Liquid assets-Assets that can be easily bought or sold Availability of liquid assets to a market or company e.g. cash Asset's ability to be easily converted buying or selling without losing in value., are known as liquid assets. Also the need for a critical mass of buyers and sellers The fixed cost of deploying EC can be very high Without a large number of buyers, sellers will not make money Early liquidity—achieving a critical mass of buyers and sellers as fast as possible, before the market-maker’s cash disappears Quality uncertainty—the uncertainty of online buyers about the quality of products that they have never seen, especially from an unknown vendor Provide free samples Return if not satisfied Microproduct—a small digital product costing a few cents Insurance, escrow, and other services Electronic catalogs—the presentation of product information in an electronic form; the backbone of most e-selling sites Evolution of electronic catalogs Merchants—advertise/promote products/services Customers—source of infoand price comparisons Consist of product database, directory and search capability and presentation function Replication of text that appears in paper catalogs More dynamic, customized, and integrated Electronic catalogs allow integration of: Order taking and fulfillment Electronic payment Intranet workflow Inventory and accounting system Suppliers’ extranet Relationship to paper catalogs Assembled specifically for: A company An individual shopper Customization systems can: Create branded, value-added capabilities Allows user to compose order May have individualized prices, products, and display formats Automatically identify the characteristics of customers based on the transaction records Boise Cascade Office Products--$3-billion office products wholesaler of over 200,000 different items They had a 900-page paper catalog that was mailed once each year; minicatalogs tailored to customers’ individual needs The company placed its catalogs online in 1996 (boiseoffice.com) Sales through the Web site: 1997—20 percent 1999—30 percent 2004—80 percent (expected) 2009—even higher sales Production of a single paper catalog took 6 weeks/Web catalog takes 1 week to set Pricing major advantage of customized catalogs Electronic orders cost 55% less to process than paperbased orders Search engine—a computer program that can access a database of Internet resources, search for specific information or keywords, and report the results Software (intelligent) agent—software that can perform routine tasks that require intelligence E-commerce users use both search engines and intelligent agents Search engines find products or services Software agents conduct other tasks (comparisons) e.g. Buyer agents or shopping bots User or personal agents Monitoring-and-surveillance agents Data Mining agents Electronic shopping cart—an order-processing technology that allows customers to accumulate items they wish to buy while they continue to shop Auction—a market mechanism by which a seller places an offer to sell a product and buyers make bids sequentially and competitively until a final price is reached Auctions deal with products and services for which conventional marketing channels are ineffective or inefficient Traditional auctions are generally a rapid process It may be difficult for sellers to move goods to the auction site Commissions are fairly high Electronic auctions (e-auctions)—auctions conducted online Host sites on the Internet serve as brokers offering: Services for sellers to post their goods for sale Allowing buyers to bid on those items Many sites have certain etiquette/ rules that must be adhered to in order to conduct fair business Auctions are mainly based on dynamic pricing Major online auctions offer: Consumer products Electronic parts Artwork Vacation packages Airline tickets Collectibles Excess supplies and inventories being auctioned off by B2B Dynamic pricing—prices change based on supply and demand relationships at any given time The four major categories of dynamic pricing are based on the number of buyers and sellers involved: One buyer, one seller One seller, many potential buyers One buyer, many potential sellers Many sellers, many buyers One buyer, one seller uses Negotiation Bargaining Bartering Price will be determined by: Each party’s bargaining power Supply and demand in market Business environment factors One seller, many potential buyers Forward auction—an auction in which a seller entertains bids from buyers English auction—an auction in which buyers bid on an item in sequence, as price rises with time Yankee auction—auction of multiple identical items in which bidders can bid for any number of the items offered, and the highest bid wins Dutch auction—auction of multiple identical items, with prices starting at a very high level and declining as the time passes Free-fall (declining price) auction—a variation of the Dutch auction in which only one item is auctioned at a time; the price starts at a very high level and declines at fixed time intervals, the winning bid is the lowest one when the time expires One buyer, many sellers Reverse auction (bidding, or tendering system)—auction in which the buyer places an item for bid (tender) on a request for quote (RFQ) system, potential suppliers bid on the job, with price reducing sequentially, and the lowest bid wins; primarily a B2B or G2B mechanism One buyer, many potential sellers ”Name-your-own-price” model Consumer-to-business (C2B) model Many sellers, many buyers Double Auction—buyers and their bidding prices and sellers and their asking prices are matched, considering quantities on both sides Possibility of fraud—defective goods or receive goods/services without paying Limited participation—invitation only or open to dealers only Lack of security—C2C auctions sometimes unencrypted Limited software Bartering—an exchange of goods and services Bartering exchanges Give your offer to intermediary Intermediary assesses value of your product or service in”points” Use “points” to buy what you need Bartering sites must be financially secure Intermediary auctions/sells the item or service to recover its money with profit E-bartering—bartering conducted online, usually by a bartering exchange Bartering exchange—a marketplace in which an intermediary arranges barter transactions Mobile computing permits real-time access to info, applications and tools that were accessible only from a desktop computer Mobile commerce (m-commerce)— EC conducted via wireless devices M-business—the broadest definition of m-commerce, in which e-business is conducted in a wireless environment Mobility significantly changes the manner in which people and customers: Interact Communicate Collaborate Mobile applications are expected to change the way we: Live Play Do business The PC-based Internet culture is changing to one based on mobile devices M-commerce creates new business models for EC, notably location-based applications Large corporations transforming their businesses to include m-commerce-based products and services An example of the spread of m-commerce is DoCoMo’s i-Mode; some applications of I-Mode are: Shopping guides Maps & transportation Ticketing News and reports Personalized movie service Entertainment Dining and reservations Additional services Banking Stock trading Telephone directory searches Dictionary services Horoscopes Impacts of e-markets on B2C direct marketing: Product promotion New sales channel Direct savings Reduced cycle time Customer service Brand or corporate image Customization Advertising Ordering systems Market operations Technology and organizational learning To survive, companies will have to learn and adapt quickly to the new technologies Corporate change must be planned and managed New technologies will require new organizational structures and approaches The changing nature of work More competition in the global marketplace means firms reducing employees and outsourcing to countries where labor is cheap This creates new opportunities and new risks; forces us to think new ways about jobs, careers and salaries Digital-age workers need flexibility— truly secure jobs will be few, many will work from home Digital-age companies will have to prize core workers as its most valuable asset— empowering them and providing them with means to expand their knowledge and skill base New/improved product capabilities E-markets allow for new products to be created and/or for existing products to be customized in innovative ways Customer profiles and data on customer preferences—source of information for improving products or designing new ones Customization creates specific products for each customer, based on their exact needs New business models E-markets affect individual companies, products, entire industries Improving the supply chain Impacts on manufacturing Manufacturing systems changing from mass production lines to demand-driven, just-in-time manufacturing Impacts on Manufacturing (cont.) Build-to-order—the biggest change in manufacturing will be the move to build-to-order systems Manufacturing or assembly will start only after an order is received Will change not only the production planning and control, but also the entire supply chain Impacts on finance and accounting E-markets require special finance and accounting systems—most are electronic payment systems complicated by legal issues and international standards Executing an electronic order triggers backoffice transactions These activities must be efficient, synchronized, and fast so EC is not slowed Impact on human resource management and training EC is changing how people are recruited, evaluated, promoted, and developed EC also is changing the way training and education are offered to employees Online distance learning and virtual courses are exploding Training costs falling by 50% or more How do we compete in the web economy? What about intermediaries? What organizational changes do we need? Should we auction and what? Should we have our own auction site or use a third-party site? Should we barter? What m-commerce and l-commerce opportunities are available?