E-business is the term used to define a business that has a virtual existence on the internet to enable e-commerce. E-commerce can be defined as “the behavior of business among e-enterprises and consumers” where e-business means “a business enterprise with the capability to exchange value (money, goods, services and information) electronically” (Anderson Consulting,1999).
E-business has played an important role in the nature of retailing. John Dawson (1996) suggested that there are three type of investment, which has lead retailers towards profitability: 1. Knowledge-based investments: It provide more creative ways to run the enterprise; 2. Alliances-based investments: between businesses work to generate new or reinforce existing competitive positions; and 3. Productivity-based investments: seek to achieve cost reductions in particular business units.
Ecommerce potentially offer oppurtunities in all three investments area for conventional retail businesses. Because it uses entirely electronic means in allowing consumers to conduct commerce transactions, however, it has been consistently suggested that its emergence as a competitive channel to market in practice presents a threat to conventional retail businesses as well as an oppurtunity for new entrants into the marketplace (Clemons et al., 1993; Davies and Reynolds, 1988).
Ecommerce is revolutionizing the way that organizations conduct their business operations, and is set to have significant socio-technical implications (Currie, 2000). It is useful for contracting organisations to revitalize their communication and coordination processes (Chan et al., 2001).
Entrepreneurs and small businesses have faced difficulties of expanding into global markets especially competing with established firms for customers. E-business is one method to overcome obstacles by giving organizations a direct connection to potential customers and suppliers on a global level. However, security, complex technology, and reliability provide major challenges to the business or entrepreneur. Entrepreneurs may encountered problem with name recognition and find it difiicult to design and implement a marketing strategy aimed at broad audience. Similarly, the entreperneur have additional problems in providing support services, answering customer questions, supplying information, processing orders in wider markets. Furthermore, there are numereous possible difficulties linking information systems to potential buyer system in an progressing electronic business environment.
The online market is growing on a very enormous scale and e-commerce is the ideal resourse tool when it comes to reaching out to the targeted customer. The benefits of e-commerce are huge and its major advantage lies in the fact that it allows business to expand in a enormous way online.
E-commerce allow the business to expand in the global market without spending much. One of the positive point is its lowered cost. The e-commerce can potentialluy reduce costs in several key areas; * Marketing, * Communications, * Production costs, * Supply chain costs, * Product delivery and time saving.
Since there is no need for a physical store, e-commerce business save on one of the biggest cost overheads that retailer have to bear. The use of email, electronic forms and web forms provide alternative modes of effective communicatons with external clients and trading partners. The ability to send technical and sales support information to multiple recipients simultaneously is advantageous, saving time, conventional publishing costs and delivery costs. The expenses of travelling are saved. The ability for a business to disintermediate components of a supply chain and transact directly with end customer provides an avenue to lower the costs of agent fees/comissions along the value chain. It is the cost effective method to market and generate business on an international scale.