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E-Commerce Strategies

UK College of Business and Computing

Code: T/601/1994

Learning Outcomes:

LO1: Understand the impact of e-Commerce on business  

1.1: Critically discuss the expectations of internet customers  

1.2: Critically assess the potential impact of common applications on an e-Commerce business  

LO2: Be able to plan an e-Commerce strategy  

2.1: Plan an e-Commerce implementation strategy for an e-Commerce business

LO3: Be able to manage an e-Commerce strategy  

3.1: Critically assess the risks of linking business systems to the internet  

3.2: Explain the importance of protecting the intellectual property of an organisation  

3.3: Critically discuss security measures to protect an e-Commerce solution.  

3.4: Critically evaluate current e-Commerce developments and assess their incorporation into an e-Commerce strategy.

Answer

Introduction

Standing at the age of modernization, the internet has become the only way to explore the various opportunities for business. The concept of e-commerce strategy or e-commerce website is now the most reliable way for boosting up the business and for increasing the customer satisfaction (Nica, 2015). Focusing on this concept of the e-commerce strategies, this study aims to develop an implementation plan for e-commerce strategies on the behalf of the online ticket booking system of Lions cricket ground. With this aim, the study focuses on assessing the expectations of the internet customers and its impacts on the business organizations. Another most important objective of this study is to develop the e-commerce strategies, evaluating the risk factors in these modern business strategies.

Task 1

P1.1 critically discuss the expectations of internet customers

With the fastest growing business system, the expectations of the customers are also growing faster holding the hand of information technology. In such way, when it comes to the matter of any international business organizations, then the customer expectations increase more about the services. The scenario of Lions cricket ground is also indicating that and their customer interests on the international ground has led them to adopt the e-commerce website strategies. 

Figure 1: Customer expectations for online services

(Source: Leong et al. 2016)

Expectations for online booking and service instantly: The customers of Lions international cricket ground have the higher expectations for online ticket booking instantly. In the modern day business system, there is nothing more profitable than to provide customer service instantly over the internet and within minimum time. It is, therefore, the prior concern of the organizations, who adopt the e-commerce strategies, to make their websites or other applications customer friendly (Turban et al. 2017). For instance, the e-commerce website strategy of Lions Cricket Ground must have the website or applications, through which the complications of manual ticket booking can be overcome. 

Mobile compatible websites: In the age of smart technologies, the Smart implementations should also be brought into the e-commerce strategy planning. Mobile compatible websites are the ways to implement this smart technology. It is because, the customers, especially the young customers want the fastest services, as the fastness of their lifestyle. Moreover, they feel more comfortable with mobile applications for online services from anywhere at any time. Moreover, this is the best way to attracting more customers and increase the customer communications (Galliers and Leidner, 2014). Most importantly, a mobile application is the easiest way to access the services of the e-commerce websites instantly. 

Safe transaction: Cyber security is the major and prior expectation of the customers while using online services. It is because, with the development of the smart technologies, the risk of transactions has also been increased. The organizations should stay liable to ensure that the customers are doing safe transactions because, at the time of online transactions, the account details of the customers and the business data can be at the risk to be hacked. Therefore, the customers will also expect that the company has developed the websites or the applications with all safety measures for safe online transactions (Cao et al. 2015). It is also relevant to the upcoming mobile compatible websites of Lion Cricket ground. It is an international customer base, where the risks of fraudulent transactions are at its height. Therefore, they have to plan a secure online booking system by protecting their intellectual properties. 

Searching for more privacy: 

Next, to the safe online transactions, the customers of online services of the organizations will expect to maintain privacy, while searching for the applications. Moreover, when they are entering their personal data for online shopping or online booking services, the data should be private and the fraudulent activities can be prevented (Yu et al. 2014).

Multiple services: e-commerce websites or applications should not be designed for limited or single service but it should provide multiple services with the just single click. There should be services, which can satisfy the customer expectations from all perspectives. Therefore, the e-commerce websites of Lion Cricket ground should not only provide the online booking services but also the other services like the business with the club, sports update and other entertainment services (Huang and Benyoucef, 2013). 

Live chat and linking with the social media: It is the fastest and most modern way to increase the credibility of the customer services. It is obvious that while using the websites or applications, the customers will look for the guidelines from the customer care executives (Ngai et al. 2015). Therefore, it should be the concern of Lions cricket ground authority to arrange customer supports, while adopting the e-commerce strategies. Beside this, social media is the biggest platform, which the young generations are looking for, to express their statements about the services. This leads the business organizations to link their e-commerce strategies with the social media. 

P1.2 critically assess the potential impact of common applications on an e-commerce business 

Figure 2: Common applications for e-commerce business strategies

(Source: Yu et al. 2014)

The above applications are commonly used by the business organizations, who are directly involved in the entertainment sectors. Therefore, they have the direct communications with the customers and the impacts of these applications can be best understood by the fulfilment of the customer satisfactions (Fang et al. 2014).

Online Shopping: Online shopping is the potential side, which an organization can have through e-commerce strategies. As it is shown in the case of Lions Cricket Ground that both of the management and the customers are facing complications for manual buying and selling tickets internationally. Therefore, the online shopping over the e-commerce websites will be able to attract more customers from the international background (Cao et al. 2015). Moreover, many of the customers are not willing to show interest to go for watching the cricket abroad because of the complications in booking the tickets. It will be effective for the organization to make a new customer base without increasing marketing costs and times.  Online shopping is the best way to develop the business as more cost-effective, which can attract the foreign investors for expanding the business areas.

Order Tracking: This e-commerce application increases the reliability of the customers on the online services of the organizations. For instance, after the adoption of the e-commerce websites, the customers of Lions Cricket ground will be able to track the order from booking to the end of the validity of the tickets. This order tracking system also makes the management able to provide the services in the more organized way without failing to attend a single step. The website developers always prefer to create the codes for the individual orders of the customers. This is also beneficial for the company to track the orders and the delivery system or other information instantly in case of any emergency (Chaffey, 2015). 

Electronic Tickets: Next to the order tracking, through the electronic ticket system, the organization can increase the customer satisfaction (Galliers and Leidner, 2014). Unlike, the paper tickets, these electronic tickets do not have the risks to be stolen or lost because these are stored safely in the database. Lions Cricket Ground can easily distribute their electronic tickets worldwide without creating any limitations. Through the electronic tickets, the management can provide more credible information about the matches and the seats, which is beneficial to reform the selling strategies without increasing costs for advertisements (Ngai et al. 2015). This online ticket system creates a beneficial way for the organizations to display the tax systems to the customers and their business partners. 

Social Networking: This is the most common and popular e-commerce applications, used by the organizations. Social networking provides the platforms for the management for showing their business goals and interests to both the customers and the industrialists. Lion Cricket Ground, being a newly built cricket ground needs to link their e-commerce strategies with the social networking sites for the expansion of their business internationally (Rawat and Divekar, 2014). 

Newsgroups: Newsgroups of the Lions Cricket Ground can now publish their news directly on their e-commerce websites for keeping the users updated daily. It will be beneficial for the users or the business partners to get any specific news from the websites instantly (Mohapatra, 2013). The extra expenses to publish the news can be saved by using the online news sections of the websites.

Online Banking: Business investments and transactions get faster through online banking and the management can operate their bank accounts at any time from anywhere.

Teleconferencing: It is the most expanded way of expanding the business. For the business to business and business customers programme, it is the briefest and easiest way. 

Instant Messaging: Through instant messaging applications, the company can send any service related messages to the customers, such as booking code, generation of ticket numbers, confirmation message and any changes in match schedule (Da Costa, 2016). 

Domestic and international payment services: As Lion Cricket, ground can only use the domestic payment services while selling the tickets or doing the business transactions, after e-commerce they will be able to use both domestic and international payment methods (Qin et al. 2014).

Task 2

P2.1 Plan an e-commerce implementation strategy for a company of your choice

Figure 3: Implementation planning for e-commerce websites

(Source: Laudon and Traver, 2013)

As the above diagram is indicating, Lions Cricket Ground has to focus on the different business areas for the implementation of e-commerce websites/ticket booking. E-commerce initiatives are interrelated with the customer segmentation, marketing strategies, and operational units.

Marketing strategies

Firstly, Lions Cricket Ground must bring modifications in the marketing strategies, regarding the target market and promotional strategies. Until now, they have been working with the marketing strategy for manual ticket booking, which is not so much expanded like e-commerce business strategies (Huang and Benyoucef, 2013). The following areas, on which the marketing group needs to focus, are as follows.

Target market segmentation: Lions Cricket ground has to give the priority to the existing customers at first and based on their expectations, they can segment the markets. As per the business report of this company, it is to be stated that the marketing group can, first, identify the nations, where the most of the people are fond of the cricket matches. Before that, the company has to observe if there any major competitors in those markets, who are having more developed online booking systems (Chen et al. 2014). 

Customer segmentation or identifying the interest groups: The marketing group needs to consider both the demographic and psychographic features to identify the interest groups to buy the tickets online. Personal values and ideologies towards the online shopping are to be considered at first before implementing the e-commerce websites internationally (Galliers and Leidner, 2014). Secondly, the deviations between the age group should also be focused, as it will be more profitable for the company to target the customer's groups, in which the young people are more in numbers. In one word, as the interest groups, the group of young people can fulfil all the demographic and psychographic characteristics of e-commerce strategies. 

Web community as promotional strategy: 

Figure 4: Web Community contents for promoting mobile compatible e-commerce websites

(Source: Fang et al. 2014)

As Lions Cricket Ground is entirely new to adopt the online booking strategy and to develop the mobile compatible e-commerce websites, building web community is the most beneficial way for understanding the promotions. By the blogs in the web community forum, the research and development of the market will be easier for the management. Most importantly, as the diagram is showing, it can also be advantageous after launching the applications (Huang and Benyoucef, 2013). This web community is the major platform for the company to communicate with the existing members of the company. On the other hand, by building the web community, the company can reduce the advertisement costs for launching the e-commerce applications as it is medium to collaborate with a maximum number of customers in minimum time and costs. 

Usage of e-marketing software: Document control and big data analysis are two most important inclusions of e-commerce strategies (Leong et al. 2016). Lion Cricket Ground can take the access to different e-marketing software for different business performances more than online ticket booking. Through the e-marketing software, it will be beneficial for the management to implement more services that are automatic in the business and document control.  

Supply chain strategy

Along with the marketing and promotional strategy, Lions Cricket Ground must obtain supply chain strategy for fulfilling customer needs and business partnerships.  

Customer satisfaction: Satisfying customer demands should be the prior factor for implementing the e-commerce websites/ticket booking. Designing of the good process for booking the tickets is the prior concern to retain the feasibility of e-commerce strategy (Turban et al. 2017). For that, Lions Cricket Ground must adopt the good and authenticated software to do the safe transactions. Security measurements should also be the integral parts of this e-commerce website. 

Responsive supply chain management: 

Figure 5: E-commerce supply chain management

(Source: Rawat and Divekar, 2014)

As the above framework is indicating, the e-commerce supply chain management should be responsive towards the customer needs and delivery of the products. This is also the goal of the e-commerce strategy of Lions Cricket Ground to overcome the critical conditions of the customers to buy the tickets manually. In the supply chain management, demand planning should be the major inclusion to identify the planning of the distribution of the tickets online (Ngai et al. 2015). 

Partnership relationships with Suppliers: Along with the supply chain management, Lions Cricket ground should build up a well-managed relationship with the partners for more commercialization of the e-commerce ticket-booking website. 

Task 3

P3.1 Critically assess the risks of linking the business system to the internet

Figure 6: Obligations in implementing e-commerce in business

(Source: Daugherty and Hoffman, 2014)

Cyber security is the big question for adopting the e-commerce strategy by the business organizations. Linking e-commerce website/ticket booking system with the business of Lions Cricket Ground will also not be beyond these issues. 

Global issues

Global issues such as hacking, terrorism, fraudulent activities, attacks of the malware are going to be the obvious issues for linking the business to the internet.

Hacking: This is the most common risk for the digital marketing system in today’s world. The hackers can easily get the access to the confidential data of the business by breaking the security code of the organization's software. The customer's safety is also at the risk of adopting ten e-commerce software as the customers have to enter some personal data, such as account details, contact details and others (Chaffey, 2015). On the other hand, the credibility of the business data and process are also at the risks of linking the business with e-commerce.

Terrorism: It is obvious that the databases of the international organizations consist of the information about major industrialists and Government officials and they are the target of the modern day terrorist activities. E-commerce business strategy is the open way for the terrorists to keep track on the movements of this personnel.

Attacks of malware and fraudulent activities: Injecting the malware into the e-commerce software is the main source of the digital frauds. This malware do not only fetch the confidential information but these can damage the entire system, which may not be retrieved. These impacts of malware can also damage the customer accounts, which are synced with the e-commerce software (Galliers and Leidner, 2014).

Security Breaches: Although the members of this e-commerce strategic planning are liable to not to keep the information confidential, yet the risk of security breaches is always the big issue. One of the common reasons for this is the open access of the business data to all of the members and users (Jinzhao et al. 2015). The absence of identification system of theft increases this risk more.

Liability issues: Liability issues mainly come from the side of trade contracts and the investors. Through the e-commerce business website, the business organizations have to work with the investors and contractors, based on the virtual business relationship. Therefore, there is always the chances to connect with the fake contractors or the investors. It can cause huge losses in the business (Cao et al. 2015). 

E-contract enforceability: As it has been mentioned earlier that the trade contracts are made virtually over the e-commerce strategy, therefore, the legal obligations are more in this. In the most of the virtual trade contracts, neither the management nor the contractors obey the legal issues for signing the contracts (Guo et al. 2016). The enforceability of the trade contracts is in the question of liability because of the legal obligations.

Intellectual property rights: Along with the legal obligations in the e-contract, the intellectual property right is also lost by linking the business with the e-commerce. With the risk of data breaching, the protection of the intellectual property is also at the face of a big question mark. 

P3.2 Explain the importance of protecting the intellectual properties of an organization

Unlike the physical resources, the intellectual properties should be protected in a special way for protecting the tangible and innovative benchmarks of the company. There are mainly three ways to protect the intellectual properties and these are also the integral parts of IP rights laws, 

Patents: Lions Cricket Ground must apply for the patents to the Government to secure their rights to implement this e-commerce website/ticket booking (Nica, 2015). This protects the right of the organization from the disclosure of the confidential documents.

Trademarks: This is a unique design or mark, which the company can only use by preserving all its rights. For preventing the duplicity of the online tickets, Lions Cricket Ground can use the trademark, which they can only design with a unique designing tool (Yu et al. 2014). 

Copyright: Lions Cricket Ground should implement the copyright acts in their e-commerce business strategy. The copyright act prevents other companies to copy the invention ideas of the organizations (Mohapatra, 2013). 

The importance of the intellectual property right can be understood while implementing the new inventions. Protection of the intellectual property is the ultimate successful stage for the implementation of the e-commerce strategy in the business activities.

P3.3 Critically discuss security measures to protect an e-commerce solution

As per the provided case study there are several issues that can emerge regarding the system of e commerce and therefore it is important to protect any ecommerce solution. Security is considered as one of the major concern for any e commerce solutions of recent times. The users of the solutions seek maximum protection regarding the security and the privacy of their data (Turban et al, 2017). In order to safeguard the data and the interest of the consumers it is important for any organization to follow measures in order to protect the data of the customers. E-commerce security indicates towards the protection of the e commerce assets from the cyber criminals.

E commerce security is important to decrease the e commerce security threats and the threats can be potential and foreign and the harm can be occurred by anyone having capability, technology and intent to harm. Such threats are concerned with loss of privacy and private data of the customers and data abuse or data misuse (Turban et al, 2017). Along with that it is also concerned with cracking, eavesdropping and rootkits. Systematic unavailability and  denial of services are some of the characteristics that are caused by these threats. Considering the different dimensions of e commerce security, it can classified into six different groups and that are:

  • Integrity which implies prevention of the unauthorized modification of data.
  • Authenticity or the authentication of the data sources.
  • Confidentiality which ensures protection against unauthorized data sources.
  • Availability or prevention against the data removal and the data delays.
  • Nonrepudiation or prevention against the non recognizable parties.

In order to protect the personal data of the customers it is important to maintain confidentiality so that the personal information of the customers can not be accessed by any unauthorized person and it is important to maintain the security in such a manner that it can not be intercepted by the transmission (Turban et al, 2017). The integrity of the data sources need to be protected so that the information or important data is not subjected to any altercation during the period of transmission over the network. The data information requires to have availability so that the data and the information can be accessed by the assessor within a specific time limit.

Another important factor is encryption. In order to protect important data from unnecessary altercation and improvisation it needs to be encrypted and decrypted by an authentic data processor or data user. It is important to keep record of the data as well. In order to maintain the auditability of the data needs to be recorded in a manner that it can be audited in order to meet integrity requirements of the user.

The major security measures that need to be considered are:

  • Encryption 

Encryption is a very effective as well as practical measure that is necessary in safeguarding the data from being transmitted over unknown networks. The process of encryption is initiated by the sender and the sender encrypts the data with the help of a secret code and that ensures that only a specific user can decode the data or decrypt the data with the help of a specific code which is set by the sender.

  • Security certificates

Security certificate indicates towards a specific kind of license or digital id that is used in order to verify an particular user of any website.

  • Digital signature

Digital signature is considered to be one of the best security measures that can be implemented by an organization in order to secure their data. It ensures the authenticity of the data user and important information as well (). It refers to a signature or specifically an e signature that is usually get authenticated through password and encryption.

P3.4 Critically evaluate current e-commerce developments and assess their incorporation into an e-commerce strategy organization

As per the provided case study lions does not had a customized website that can be used by the users in order to avail the facility of online ticket booking (König et al, 2016). As this organization is new in availing the trend of Ecommerce in their organization, it is important to understand the current ecommerce developments in order to identify the aspects that this organization can incorporate in their business system for better organizational outcomes.

In the market of ecommerce the customers seek innovation and therefore, the ecommerce designs are subjected to continuous change and they are evolving in order to provide better services to the customers. Ecommerce design methodologies also change according to the customer needs and essential requirements. Some of the major current major developments in this arena are:

  • Predominance of mobile: The consumers are very much mobile dependence and growth of technology and internet have indicated the consumers’ interest of incorporating their commencing through their mobile devices. Currently several organizations that have availed the ecommerce facility also have opened the opportunity for their customers to avail several services through mobile internet, net banking and other related services (Niranjanamurthy and Chahar, 2013.). Online ticket booking is one of such services that the organization under study can avail.
  • Minimalist design: because of large shifts in mobile devices the web designers of contemporary time prefers the web design to have a minimalistic approach and it is gradually replacing the complex images and procedures (Chiu et al, 2014). More customer friendly websites and simplistic operating facility help in the growth of the consumer loyalty and therefore, it is important to incorporate a customer friendly design in order to ensure usability.
  • Productive visualization: Productive visualization is one of the major e commerce trend of this age. It is important to focus on the content and incorporate well distinguished product categories and along with that product visualization also helps in endorsing many complicated products effectively and this is considered to be a crucial e commerce trend as day by day several complicated products are being sold online (Hartono et al, 2014). In order to replace the offline retail the retail trend of online ecommerce requires to be user friendly, attractive and safe as well.




Conclusion

From the above study on the implementation of e-commerce strategy, various aspects have come forward regarding planning and safety measures. On the completion of the study, the aim has been fulfilled by achieving the focused areas and objectives through the various implementations. It can be stated that not only the customer satisfaction but the business interests are also involved integrated with the adoption of the e-commerce strategy. By drawing the conclusion to the study, it can be stated that Lions Cricket Ground must perform an evaluative research before implementing the e-commerce website/ticket booking system. It can be deduced that the digital awareness is only the protective way along with the legal implications.

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