Compatible E-Commerce Business Structures

At the Department Store End of the Scale:

Department Store sellers stock EVERYTHING. Like a traditional high street department store their website is packed with all kinds of different products, but even more products than the traditional department stores could ever possibly stock. So John Lewis is less of an online department store than Tesco, Amazon or Next. The aim of firms at this end of the scale is to become their customers’ go-to destination every time those customers think of buying online.

In the Middle of the Product Range Scale:

The businesses in the middle, therefore, are not the obvious place for the consumer to go to for what they want. So they must work much harder to differentiate themselves and ensure they build and retain a good customer base and/or a strong brand.

However many products you choose to stock, you should edit those products for your customers – have a basic, better, and best of each thing – and nothing more. Consumers really appreciate being helped to find the right option. Plus it will help you keep inventory down.

So at either end of the scale your strategic plan is fairly straightforward: every decision you make is tailored towards seeing how well it fits with your overall proposition. However, it’s VERY hard to start off as a Department Store. These e-commerce businesses have grown so widely in order to maximize their customer base and brand power – so it’s almost impossible to enter the market here.

You should now be able to see which of the seven e-commerce Business Structures your business should fit into. That’s great, because now you know the foundations you are building your business on and that makes all the strategy decisions to come much easier.

You Know What You Are: What next?

Unfortunately, just knowing what you are isn’t enough: you now need to differentiate your business from your competition.

Differentiate – Find Your USP

There are millions of e-commerce websites that your prospective customers can buy from. There are probably hundreds of thousands of e-commerce websites on which they can buy similar products to yours. So you need to create a reason for them to buy from you – and to keep buying from you; something that differentiates you from all the other websites out there (and from the shops and catalogues they could buy from too).

By differentiating yourself you create a Unique Selling Proposition (USP) for your business, the unique reason customers will keep buying from you rather than anyone else. For your USP to be effective, you need to be really good at whatever you choose to differentiate in, be better than the competition: you need to be ‘best in class’

In the 1960s, Michael Porter defined three generic strategies for business:

Cost (how well in control of your costs you are, which relates directly to how much you charge)

Niche (a customer group you will focus on)

Differentiation (products, service, brand, customer intimacy)

It is still true today that every business needs to decide on which of these three it will primarily focus on, but in the 21st Century no company can afford to ignore their cost base or not understand their core customer base. So a USP needs to be more than just one of these three generic strategies.

Saying that, the three generic strategies above are a good place to start, and it’s crucial to understand if either of the first two is important to your business.

Take a look at your sector. There are sectors filled with ‘commodity’ products – here you have to be price competitive (think TVs and Laptops). Now that we can easily sell globally, even the most specialist market is big enough to have multiple e-commerce sites serving it.

So:

Are you all about getting the costs under control so you can beat everyone on price (see Tesco)?
Are you going to focus on a single customer segment? Or consumer need?
Are you neither of these?

Whichever you have answered yes to, you still need a further point of differentiation for your USP and make sure it’s compatible to your sector.

Step 1 Complete: What next?

Identifying your e-commerce Business Structure, Product Scope, and USP has shown you what sort of e-commerce business you are going to build. Now you understand that we can start building the three Core Foundations of your e-commerce Master Plan:

Step 2 = Core Foundation 1, your Website
Step 3 = Core Foundation 2, the big numbers: Cost, Profit, and Growth
Step 4 = Core Foundation 3, products and promotions

At the Niche End of the Scale:

Niche sellers focus on a single product category – tea towels, sailing holidays, ladies’ shoes – and they create and edit the perfect range of that product in such a way that, if you want that product, you know they are the only person to go to, e.g. classicsailing.co.uk, thevacuumbagshop.co.uk, batterystation.co.uk, todryfor.com.

But don’t assume that being niche means you can’t be big.
One of the fastest-growing eCommerce businesses at the moment is World Stores, with a turnover of over £35m, and they have built their business on niches. They identify ranges of keywords that have a high search volume, with a low amount of competition from other providers and where they know they can offer a better product range and customer service than the other providers do. For each niche, they build a new website (on a central platform). Currently they have websites for products as diverse as garden sheds and chimineas, to rowing machines and cots – over 70 websites in all.

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Usability – E-Commerce Web Solutions

Usability deals with ergonomics of interactive tools and applications. In the Internet, the term usability is usually used in reference to ergonomics of e-commerce web sites and user applications. In their case, usability’s focus is on: intuitive navigation, making it easier for a user to browse the site in search for the information, and easy-to-grasp communication.

The term usability appears often in the Human-Computer Interaction (HCI) context.

One of the first advocates of usability, Jakob Nielsen, writes about its five most important elements:

Learnability – how easy it is for the users to perform a basic task during their first contact with an e-commerce web site?

Efficiency – how quickly does a user who has already known the web site perform the tasks?

Memorability – how quickly a user can reach proficiency in using the e-commerce web site after not having visited it for a longer time?

Errors – how many errors do the users make, how they are communicated and in what time and how can the users solve them?

Satisfaction: Do the users like to use the e-commerce web site?

The tests done by Empirix in 2006 showed that 91% of the users gives up after trying to performs a given task three times at maximum. Imagine that you are just losing a client in your e-store because he or she could not understand that they had to register to place an order.

According to the same study, 36% of the users declare that they will not go into business with a firm that has failed a given user’s expectations on the Internet. Imagine that your potential client cannot find a description of one of your services on your web site. Empirix also reveals that 20% of the users declare that negative experiences online connected with a firm motivated them to resign from further cooperation with it.

Conventions

The whole story with conventions starts when an interaction designer delivers his or her work (prototypes, interactive wireframes and mockups, documentation, or something like this) to a graphic designer. I currently work with a couple of e-commerce web graphics and they all perfectly understand that what they are doing is an applied art. We want it to be beautiful, alluring and pleasant but it has to be useful, first of all. It has to perform its function. Sometimes, we choose the compromise and use something which lies somewhere in between, sometimes a perfect synergy is achieved and we create something truly beautiful and useful at the same time. In your everyday work, you have to be ready for frequent consultations with the graphic designers, though. If you do not like to communicate, you should not deal with interaction designing.

Let’s come back to conventions so that I can present you some of them. A convention is placing a web site’s logo in the upper left corner. The logo is usually clickable and leads to the home page. Highlighting the elements of the text which are clickable is also a convention. Change of colors of the already-visited links is another useful convention. Even the term of the shopping cart is a convention in e-commerce.

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Language Issues – E-Commerce Website Solutions

It is suggested that the only way to do business successfully in other cultures is to adapt to those cultures. The phrase “think globally and act locally” is perfectly describes this approach. The main step that an online business usually takes to reach their potential customers in other countries is to provide local language versions of their Web site. This means you will need to translate e-commerce Web site into another regional dialect or language. According to a research, customers are far more likely to purchase products and services from the websites in their own languages. Only about 400 million of the world’s 6 billion people learned English as their native language.

Researchers also analyses that only fifty percent of the content available on the Internet is in English and more than half of current Internet users do not read English. International Data Corporation predicts that by 2010, more than 80 percent of Internet users will be outside the United States, and 65 percent of electronic commerce transactions will involve at least one party located outside the United States.

Even many languages require separate dialects and multiple translations. For instance, Spanish languages spoken in Mexico, Spain and Latin America have different dialects. So, it is important to check and translates the differences between the spellings and word meanings. Usually, many companies translate their website pages. When the web company grows larger, they become more selective in their translation efforts. Some e-commerce websites have thousands of webpages with much targeted content; the web businesses operating those sites can discover the cost of translating all pages to be expensive.

The decision whether to translate a specific webpage should be made by the corporate department responsible for each page’s content. Remember, that the home page of an e-commerce website should have versions in all supported dialects and languages. E-commerce website pages designed for product information, marketing and brand establishment should be given high priority of translation.

Different approaches can be appropriate for translating the different types of text that appear on an electronic commerce site. For key advertising messages, the touch of a human translator can be crucial to capture subtle meanings. For more routine transaction-processing tasks, automated software translation may be a satisfactory alternative. Many of the companies in this field are working to improve software and databases of previously translated material that can help human translators work more accurately and efficiently. The translation services and software manufacturers that work with electronic commerce sites do not generally use the term “translation” to describe what they do.

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How E-Commerce Solutions Have Revolutionized Indian Economic Growth

The story of the Indian economy has been one of steady progress. With a population of over a billion people, the Indian government faces a ready formidable challenge in maintaining consistent growth in spite of global financial turmoil. An effective tool that has added value to the Indian growth story and made a positive impact on people’s lives is e-commerce.

E-commerce is basically the paperless exchange of goods or services through the use of electronic data. With growing internet usage, it is easier for people to network with each other as well as with institutions through this common medium. All it needs is an interactive website, proper security and a payment gateway. Many Indian web design companies offer cutting edge solutions in this area and as such, India is a software powerhouse.

A case study of the Indian railways shows how implementing e-commerce solutions made a positive impact on people. About half a decade back, the Indian railways started to sell tickets online. Initial response from the major metros was encouraging and soon people realized the convenience of online ticket booking and payment. This success of the system soon inspired people from tier 2 and tier 3 cities to follow suit. Today, booking an e-ticket for travel is the universal norm. By utilizing e-commerce, middle men were eliminated and the booking system was made more transparent. Anyone could access the portal at anytime from anywhere and the system was constantly updated on a real time basis. It helped customers save time and all hassles related to ticket booking. The trial experiment had won the hearts of the people and it was there to stay. Soon private airlines followed suit and the story continued.

Simultaneously, other websites like job search websites, retail, and matrimonial websites clocked steady growth and gained more customers by word of mouth and by effective advertising. The services delivered to customers where at par with a physical brick and mortar setup and sometimes even exceeded customer expectations. Customers could feel the convenience of getting amazing service just by a few mouse clicks and they felt pampered. Further, customers in any area within India were served their products at their door step and the cash on delivery concept revolutionized retail. Service providers were able to offer better deals and lower prices to customers since they had a central warehouse with minimum overheads. They could easily manage their business and a physical company setup was avoided. Customers could shop any time they wanted. Comparison shopping gave them the best deals they were looking for. Indian customers were particularly happy since they could avoid the heavy traffic when going shopping, could find any product they wanted 24/7 and could buy and sell easily.

Presently, the Indian e-commerce market is estimated at about USD 18.4 billion and is heavily tilted towards travel and leisure sites. 80% of the share to the e-commerce pie is constituted by travel portals while the rest is contributed by job portals, matrimonial sites and retail sites. Online retailing is estimated to have a potential of over USD 2 billion and with it is poised to grow at about 30% over the next 5 years.

Overall, the future of e-commerce solutions and the related service industry looks bright. This is not a prediction but is a fact based on ground realities. The solutions have truly touched the everyday lives of the common people and with increased internet penetration into the rural areas, e-commerce is set to positively remodel the Indian economy.

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The Next Evolution of E-Commerce-Smart TV

The rapid development of mobile technologies has enriched the notion of e-commerce and expanded the ‘place’ of purchase and revenue streams for merchants. Consumers can now shop and pay not only in a shop, but also at home, work, on the bus, and on the hoof. The smartphone and m-commerce have in that manner blurred the limits between the on- and offline worlds.

Time has become an extremely valuable commodity, and to a considerable degree defines the choice of products, services and retailers. Convenience is another significant factor for consumers. Experts say that TV commerce (or t-commerce) is an area for the new smarter shopping and a path for merchants to engage with consumers in new ways.

Connected TVs or smart TVs, which have functions such as connection to the Internet and streaming, are becoming standard among TV brands. According to some industry sources, the penetration rate of connected TVs was 20% in 2010, and will increase up to 50% in 2013. In addition to that, such platforms as Google TV, Apple TV, and Roku for viewing video on demand (VOD) are getting increasingly popular. Television is therefore entering an entirely new era, bringing more opportunities for advertising, marketing, revenue generation, and viewer participation. What are the key features of t-commerce?

    • Making purchases. T-commerce solutions allow TV-viewers to respond directly to offers delivered on the screens of their TVs, and instantly purchase products by using their existing remote controls and set-top boxes.
    • Request for information. T-commerce apps enable TV viewers to request more information on products, services or events directly from the content they are watching on the television with a few simple clicks on the remote control.
    • Voting and polling. T-commerce solutions provide additional opportunities for the viewer to interact with programs, advertisers, and networks. Thus, viewers can vote on their favorite shows, programs, news reports, game shows, sporting events, etc.
  • The immediate response. The instant feedback from the viewer means immediate response for the merchant. Businesses gain thereby valuable customer data for further research and targeted marketing.

The paradigm of t-commerce has the potential to change TV sets into a powerful business tool enabling merchants to conduct business over television. T-commerce makes it possible to reach new and existing customers through increasingly popular Internet-connected TVs and set-top boxes. The entire shopping can be performed with nothing more than a series of clicks on the remote control. Consumers usually respond very positively to businesses that take the time to understand their needs and offer excellent customer service.

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Massage in Bucharest

Recognize it! You’re busy! And so must be! That’s what life is like! But you want more than that, you want to do more for yourself and massage can help. Because massage makes more than a simple relaxation of the mind and body. It keeps your body in shape and gives you enough energy to make you enjoy a longer life better than you do it today.

Massage releases stress. At the moment, stress is a universal evil. Every time you are late, every time you avoid a car in traffic, every time you have trouble working, stress is doing his job. Each time adrenaline increases heart rate and cortisone levels and organs respond to the measure. You will be in a state of nerves and constant agitation.
When there is no release of stress, serious problems such as an upset stomach, hypertension, sleep disturbances, chest pain, or existing illness may worsen.

Some of the changes that may occur are: Anxiety, lack of concentration, depression, permanent fatigue, muscle or bone pain, sexual dysfunction, excessive sleep or insomnia

All these stress-related problems can be diminished and some can be totally eliminated by massage. The researchers concluded that a massage session can lower heart rate and blood pressure, relax your muscles and increase endorphin production. The massage also releases serotonin and dopamine and the result is a general relaxation, both physical and mental.
Our body care must be at the top of the priorities.
By adding the massage to your routine you will look much better and you will be much healthier and relaxed. Massage can improve your vitality and mood. Massage can prepare for a long and beautiful life.

Our masseuses personalize each massage session according to the needs of the individual.
Our massage parlors offer a variety of relaxation styles and techniques to help you. Apart from relaxing, massage can be a powerful ally in reducing pain, increasing energy levels, improving mental and physical performance

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After a massage session, you will see how the mental prospects are enriched, the body allows easier handling, better pressure resistance, relaxation and mental alertness, calm and creative thinking.
When you have the impression or force yourself to stay straight, your body is not actually aligned properly. Not only does the posture look bad, but it forces some of the muscles to go muddy all day, while others become weaker. After a long time, the incorrect position may cause other drops. For example, internal organs press on what affects digestion, breathing ability is also diminished, which means that much less blood and oxygen reaches the brain and hence all sorts of other complications.

Massage allows you to return your body to the track. Allowing the body to make healthy and accurate movements is one of the greatest benefits of massage. Massage can relax and restore muscles injured by bad posture, allowing the body to position itself in a natural, painless position.
Apart from posture, there is also anxiety. One of the signs of anxiety and stress can also be heavy breathing. When the body begins to breathe too little and deeply instead of breathing at a natural rithm, it is impossible for one to relax. One reason may also be that the chest muscles and the abdomen get tightened and the air gets harder.

Massage plays an important role in learning the body how to relax and how to improve breathing. Respiratory problems such as allergies, sinuses, asthma or bronchitis are a group of conditions that can benefit from massage. In fact, massage can have a positive impact on respiratory function.

Many of the muscles in the front and back of the upper part of the body are breathing accessory. When these muscles are tight and shorten they can block normal breathing and interrupt effective breathing natural rithm. Massage techniques for stretching and relaxing these muscles improves breathing function and breathability. Massage leads to an opening of the chest as well as structural alignment and nerve dilatation that are required for optimal pulmonary function. A good way to treat respiratory problems with massage is the taping made in Swedish massage. When done on the back, along with vibrations, it can detach the mucus from the lungs and can clean the airways for better later function.

Massage not only relaxes muscles, but helps people become aware of daily stress levels. Once the body recognizes what really means relaxation, the mind can rest easily relax before the stress becomes cornice and harmful. This will help you enjoy a balanced life. Massage controls breathing, allows the mind to re-create relaxation before the occurrence of chronic and harmful stress and increases the level of energy.