Deman Analysis for E-business
By: Oluwaseun P. Adeola
To be successful in e-business, a company should be able to determine the current level and future estimation of customer demand for e-business services in the company’s target markets. In order to understand and determine this, following questions have to be asked in the different target markets:
· What percentage of customer has access to internet?
· What percentage of customer is willing to buy and pay for the service online?
· What are the barriers to adoption among customers of different channels and can adoption be encouraged?
Answers to the aforesaid questions cannot only be derived from applying the quantitative method. Qualitative research method may be employed. As posited by Variani & Vaturi (2000, 86-97), “Qualitative research provides insights that can be used to inform strategy”. Customers’ Needs and attitudes towards use of internet for business purposes can be determined through qualitative research (Chaffey 2012, 395).
Conventionally, customers’ behavior considers who purchases, how they purchase, when they purchase, the place they buy, and the reason for buying. Possible answers to the questions could depend on first, psychological factors such as the customers’ perceptions of the product or business, their reasons for buying, the benefits they intend to derive from buying the products, personality and their knowledge. Second, Social factors at it relates to customer’s social class, family role, culture and norms. Potentially, it will be a competitive advantage to a company if it could appreciate these issues better than the competitor. There are two major ways that can be monitored to the advantages of the firm when considering the ways consumers behave on the internet. These behaviors are explicit behavior and implied behavior. The explicit behavior of customers can be determined using the data provided by the users. This will include things such as recorded actions on the site like singing up e-newsletter or placing orders. Also, it can include user profile that is, if registration details are requirements for gaining access to the site of placing an order. Implied behavior is based on data gotten from the observation users’ actions during the course of their interaction with the site (Charlesworth 2007, 182-183.)
To offer online services that meet customers’ expectation or requirement, the company would have to constantly engage in an on-going approach to improve the efficiency and competence of the e-business offered to the customers. In order for the company to decipher whether its offerings and packages efficiently gives superior values to its customer, the managers must continually answer to the questions of service efficiency and service effectiveness. Under service effectiveness, business managers have to determine whether service being provided meets the organizational goals or not. Moreover, question would have to be asked as to whether the experience and service delivered to customers is acceptable. Again, if superior technologies that can improve the total experience of customers exist, business managers would have to make frantic effort to acquire such technology in the bid not to be out-performed by the competitors. In determining the service efficiency, a company critically needs to know if the operation of the system measured through response speed, usability and cost suitable to lead to service and offerings that afford customers with superior values (Chaffey 2012, 651).
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