E-commerce (electronic commerce or EC) is the buying and selling of goods and services on the Internet, especially the World Wide Web. In practice, this term and a newer term, e-business, are often used interchangeably. For online retail selling, the term e-tailing is sometimes used.
E-commerce can be divided into:
- E-tailing or "virtual storefronts" on Web sites with online catalogs, sometimes gathered into a "virtual mall"
- The gathering and use of demographic data through Web contacts
- Electronic Data Interchange (EDI), the business-to-business exchange of data e-mail and fax and their use as media for reaching prospects and established customers (for example, with newsletters)
- Business-to-business buying and selling
- The security of business transactions
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It is difficult for many business executives and managers to keep up with the latest technologies while running their businesses, even though they know that these technologies are important in planning their business strategies. Technologies are no longer considered as only support function for businesses. Today technologies can influence competitive strategies for businesses, the way of business communications and reshape the businesses in different direction. They can enormously increase profitability, improve the service/product quality consistency and level, enhance efficiency of communications - both internal and external, manage staff, time and projects more effectively.
The Internet is an electronic medium used to communicate as well as to sell products and services. E-commerce is a growing phenomenon that interests many types of businesses. It consists in using electronic means to exchange information, conduct successful business and carry out transactions. E-commerce is almost an absolute necessity in the management of a company. This electronic medium offers many possibilities and has many advantages.
For a product-oriented company (B2B) or for a business owner (B2C), e-commerce:
- reduces operational costs;
- increases efficiency due to increased precision and speed;
- offers access to local, national or international markets;
- allows personalised products and services to be offered;
- allows specialised marketing due to the many databases available.
Based on the statistics of Industry Canada, revenues from e-commerce will reach more than 200 billion USD for B2B in Canada, about 3,000 billion in USA and 6,000 billion in the world in 2004. And for B2C projections, those numbers are about 8 to 16 billion in Canada, more than 120 billions in USA and more than 200 billions in the world in 2004.
The Business Section
The name of the business is istoke.com and the office is situated at 1361, Isaac Brook, Dr. Herndon, VA 20170, Canada. The company is an electronic company which involves in the sales of ipods accessories for both young and old lovers of something good. Over 1000 accessories of ipods are available for sale in our company. For the benefit of those who do not know what an ipod is, iPod is a brand of portable media players designed and marketed by Apple and launched in October 2001. Devices in the iPod range are primarily digital audio players, designed around a central click wheel with exception to the iPod Shuffle, which uses buttons because of it's size. As of October 2005, the line-up consists of the video-capable fifth generation iPod, the smaller iPod nano, and the display-less iPod shuffle.
The full-sized model stores media on an internal hard drive, while the smaller iPod nano and iPod shuffle use flash memory. Like many digital music players, iPods can also serve as external data storage devices. Since ipod is a versatile gadget, my company involves in the sales of all the accessories ranging from pouch, camera connector, radio remote, extra batteries, external sound speakers and so on.
Since serving the market is one of the problems faced by other competitors in the target market, as a high profile market with good managerial skills, all methods involved in marketing and advertising would be make use of for the best satisfaction of our customers.
With the use of sales promotion and sample gifts , I am very optimistic that the company would take a lead out of all sellers of ipod accessories and so also with good business ethics among our employees, it would be hard to know the difference between our customers and us because will are ready to bridge any gap of complaint.
Market Analysis Section
Before a business can be started, a comprehensive feasibility study of the business should be done out of which the SWOT analysis will be dealt with.
At the completion of this exercise, we are able to:
- Explain the concepts of a marketing analysis
- Determine if there is a need for your idea or product/service
- Identify a new market
- Analyze your current market
- Gain a competitive advantage
- Begin to establish a marketing plan
After the marketing analysis survey, we are able to discover that almost all the users of ipod are interested in dealing with us. Since this is a new company in the market with varieties of accessories, we were proud to say our competitors only deal in about 100 products while we deal in over 1000 which make us have an edge over them. Seminars would be organized by us in some cities, where we will tutore and orientate users on the best ways to make use of their ipods for a long-lasting result and so also the original and perfect accessories that should be bought in getting a good result. This will allow us to show some of our products and how to get them cheaply either through e-commerce or physical one on one sale.. Our potential and target market include the cities in America
The trend within the industry is not all that complex except that this is a technology industry where new products come out everyday and in order to get an edge over competitors, one has to move as the industry is moving. Under our 4ps, we make use of the following analyses.
The following questions were answered.
- What is the consumer acceptance price range for this type of product/service? The accepted price range in our major accessories is $25.00
- How does the proposed product's/service's price compare?
When we looked at the amount other companies sold theirs, it was easy for us to fix a price.
- Is there sufficient margin between the manufacturer's cost and the consumer acceptance price level to provide for markups at the wholesale, distributor and retail level?
Yes, we did a great study on the price in order to make sure there is a profit margin when the cost prices and the selling prices are compared.
- Does the price allow for freight, projected profit, price fluctuations in the market place and consumer interpretation of value?
- Are coupons or discounts being considered to promote consumers to try other flavors?
We make use of different sales promotions that would always make our customers to come back.
Advertising : all medias available for advertising would be used to bring a global awareness.
Sales promotion : Different types of promotions would be used which will make the customers always yearning for more.
Personal selling : a one on one selling rapport would be made with customers in order to really know how they feel
Publicity: this would be achieved through effective use of our PR to get in contact with all dealing parties.
Quality : all the accessories being sold are of the best quality purchased from certified ipod manufacturers.
Models and sizes : since we have over 1000 accessories, it might not be realistic to start stating the models and sizes but we are sure that all models and sizes of all ipod accessories would be available if we are contacted.
Packaging; we so much cherish the final look of a product and this is the main reason why all our products are giving a unique and captivating package that would turn you to Oliver Twist.
The company is ready to make use of all the channels of distribution in making sure our products get to the final consumers in every nook and corner they might be.
Since we would be covering 3 country, there would be a sales outlet in every major cities in each country. While our products would be purchased in bulk and stored in our state warehouse.
This is a company that believes in protocol. The policies of the company simply remain adequate usage of the Marketing 4Ps.
Money the greatest asset of every investor always come the first when it comes to matters of business. Starting up such business is not an easy thing most especially when it comes to the level of moving as technology moves. This will involve a lot of money to cope. Beside investing capital, there should be a working capital to keep things moving on well.
Presently, $1000.00 is contributed monthly which is personal fund gotten from blue collar jobs and a loan from a community bank. Though this money should be spent on other things but is a matter of self denial in order to invest in this business.
The total amount of capital that would start this business is $45,000.00 and the profit margin immediately business kicks is $10,000 annually after the payment of tax and other necessary things. This means that borrowed money or debt would be paid annually using 1/3 of the profit while the remaining 2/3 would be ploughed back to the business since it is a limited liability company.
The organization structure of the company is not all that complex except for the fact that every worker has a superior and subordinate. The management team of the company involves the Chief Executive Officer, the General Manager and the Departmental heads who have the right to sit and arrive at decisions for the upliftment of the company.
The business is a Limited Liability Company (LLC) which means that it combines attributes of both corporations and partnerships (or, for one-person LLCs, sole proprietorships): An LLC offers the corporation's protection from personal liability for business debts and the pass-through tax structure of partnerships and sole proprietorships. While it takes a bit more work to set up an LLC than a partnership or sole proprietorship, running one is significantly easier than running a corporation. This simply means that the owner of the business and the business it self are separate entity therefore the owner cannot be sued for anything except the business.
The only key player in the business is the owner who has been a business academician for the past years and a born versatile and intellectual man with the ambition of ruling the technology world with the sales of my ipod accessories.
Résumé of the CEO
Put your name
|;||Mr. ………… is a versatile, intelligent and positive minded young man. He has been a freelance writer for over four years, writing research papers on various topics. He presently dedicates all his time to business and research endeavors.||;|
|;||Jan. 2003 Till Date Freelance Business man
· Became a freelancer
· Improved writing skills and communication skills
· Completed over 30 business programmes
|;||April 2006 Till date Exquisite Magazine UK
Info Tech Reporter
· Reports on new edges in technology
· Analytical reviews of latest I.T related products
· Research on all I.T based questions
· All other assigned duties
|;||Aug 2007 – till date istoke.com
· Liaising with clients and potential customers
· Public Relations and image making
· Consultation with relevant information technology organizations
· All other assigned duties
· Graduated with Upper Credit
|;||Reading, Writing, Adventure, Learning new things, connecting others and Watching Movies||;|
Staffing Projection data for the next few years. In the next couple of years, the company will want to expand with the provisions of more branches and this automatically means that our staff would increase.
This will make us employ a zonal manager, more administrative staff, marketers, cleaners and more messengers would be needed so that the staff data can grow. The profit percentage that would be spend on staffing should not go beyond 25%.
- www.apple.com/itunes/ en.wikipedia.org/wiki/IPod
- www.pcworld.co.uk/martprd/editorial/MP3_homepage gi.ebay.co.uk/Ipod-Mac-Sales-
- www.methings.com/podcasts nostarch.com/ipod_rev.htm search.techrepublic.com.com/search/trusted+websites.html
- www.lunar.com/podcast/index.html internet.seekingalpha.com/article/18915
- www.dealtime.co.uk/xGS-ipods ce.seekingalpha.com/article/9254
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