E-commerce: A Small Business Approach

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REINTRODUCING E-COMMERCE

 

Came the internet and came many possibilities! E-commerce happened as an innovative business tool, which supplemented live trade/business/professional services over the internet. Revamped, reengineered and remodeled time and again, it truly became E-commerce.  

 

This is an online business concept and stands for electronic commerce. Business to Consumer (B2C) sales topped 1 Trillion US Dollars in 2012 and is expected to grow by 20.1% to reach $1.5 trillion worldwide in 2014.1

 

Statistics predict that in 2017, U.S. e-commerce will account for 10% of total U.S. retail sales and online spending will reach $370 billion, which represents a nearly 10% compound annual growth rate from 2012.2 Also by 2017, e-commerce spending in 17 western countries (considered as Western Europe) is likely to reach 191 billion Euros (US$247.1 billion) representing a compound annual growth of about 11%.3

 

At the same time, Asia Pacific will likely emerge as a leader replacing North America to become the number one market for B2C E-commerce sales.4

 

What can E-commerce do for us? 

 

E-commerce means the procedure of buying and selling products and services over the internet. At present, it is not merely restricted to online buying and selling. It is about using the contemporary and evolving internet to do business better and faster.

 

The right question is what can we do with E-commerce?

 

The Classic: Brick to Click Model. Make a product showcase. Use a blend of online marketing to generate sales opportunities. Do SEO, PPC and Google Ads. Grow with the right products, tap into your consumer base and develop brand value. It should yield positive results over the next few years. 

 

The Contemporary: Go playful, interactive and human centric in modeling your business. Invest in consent or outbound marketing; go big on social media and use the power of content, acceptability, and accessibility to brand yourself. One good opportunity might just change your fortunes. 

 

The Futurist: Ideate and make new. Brand a vision. Craft an idea that changes the contemporary. It’s all out there i.e.  Amazon, Ebay, Alibaba, etc. Somewhere, the path of growth and scale makes the model move from raising funds and investing in physical infrastructure for inventory/distribution making a partial transition from clicks to bricks. 

 

BIG GAME AND BIG NUMBERS:

 

All the global giants such as Amazon, eBay, Alibaba, Walmart and many others have set an example for other online sellers in the e-commerce industry. Reports reveal that in the first half of 2013, Amazon’s electronics and other general merchandise sales grew at a 27.8% rate after growing 34.5% in 2012. 

 

Also, eBay’s ECV (Enabled Commerce Volume, which is total commerce and payment volume across all three business units, consisting of Marketplaces gross merchandise volume, PayPal merchant services net total payment volume and GSI global ecommerce merchandise sales)5 grew up at almost a 20% rate in the first half of 2013 with its mobile commerce growing over 90% in the second quarter.6

 

In addition to Global e-tailors, we have quite a few success stories with Flipcart, Myntra, Snapdeal, etc. in the Indian e-commerce industry. India had a recorded user base of 137 million users in 20127 and while the said diffusion is quite low compared to the American market, it is projected to grow to a user base of 243 million in 20148 and overtake North America by 2017 with projected diffusion exceeding a user base of 348 million.9 At the same time, mobile users exceed 900 million users in India with 300 million data users. Indian e-commerce market grew by 88% in 2013 with a total size of $ 16billion.10  Consumer behavior is changing fast, young people are spending 16% of their disposable income online and an estimated 828 million Indians will be under the age of 35 by the year 2015.11 While Tier 1 cities in the country account for most e-commerce sales, Tier 2 and 3 cities have a fast growing demand. Remarkably, women in India are also turning to e-commerce and projected to constitute a $ 3 billion market by themselves in the next three years.12

 

What does that mean for Small Business?

 

It means that big numbers present ample opportunity for enterprises of all sizes to find a sizable client base. That growth stories have all started small before scale was acquired. That wherever you are and whatever you do, internet will grow your access, expand your reach and your existing operations will find an additional source of revenue. 

 

What business dynamic makes e-commerce viable? 

 

E-commerce provides people ease to shop online from the comforts of their home without any hassle and wastage of time.  However, it does not deliver instant satisfaction/gratification similar to someone visiting a store physically and owing a product in their hands resulting in instant gratification as consumption is not delayed. Business fundamental for delayed gratification require an online purchase to offer value greater than the one presented by real live shopping experience.  If you look closely at the manner in which most e-tailors operate, you will observe that somewhere these products are cheaper, online shopping provides greater variety and includes free shipping which can be expedited. These are usually considered as standard features while most successful e-tailors provide customer loyalty programs, extended return period (Zappos lets its customers return goods within a period of 1 whole year when stores usually offer a 30 days  return/replacement policy)13 and facilitate transactions innovatively. 

 

In this online business trend, web is used as an infrastructure to offer better opportunities and to take your business to the next level. The combination of e-commerce and various web technologies have made world a global village.

 

E-commerce has made a drastic impact on entire e-business environment. Its emergence has changed many traditional ways of doing businesses. Immense changes have been seen also in B2B and B2C markets worldwide14. Because of the initiation of e-commerce, all traditional business transaction styles have modified. Now transactions are conducted electronically, ignoring all physical and geographical boundaries.

 

Currently, companies everywhere are making serious efforts to bring greater online market visibility in order to reach their potential customers. They are integrating their websites with the heart of their business to make an effective web presence. Customers have superior User Experience with the option to select customized products and services for themselves. 

 

While trends keep changing, it must be borne in mind that e-commerce structures must account for territorial requirements e.g. In India, electronic mode of payments are still not a preferred by a large majority and therefore Cash on Delivery emerged as an alternative and preferred method for completing transactions. 

 

Takeaway for Small Business: The generic know how of e-commerce and understanding the fundamentals of a buyer’s market allows a Small Business to engage in a suitable business modeling without needing to engage in extensive research which is usually a costly affair.

 

E-COMMERCE AND ITS EVOLUTION

 

E-commerce business trends are changing and people are less hesitant to shop online.

 

The progression of e-commerce in the last few decades has changed the user’s perception of e-commerce as a business model. 

 

Dot com boom and recent arrival of social networking websites has aided in this transformation.15 Social media has created new avenues for alternate marketing (specifically given birth to outbound/permission/consent marketing) and changed the way marketers approach consumers. Cosmetic Retailer Sephora is a great example to learn from how social media and e-commerce together can effect sales and influence customers’ decisions.16 In fact, social communities and networking have bestowed the consumers with more powers to explore a wide range of products and services and take informed decision based on community feedback and customer recommendations. 

 

Business Models of major e-commerce giants such as E-bay, Amazon, Walmart, etc. have also influenced the way people shop online. Their innovative solutions to offer a personalized shopping experience have amplified the reliability factor among users.

 

Amazon, the behemoth of the industry is an exemplary model among all other global e-commerce retailers. Even before diversifying to other technology services17, Amazon has cemented its place too strongly in the industry of retail with its unparalleled services and customer relationships. It is the 56thlargest company in America in terms of market capitalization and 15th biggest retailer by revenue.18

 

Besides Amazon, much innovation is found in the industry and there are many ways to go about modeling one’s e-commerce venture. 

 

Emerging E-commerce Business Models

 

Nowadays in this e-business world, everyone talks about business models. In fact, many of them discuss basic concepts and structure without any knowledge or awareness. People often confuse business modeling with business strategy but both are entirely different from each other in scope and purpose. The former talks about your customer acquisition and plan to make money by offering them value in return whereas the latter explains how you will stand apart from your competitors.19

 

Business Models are basically designed to identify revenue sources, details of products and services, customer base, market segment, source of funds, financing and many other business related factors. 

 

They are plans implemented by companies for successful business operations. They define how organizations make, deliver and capture value on all business fronts. An exercise in business modeling is a prerequisite and necessary for every organization whether it is an established player or a start-up. Some innovative business models that have excelled in the e-commerce domain are discussed below:

 

  • Flash Sales
  • Subscription
  • Social Bookmarking Websites
  • Collaborative Commerce
  • Next Generation Marketplaces

 

Flash Sales Business Model is also known as Deal-of-the-day, in which products from renowned brands are offered by various websites for a specific period of time. This model helps customers in purchasing well-known brands at discounted rates and it also aids retailers in selling their unwanted inventory faster with a better cash flow. 

 

Statistics show that event-based sale sites (flash sales, daily deals, and loyalty programs) have made a tremendous growth of 50% over the past five years, and by 2015 they are expected to generate revenue of more than $6 billion.20

 

The underlying magic of Flash Sales model is that it stimulates purchases as well as leads to a habit of browsing web portal of the company amongst its target customers. This model is considered as one of the most scalable business models in the e-commerce industry. Companies such as Fab, Westwing, Gilt Group, Zulily, Rue La La, Lot 18, Jetsetter, Ideeli and many others use/have used this ecommerce business model.  Some companies like Lot 18, Jetsetter and Fab have quit this business model but others are doing incredibly well and growing profitably.21

 

This model has taken companies like Rue La La and Gilt to another level all together. Gilt Groupe is a flash-sales company that originally targeted women shoppers but now it offers to 30 different sales segments for audiences of different tastes. It has a collection of several sites offering its members exclusive discounts on clothing, shoes and other apparels. Since its launch in 2007, it has raised over $240 million.22

 

Subscription Business Model is another significant e-commerce business model. In this model, registered users pay a subscription fees (weekly/monthly/quarterly/yearly) to access products or services. This model was first used by magazines and newspapers but nowadays it is widely adopted frequently by various websites. It is widespread in digital goods such as Apple iTunes store, Xbox, Facebook Apps, Spotify, etc. 

 

According to the data released by NDP Group (leading market research company) in 2012, Apple iTunes dominates in the paid digital music downloads segment. In the second quarter of 2012, it acquired a share of 64% in the digital music market and a share of 29% of all music sold at retail section including both digital and physical formats. 23

 

This business model allows customers to discover and try new products without excessive expenditure. From an e-tailer’s perspective, it offers stable cash flow and accurate orders’ forecast. Some key online players following Subscription Model are: Birch Box, H. Bloom, Fabkids, Glossy Box, Julep, Shoe Dazzle, Trunk Club, Kiwi Crate, Citrus Lane, etc. 

 

H. Bloom, the number one site dealing in business of flowers has developed successfully after adopting this business model. It offers flowers to its customers on daily and weekly basis. After its launch in 2010, this New York based company has grown into five locations in last three years.24

 

Social Bookmarking Business Model is being used prominently nowadays. In this, webmasters rank and tag their web content (articles, blogs, links, photos and videos) to boost online traffic, access new business resources and strengthen business relationships. It is different from search engines in the sense that businesses rely on tags instead of keywords.25

 

This model assists customers in organizing their favorite items in one place. It allows e-tailers to understand consumers’ interests and behavior. Due to advancement in technology, one can find better options for tagging such as image recognition and auto-tagging. 

 

Some popular sites for social bookmarking are Pinterest, Reddit, Del.icio.us, Digg and Stumble Upon. These greatly developed websites track the links that each user accesses and also highlight whether an organization is reaching its target appropriately or not.

 

Out of all the social bookmarking websites, StumbleUpon drives over 50% of the social media traffic in US. Over 2.2 million Webpages are added on it every month (i.e. 51 pages per minute) with a page view lasting for 78 seconds, whereas on other sites the page view lasts only for  an average 52 seconds.26

 

Collaborative Commerce Business Model is a new model emerging rapidly in e-business world. Under this model, enterprises collaborate with each other to utilize the resource economically.27 Websites based on this model are basically membership based item sharing websites that bill the users on a monthly basis or as per the use of the product or service. 

 

This model offers users the pleasure of using the item that they like without the hassle of buying or owning it. It also lets them enjoy several items instead of having the same every time. The benefit given by this business model to the retailers is that they can share out the risk as well as cost of product/service to a wide group of members. 

These exchanges mostly happen for sharing work spaces, electronic goods, jewelry, sport gears, gardens, parking spots, etc.28 Well-established players in the market that have adopted this model are: Zipcar, Netflix, City Car Share.org, Getaround, Relay Rides, Wheelz, etc. Zipcar is one of the best examples in the system of sharing, lending, renting, trading and swapping. It is world’s largest car sharing company with more than 760,000 members.29

 

Next Generation Marketplaces is a model that targets online platforms by matching people providing goods or services to their target customers. With the help of this model, customers can easily identify superior goods and services. Also, retailers can reduce their costs by using internet as a means of distribution. 

 

This business model gives e-businesses a strong business effect. Businesses working as per this model seem vulnerable till the time they do not reach liquidity but once they reach liquidity platforms, they become steady. Examples of Next Generation Marketplaces in different verticals are: Artsy, Art space, Simply Hired, Task Rabbit, Fab, 9flats.com, Care.com, Trip Trotting, Munchery, etc. 

 

Small Business Takeaway: Small businesses need to innovate and identify suitable modeling to make a profitable business. Many of these companies started small and have with the right modeling became successful and well known. Business models assist small businesses in defining their business goals and targeting their potential customers efficiently. In fact, they let the small businesses to grow swiftly. 

 

Online players responsible for changing the e-market trend

 

In this online retail market, there are various players who have established a dominant position in the world of web transcending all the boundaries of e-retail. One of the biggest examples of e-commerce success in the world of web is Amazon.com, an international website that has broken all the records. It is among pioneer companies to use e-commerce most effectively.

 

Indian e-commerce market is also growing very strongly and is reaching new heights almost every day. According to the statistics of the survey done by The Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India (ASSOCHAM), in 2009, Indian ecommerce market was about $2.5 billion, it went up to $6.3 billion in 2011, $16 billion in 2013 and is expected to reach $56 billion by 2023.30 The growth is mainly dominated by online travel industry, which contributes over 73% market share.31

 

Currently, in India retail category penetration has increased to 60% and top ecommerce sites have received a growth of over 100 per cent.32 Among top online retail sites, Amazon is the most visited one followed by Flipkart with 7.4 million visitors a month, growing at 431% annually.33

 

After Flipkart, Snapdeal, Jabong, Yebhi, Tradus, Infibeam, Myntra and Homeshop 18 are the key market players in India. The success of these eCommerce players revolves around many factors such as their product range, price comparison, interactive web portal features, new and improved services, eye-popping deals and discounts, personalized features of website, return policy and replacement guarantee, shipment services, and several others. 

 

KEY METRICS TO MEASURE E-COMMERCE SUCCESS

 

Your online market visibility defines how effectively your business model is working. For a path of success, identifying and setting-up performance indicators work like milestones that notify where you have reached in terms of sales, online marketing and consumer service targets. 

 

Measuring Key Performance Indicators (KPI) leads to identifying shortcomings and helps in boosting sales, streamlining online marketing process and enhancing customer service. If you are running an online retail business then you would definitely like to know about your website’s progress and how well is it working on internet. There are number of ways to measure the web portal’s growth. But, some important key metrics are:34

 

  • Measuring Sales

 

Sales Measurement is always the first technique that comes to everyone’s mind. In this metric, one has to configure all the variables that have influenced and increased the profit margins in respect of sales. 

 

  • Determining Market Return on Investment

 

Online retail portals mostly rely on online marketing techniques to attain visibility. That is why determining marketing ROI is vital to know the status of your marketing efforts. Key performance indicators are site traffics, pay-per click traffic value, page views per visit, etc.

 

  • Monitoring Customer Satisfaction

 

In online retail, many techniques are available to know the user’s perception and level of satisfaction. One can easily attain the information about customer’s experience by various online and offline methods. Monitoring customer satisfaction is necessary for maintaining high standards of customer care and keeping ahead of the competition.35 This measure of calculating the progress is available in Google Analytics as well. 

 

  • Understanding Lifetime Value of Customers

 

Lifetime value of a customer is a formula assisting companies and their marketing associates in making a lasting relationship with customers and arriving at the potential dollar value of a customer.36 Also, cost of customer acquisition far outweighs the cost of customer retention. Therefore, a better understanding of customer’s satisfaction will lead to better prospects for growth.

 

Small Business Takeaway: This measurement is necessary for small businesses to develop a focused business approach. There are number of measures that small businesses can follow to attain e-commerce success. One of the most prevalent ways used nowadays is Social Media Approach that actually helps small businesses to bring visibility in the web world. An analysis by emarketer shows 97% marketers agree that social media as part of their overall strategy offers benefits and value to their business.37

 

In a survey of more than 700 marketers worldwide, 88% of respondents told that social media helps in growing brand awareness and also benefits marketers by allowing them to engage in dialogue (85%), increase sales and partnerships (58%) and reduce costs (41%).38

 

A MOVEFROM E-COMMERCE TO M-COMMERCE

 

Earlier retail was considered as one of the most disruptive business industries but now the situation is far better due to diffusion of e-commerce and m-commerce. M-commerce or Mobile commerce, which was previously the least important segment of e-commerce has now become an integral part. This technology allows consumers to conduct commerce using mobile devices like cell phones, tablets, iPads, and other mobile equipment. This method lets the users purchase products and services anytime anywhere with tons of interactive features. And, it also provides enormous opportunities to owners to increase sales and customer loyalty.

 

M-commerce/Mobile-commerce is like putting your web store in customer’s hand. The trend of m-commerce is budding beyond a mere extension of e-commerce. It is moving up with a rapid pace. In fact, comScore’s report shows that one visitor out of every three monthly visitors approach the average digital retailer websites exclusively from mobile platforms.39

 

Another, digital market research company eMarketer reveals one more interesting fact that large number of consumers have started using their smartphones and tablets while shopping, browsing for new deals, researching options and buying products.40

 

M-commerce helps in making interaction in a more personalized way amongst wider audiences. 

M-commerce offers you some added benefits as against e-commerce which are: 41

 

Convenience- M-commerce gives you the convenience to shop from literally anywhere.

 

Flexible Accessibility- Mobile commerce offers the flexibility to the users to easily switch among various applications. One can access the same portal by logging on to various mobile messengers and other networking platforms. 

 

Easy Connectivity- Transaction can be made as long as signals are available. 

 

Time Efficiency- Mobile commerce is the most time efficient source to carry out online transactions. It does not require any extra plug-ins like one may need in case of laptops or personal computers. 

 

Why small businesses need to get active with m-commerce? 

 

Having a mobile presence can be a huge competitive advantage for small businesses endeavoring to draw the attention of their potential customers to their business. Studies reveal that 69% of small businesses consider mobile marketing as a key factor to their growth in the next five years.42

 

A move towards m-commerce can help small businesses to stay ahead of the competition. Also, with this move they can boost their sales, engage new customers and help customers in their buying decision. (According to a report by Forrester Research Inc., 37 percent of U.S. online adult tablet owners and 14 percent of online adult mobile phone owners use their devices to research products, to prepare for purchases, to read customer product reviews, to locate a store, to check store hours and to check product availability online).43 Similarly, According to Ebay India Mobile Commerce Survey, the growing user base is getting heavily reliant on mobile services to access mobile marketplaces.44

 

ELEMENTS OF E-COMMERCE WEBSITES CONRIBUTING TO CUSTOMER SATISFACTION

 

Customer satisfaction is a measure of how products and services offered by a business meet or surpass customer expectation. It refers to the extent to which customers are pleased with the products or services provided by a business online or offline. Gaining high levels of customer satisfaction is extremely essential because of the lack of personal human interaction. 

 

If you are able to persuade your customers or make a desired impact on them then your business will definitely receive loyalty in return. Some key elements of e-commerce websites contributing to costumer’s satisfaction (consumer behavior) are:45

 

  • Functionality Factors-Functionality is the ease experienced by the visitor in navigating your web portal and attaining information. Functionality factors are further classified into two sub-categories:

 

a) Usability-It is an uncomplicated access to your website for the visitors to attain the information they require. Usability can be easily achieved by utilizing the elements of a website aptly. Usability involves various components such as convenience, site navigation, information architecture, search facilities, site accessibility, website’s speed and ordering/ payment process. 

 

b) Interactivity- This element of a website enhances the overall experience of the customer/user and contributes in building a positive web experience. 

 

  • Psychological Factors-These factors help in building trust among customers through various elements such as information security, transaction security, personalized services, secured payment services, refund or return policies, etc. 

 

  • Content Factors-Website’s content is the most critical component that communicates your message to your target audiences. Content factor is also classified into two sub-categories:

 

a) Aesthetics- Aesthetics entails all the artistic and creative elements that aim to make an appealing impact on audiences. 

 

b) Marketing Mix-It involves all the 4 P’s of marketing, which are Product, Price, Promotion and Place. 

 

Customers are the lifeline of any business that is why customer satisfaction is an integral element of small businesses (e-commerce portals), which require continuous growth. It is also essential for business’s success and longevity. For small business, keeping the customers satisfied and meeting the needs timely is necessary to ensure its future growth and profitable balance-sheets. 

 

According to the American Customer Satisfaction Index’s (ACSI) annual E-Commerce Report, customer satisfaction with e-commerce websites continue to rise, gaining 1.2% to 81.1 on the ACSI’s 100-point scale.46

 

All e-commerce giants endeavor to gain customer satisfaction through their wide range of products, improved services, innovative offers, deals and discounts. ForeSee’s annual ACSI Annual E-commerce Report states that e-commerce sector continues to be one of the highest-scoring sectors in all of American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI). Also, in e-retail category the key market player Amazon remains the leading retailer at 85 on 100-point scale.47

 

BoxMyTalk survey on Indian e-commerce consumer satisfaction found that out of total of 7,889 consumers, 1490 reported a positive experience, 977 were neutral and the remaining 5422 had a negative experience.48 It appears that consumer dissatisfaction is quite high in India user base regarding e-commerce transactions. However, Indian e-commerce players like Flipkart and Jabong topped the customer satisfaction score board with great offline customer services, superb delivery rates and effective social media strategies.49

 

Small Business Takeaway: Small business need to realize that customer satisfaction plays a pivotal role in business retention. Business that perform better on customer satisfaction are profitable and continue to grow whereas ones with negative feedback and poor consumer experience will very likely witness decline in their business. It is perhaps a more important factor in India considering that on an average consumer dissatisfaction is usually high and only those that concern themselves with consumer satisfaction are growing. Ensure your websites are user-centric, have acceptable user interface, visible in terms of market outreach and technologically sound to infuse trust in users/consumers.  

 

 

CONCLUSION: FUTURE OF E-COMMERCE

 

E-commerce experts predict a promising and glorious future of the industry in 21st century in India and all around the world. E-commerce platform has lived up to user’s expectations in many ways that is why in the foreseeable future it may become a major tool of commerce. 

 

E-commerce continues to grow at a rapid pace with tons of innovation and experts forecast that online sales are likely to see an increase of 62 per cent by 2016 touching the level of 327 billion.50

 

Ecommerce experts say that the future of e-commerce lies in dynamic and customized user experience. Users expect interfaces to bend and work as per their requirements

 

Users are expecting a smarter, faster and more promising future of e-commerce. Small business possess a surprising high e-commerce market share which is growing continuously. In fact, Indian online retail success story has defied slower economic growth and spiraling inflation.  For rapid expansion, small businesses needs to focus on consumer satisfaction, user experience, social media and mobile commerce. 

 

By Maneet Puri 

 

1.Data from eMarketer. Feb 05, 2013 and Feb 3, 2014. Article: Ecommerce Sales Topped $1 Trillion for First Time in 2012 and GlobalB2C Ecommerce Sales hit1.5TrillionThisYearDrivenby Growth in EmergingMarkets

 

2 Data from Forrester Research Inc. March 13, 2013. Article: U.S. E-commerce to grow13% in 2013.

  

3Ibid.

 

4Data from eMarketer. Feb 05, 2013. Article: Ecommerce Sales Topped $1 Trillion for First Time in 2012. Data Accessed: 21/12/2013.

 

5ECV definition, Source eBay Inc. News Provided by Acquire Media. “eBay Inc. Expects to enable $300 Billion of E-commerce in 2015

 

6Chuck Jones. 10th February, 2013. Forbes Technology Section. “E-commerce isgrowing nicely whilem-commerceisonatear

 

7http://www.hindustantimes.com/business-news/online-shopping-touched-new-heights-in-india-in-2012/article1-983068.aspx

 

8http://www.thehindubusinessline.com/economy/india-to-have-243-million-internet-users-by-june-2014-iamai/article5630908.ece

 

9http://articles.economictimes.indiatimes.com/2013-06-04/news/39740674_1_traffic-internet-access-indian-mobile-data

 

10.http://articles.economictimes.indiatimes.com/2013-12-30/news/45711192_1_e-commerce-market-online-shoppers-survey

 

11.http://www.livemint.com/Industry/p5bKwMUdBOOkAjwxTVsWZP/Why-investors-are-betting-big-on-Indian-ecommerce-firms.html

 

12.http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/tech/tech-news/Indian-IT-firms-expect-revenue-boost-from-US/articleshow/32716638.cms

 

13Dana Dratch. Published in Fox Business (Personal Finance Section) on December 14, 2012. “Five PopularStoreswith Great Return Policies” and Return Instructions on Zappos.com. Shipping and Returns

 

14Ajay K. Aggarwal and Steven Travers (2001). “E-commerce in Healthcare: Changing the Traditional Landscape

 

15Paul Ngoie. Post on Ezine Articles. “How the Perceptions of Ecommerce as a Business ModelhaveChangedintheLastDecade

 

16Stephanie. March 8, 2013. Posted on Blog- Source Metrics. “How Social Media has changed the Way People Buy Within E-commerce”

 

17Brad Mccarty. October 5, 2011. Posted in the Blog Section of The Next Web Inc. Amazon’s CTO: “Amazon is a Technology Company. We just happen to do Retail”

 

18.Christopher Matthews. Posted in Business Time on July 16, 2012. “WillAmazontakeovertheWorld ?

 

19Joan Magretta. “Why Business Models Matter Article from the Harvard Business Review. Harvard Business School Publishing Corporation (May 2002).

 

20Sregan. Posted on March 2, 2014. Optaros (Blog Section- News and Events). “Flash Sale Sites: GoMobileor Die

 

21Russell Brandom. “Survivor’s Gilt: Amid Losses and Departures, Luxury Good Deal Sites Struggle to Stay Alive

Posted on 4 February,2013 in The Verge.

22Clint Boulton. “Gilt Groupe’s Flash Sales Directed by Analytic Software” Published in The Wall Street Journal on June 18, 2012

 

23Data from The NDP Group. September 18, 2012. Article: iTunesContinuesto Dominate MusicRetailingbut Nearly60PercentofiTunes Music Buyers also Use Pandora

 

24Dan Orlando. “Netflix of Flowers Sets Out to Double in Size” Posted in New York Business Journal on June 6, 2013.

 

25Cidnee Stephen. SocialBookmarkingfor Business Posted on Mplans under Marketing Articles Category.

 

26Marti Trewe. November 3, 2011. The American Genius (News-Social Media Section) Dramatic StatisticsaboutStumbleUpon Link Traffic- Infographic

 

27Liwen Wu and YingqiangDuan. Research on Collaborative Commerce Model Based on Web Services The Fourth International Conference on Electronic Business (ICEB 2004)

 

28Rachel Botsman and Roo Rogers. Beyond Zipcar: Collaborative ConsumptionHarvard Business Review in October 2010 Issue.

 

29Brad Tuttle. January 3, 2013. Business Times (Autos Section). “Does Selling Outto Avis RepresentSuccessforZipcar? Failure? Something Else?

 

30Biz Research Labs, January 9, 2014. “ Ecommerce in India in 2014: A Short Analysis

 

31Digital Commerce Report released by  Internet and Mobile Association of India (IAMAI). Digital Commerce Report2013

 

32Research Report by ComSCORE for ASSOCHAM INDIA. “Stateof Ecommercein India” Released in September, 2012.

 

33Ibid

34Jaime Brugueras. 4KeyEcommerceMetricsthatDetermineSuccess Post on Practical Ecommerce, 12 April, 2013.

 

35Data from Forum- The Marketing Donut. Article: Marketing your Customer Relationships

 

36Customer Lifetime Value Calculator. Harvard Business School Publishing Corporation (2007). http://hbsp.harvard.edu/multimedia/flashtools/cltv/

 

37Data accessed from eMarketer, January 30, 2012. Article: MarketersValueSocialMediaBothBrandingCustomerAcquisition

 

38Ibid.

 

39Data accessed from comScore. Andrew Lipsman. August 27, 2013. Article: 5_Things_Every_Marketer_Should_Know_About_Mobile_Commerce

 

40Data collected from eMarketer’s report, “Mobile Advertising in Retail: Tracking the Changing Purchase Path”. https://www.emarketer.com/Coverage/Retail.aspx

 

41Niranjanamurthy M, Kavyashree N, MrS.Jagannath and Dr. DharmendraChahar. “AnalysisofE-CommerceandM-Commerce: Advantages, Limitations and Security Issues” International Journal of Advanced Research in Computer and Communication Engineering, Vol2, Issue 6, June 2013.

 

42According to a new study of 500 U.S. small business owners by online marketing firm Web.com Group Inc. Data accessed from Internet Retailer on May 7, 2012, Article: Small Businessesusing Mobile Marketing See Jump New Business and CMO Council, Facts and stats(Mobile Marketing), July, 2012, Reference No- 32 and 33. www.cmocouncil.org/facts-stats-categories.php?view=all&category=mobile-marketing

 

43Bill Siwicki. Data accessed from Internet Retailer on May 15, 2013. Research done by Forrester Research Inc. Article: Forrester Research Paints A Vivid Picture of the Typical Mobile Shopper

 

44Data accessed from Press Release by eBay India. May 21, 2012.” Indian Smart Phone Users are Smart Shoppers too According to the eBay India Mobile Commerce Survey

 

45EfthymiosConstantinides. University of Twente, Faculty of Business, Public Administration and Technology, Department of Marketing, Strategy and Entrepreneurship, Enschede, The Netherlands. Volume 14 (2004) Emerald Group Publishing Limited. http://bit.ly/1hqZH6T

 

46American Customer Satisfaction Index’s (ACSI) annual E-Commerce Report, produced in partnership with customer experience analytics firm ForeSee. February 26, 2013. E-commerce Customer Satisfaction Continues to Rise According to ACSI

 

47Larry Freed. February 26, 2013. Article posted on ForeSee Blog: CustomerSatisfactionwith E-commerce Continues to Rise

 

48Shilpa Shree. April 13, 2013.” Ecommerce in India: Customers of Flipkart, Jabong and Snapdeal are the most satisfied "

 

49. Ibid.

 

50Matt Winn. September 14, 2012. Article in The Ecommerce Authority. “TheTruthabout Ecommerce and The Economy

 

 

 

 

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