Current status of e-business in the sector
The current status of e-business is transforming the way firms are operating. This is taking place through many companies offering increasing amounts of products at lower costs. In the electronics sector, these changes are creating shifts in the mindset of consumers with them demanding more. The result is that most firms are able to offer them with lower costs. Yet, at the same time, this is creating intense competition. This is taking place, with these organizations realizing an increase in sales of the 30% or Â£103 billion annually. [footnoteRef:1] [1: Paul Timmers, Electronics Commerce (Hoboken, Wiley, 2011), 53 — 78.]
In the case of Maplin, the company aggressively started to peruse its online strategies in 1999. It has transformed itself into a way of reaching out to international customers and offering them with more. These shifts are in response to the increased amounts of competition the company is facing inside the marketplace. To achieve these objectives, the firm has rolled out a number of programs for online customers.[footnoteRef:2] The most notable include: [2: “Maplin,” Maplin, last modified 2013 http://www.maplin.co.uk/]
Price matching: Maplin is matching the prices of local retailers in close proximity to their stores. This is using the Internet to attract more customers and offer them with something more by encouraging customers to go into their different locations.
365 day no hassle returns: At their retail stores, the firm will allow cliental to return their merchandise and offer them with the ability to easily make exchanges / returns.
Free delivery: This service is provided to people who purchase a host of products at their retail locations. [footnoteRef:3] [3: “Maplin,” Maplin, last modified 2013 http://www.maplin.co.uk/]
The combination of these factors is showing how the company is using e-commerce as a way to remain competitive. While at the same time, they are establishing stores to support the needs of customers in different regions. As a result, the status of the e-business sector is to address the needs of consumers and offer them with competitive prices. This is being combined with the physical location to become more responsive to them. [footnoteRef:4] [4: “Maplin,” Maplin, last modified 2013 http://www.maplin.co.uk/]
2.1 Current or potential involvement in the electronic business
The different companies that were examined include Argos and Curry’s. Argos was considered to be performing better followed by Curry’s. This is because both firms are using social networking to offer specials and promotions to cliental. What they do better is to utilize the Internet to effectively reach out to customers. The way that Maplin and other firms could improve their sites is to offer cliental with an integrated platform. [footnoteRef:5] [5: Stuart Barnes, E-Commerce (New York, Routledge, 2013), 158 — 169.]
The basic steps they should follow in the process; are to become more aggressive in their strategy for e — commerce. In the case of Maplin, they could take the price match guarantee and expand it to meet the specifications of cliental. This requires integrating their solutions together in order to more effectively reach out to everyone. [footnoteRef:6] [6: Stuart Barnes, E-Commerce (New York, Routledge, 2013), 158 — 169.]
The main reason why some companies perform better is to develop sites which are more user friendly and they connect with cliental from different backgrounds (utilizing a variety of applications / platforms). There are different strategies they will use in reaching out to customers internationally. This is taking place by integrating various solutions together and adapting them to specific cultures. [footnoteRef:7] [7: Stuart Barnes, E-Commerce (New York, Routledge, 2013), 158 — 169.]
2.2 E-Business Model Adopted
The e-business applications are designed to integrate consumer and business applications together. The various actors involved in the organization include the CEO, President, Vice Presidents of the divisions and supervisors. These individuals work to run the organization and the different segments. [footnoteRef:8] [footnoteRef:9] [8: Stuart Barnes, E-Commerce (New York, Routledge, 2013), 158 — 169.] [9: “Capturing the Tech Consumers Attention,” Media Measurement, last modified 2013 http://www.mediameasurement.com/tech-retailer-social-media/]
The present factors with are impacting the organization include the ability to integrate e-commerce solutions. In the case of industrial, these elements are influencing the profitability of the firm with companies such as Argos and Curry’s taking the lead in these areas. Society is experiencing a shift with less people visiting physical locations. Instead, they are choosing to make their purchases online. [footnoteRef:10] [footnoteRef:11] [10: Stuart Barnes, E-Commerce (New York, Routledge, 2013), 158 — 169.] [11: “Capturing the Tech Consumers Attention,” Media Measurement, last modified 2013 http://www.mediameasurement.com/tech-retailer-social-media/]
The impact this is having on Malpin, is to create confusion within the organization. This is causing more cliental to visit competitors for addressing their electronics needs. These factors are negatively influencing the firm, with managers unable to address critical changes and quickly evolve.[footnoteRef:12] [footnoteRef:13] [12: Stuart Barnes, E-Commerce (New York, Routledge, 2013), 158 — 169.] [13: “Capturing the Tech Consumers Attention,” Media Measurement, last modified 2013 http://www.mediameasurement.com/tech-retailer-social-media/]
The biggest factors which are impacting the firm are its inability to integrate e-commerce solutions with its retail outlets. This has resulted in Malpin’s losing customers and their inability to address a host of challenges. However, the firm has been working to offer cliental with better service using their locations to exchange products, receive support and address any issues they have. When this is integrated with the online solutions, these areas are enabling them to provide something that Argos and Curry’s cannot deliver. [footnoteRef:14] [footnoteRef:15] [footnoteRef:16] [14: “Capturing the Tech Consumers Attention,” Media Measurement, last modified 2013 http://www.mediameasurement.com/tech-retailer-social-media/] [15: Stuart Barnes, E-Commerce (New York, Routledge, 2013), 158 — 169.] [16: “Maplin,” Maplin, last modified 2013 http://www.maplin.co.uk/]
3.0 Developing Your E- Business
The e-business will be developed using various applications and solutions to reach out to customers. This will be achieved by mirroring some of the ideas that are used by competitors. Then, they are augmenting it with the firm’s ability to offer consumers with some kind of guarantees. If this can occur, it will enhance Malpin’s brand image and offer clients with something more.[footnoteRef:17] [footnoteRef:18] [17: “Capturing the Tech Consumers Attention,” Media Measurement, last modified 2013 http://www.mediameasurement.com/tech-retailer-social-media/] [18: “Maplin,” Maplin, last modified 2013 http://www.maplin.co.uk/]
3.1 Brief Description of the Envisioned Website
In the case of Malpin, the website will be tailored to the consumer electronics industry. This means that it will offer cliental with the ability to shop and learn about how the company’s products / services are superior to competitors. At the same time, a series of integrated platforms will be utilized. This involves utilizing various social networking sites, mobile applications and online strategies to reach out to consumers. [footnoteRef:19] [footnoteRef:20] [19: “Apple Store,” I Tunes, last modified 2013 https://iTunes.apple.com/us/app/apple-store/id375380948?mt=8] [20: Ian Daniel, E-Commerce Get It Right (Staten Island, Neuro Digital, 2012), 65-144]
They will be directed to a landing page where they can learn about special offers. These insights will help them to see how Malpin is providing them with more. This will be achieved through integrating the e-commerce structure with the firm’s ability to service them in different stores. These types of strategies have been used by some of the most successful firms (i.e. Apple) to effectively combine a physical and online presence together. [footnoteRef:21] [footnoteRef:22] [footnoteRef:23] [21: “Apple Store,” I Tunes, last modified 2013 https://iTunes.apple.com/us/app/apple-store/id375380948?mt=8] [22: Ian Daniel, E-Commerce Get It Right (Staten Island, Neuro Digital, 2012), 65-144] [23: Ian Daniel, E-Commerce Get It Right (Staten Island, Neuro Digital, 2012), 65-144]
3.2 Explain the Technologies Involved
The product management will use existing retailers to ship it to customers nearby or have them come to the location to pick it up. This will be achieved through their using supply chain management software in meeting these objectives. The payment management system is focusing on offering clients with a number of avenues for paying for their merchandise. At the same time, they will know that they can receive service at any of the company’s stores within their area. The advertising will concentrate on reaching out to cliental at different websites and offering them with incentives for shopping. The order management system will emphasize quick and accurate checkout through encrypted software. The sales analysis will take place by seeing the effects of these changes on the firm and if they are helping the organization over the long-term. [footnoteRef:24] [footnoteRef:25] [24: “Maplin,” Maplin, last modified 2013 http://www.maplin.co.uk/] [25: Ian Daniel, E-Commerce Get It Right (Staten Island, Neuro Digital, 2012), 65-144]
3.3 Discuss Usability Methods for Evaluating the Website
The basic method for using the website is consumers can go to specific landing pages to learn about deals and anything that is of interest to them. In the event they need support, there will be a box which pops up on the screen and lets them know how they can seek this out online or at the actual location. The combination of these tools will show what the organization is about, its services and the way they are supporting the needs of customers. This is something many firms do not have. As they are either concentrating on one aspect of the business and ignoring the other. If Maplin can achieve these objectives, they will be more effective in connecting with them. [footnoteRef:26] [footnoteRef:27] [26: “Maplin,” Maplin, last modified 2013 http://www.maplin.co.uk/] [27: Ian Daniel, E-Commerce Get It Right (Staten Island, Neuro Digital, 2012), 65-144]
3.4 Explain the Critical Success Factors for Your Overall Plan to Work in Practice
In order for the basic strategy to be successful, requires a commitment from the management to provide the necessary resources. This means that they will be improving the brand image of the firm utilizing online media sources. At the same time, there will be a focus on offer customers with more choices, lower prices and better quality.[footnoteRef:28] [footnoteRef:29] The way that these objectives will be achieved requires focusing on a number of factors to include: [28: Ian Daniel, E-Commerce Get It Right (Staten Island, Neuro Digital, 2012), 65 — 144] [29: “Maplin,” Maplin, last modified 2013 http://www.maplin.co.uk/]
An increase in the total amounts of unique visitors and online orders.
A rise in profit margins from the online and traditional retail segments.
An improvement in market share and favorability of the firm.[footnoteRef:30] [footnoteRef:31] [30: Ian Daniel, E-Commerce Get It Right (Staten Island, Neuro Digital, 2012), 65 — 144] [31: “Maplin,” Maplin, last modified 2013 http://www.maplin.co.uk/]
The combination of these factors will make the organization more responsive to the needs of customers. When this happens, these success factors will decide if the strategy is working and the impact it is having in helping the organization to adjust with key challenges.[footnoteRef:32] [footnoteRef:33] [32: Ian Daniel, E-Commerce Get It Right (Staten Island, Neuro Digital, 2012), 65 — 144] [33: “Maplin,” Maplin, last modified 2013 http://www.maplin.co.uk/]
Clearly, Maplin needs to take a different approach when it comes to their online strategy. This is because the firm has lost its way and allowed competitors to become more dominate. The result is that the company is losing market share and they are having trouble adapting to the challenges it is facing. Over the course of time, these issues have led to the company being sold and unable to effectively compete. [footnoteRef:34] [34: “Maplin,” Maplin, last modified 2013 http://www.maplin.co.uk/]
4.1 Provide an Overview / Summary of the Overall Project and Your Findings
In response to the critical challenges it is facing, the company is aggressively concentrating on meeting the objectives of cliental through their retail locations. This strategy is connecting with the older segment of cliental in specific regions. However, it is also having a negative impact on the firm by losing more of customer base to competitors. [footnoteRef:35] [35: Ian Daniel, E-Commerce Get It Right (Staten Island, Neuro Digital, 2012), 65 — 144]
To address these issues, the new approach will allow them to save and receive service at their different locations. This will help the firm reach out to and offer cliental with something which is not available on the Internet. Over the course of time, this will lead to transformations in the kinds of strategies which are utilized. [footnoteRef:36] [36: Ian Daniel, E-Commerce Get It Right (Staten Island, Neuro Digital, 2012), 65 — 144]
4.2 Identify Areas for Improvement of the E-Business in the Sector You Investigated
Maplin needs to let customers know they are about service, quality and affordable prices. If this is integrated with an effective e-commerce model, it will allow the firm to reach out to variety of consumers. They can see how the company will offer them with something more before and after the sale. [footnoteRef:37] [37: Ian Daniel, E-Commerce Get It Right (Staten Island, Neuro Digital, 2012), 65 — 144]
Over the course of time, these views will lead to transformations in their image of the brand. This is the point they will be more inclined to shop at these locations from offering everyone with better products and services. These basic strategies have been utilized by some of the most successful firms to redefine who they are and what they stand for. [footnoteRef:38] [38: Ian Daniel, E-Commerce Get It Right (Staten Island, Neuro Digital, 2012), 65 — 144]
“Apple Store.” I Tunes. Last modified 2013 https://iTunes.apple.com/us/app/apple-store/id375380948?mt=8
“Capturing the Tech Consumers Attention.” Media Measurement. Last modified 2013 http://www.mediameasurement.com/tech-retailer-social-media/
“Maplin.” Maplin. Last modified 2013. http://www.maplin.co.uk/
Barnes, Stuart. E-Commerce. New York, Routledge, 2013.
Daniel, Ian, E-Commerce Get It Right. Staten Island, Neuro Digital, 2012.
Timmers, Paul. Electronics Commerce. Hoboken, Wiley, 2011.
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