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Think e-business, not Website - Strategy Leads and Online Presence follows e-business strategy leads

-- Vinny Alex

The Internet, it seems, has finally arrived. From its early days, when it was nothing more than a wasteland of online brochure ware, it has now transformed itself into a viable and stable marketing channel. But even today, for every one site that has gone on to truly leverage the power of the Internet to create a powerful online brand, there are ninety-nine others that have invested millions and sunk without a trace.

Why have they succeeded when so many others have failed or continue to struggle? In a word: strategy. Each of these organizations developed a clear-cut and focused vision of what they hoped to accomplish on the Web, which tools and services they needed to reach those goals, and then they executed in concert with that strategic blueprint.

A study done among adult users in US and Canada came up with the following interesting finding:
"If you build it, they might not come. Or they might not come back. Creating an Internet presence that adds value for your customers and delivers to your bottom line requires more than technological capability. A recent study of North American retailing found that getting customers online, leads to declining loyalty and declining referrals, with the longer term prospect of declining profits.

E-Business Strategy


Taking relationships online requires more than technical capability. As customers have told us, it's still about how we make them feel. Our basic online strategy must reflect our commitment to genuine relationships, not technology driven transactional encounters."

These findings raise some serious concerns regarding the dangers involved in going into an online "adventure" without a clear strategy that takes into account the dynamics of buyer-seller relationships on the Internet. But customer retention is just one of the many areas that need to be considered while contemplating an online presence. Other factors such as security, payment processing, image, and value proposition all need to be revisited in the light of the capabilities that the Internet. offers.

Jupiter Media Metrix in their list of the World's top rated sites, listed Amazon.com as the most popular site on the web, with over 14 million potential customers visiting it during the year 2. That's certainly a lot of people. However, there are also a number of sites that don't receive even 1% of these visitors. The difference lies not in the quality of the graphics, but rather on the entire user experience associated with the site. Does the site give her what she wants? Did the customer easily find the item they were looking for? Is there an option for an online or live help? Is the registration and purchase process easy and quick?

Gartner, in a study of retail sales estimated that between 30 percent and more than 40 of attempts to purchase products over the Web fail due to poor Web site usability. Another study showed that European consumers who found their online purchase experiences very satisfying spent an average of 1,074 euros ($976) online during the past 12 months, whereas dissatisfied purchasers spent an average of 628 euros ($570) online during that same period)

Studies also show that between 24 percent and 40 percent of the problems with e-commerce sites were caused by registration, adding items to shopping carts and checkout issues alone. Other key contributors were buyer's inability to find items and get adequate product, pricing, availability and delivery information, and technical problems.

The first step in the development of an online (Internet.) presence is to have an online strategy that links to the overall strategy of the business. After all, even a great website can never make a success of a bad business.

Think E-Business

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