Internet customers of ABC Company have different expectations since they have different reasons why they use the internet. The internet serves its customers different purposes thus the different customer expectations. Some of the expectations of the internet customers are:
Security: ABC Internet customers expect to have security when they are using the internet for them to be comfortable. They expect a system that will prevent them from fraudsters and conmen as well as internet scams. (Ault, 2004)
Privacy: They expect privacy of their stuff such that they are secure and assured that their personal information will not be all over the internet.
Safe online shopping: For these who use internet for shopping purposes they expect to have a safe shopping online and they expect to find whatever they want. They expect to find the information about price and shipping clearly defined. (Bruit, 2007)
They expect to find as enough information as possible on the homepage. This is to guide them in using the site.
Internet users expect to find credible and trustworthy sites. They expect to find sites that will give them the right enough information as possible. They also expect to find sites that will not pose a threat to their databases or hack them. (Harrington, 2005)
Sales and customer service; they expect to find customer care on the sites such as live chats and quick response to their mails.
They expect to find efficient search sites and search engines that will enable them to easily find the information they are looking for. (James, 2008)
They expect to find online reviews and testimonials on the use of certain products to encourage the purchase of those products.
Some customers expect to be linked to social networks so that they can easily access the site for the service. They expect to find the social sites linked to the business sites they are using for convenience purposes. (Churches, 2008)
Critically assess the potential impact of common applications on an e-Commerce business
There are many applications that are used in ecommerce business today due to the increased demand and use of the ecommerce. Some of the applications of ecommerce that can be used by ABC Company are:
Online shopping: E commerce has been commonly used for online shopping. It has been used as an intermediary to connect the company t the potential customers through the world. It has been used in the sale of different goods and services over the internet thus make it possible to access the international market with no restrictions. (Douligeris, 2007)
Online banking: For most of the people who do online shopping they have online bank accounts and this has been made possible through ecommerce thus has made is possible for one to do online financial transactions. With ecommerce, customers can also be able to access to their bank account and get all the information they need to know about their bank accounts and therefore no need of going to the bank physically to get information regarding their bank account. They can also be able to transfer payments or get billing information regarding their account from wherever they are so long as they have an internet connection. (Hariappa, 2009)
Enterprise content management: Ecommerce helps in the management of files, documents, databases and processes of enterprises. This has helped to increase efficiency in businesses and therefore helped to increase the performance. (Capcon, 2009)
Teleconferencing: Ecommerce provides with the teleconferencing facilities and therefore makes it easy to do teleconferencing for businesses which has helped to make communication I businesses to be possible. (Kizza, 2005)
Document automation: Ecommerce has helped and made it possible for document automation which is used in supply chain and logistics (Fritchey, 2009)
Automated online assistants: Ecommerce has made it possible for businesses to have online virtual assistants which have helped to increase customer satisfaction.
Ecommerce has made it possible for businesses to have instant messaging and newsgroups which have helped businesses to have increased efficiency.
Ecommerce has helped to increase the customer base for a certain product or service and thus has helped the business to grow. (Harrington, 2005)
Ecommerce has helped businesses to reduce the marketing and advertising costs and thus increased the profit base for businesses.
It has helped to increase the visibility of the business through search engine marketing. This has helped the business to grow and increase performance. (Bruit, 2007)
2. Plan an e-Commerce implementation strategy for an e- Commerce business
In planning an ecommerce implementation strategy for ABC Company, there are many factors that need to be considered to ensure success of the business. This is to ensure success of the business. There is increased competition and therefore the implementation stage is very critical as it is one that will determine the performance of the ecommerce business site. Proper research and proper planning techniques should be used for the attainment of this for competitive advantage of the business. I will take the following steps in planning an implementation strategy for ABC ecommerce business. (Douligeris, 2007)
Looking for a market
This is very important since without the market implementation of the strategy will be of no use to the business. One has to understand the market in order to know the kind of strategy to use in the market when implementing the strategy. (Churches, 2008)
Put a physical presence
Even though many shoppers will buy things online, most of them prefer to know there is a physical location they can visit in case of any problem. Therefore it is very important to ensure there is a physical location where the customers can visit physically. This will help in increasing the loyalty of the customers of ABC Company. (Fritchey, 2009)
Create a database for storing the shopper’s records of ABC Company. This will make things easy for repeat purchase such that in case of a repeat purchase one does not have to put down the customers details again.
Design a good purchase process
A complicated purchase process will discourage buyers from making purchases since they will imagine it’s too much work. Therefore a good simple purchase process will make it appealing for consumers to purchase online. The purchase should have quick links to ensure speed and efficiency when purchasing. (Hariappa, 2009)
Employment of ABC Company since it will help in ensuring there is good customer relation which will guarantee success of the business.
Use of good software: It is important to do a market research and identify the software that is more efficient to use. There are many soft wares’ today in the market and therefore finding good software should not be a problem. (James, 2008)
Do a vast research on the prices to use, stock management, security measures, return policies etc. This will help to ensure that the best methods of security and stock management are used, best prices are used which will give the business a competitive advantage against its competitors which will help to ensure success of the business. (Bruit, 2007)
3.1 Risks of linking business systems to the internet
There are many risks associated with linking ABC business to the internet thus consumers need to be aware of the risks that awaits them for the usage of the internet. A business therefore has to establish an online security system if it is to link to the internet. Some of the risks of linking ABC business to the internet include:
Hackers: These are the people who break into computer systems to access the database of the company illegally. (Kizza, 2005)
Crackers: They are those who hack the database of the company with bad intentions such as destroying the data or stealing the data of the company.
Script kiddies: They are those who have all the time and they try to access and damage the system of the company in order to impress others. (Fritchey, 2009)
Phishing: Is whereby scammers try to obtain the log in and password information of different online accounts in order to access them. (Hariappa, 2009)
Identity theft: This is whereby one impersonates himself as another person in order to trap people to give them information that they are not supposed to. They ask all the personal detail mostly about phone and bank accounts in order to have access to them. They mostly target online shoppers in order to steal for them and they use various strategies such as fake registration forms etc. (Douligeris, 2007)
Malware: This is malicious software’s that are used to access personal information of internet users and they may pose a risk to business that is linked to the internet. They may even slow down the operation of a machine and make decrease the performance of the business. (James, 2008)
Fake traders: There are many traders who claim to be legitimate but they are not and claim to sell some goods but they are not and may con people. (Harrington, 2005)
Viruses and worms: They may attack the system leading to loss of information and may really destruct the computer system leading to low performance. This may pose a threat to the business that is linked to the internet. (Capcon, 2009)
3.2 Explain the importance of protecting the intellectual property of an organization
It is very important to protect the intellectual property of an organization. This is due to the fact that there are very many risks that are involved and lack of protection may lead to lack of efficiency or loss of the intellectual property of the organization. The following are the reasons why an organization should protect the intellectual property of an organization:
Theft: There are many cases of theft that may arise thus the need for the protection of an intellectual property. There are many ways which the property of the company can be stolen and may also be replicated and thus the need for protection of the property. (Ault, 2004)
Loss of customers: Lack of protection will lead to unfair competition which may lead to loss of customer to the rival company leading to low performance by the company.
Loss of income: Unfair competition will lead to loss of customer which will in turn lead to loss of income by the business due to poor performance by the business. (Fritchey, 2009)
Loss of value of assets: due to unfair competition and the replication of assets reduces the value of the assets since there are many assets which are the same in the market and it therefore means that is you sell the asset you will sell it at a lower rate. (Douligeris, 2007)
To protect consumers: Protecting intellectual property will help other companies from producing fake products that are of low quality and may harm the consumers.
Different laws in different countries: since different countries have different laws it is better to just protect the intellectual property of a company to prevent any problems that may arise. (Churches, 2008)
To prevent piracy: Piracy is the duplication of an owners work without their consent. This will make the company to suffer losses since piracy will make it possible to sell the product at a throw away price leading to low profits. (Harrington, 2005)
3.3 Critically discuss security measures to protect an e-Commerce solution
There are many security measures that can be used to protect an ecommerce solution. The measures should be taken due to the increase in risks associated with ecommerce. The following security measures can be taken to increase security of ABC Company:
Access control measures: Access to different databases should be controlled in order to limit those who can access a certain site or a certain database. This will help in reducing the risks that are likely to be suffered since those who can have access are limited and trusted hence tampering with the system will be minimized. (Harrington, 2005)
Regular monitoring of programs: This should be done to know which systems are efficient and which are not and this will help to do away with those that are not efficient. Regular monitoring and testing will help in identifying the systems that are highly at risk and doing away with them.
Protecting card holder data: There are various methods that have been devised to get the information of cardholders and thus posing a threat since the online bank accounts can be accessed. Ways should be devised therefore on how to protect cardholder data to prevent credit card thefts and access of online banking accounts. (Fritchey, 2009)
Launching of firewalls: firewalls should be used if one uses the internet often since the internet poses many risks. Firewalls will help to sieve the information and therefore help to protect the database of a company. It will help to protect the company against worms and viruses, remote command execution, Path transversal vulnerabilities, probes, compromised servers, SQL injections etc. (Hariappa, 2009)
Information security policy: An information security policy should be maintained that helps to ensure the security of the systems. This will help to prevent many problems that may arise since the risks will be highly reduced. (Kizza, 2005)
A secure network should be built and maintained: Building of a secure network will help to ensure that all the databases or the information are protected and this will help to prevent attacks or loss of information. (Douligeris, 2007)
Vulnerability management: This should be done so as to manage systems that are highly vulnerable to prevent them from being attacked or damaged.
Use dot defender: this helps to protect web applications and web servers. This will help to protect against hackers and helps to easily to manage multiple servers. This helps to protect that system against so many problems. (James, 2008)
Launch ssl vpn as it will help to ensure secure connection for remote users of the database and will help to prevent insecure connection which comes with many effects. (Churches, 2008)
Use of antivirus: This will help to protect the database from being infected by viruses and worms which may affect the database in a negative way. (Bruit, 2007)
Use of 2 factor authentication: This will help to prevent data theft, password leaks and many other ways in which company’s loose information. It is a reliable way of ensuring security.
Encrypted backup: There should be a backup of information incase anything happens or there is loss of data. (Douligeris, 2007)
Digital signature: This will help to ensure security when shopping online since it is a code which is used in transactions to clearly define the transactions. (Ault, 2004)
3.4 Critically evaluate current e-Commerce developments and assess their incorporation into an e-Commerce strategy
Due to the increasing demand for ecommerce, there are many developments that have been made to make the ecommerce use to be a better experience. The ecommerce developments have been made to ensure there is increased security, speed and performance. This will therefore help the business to increase in terms of performance and be ahead of the competitors. This is due to the fact that it will help in attracting new customers and customer loyalty, increase sales, reduce operation costs, increase efficiency, and strengthen the brand.
Some of the developments that have been made to ecommerce are:
Integration with mobile: Nowadays there is more preference to use the mobile devices since there has been a rise in the number of smart phone users. E commerce has therefore been packaged in such a way that mobile users can access it with their phones. This has been through the use of apps and things of the sort. This has helped in the attainment of the ecommerce strategy since it has helped to increase the traffic of ecommerce users and this has helped the business to grow. (Capcon, 2009)
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Remarketing: There are other marketing strategies that have been used today apart from the common marketing ways to catch the interest of buyers. This includes ways such as following up a customer who has shown interest in a product or pop ups in the WebPages of related products to advertise the product. This has been used in the implementation of the ecommerce strategy since it has led to more traffic since more customers will be interested in the product as it is a more successful advertising method. (Fritchey, 2009)
Affiliations with major retailers: since the sale of most commoditized items is a problem and challenging, there are affiliations with certain retailers since customers are more likely to purchase from specific retailers and affiliations with retailers will help to ensure success. (Kizza, 2005)
Links with other ecommerce site providers: To make sure that a site is very attractive and successful, there is increased links with third party ecommerce site providers whose role is to ensure the well being of the ecommerce site. This has helped to ensure that the site is more successful and has more customers and thus the implementation of the ecommerce strategy of ABC Company. (James, 2008)
The growth of ‘mom and pop’ effect: There has been the growth of pop and mom effect since it has helped to increase efficiency and performance of the ecommerce sites. It has been incorporated with the ecommerce strategy since it has helped in the attainment of the ecommerce strategy objectives of increasing traffic and ensuring customer loyalty. (Churches, 2008)
Social commerce: There has been the increase in the advertising and the sales of things through the social media sites and this is a trend that is widely used today. This has helped to increase the efficiency and performance of ecommerce business. (Hariappa, 2009)
Limited time sales or flash sales: This has been widely used in order to promote sales and make consumers notice their products. This has been incorporated with ecommerce strategies since it has helped in the attainment of the strategies objectives. (Harrington, 2005)
Discount codes: They have been widely used in the recent past since they have been known to increase the performance of ecommerce sites. (Capcon, 2009)
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