E Commerce Planning

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E Commerce Planning

Executive summary

Since the advent of the internet, companies have exploited all means possible of doing business online. E-commerce has emerged as one of the most rapidly growing issue within the global market. E-commerce is about selling and purchasing online, where buyers and sellers meet for trading goods. Currently, almost all people that are computer literate and using the internet seek for information about products online. Thus, companies should ensure to have enough information in their websites in order to provide customers with enough knowledge about their products.

E Commerce offers companies several benefits such as going beyond geographical locations, reducing costs such as labor, marketing and transacting. Perfect Light Company, being a manufacturing and retailing company, needs to have an E commerce department that can help it in entering the new ASEAN countries with ease. The competitive analysis indicates that the competitors have made quite a significant step in the e commerce business. Thus, the Perfect Light Company should not be left behind.

 

Introduction

Internet has recently become the greatest medium through which people communicate globally without any barriers, including geographical ones. From anywhere in the world, as long as one has an internet connection, one can communicate with anybody. Thus, the internet has become the biggest marketplace in the world where buyers and sellers can meet and transact business without having to see each other physically through e-commerce. This has changed the way people do their shopping, leaving companies without e-commerce at a disadvantage (Croll & Power, 2009). When people are in need of anything new, which they might not have enough knowledge about, the internet becomes the consulted. Thus, without an e-commerce platform or a website to reach out to customers, a company is not likely to survive within the global market.

E-commerce has offered several benefits that include elimination of intermediaries for companies, enabling them to deal directly with their customers. It is cheaper and more convenient since one can buy of sell anything from the comfort of their offices, homes or anywhere. Thus, establishing am E commerce is an opportunity of entering the global market easily without incurring too many costs. Perfect Light Company being located in one of the Association of South East Asia Nation (ASEAN) has an opportunity to enter the market of the other ASEAN countries. An E Commerce is one of the best and easiest ways of entering into the global market. Thus, Perfect Light Company will better be suited to establish an E commerce business. The purpose of this paper is to establish an E Commerce Plan for Perfect Light Company, through which it can exploit its opportunities using its strengths, while minimizing threats and turning weaknesses into strengths.

Overview

Company Overview

Perfect Light Company is a lighting company established in Bangkok, Thailand since 1997. The company is involved in selling many kinds of lighting products that include lighting bulbs, lamps, lighting equipment, and sport-lights among others. It designs and manufactures some of the products it sells, while it buys and resells others from different manufacturing companies. Much of its revenues come from selling its products to contractors, government representatives and interior designers. It has established itself within the lighting industry in Thailand quite strongly, which is quite an advantage. Its SWOT analysis indicates some of the best opportunities and strengths in its employees and location, while its weaknesses and threats comes from its lack of delegation or a strong base structure and the political instability among the ASEAN countries.

Its strength comes from its strong workforce that has been established over the years since it was established. The company has retained most of the loyalty employees especially its department managers. Additionally, is has a strong base company structure where everything happening within the company has to involve the owner directly. On the other hand, its weakness comes from the decision-making. As mentioned earlier about the company strong base structure, decisions are quite slow since they are made by one person within the company. There are no decisions within the ground level where fast decisions are required. Therefore, customer decisions are delayed, where quick response is essential.

One of the opportunities of the company is the ASEAN countries that are forming a free trade agreement with an aim of boosting the economy of the region. This provides the company with a good chance of expanding its market. However, a threat comes from the political instability and corruption within the ASEAN countries. Another threat may come from lack of enough human resources within other countries and lack of enough resources for entering new markets considering the competition. Therefore, in order to enter the new markets within the other ASEAN countries, Perfect Light Company needs to use a strategy that will eliminate its threats, and turn its weaknesses into strengths while utilizing its strengths and opportunities.

Industry overview

The industry within which Perfect Light Company operates is quite competitive with other manufacturing and retailing companies seeking to increase their market share. Competition comes from several companies including supermarkets that sell some of the same products. Additionally, it manufactures some of its products while others are bought and resold from other companies. This increases competition from the other manufacturers.

Using E Commerce where the company establishes a website that has capabilities of purchasing and selling, the company can be in a position to offer convenience to the customers. With a website, the customers do not need to visit the company especially considering most of the customers are large institutions such as governments and contractor. Additionally, it will reduce labor costs considering customers will not need employees of the company at all times. It is an easier way of overcoming geographical barriers and reducing the threat of political instability and corruption within other governments (Vibert, 2004). With e-commerce, there is less contact with government after one has the legal permission to operate within the country, which is granted through the free trade agreement. More so, with setting up a website including a Facebook page, it is easy to market and advertise its products. Internet is the cheapest form of advertisement especially with social sites. Additionally, with a website, decision-making is faster since customers can have their queries answered online by the support team. Therefore, an e-commerce is ideal for Perfect Light Company in exploiting its targeted markets. Additionally, the most advantageous part of e-commerce will be the ability to offer customers 24-hour services since one can order anything online at any time.

Competitive Web Analysis

            Several light products companies within ASEAN countries exist. These established institutions include international ones such as Shenzhen City Friends Craft Product Limited Company. Other companies include C & P Lighting Co, Ltd, and Kobwasu. All these companies have brightly colored websites showing the brightness and beauty of their products. Their websites are designed to attract consumers by placing their most elegant and valued products within the homepage in order to attract customers. Additionally, all of them have search capabilities that allow customers to search for more information. The companies have similar features in their websites designed to attract customers. However, for better competitive web analysis, a table is used comparing the three competitors in order to know what to include while establishing the e-commerce website for Perfect Light Company (Vibert, 2004).

Criteria C & P Lighting Co ShenzhenCity Friends Craft Product Kobwasu
Products The home page shows the products in use rather than showing them to show their real look while in homes. The home page features six headings that include home, products, CK showcase, best sell, about us and project ref. The home page features several products from the company. It has four category headings that include homepage, products, company profile and contacts. The products are well shown with their names on The home page offers pictures of different products. It has four headings that include home, products, company profile and contacts. It shows the products in a simple way with each labeled.
Search box The website does not have a search box The search box is situated in the left side of the webpage below the logo and headings. It is well situated to offer customers an easy time finding it sine it is brightly colored. The search box of this website is also located on the left side of the website below the headings and easy to find although it is not brightly colored to highlight it.
Navigation Primary navigation within the home page is organized in the headings as mentioned above through clicking the heading. Each heading provides several options that appear at the center of the website. There is further navigation where one selects the category of products, and further selects the specific product. Primary navigation is organized according to the different headings. The headings take one directly to the information under it such as by displaying the available products with each a label below it for one to click Primary navigation is organized according to the different headings. Each heading leads direct to information without ant subheadings. Each leads direct to the information provided without having to select any category of products.
Contact information Does not have any contact except at the ‘about us’ heading where one can only know the location of their office. Does not provide a link that guides the customers The website provides contacts under the contacts heading where one can see an option for emailing the company. There is a chance for chatting with a supplier whose name and picture is provided one the right side of the website. This allows customers to have a personal attachment to the company The website provides contacts under the contacts heading where one can see an option for emailing the company. There is a chance for chatting with a supplier whose name and picture is provided one the right side of the website. This allows customers to have a personal attachment to the company
Shopping function It does not have shopping function to allow customers to buy online. Rather, it provides information only and location for its product. It provides an ‘add to inquiry cart’ function that one can use along with their login details to purchase and know more about products. It also has a click button for placing an order, which allows customers an easy time. The same way, it provides an ‘add to inquiry cart’ function that one can use along with their login details to purchase and know more about products. It also has a click button for placing an order, which allows customers an easy time.

From the above analysis, it is obvious that people are interested in attractive or conspicuous websites with the best display of products as well as their specification and easy navigation within the site to allow customers to view what they want. Among the three, each has its strengths. With the C & P Lighting Co, it has an extremely attractive home page showing its products in use especially with the Led lights. On the other hand, the other two companies show their products and go ahead to provide details about them including the materials used to make the product. This scores a higher mark than C & P Lighting Co considering customers are more interested in information before deciding on buying anything. Additionally, C & P Lighting Co does not have a shopping function, which makes the website dedicated to providing information without selling online. In designing a website for E-commerce, Perfect Light Company should consider all these designs from the competitors in order to know what should be included that is not provided by the competitors as well as what to borrow from competitors that would be an added advantage.

Product positioning statements

            The only lighting products that provide customers with perfect lighting for every occasion and every place

Offer customer satisfaction through quality delivery in our product with the best value possible

The ultimate lighting products guaranteed to provide the best decorative lighting within homes, offices and functions

Marketing and Public Relations Strategies

            Marketing and PR has continued to change and is now changing more rapidly with the use of the internet as a news outlet. Additionally, with web 2.0 that offers instant information, the traditional PR is being faced out. Thus, companies need to move with the crowd. For Perfect Light Company, there is no exemption from this if it has to survive the stiff competition that continues to increase. Although the internet may be changing the PR and marketing strategies, there are few traditional strategies that continue to play a crucial role in the success of marketing and public relations.

The first strategy to ensure success for Perfect Light Company will come from knowing the market within the region it intends to enter. There is a need to know what is happening within the market concerning products among other related issues. The company should keep its customers informed of the issues concerning the industry. The company should do this with the use of web 2.0 that offers an extraordinary portal that can keep updating with the current news. This should include features such as pod casts from popular newspapers via features such as iTunes and blogs from popular trusted people. Additionally, use of Google Trends and Alerts are additional ways of staying ahead with current news and issues. Such features should not be ignored considering other competitors will be using those (Brown 2008). With such updated information, it becomes easier for the company to respond to changing issues fast and timely without delaying.

The next strategy is using technology where Perfect Light Company should make use of other strategies apart from staying updated. This shall involve the use of social media for reaching out to customers. The company should open up a Facebook page where customers can visit and view some of the products the company has to offer. Social sites have come to be relied upon for easy advertising; Perfect Light Company should not be left behind. More so, the company should use Viral marketing as well as video campaigns to reach out to masses. Additionally, blogs should be used since they are the only way of having instant communication with customers, which offers a far personal effect (Brown 2008).

The other strategy is monitoring the web as much as possible. Monitoring ensures that one respond to the complaints posed by customers as well as comments in order to provide them with answers that they require (Croll & Power, 2009). Through Google Alerts that can monitor the reaction to new, as well as news within the market, it is easy to monitor what customers are interested in. Social awareness will be quite crucial to PR. Providing additional value through corporate responsibility such as using sustainable materials for making the products and ensuring environmental keenness sends a positive image to the people, hence increasing PR (Brown 2008).

 

Operational Budget

            In establishing an e-commerce, Perfect Light Company will incur several costs from the different activities or operation (Arnold 2011). The first cost will be incurred through financial transactions where the e-commerce operates through a gateway that connects the bank with customer’s master card. Other costs include start up costs, user interface costs, marketing costs, hosting and security and managing customer relationship costs (Arnold 2011).

Starting requirements

Legal expenses                                                            $1,200

Stationary and other essential office tools                  $260

Website development                                                             $11,000

Total starting expenses                                                $12,460

Ongoing expenses

Annual user interface expenses                                   $   6000

Hosting and security per year                                     $   3000

Annual Cost of financial transactions                         $30,000

Marketing costs                                                           $  4,000

Cost of managing customer relationship                     $  2800

Total annual expenses                                                 $45,800

Total expenses                                                           $58,260


Web Structure Schematic

References

Arnold, J. (2011). How Much Will It Cost to Launch an E-Commerce Site? Retrieved from http://www.entrepreneur.com/answer/222336

Brown, D. (2008). Top 5 PR Strategies. Retrieved from http://www.webanalyticsworld.net/2008/09/top-5-pr-strategies.html

Croll, A. & Power, S. (2009). Complete Web Monitoring: Watching your visitors, performance, communities, and competitors. New York, N.Y: O’Reilly Media, Inc.

Vibert, C. (2004). Competitive Intelligence: A Framework for Web-Based Analysis and Decision Making.New York, N.Y: Thomson/South-Western.

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