E-commerce stores, online payments services and affiliate marketing websites have one thing in common: they all use e-business practices to generate revenue and attract customers. Even though the terms "e-business" and "e-commerce" are often used interchangeably, they're not one and the same.
E-business refers to any business conducted online using the internet and related digital technologies. E-commerce involves buying and selling products or services on the internet.
Think of "e-business" as an umbrella term that encompasses e-commerce, e-sales, e-banking, e-learning and online communication. It was first used by IBM in 1996. Today, it plays a key role in the way companies do business, shaping the global economy.
Reduced Business Costs
One of the primary benefits of e-business is its ability to cut costs. This technology eliminates the need to have a physical presence, such as a brick-and-mortar store or an office. Companies no longer have to rent a space and pay for utilities unless they want to.
For example, if you provide PR and marketing services, it's not necessary to rent an office. You can run your business remotely and reach customers worldwide. Sure, you can expand your operations, rent a space and hire staff but that's optional. You could just as well hire a remote team and do everything online. The choice is up to you.
Additionally, e-business strategies like social media and online advertising involve lower costs than traditional marketing which allows startups and small companies to reach their target audience and compete against big industry names without spending a fortune. Furthermore, technologies such as AI and machine learning can help reduce your operational costs and increase your productivity.
More Efficient Marketing
Over 93 percent of online experiences begin with a search engine. Today, most customers look for information about products and services on the internet. By implementing the best e-business practices, you can reach a wider audience and increase customer engagement.
Modern technologies, such as programmatic marketing, use smart data for more precise targeting which allows you to define your ideal buyer persona and display relevant ads accurately. You'll no longer spend your marketing budget on banners and digital ads that customers will either block or ignore altogether.
The latest e-business functions enable companies to store massive amounts of data and keep it secure. Cloud hosting, for example, allows you to take customer data, videos, contracts, employee records and other information away from the office to a virtual storage location which means you’ll no longer have to rely on USB drives or paper documents. Plus, you can access these files on the go, regardless of your location.
Improved Inventory Control
In today's digital era, organizations can automate the inventory of goods, process orders and accept payments without handwork. Modern e-business practices allow e-commerce stores, logistics centers and other product-based companies to gather information faster and have better control over their goods.
Automated inventory management tools can free up your time and eliminate human error resulting in lower operational costs and improved efficiency. You can focus on the core aspects of your business without having to worry about the small things.
Superior Customer Experience
Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software allows for more efficient communication with your prospects and clients. With these e-business solutions, companies can maximize upselling and cross-selling, get better insights into their audience and improve customer experience.
If a customer contacts your team, they will be able to retrieve key data related to past purchases and buying preferences within minutes. Furthermore, CRM software automates everyday tasks, such as data entry, sales tracking and reporting.
The latest e-business strategies can translate into higher revenue for your business. They can not only reduce costs but also enhance communication within your organization. Data-driven marketing, CRM software, content management tools and other technologies contribute to your business growth.
By integrating these solutions into your daily activities, you'll get more done in less time. All of your employees, suppliers, customers and processes will be interconnected. Your departments can share valuable information in real time so they can achieve the desired result, whether it's closing a sale or increasing marketing reach which can lead to higher productivity and performance, increased customer satisfaction and efficient transactions.
- CanadaBusiness: E-Business Marketing (PDF)
- "What is e-business?"; Feng Li; 2007