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Business Research: Electronic Mails Or Shopping

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Question:

Discuss about the Business Research for Electronic Mails or Shopping.

 

Answer:

Literature Review Scope

In present scenario, surfing on internet is one of the most vital parts of the individuals’ lives whether being used for education, electronic mails or shopping. The use of internet and social network is regarded as a stunning progress in the fields of technology as they are highly advantageous for the entrepreneurs as well as for the businesses for expanding their businesses across the world (Celine, 2012). In the present business world, the maximum of the businesses take sue of the various social networking sites and social media for enhancing their social networks which in turn results in enhancement of the customers and associations with the customers. It has transformed the way; the small enterprises use to perform businesses. In the past decade, there has been a vast amount of literature presented by numerous researchers on the subject of social networking and its use in the businesses.

 

Literature Review Objectives

  • The objective of this paper is to understand the impact of the social networks on the small businesses and the way in which these social networks, social media applications and other social platforms help the small business organisations in expanding their business operations by the means of social networks.
  • The objective is also to understand that the social networks offer an innovative way to the businesses which helps in developing effective communication with the customers.
  • The next objective of this literature is to present the views of several authors discussing about the advantages and disadvantages of using social networks in the small businesses.

Literature Review Comparative Analysis

The researchers explain several advantages of using social networks in small businesses. The most biggest and primary advantage is the reach to large number of audience.Usually the small businesses do not have high capital investment which restricts them to have access to extended customer base (Celine, 2012). This restricts their growth and market capturing because of less customers. But with social networking and various social media techniques, the small businesses can sell their products across the globe with little capital investment. Due to internet and social networks, it becomes very easy to target the potential customers of the overseas regions. Thus, this helps the small business to grow worldwide and attain extended customer base (Park, Kee and Valenzuela, 2009).

The second advantage or opportunity emphasized by the researcher is the flexible entry. Due to less recognized brand name and squat capital, there are several trade barriers which restrict these small entities to perform globally or to have their operation in some specific regions. But the social, networking has eradicated this rigidity and have given an opportunity to these small businesses to enter and create their business platforms (Michaelidou, Siamagka and Christodoulides, 2011). There are no trade barriers and entry restrictions in the online market as well as the large platforms even do not charge any kind of fees from these businesses to perform their business operations. This offers advantages to small business to develop their business and serve globally. The next advantage of social networking is that it helps in increasing the brand loyalty. In small businesses, which are developing by the means of social networking possess an advantage of having increase number of followers globally (Kirti? and Karahan, 2011). The customers who follow the brand through social networking are much likely to have reliability towards that brand that helps the small business to develop their brand and gain strong brand recognition. In the physical markets, it is not easy to get the insights of the competitors’ strategies or moves (Parveen, 2012). But in the online business that is through social networks, it is easy for the small business to have an eye upon the moves, strategies and approaches on the competitors. This is an advantage of social network for the small businesses that there can be fetched information about the competitors as well as their customers. Thus, it helps the businesses to plan strategic moves to gain competitive advantages (Valente, 2010).

Few authors have focused on one of the key benefits of social networks i.e. building relationships. When the business is small and new, it requires high support of the social connection for developing and growing it. In a similar way, the small businesses are also gained by the social networks as it helps them in building string relationship with the customers. The social network offers a two way communication channel to the businesses where they can have high involvement of the customers and can develop association with them (Cheung, Chiu and Lee, 2011). These building of relationship help the organizations in achieving trustworthy and reliable customers. These customers usually do not switch to other brands and continued buying from that brand only with which they have more strong association. The next technological and diverse benefit for the small businesses of social networks is that it offers higher conversion rates to the businesses. The conversion rates can be explained as the more opportunities for a business to get diversify its business operations and activities (Leonardi,  Huysman and Steinfield, 2013).

Arguing to the view of the above authors, there are also several researchers who have shown a negative side of the social networking usage in small businesses. The author has pointed that there are numerous disadvantages which are associated with the use of social networking such as the negative feedback of the customers. Maintaining the brand image is very much essential for the new and small businesses for attaining long-term sustainability and increased customer base (Sashi, 2012). There are number of customers who post negative comments on the sites and various other social media platforms which deteriorate and ruin the brand image of a company (Shabbir, Ghazi and Mehmood, 2016). the other potential customers get affected by such reviews and comments and restrict them from purchasing products from that brand. Thus, there is a great threat of negative remarks and comments of the customers. There are several other disadvantages of social network in the business organisation which have been highlighted by several authors. The second disadvantage is that it is highly time intensive (Gronum, Verreynne and Kastelle, 2012).

Opposing to the viewpoints of the authors that there is not much requirement of the capital, some authors argued that instead of capital investment there is required high amount of time for managing the business activities with the presence of social networks. The entrepreneurs required extensive efforts and timed to develop the social presence of the business. The small businesses works with limited resources and also have small, teams, it becomes difficult for these small business to devote the require amount of time and resources to have effective social media presence. And thus, the scarcity of time restricts the development and growth of the small businesses. The next challenge or issue in the usage of social networking in the small businesses is that, there is required in-depot knowledge and analysis by the entrepreneurs before taking use of the social networking (Vásquez and Escamilla, 2014). The biggest challenge is the selection of an appropriate network. In present scenario, there is enormous number of social networks but which is the most useful and appropriate for the business activities of any small business must be evaluate first. If an organization selects  a wrong social network then it not only have restricted reach to potential customers as well as also waste the resource and time of the origination and decreases the opportunity of the business to grow at another social network because of past outcomes. Thus, it is essential to have appropriate understanding of the networks, their usage and then the business must have the involvement of social networks in their respective business operations (Hensel and Deis, 2010).

 

Different Theme Development

Social network has been explained differently by various authors but the exact meaning can be explained as it characterizes the interpersonal associations among the organisations, business units and individuals (Kadushin, 2012). Such connections are not impacted hierarchically comprises of the knowledge and the information flows. There are two primary objectives of networking, the first is first objective is to transfer the information and the second objective is to facilitate it. Most of the marketing functions now comprises of the social networks. There is an extensive need that the marketing managers must understand the advantages and disadvantages of taking sue of social networks in the business for having sustainable growth of the organisation in the long-run (Parveen, 2012). Social networking can be further explained as an online application by which there takes place interaction of the businesses with its potential customers. It comprises of generating, sharing and developingbusiness contents. In comparison with the traditional media which was only helpful in delivering the content whereas the modern i.e. social media helps in the promotions of the business operations as well as also promotes the participation of the customers. The authors have focused on extensive range of social media which ranges from the private social networks such as jive, yammer, and social cast to social networks such as LinkedIn, Facebook etc. There are also content social networks such wikis, flicker and YouTube (Ellison, Steinfield and Lampe, 2007).

Since the year 1997, there was a marked the beginning of social networks with posting and blogging features with the help of web. With time, there was launched enormous number of social networking sites that facilitates the interaction of the individuals such as Orkut, Skype, Facebook, LinkedIn, etc. The author states that the decision of taking use of social networks in the small businesses shows a social phenomenon which is primarily depends upon the various social interactions (Greve and Salaaf, 2003).

(Source: Shabbir, Ghazi and Mehmood, 2016)

This is the theoretical framework of social networking which shows that thereat re several social network sites and social media which have their significant and diverse set of impact and pros and cons on the small business. The entrepreneurs select the best suitable social network as per the specific requirements of the business and growth strategies (Shabbir, Ghazi and Mehmood, 2016).

 

Quality and Currency of the Literature Source

The maximum of the sources are the peer reviewed Journal articles which have been taken used from Goggle Scholar. The sources are authentic and are very well linked to the study topic. The most of the sources are of the years after 2010 which shows that there is current and up to date information and discussion is presented. The papers are of high quality which discusses, argues and analysis the various aspects of social networking, social media, small businesses and their integration in the present time.

 

Research Gap and Contribution

There is a research gap that no adequate forecasting and evaluation is there of the outcomes of using social networking in small businesses. The researchers have explained the advantages and disadvantages but in rail-time it is difficult to analyze the outcomes of social networking.

The contribution of this research is that there has been understood that there are several means by which the businesses can promote their business via social networking, which comprises of comments, videos, images, blog posts, content, etc. All these things help in offering diverse factors to the businesses foe developing their operations. The another benefit related to the higher conversion rate is that the social networks and the involvement of social media in the business offers high flexibility to modify the businesses activities means that there is an opportunity with the small businesses to diversify their product portfolio and offers a wide range of products to the customers (Edosomwan, et al., 2011). They can easily add-on or subtract the sales of those products which are highly demanded in the market or which are out of the trend. Thus, the conversion does not demand for high capital requirement neither much efforts. There is another benefit associated with increase conversion rates. As with time, when the companies started diversifying their businesses, they used to get increase customer base from various segments. This helps in getting extended reach to the customers (Molina?Morales and Martínez?Fernández, 2010).

Conclusion

The social networks are the pioneering gateways for the small businesses to grow and profit in the business industry. The small businesses are very much keen to take use of the social networks for the rapid development of their business as well as for having enhanced customer base. The social networking has become a common aspect of the lives of the individuals. From the literature gathered and analyzed, it has been concluded that there are extensive number of benefits and opportunities associated with the social networking in small business but there are also some challenges and disadvantages which are required to have consideration of the entrepreneurs to have a successful way ahead. The use of social networking is one of the most effective tools for the small businesses to grow and develop with a rapid rate. Along with high publicity and advertising, the social networks offers other several benefits to these small business in terms of brand royalty, high customer base, opportunity for diversity, global reach, etc. Based upon the literature, it has been stated that the entrepreneurs must be attentive e enough at the time of selection of social networking approach so that they can again maximum advantages from their integration of business activities with social networking.

 

References

Shabbir, M.S., Ghazi, M.S. and Mehmood, A.R., 2016. Impact of Social Media Applications on Small Business Entrepreneurs. Management and Economics Research Journal, 2(2016). Accessed on: 7th May, 2017. Accessed from: https://www.omicsonline.com/open-access/impact-of-social-media-applications-on-small-business-entrepreneurs-2223-5833-1000203.php?aid=71295

Celine, A.R.C.A., 2012. Social Media Marketing benefits for businesses. Master of International Marketing.

Ellison, N.B., Steinfield, C. and Lampe, C., 2007. The benefits of Facebook “friends:” Social capital and college students’ use of online social network sites. Journal of Computer?Mediated Communication, 12(4), pp.1143-1168.

Park, N., Kee, K.F. and Valenzuela, S., 2009. Being immersed in social networking environment: Facebook groups, uses and gratifications, and social outcomes. CyberPsychology & Behavior, 12(6), pp.729-733.

Greve, A. and Salaff, J.W., 2003. Social networks and entrepreneurship. Entrepreneurship theory and practice, 28(1), pp.1-22.

Hensel, K. and Deis, M.H., 2010. Using social media to increase advertising and improve marketing. The Entrepreneurial Executive, 15, p.87.

Vásquez, G.A.N. and Escamilla, E.M., 2014. Best practice in the use of social networks marketing strategy as in SMEs. Procedia-Social and Behavioral Sciences, 148, pp.533-542.

Gronum, S., Verreynne, M.L. and Kastelle, T., 2012. The role of networks in small and medium?sized enterprise innovation and firm performance. Journal of Small Business Management, 50(2), pp.257-282.

Sashi, C.M., 2012. Customer engagement, buyer-seller relationships, and social media. Management decision, 50(2), pp.253-272.

Michaelidou, N., Siamagka, N.T. and Christodoulides, G., 2011. Usage, barriers and measurement of social media marketing: An exploratory investigation of small and medium B2B brands. Industrial marketing management, 40(7), pp.1153-1159.

Kirti?, A.K. and Karahan, F., 2011. To be or not to be in social media arena as the most cost-efficient marketing strategy after the global recession. Procedia-Social and Behavioral Sciences, 24, pp.260-268.

Leonardi, P.M., Huysman, M. and Steinfield, C., 2013. Enterprise social media: Definition, history, and prospects for the study of social technologies in organizations. Journal of Computer?Mediated Communication, 19(1), pp.1-19.

Kadushin, C., 2012. Understanding social networks: Theories, concepts, and findings. OUP USA.

Molina?Morales, F.X. and Martínez?Fernández, M.T., 2010. Social networks: effects of social capital on firm innovation. Journal of Small Business Management, 48(2), pp.258-279.

Edosomwan, S., Prakasan, S.K., Kouame, D., Watson, J. and Seymour, T., 2011. The history of social media and its impact on business. Journal of Applied Management and entrepreneurship, 16(3), p.79.

Valente, T.W., 2010. Social networks and health: Models, methods, and applications. Oxford University Press.

Cheung, C.M., Chiu, P.Y. and Lee, M.K., 2011. Online social networks: Why do students use facebook?. Computers in Human Behavior, 27(4), pp.1337-1343.

Parveen, F., 2012, July. Impact Of Social Media Usage On Organizations. In PACIS (p. 192).

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