Today, online shopping is one of the most if not the most important business concepts. A wide array of shoppers is embracing online shopping, something that was merely a concept a few years back. Many companies are turning to social media sites with the end goal of promoting their businesses, remaining relevant, and acquiring a competitive advantage. Companies have scaled up their underlying business aspects and integrated online shopping in these aspects (Martin & Camarero, 2008). Consequently, online shopping aids in increasing revenues for the firm because the underlying companies have marketed their products on various online sites. Thus, people can place orders for the products they want to buy. Moreover, online shopping will add to the physical purchasing that goes on in its stalls in geographical locations. Businesses can take advantage of the number of people accessing social media sites and capture their attention from which they will be able to buy the companies products and services.
Online shopping can improve the operations of the business especially internally. With the use of social media, the response is quick from both the sending and receiving end. The firm can quickly determine what the customer wants precisely. The time that clients spend in the store and service time is also reduced compared to when the consumer is physically buying the goods. Response from customers is also very quick. Consequently, the firm can make corrections on some aspects and thus create better after-sales service.
How Does Online Shopping Create Brand Awareness for the Business?
The company can make a name for itself to people who are both interested as well as those who may not be interested in the product, more so if the services the firm is offering are superior to that of its competitors regarding price and quality. When the social media sites can bag in a lot of followers, there are ripple effects that occur when the followers themselves get to tell their friends which in turn produces a chain effect that every business person seeks to get. As a result, news about a brand will be the topic of discussion (Teo, 2006).
Additionally, online shopping improves customer conversion. The customers stop being little visitors but become customers, especially loyal ones. Most people mostly visit business sites first to acquaint themselves with the products or services that the firm is offering and if they get impressed, they can purchase a thing or two from the business. Companies seek to immediately capture the attention of the customer or potential customers when they visit the various online sites. Online shopping strengthens and cements customer loyalty because the business has gone out of its way to provide the client with convenient ways for buying goods and services. Since online shopping services, most of the time guarantee better after-sales service due to a quick response from both parties, customers can grow attached to a brand that satisfactorily fulfills their needs.
Business can identify their strengths and weaknesses from online shopping mainly through feedback from customers. They are also able to compare themselves against their competitors. Once they have clearly demarcated their strengths, they can fully maximize that advantage better than any of their competitors. Their weaknesses transform into opportunities through creative research and study. Competitive advantages are identified where by looking at what other firms are doing, the business can fully utilize the competitive advantages that will be able to give it a larger market share in the industry.
How Businesses Can Identify the Wants and Needs of the Customers?
Through feedback, a firm can fine-tune a product that can satisfy the client. This tailor-made product will eventually lead to customer loyalty. The firm is now able to retain its original customers and bring in new ones because the product favors the most clients. One of the examples of companies that have grown tremendously by the use of online shopping is Fanatics.com. This company deals with the selling of licensed sports equipment merchandise. With its intensive use of online platforms, it has been able to generate new customers while still maintaining the older ones. The brand itself is no news to most people because of its presence online and has been a stepping stone to it to the extent of having a partnership with the University Of Notre Dame. Many have tried to surpass the success of fanatics.com but have not lasted (Forsythe, et al., 2006).
The online platform has been able to ensure that its customer service is top-notch. They also have an assortment of various products because of heeding the feedback of the customers and creating the products that suit their needs. Another company that has benefited from online shopping is ASOS. It is an online company that sells items in fashion. Through online shopping mostly through the website, they have been able to acquire international customers who now contribute to their sales at 19%. They are also continuously attracting customers by participating in a conversation with their clients through their media platform which includes Twitter, Facebook, Myspace, and Bebo. They can post images advertisement links and videos to these sites for the customers to see.
They mostly target people of the fashion-conscious age of 16 to 34, a realization that explains why most of their advertisements have young people because they are more relatable to the audience they seek to gain approval. There may also be videos of random catwalks again animated by young people and can attract customers who will be willing to buy and eventually increase their sales revenue. From the online sites, ASOS was able to realize that customers have a time crisis upon the delivery of goods. After much research, it was able to come up with a series of delivery times that would mostly suit the customer. The customer can decide when they would want their goods delivered to them and has consequently earned ASOS customer loyalty because it has made an effort to ensure the comfort of the customer. Customers are also able to keep track of their goods before delivery and have created a strong competitive edge over its rivals. It has also ensured that the customer experiences a variety of products. They mostly advertise the different brands on the sites which eliminates the option of having a physical shop in the streets. They can run and market their products diligently on online sites knowing that it is much faster, cheaper, and reaches a broad audience. Finally, there are numerous benefits encompassed in online shopping. It could be the one factor a business needs o that it can experience a boom. It is much cheaper as compared to the other forms of marketing and easier to maintain. The efficiency level of any business upgrades through online shopping due to the quick response and exchange of both the buyer and the consumer.
Security Measures to Safeguard Online Payments
Many people are embracing online shopping in today's society, and this calls for cementing of the security systems of various businesses ensuring the financial information for the customers is kept private and secret. Customers are mostly loyal to the firm where they feel that their economic credentials are well safeguarded. There are various ways in which businesses can ensure that their security systems are air-tight and they include but are not limited to the following.
First, companies could use firewalls to build the trust of their customers. A firewall is a barrier that serves between a connected computer and the internet. Only a computer with certified credentials is granted permission to access information on the detailed database. It prevents frauds and hackers from accessing information from the computer ensuring the safeguarding of critical financial data (Kadhiwal & Zulfiquar, 2007). The second method of providing online payment security systems are secure is the use of personal identification numbers for every user. Social Security numbers were first developed in 1936 and still serve to this day. Other methods have also been drawn up to build on the social security system which includes the two-factor authentication combination of security combinations to access relevant information. The business requires mostly the password and the number so as to obtain the information.
Researchers have also gone a step ahead in tightening the security system by demanding a DNA match which uses by businesses that involve a lot of high risks. It is entirely personal also in the knowledge that there could be no replica of your DNA and hence limits that information access only an individual. Another way of ensuring that the online payment system is secure is businesses using the payment system called the payment card industry. It is commonly known as PCI. It was first formed in 2006 and since then has helped countless businesses beef up their security for their customers by keeping their financial data safe. PCI also educates the different business owners on ways on how to maximize the security in their firms. Its analysis is top-notch as they also put in play various aspects like the size of the business. They also analyze the transactions that take place online and with scrutiny, check the presence of any vulnerabilities and fix the problems.
Encryption technology is also another method of improving the security of online payment systems. It is a system whose primary aim is to ensure that what is considered private information is kept that way. Its other purpose is also to verify and confirm whether the website the businesses are using is viable for transactions and whether they are part of an organization of proven validity and its operators are highly legitimate. It will ultimately reduce the chances of hackers cracking the different codes of any information whatsoever. It is because encryption by its nature is very complex. It is a revised and more complicated version of a password. The chances of ever decrypting it are very slim. Customers can freely, without any doubts transact freely (Kim, et al., 2010).
Another method that is also quite crucial is staying current with the updates on security. It will create an environment of the business where they are always one step ahead of the hackers. It will involve extensive research on the possible ways hackers can create a security breach in the system. It will ensure that the weak links pinpointed out can be upgraded. It is also beneficial in that also a problem could easily be foreseen and fixed. Security updates also serve as a reminder to download the required safeguards from the internet because they could be quickly forgotten but could cost the firm tremendously.
Another method that could also be used is the assessment through Security Metrics. They are very exhaustive and extremely sensitive to even the smallest of details. It is because they typically brace themselves as hackers who try to log into the system of a particular business. They can give their customers, who are in the different markets, consultations on how to beef up their security systems. They also can pick out and identify unencrypted data leakage.
They also look into the network configurations of various businesses and their wireless security systems. Even for a business that is using PCI, it is recommended that the business uses security metrics as it is more detailed than the PCI. It is a worthy investment as it will save the company more than the losses that would have otherwise occurred if the security system is breached CI...
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