I feel that the potential for e-commerce to change the world of business is still big. IT solutions simplify and expand many businesses and organizations. For example, with proper management, a simple internet connection and web page has the potential to turn a mom and pop business into a global resource. Larger organizations and businesses have the same potential. This potential can be realized through customer education and a paradigm shift by company heads. In other words, the companies have to know all of the things that e-commerce can do for them, train their employees to fully utilize the technology, and sell their customers on the added value of e-commerce.
In today’s age of high-tech gadgets and systems, people have come to expect instant gratification. I feel that the majority of companies that expect an instant return on investment from e-commerce often fall short in the areas of training and marketing. They expect the IT solution to be a “self licking ice-cream cone”. However, e-commerce is like all things in life and in business; you get out of it what you put into it. Just because a company has a new web-page and e-mail system, their profits are not necessarily going to shoot through the roof as soon as the first bits of data cross the lines. Businesses must manage their technology initiatives. In addition, both employees and customers have to be educated on the company’s e-commerce resources. This process will build trust in the technology.
Today’s technology and e-commerce resources are far ahead of many companies’ current business processes and services. Therefore, the technology needs to be tailored to the user/employee and the customer base to fully utilize the available resources. Employee training is a very important piece that is often overlooked. When an employee is intimidated by the technology, they will not use it. Companies must strike a balance between employee training and customer support. When this right fit is realized internally, it must be marketed to the customers to let them know how using e-commerce can enhance their acquisition process. Tangible return may or may not be realized immediately, but when properly implemented and managed, e-commerce can be a profit multiplier in any organization.