Electronic commerce (EC) has influenced other industries and markets than others. These influences may be due to different forms of products or industry characteristics.
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The type of product is important for the success of EC. For instance, customers will find it simple to order digitized products than other forms of products. These products exploit the advantage of digitization, rely on a simple distribution system, and this result in low costs of doing business. Digitization of products allows dealers to reduce processes and procedures involved in the delivery of the order to the customer. Amazon has found it simple and affordable to digitize books and CDs for the global market.
Customers who wish to order products like cloths, which are difficult to digitize may find it difficult to do so through the EC platform because they have to deal with several questions related to product features. Selling such products through the EC platform is difficult because of their characteristics.
The customer wants to experience and feel such products before making a purchase decision. It is difficult to get information about these products without a direct contact or experience with them. In this case, knowledge and information concerning product characteristics are important to customers and retailers because they influence how customers interact with the product through the EC platform.
Thus, the retailer must highlight important product features when considering EC and media of communicating with customers. The retailer must replace the face-to-face communication of the traditional market in order to meet customer’s interaction needs. The EC retailer must consider product characteristics and media of communication alongside costs, customer service standards, and other characteristics of EC (Axelsson 3).
Products also have different prices, which may influence outcomes of EC. Products with high prices also have high risks to the retailer and the customer. This is critical when dealers and their customers are geographically far and lack trust. Customers prefer to purchase low priced products through EC platforms than high valued products.
The EC industry has experienced rapid changes as technologies continue to emerge with new solutions (Turban and King 569). In this context, an industry factor may affect the success of the EC business. For instance, there is no single standard of describing EC products. In other words, products lack specific standards, which they must meet. As a result, the lack of a single standard, which the retailer and customer can recognize, may hinder the EC business. Currently, most retailers highlight their product features through textual means.
However, these should change and include multimedia elements. When retailers incorporate multimedia features to product descriptions, customers will find it easy to understand and make purchase decision. Thus, retailers should consider audio, images, and video when describing their products to customers through EC platforms. The industry should adopt virtual reality to facilitate EC.
The EC industry may also look for brokers to match retailers and customers directly. This is necessary because of abundant information over the Internet. EC firms, which have third parties, may not experience many challenges from their customers. The industry should develop intelligent software that can reduce challenges that many customers face during EC transactions.
Industry characteristics are many and different. It may be difficult for a retailer to keep up with rapid changes in the industry. This scenario may hinder the success of a firm. However, adopting new technologies as the e-commerce market evolves can guarantee successful business.
Axelsson, Karin. “Exploring Relationships between Products Characteristics and B2C Interaction in Electronic Commerce.” Journal of Theoretical and Applied Electronic Commerce Research 3.2 (2008): 1-17. Print.
Turban, Efraim and David King. Electronic Commerce 2012: Managerial and Social Networks Perspectives. 7th ed. New Jersey: Prentice Hall, 2012. Print.