of social media and mobile marketing: Use SMS, Facebook, and Twitter to promote sales, distribute discount coupons, and invite customers to events and exclusive store offers.
- Provide exceptional service: Include stock availability information online, use shopping histories to suggest products and provide personalization.
Strategies for E-Commerce
- International shipping -International shipping to an existing domestic website
- Branded website -Build on existing exporting trade with a website and online store
- Wholesale online –Partnering with a business in a different country, using established infrastructure, customer base and distribution channels.
- Local market URL –To build a strong presence in a new overseas market, the website would include a domain name of the country.