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Understanding E-Commerce An Introduction
by B.Muthukrishnan

I was fascinated to the claims made by the industry and other media regarding the future of ecom in India. In the recent past there have been a spurt in ecom training activities offering lucrative job packages along with the training. Therefore, I decided to make a deep study on this subject to understand the real potential of this new technology for India. Fortunately, I have an Internet connection and I am fairly familiar with browsing, search engines and all other stuff that goes with the Internet. I have visited nearly 2500 web sites, sent emails to nearly 25 overseas companies doing ecommerce and attended almost all the seminars conducted in Chennai by various organizations o n ecommerce ..Of course, many articles published on TheGuide site on the same subject made me to take more interest in my study. As a result I, who was a novice on this subject 6 months back have become a consultant for e-com/e-business. The purpose of this article is to share my experience with your readers and remove some of the misconceptions on this subject.

It is widely claimed that the business through ecom will touch billion and trillion mark by the turn of the century. Unless one switches over to this activity, the EXISTING business is likely to face closure in due course. How far this is true?

Conventional businesses do not face extinction should they decide to ignore the online world (internet)Most of them would benefit little or not at all from having an internet site. The time is yet to come when orders for clothes, garments and other services are processed mainly through the internet. Perhaps such an age may not arrive at all. Does it mean that the claims are false?There are some segments of business (such as b2b) which will gain immediately due to the use of internet for carrying out many transactions.But the real problem is with bto c (business to customers) .

All said and done the internet is in. The number of inet connections in the next few years will cross a million mark.What does this mean to business? Those who are connected to internet are not new customers to any business. They have been doing their regular shopping all these years .Further ,they do not open their computers to make purchases. Even if somebody is interested to buy, how do they know where to go in the net.Therefore the real situation is that there is a medium, which can be used to reach many customers at a less expensive method. Website is the place where you advertise your products or services.This site should be seen by your prospective customers. Then they should decide to buy your product or services. Then the question of money transactions, etc .Creating a website is as simple as placing an ad in a daily newspaper. But the real problem is how to reach the customers. How to make the internet users to visit your site.This is a big task which is very difficult to achieve .Almost al the companies in the world are evaluating new technique every other day to increase the hits to their site.The techniques involved varies from new ideas in web creation to post web marketing techniques.

A business on the internet is not that much different from conventional businesses,and it is subjected to the same market laws and trends.The rules are almost the same.the degree of success depends on investment,in time and money ,business ideas, professionalism, , perseverance ,and luck, However, one outstanding difference between the conventional and internet business does exist: the rule "LOCATION, LOCATION"; Does Not Apply To The Internet; its place is taken by "PROMOTION,PROMOTION".

While having a business presence on the internet does not by itself guarantee that the entrepreneur will strike rich, it is definitely an enterprise worth trying.With a right idea or product proper exploitation of the advantages the internet gives to the business ,there is one more modern medium to do business.As mentioned earlier,operating a business on the internet requires the same dedication, and struggle for success that any conventional business would .I t is wrong to assume that a well designed web site and connected to the internet is all that is required to succeed in business. Those who have entered into internet business with this idea have paid heavily. Even big corporations have done this mistake and withdrew after incurring heavy losses.

Assuming that somebody is keen to enter internet sales,the other issues involved are as follows:

  1. a reliable mechanism to collect the payments.

  2. despatch of goods/services with reasonable speed and reliability

  3. after sales service

  4. appropriate tax laws

  5. internet failures (due to various reasons)

These issues will be dealt in a separate article in due course.


Understanding E-Commerce
Payment Online
E-commerce vs. Commerce


Copyright © 1999 Dr. Raj Mehta. All rights reserved.