Electronic businesses have become extremely popular in recent years. More and more people prefer to buy and sell products and services online. It is rather important for those, who are in e-commerce business, to realize all advantages and disadvantages of performing their business over the internet or other computer networks. In the modern technological era business leaders have to be accustomed to such issues as internet marketing, electronic funds transfer, online transaction processing, supply chain management, automated collection data systems, inventory management systems and electronic data interchange (Kelly, 2005). Using a SWOT analysis will give the opportunity to improve better methods and strategies while conducting an e-commerce business. That is why it is essential to be well aware of the appropriate information, knowledge, experience and great desire to succeed in business, no matter whether it is small or big. The understanding of the main principles and techniques of conducting an e-commerce business will give the advantage to increase the company`s revenues and incomes.
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Conducting electronic business online has advantages and disadvantages. To identify these features, the business owners are prone using SWOT analysis.. The internal strengths of my business were a wide range of capabilities it could have in future, because of the innovations and technology it could provide in the business operation. Experience, knowledge and data are real strengths to develop it into well-established. The personnel possess professional experience, deep knowledge in the marketing environment and professional skills. The company`s data is a valuable source that can be implemented into achieving its objectives. As to the weaknesses, lack of capabilities may be identified because of the competition in the market, where other e-commerce companies are selling the same products and services. It is essential to overcome the lack of competitive gap. While estimating the company`s opportunities, it has become obvious that it reaches the target markets making a good profit. Innovation and technology development is a good tendency that is currently occurs in the business process. Making e-commerce business globally gives a great opportunity to open new markets and find new customers. New contracts and partners are rather threatening to e-commerce. It is hard to identify what kind of partners and customers could be met online. Sometimes new contracts do not give desired results and profit. Loss of resources is another threat. It is not easy to find new sources of resources, thus, e-commerce may lose the money. The research reported that it is very important to identify all these positive and negative factors while achieving the company`s objectives (Kotler, 2009).
Despite the fact that my business is small, it is connected with other businesses and customers internationally. Thus, there is a need to provide trust, knowledge of modern technology, international language, cultural values, market`s infrastructure and legislation. For example, the knowledge of English language is a must for any e-commerce leader, because English is an international means of communication. It is also important to be aware of cultural specifications and customs of the country, which could be one`s potential partner or customer. For instance, there is a difference in the marketing needs and demands of the West and East (Kelly, 2005). If someone wants to be successful and become well-established in e-commerce market, it is important to provide legal and trustful relationships with all the customers and partners. In order to prevent different unfavorable situations, it is obligatory to provide e-commerce business according to the law of the country the one is having a deal with. Finally, the knowledge of new technologies and software programs may help to provide successful business operations and achieve the company`s objectives.
Due to the available research, it is obvious that SWOT analysis helps to identify the company`s strategy and microeconomic plans in order to achieve its main objectives. Though, only those strategies and plans are important that generate successful business process and effective relations with customers (Nissanoff, 2006). Though the main strategies are defined beforehand, it does not mean that they are stone. It is rather essential to be flexible while conducting e-commerce business. Due to the great competition in the market, it is oftentimes advisable to change strategies, prices and conditions of the business flow. The research asserts that most customers prefer e-commerce businesses that provide flexible prices, advantageous plans and offers. An e-commerce company, which generates no beneficial offers, is usually not successful.
E-commerce may have advantages and disadvantages. The most common advantages are: the possibility to carry out business without restriction in time and distances. Thus, it is possible to provide business operations in any part of the world, if there is the internet access. Second, it is the cheapest place of doing business. There is no need to rent an office or to hire a big staff, and what is more: people can provide business in their homes.
Before starting to operate business online, it is essential to keep in mind some disadvantages, such as: direct global competition, which makes the process of selling and buying more complicated, because there may be thousands of similar offers. Another wide-spread disadvantage is that any e-commerce company is dependent on third-party firms such as Google, web host or webmaster.
E-commerce and the Law
It is worth mentioning that any transaction and electronic marketing are regulated by law. Legislation and regulation is a complex process and it may change regularly. To protect a company from fraud, business leaders have to protect their business by the law policies and regulations in order to survive and succeed in the e-commerce market. When selling online, it is important to specify information to the customers about the company`s policy and regulations. The research asserts that regulations should provide guidelines on promotions and advertisements (Nissanoff, 2006).
Due to the recent investigation it was found that 50% of website companies are breaking the law. The Data Protection Act must be a guideline while conducting a business through the internet. It is a well-known fact that many websites break the rules, omit standard terms and conditions, copyright information, misuse copyright material what leads them to the disabilities. The e-commerce regulations were established in August 2002 and became the law. Thus, all rights and obligations of businesses and consumers are protected by this law. There are different e-commerce regulations, such as the Data Protection Act, Disability Discrimination and the Distant Selling Regulations. The internet policy is examined regularly for all companies.
The research asserts that e-commerce businesses must comply with the same laws that govern companies` operations (Kotler, 2009). In their effort to comply with the same law, companies usually face two complicating factors. First, the Web gives an access to the businesses across traditional boundaries. Second, the internet increases the efficiency and speed of all business operations. In order to comply with the law, business leaders must be aware of the international and internal laws of the countries they are dealing with. If the owner wants to provide safe and effective business relationships in other countries he must study other companies` regulations and policies. Performing a fair business is the main condition of protecting one`s e-commerce business.
According to the available information, many people are using the internet as a tool for online crimes; therefore, it is important to prevent these crimes and protect the business (Nissanoff, 2006). One of the most common crimes is credit card fraud. The other one is illegal downloading. To prevent these illegal actions, e-commerce owners must contact the criminal lawyers, who can help to solve the problem.
According to the research, it has become obvious that e-commerce business may have advantages and disadvantages. It is important for e-commerce business leaders to be well aware of SWOT analysis, laws and regulations in order to provide successful business operations and achieve the company`s objectives.