Evaluate the site in terms of scope, usefulness, authority, content, reliability, and structure.
This website has been designed to respond to various issues that a customer may want to get informed about. In respect to scope, this site is a complete shop. It has a variety of home products which can be sold directly to the customers. The site has products with their prices clearly indicated. A consumer who visits the shop would have the opportunity to have a view of the item he or she would like to purchase with the help of graphics used in the site. The site also provides the customers with the ability to shop around by offering a variety of products at different prices. A consumer would, therefore be in a position to choose the product that satisfies his or her needs and is affordable (Sadler 2003, p. 68).
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The site has content that is not only informative to the customers but also very relevant. The site offers information and news to the customers. The site has directions to the firm’s Facebook page, the tweeter and YouTube. Through these social sites, customers would be in a position to access a lot of information and news from the firm. However, this page lacks any form of entertainment. There is no item that may be taken to be for entertainment for every object in the site is either a product on sale or a direction to guide online buyers.
On the basis of usefulness, the topics that are covered are very relevant to the needs and purpose of the site. The site is meant to sell home-based products. This is exactly what the site has, and it provides this in the best way so far. For instance, in the section named ‘All lighting’, customers are provided with a variety of lighting products to choose from (Huber & William 1993, p. 34). The customer would be in a position to determine which of the products best satisfies his or her needs. This page also offers originality of information. The information found in this site is basically concerning the firm, and none is duplicated from another site.
Based on authority and structure, the site commands a lot of authority due to the expertise used to develop the site. Although the site has no direct affiliations on the page, it is convincing in its own context.
The site is also very reliable. The information found on the website is the same information that is in its stores. The information is also relevant to the products in the stores.
The structure of the site is also up to the right standards. It has a standard site with a consistent layout throughout the theme. The graphics used also provides the information that a customer would be interested to know.
Appraise the company’s strategic approach towards achieving their objectives by means of a website and discuss whether, in your opinion, their web presence is fully aligned with their organizational strategy and provides an adequate means of trading.
This company, being a retail outlet, has its main objective as acquiring as much of the market share as is possible to facilitate increased sales volumes of their products, hence increased profits. According to Kline (2010, p. 38), the current market situation calls for a marketing strategy that employs an outward-in approach to marketing, or what many has always described as social marketing. This strategy holds that although the ultimate goal of any business entity is to make as much profit as would be possible, a business firm should try not to make this a priority (Charantimath 2006, p. 89). It should consider wining the trust of the market by attracting as many customers as would be possible before considering making the profits. The company’s strategic approach towards achieving objective by means of the website has been achieved by means of the web architecture. The website has been designed in a way that it provides an image of the company as that which response to the market demands. The site is interactive, allowing users to receive communication from the firm and communicate back.
It would be valid to state that the web presence of this firm is aligned with their organizational strategy and provides an adequate means of trading. This industry is very competitive. Firms are coming up with similar products within the same market, heightening the level of competition. It is, therefore, in the interest of the firm to acquire as much of the market share as would be possible (MacDonald 2003, p. 78). This way, it would be able to shield itself from the market competition that might threaten to eliminate it from the market. There are various strategies that firms always employ in order to ensure that they attract as much of the market share as would be possible. One of the ways of doing this is by offering quality products. The website has used graphics that clearly show that the products are of high quality. The fact that the site shows that the firm offers a discount to the customers also demonstrate the strategic objective of attracting more customers through attractive pricing strategy. Moreover, the site also shows that the firm has ensured that buyers can get as much of the product as they might need at a one-stop-shop.
Identify the business model/s utilized on this site and justify your identification. From the perspective of keeping the e-business trading over time, how important is flexibility, in terms of business models in your opinion?
The first business model that is very evident on this site is the merchant business model. This site leaves no doubt that the firm is trading, and that it is an outlet to various products. The site provides customers with the ability to not only view various products that are available in the stores but also allows them to make direct purchases of the products that are identified to meet the expectations (Niederst 2006, p. 45). Like a conventional brick and mortar store, this site provides customers with a variety of products, each priced differently, depending on the quality and the level of service delivery. Like a conventional store, the site provides customers with a variety of products from different brands. It passes for a typical shop.
This site may also be considered to have elements of Community business model. This is demonstrated by the fact that the firm has embraced the technology of social media. This site has embraced the three leading social media: Facebook, tweeter and YouTube. These are sites that have managed to use technology to enhance community structures within the world society. They have enhanced sharing of communication within members of the community (Warner 2011, p. 46). It also has a subscription model, where customers can subscribe to receive newsletters through their emails. This model has become very popular in the recent past. This way, business units are in a position to sent customers information regarding their products. In itself, it is a form of advertisement to the firm.
Evaluate the Identify the key security concerns and discuss ways in which the company can enhance its e-commerce security policy.
Some of the concerns that have always been raised when using e-commerce, as opposed to brick and mortar selling are issues concerning identity and security concerns. This site has managed to develop its identity by coming out as a unique site that offers customers home-based products. However, there are various security concerns that such a site would be prone to. For instance, the firm would be concerned about the possibility of the user breaking into the server, or the user disrupting the server and making it vulnerable to other users. Other security concerns may include such issues as virus, hacking, confidentiality, integrity and confidentiality.
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These are issues that are always important and should be considered by the firm if it is to manage e-business without disruption. There are a number of ways in which the company can enhance its e-commerce security policy in order to remain competitive in the market. One way of doing this would be by introducing Security Socket Layers. This is a protocol that uses certification to ensure that the integrity and confidentiality of data are maintained (Freeman 2010, p. 45). It is encrypted in such a way as to eliminate any chances of hacking by malware manufactures or any other internet guru who might have ill motive towards the firm. The firm can also use network securities to protect their site from intrusion. This may involve the usage of firewalls, virtual private networks and intrusion detection system to ensure that the entire system is always protected from any unnecessary intrusions. This is necessary to ensure that the firm protects its site from intrusion by hackers or such other cybercriminals. This will also protect the firm’s customers. Customers need to be protected from individuals who may intrude into their private e-mails.
List of References
Charantimath, 2006, Total Quality Management, Pearson Education, New Delhi.
Freeman, E 2010, Strategic Management: A Stakeholder Approach, Cambridge University Press, New York.
Huber, P & William, G 1993, Organizational Change and Redesign: Ideas and Insights for Improving Performance, Oxford University Press, New York.
Kline, J 2010, Ethics for International Business: Decision-Making in a Global Political Economy, Routledge, New York.
MacDonald, N 2003, What Is Web Design, Rotovision, New York.
Niederst, J 2006, Web Design in a Nutshell: A Desktop Quick Reference, O’Reilly Media, Inc, New York.
Sadler, P 2003, Strategic Management, Kogan Page, Publishers London.
Warner, B 2011, Organization Change: Theory and Practice, Sage, Thousand Oaks.