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Online Retailing Our Way of Life

online, computers, retailing, way of life, buying, selling, e-business, Fx777, FX777222999, products, merchandise, ordering, marketing
IRCE 2010 Tony Paolella 1, originally uploaded by Cotendo.

While e-business describes a sea change in the way large companies are interacting with customers, most of us will be more affected by the technology revolution in more ordinary ways in our daily lives. Whether we are purchasing sporting equipment or sending flowers, the way we buy and sell all kinds of goods and services will never be the same.

In this new era, just about everything is changing positively for the consumer. First online retailers are offering us greater convenience, and wider variety in items as diverse as books, CD’s, DVD’s, toys, travel, etc..But the advantage doesn’t stop with convenience. Online retailers are offering lower prices, more information at the point of purchase, and personalized shopping experiences to all of us wherever we live and at any hour of the day or night.

Even though there are still many uncertainties about this online revolution, there are clear characteristics that we can look at that will determine who will survive in this industry. The winners must all create three important outcomes: (1) They must attract consumer traffic. (2) They must convert the browsers to buyers. (3) They must sell merchandise or services without giving away the “store.” Without these three elements, a retailer, whether online or not, doesn’t have a chance to survive.

Many people believe that the online distribution channel will eventually allow product manufacturers to cut the middleman out of the value chain.

The ultimate question for businesses involved in e-tailing will be: Who owns the consumer? Product manufacturers will try to gain direct access to the end consumer, while online retailers will try to win consumer loyalty through multi-brand product offerings and value-added services.

An investor who considers the e-tailing future naturally wants to know which retailers will be the ultimate beneficiaries of online commerce.

E-business Still the Language of the Future?

e-business, Fx777, FX777222999, business, trade, company, international, online trading, online merchants, computers
E-Business, originally uploaded by Cité Artes Gráficas.

Around the world, e-business is thriving and moving so fast, that business players in the market always have to re-invent their system to augment the warp-speed pace. At the same time, “giant corporation” worldwide is always on the look-out for advancement to really capture the biggest slice of revenues that they’re enjoying right now.

In the future, is there really a shake-up? In business, the likes of which has happening around the globe (both in terms of its scope and pace), is now racing their revenues for giant companies and its competitors. What I am saying is about the trending of e-business (electronic/internet business) in the market. This will be a rat race that global companies converted their systems to create shareholders; will have its meaning in the long run. At the risk of oversimplifying a complex system, the following comprise of the most critical processes and components needed to put forward the e-business system for the future events.

1.) E-hubs – Ideally establishing more leading e-hubs or virtual markets because of their incredible scope of products and services offered by almost all manufacturers and service companies in the served market, become the industry’s dominant virtual exchange.
2.) Back office – Establishing global supply-chain alliances and fully integrating them with an extranet, which is an external network that allows suppliers and channel partners, among others, through a company’s firewalls, and provides access to propriety information. The new lingo for this type of activity is Business to Business (B2B).
3.) Electronic backbone – Electronically interconnecting and integrating all virtual constituencies of a company’s served market (suppliers, customers, Web interfaces, and e-hubs) via an “electronic fiber channel backbone” that can exchange massive amounts of data on a real-time basis and enable a company to operate in real-time as an e-business.
4.) Front office – Determining optimal ways to meet customer needs; developing customer Web interfaces that seamlessly link with alliance partners offering related products and services to best meet customer needs. This business practice is called Business to Customer (B2C).
5.) Technology advancement – Some companies are creating another breakthrough in machines and system for another model comprising new way of applications to its corporate operations.

Just for clarification, I want to distinguish between two often discussed e-business strategies: business-to-business (B2B) and business-to-consumers (B2C). B2B refers to the trade of raw materials and/or finished goods and services that are incorporated into products and services resold to an end consumer, for example retailers. B2B e-commerce is trade between a company and what are generally considered its business partners on both; the back-end and front-end, not individual consumers. While B2C e-commerce generally refers to online retailing, including the sale of products and services and provision of information, and focuses on selling finished goods generally to individual consumers, the masses. B2C companies must focus on and understand traditional retailing concepts such as merchandising, store design or web layout, marketing, and advertising to entice the end consumer. The new millennium brings brighter results if the companies are doing everything to convert rapidly possible to an e-business model so they can flourish in the new economy.

In essence, all that was required to succeed was the ability to provide the same goods and services on a global basis while competition exists. Global internet still thriving that has become the defining factor in shifting where value is added. With the Internet forming a reliable, instantaneous global interconnected communication structure, a company’s physical presence has been displaced by virtual presence.

Traditional companies currently are also finding their brands no longer give them the right to raise prices. Instead, valued as measured in terms of enhanced functionally rather than just outstanding quality or the lowest price – is what consumers demand from any product or service they choose. In the future, simplicity and speed will be valued by consumers’ far more than endless features or enhancements. With the advent of wholesale clubs and global buying alliances, the pricing dominance of leading branded product companies is now meeting its match. Consumers, not producers, are enjoying a shift in the balance of power within virtually all market segments, whether consumer or industrial.

Therefore, e-business model must be given a need to deliver maximum potential payback and time to plan ahead for future business endeavor.

First Time on a Network?

first time, network, LAN, cable, connection, computers
Rob, on his back again…, originally uploaded by OwenBlacker.

First time on a network? Or, you’re familiar but don’t know the technicalities? It’s not that difficult, but there are some ground rules to follow.

In today’s technology-driven business, local area networks (LANs) linking several C’s together are becoming commonplace. But how many people understand the basic do’s and don’ts of using a network?

If you are new user on a local area network you may have a few things to learn, even if you’re an experienced PC user. As a LAN user, you work in a shared, perhaps company-wide environment. This means you have access to potentially great resources; more and varied applications, more file space, more computing power, more printers, more modems, plus interesting things like fax servers and CD-ROM disks. It also means that as you work it’s important to remember you’re sharing the network with others.

Here are a few tips on how to be a responsible member of the LAN, and how to work safely and effectively. Start at the beginning. If you are given any user manuals, read them, or at least skim through them and save them. Mark the important parts and browse through them periodically. You’ll be amazed what new parts make sense and what valuable tips you’ll pick u. If your organization has put together its own “new user’s guide”, read it carefully. Add your own notes. Learn where all the important switches to your PC are and what they do: power and reset for the central processing unit (CPU); and power, brightness and contrast for your monitor. Many apparent failures are often no more complicated than an incorrect setting. Also, learn where the fuses are.

Familiarize yourself with the various cables and wires connecting everything, and any wires going into the wall. If these cables and the places to which they attached aren’t marked, you may want to label them, so you’ll know where to reconnect them if necessary. Learn how to reset your workstation. There should be several ways to do it: pressing a certain combination of keys on the keyboard; pushing a button somewhere on the workstation; or turning the power off and on again.

You’ll probably be given an “account” on the LAN. Learn your username, memorize your password. If appropriate, change it to something un-guessable. Don’t write your password down anywhere obvious, like under your keyboard. Don’t post it on the wall. Learn about your account. What applications and services can you use? Who else is on the LAN? Can you communicate with them by electronic mail? How? Who should you call for advice or help with applications, network service or hardware?

Try to acquire most of this knowledge in your first few days as a network user. It may be the last time you learn how to use your LAN, except when things go wrong. The more you know, the more easily and productively you’ll work. Practice safe computing as a LAN user, you are responsible not only for the security of your own data and PC, but also to some extent for the entire network community.

There will be problems. Some will affect only you, some will affect others in your group, some will affect everyone. But remember that anything and everything that can go wrong on a LAN already has to someone, somewhere. Also, occasionally things will happen which may look like problems, but actually are legitimate operational characteristics of your LAN. So don’t be hasty in assuming you know what the problem is. Often, in fact, a problem can have any number of causes. Take failure of a file to print. Is the file going to the right printer? Is the printer connection broken? Did someone reset the printer? Is the printer out of paper?

Working effectively on a LAN takes a little technical know-how, liberal amounts of common sense and some practice. The reward will be improved productivity – not only for yourself but for the others who can now communicate more easily with you