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Article: Why Me?

But is it just you? Probably you are not the only eCommerce website owner to ask yourself that question after viewing the poor results of their eCommerce expectations. I mean! Did you take the cheapest eCommerce software? Did you build part of the website yourself and then selected the lowest bidder to complete the bits you didn’t understand? Or submitted your website to two thousand search engines for practically nothing and then ask, “Why me? Why is my website not successful?”

When asked about unsuccessful websites, I always reply, “Successful eCommerce is more to do with business issues than technology.”

My view is that eCommerce is a much wider subject than simply selling on the Internet. It impacts on various parts of a business using a range of different technology solutions. Businesses might be organized in different ways but there are key business functions which will be found in most successful companies, whatever their size, and regardless of the fact that, in smaller companies, one individual might undertake several roles.

Would you plan and allocate a budget, then implement new business practices in other parts of your company in the same manner that you established your eCommerce website? You are probably well aware of the potential risks if you do not ask, “What are my expected results? What is my expected ‘Return on Investment, (ROI)’ for that project?” Why should eCommerce be different?

You must forget the ever-present and still pervasive ‘get rich quick’ mentality that exists on the Internet and remember the path to ruin many’s followed. As with your current non-Internet operations, before making decisions about how your business can use eCommerce, it is still important to take a look at what is going on outside in the "market". Things your business has no control over: external factors such as changes in politics, economic conditions, law, technology, fashion, demographics, competition, etc., and, of course, the wants and needs of your prospective and current customers.

Therefore, you must consider how the market has changed with the introduction of eCommerce methods, and the impact it will have on your business. Indeed, a proven way of increasing the likelihood of business survival and success is to take a strategic marketing approach; a long term view, which, based on the marketing environment, looks at the way forward for your business over the next one to three years

You need to get right back to business basics. ECommerce is just another channel to market or sell to customers and consumers with web sites and email as the two main eCommerce applications used together to promote and advance the selling process to closure. How these two powerful, interactive, communication methods are used to sell, depends on your product and service offering, and your existing sales channels.

The change brought about by the Internet and eCommerce is sweeping the world of business, from the cottage industries to the multinationals. This change presents an opportunity to learn and profit from new ways of working, while not forgetting many of the old.

Working out how your business should use eCommerce is determined by the marketing and sales strategy of your business. The investment and effort required is part of your ROI calculations. If this makes good business sense then you are less likely to ask yourself the question, “Why me?” - John Shenton - December, 2002

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N.B.** The articles were first published in the Times (Montreal, Canada) and written by John Shenton as special contributor to the Times Technology Section. Articles and Reports written by us may be printed or displayed on your website providing they are kept intact and a link/attribution to this website or Internet Merchandising Systems plus authorship is displayed.




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