Technology is defined as the ‘knowledge, products, processes, tools, and systems used in the creation of goods or in the provision of services.’ Organizations in the current era are devoting their efforts to make sure that they are constantly at pace with the changing nature of technology. Technology is not only restricted to the use of advanced gadgets in the day to day activities, however, it covers a broader area which includes the procedures, services, applications and a lot more as described in the definition. Organizations must make sure that they reflect the latest technology in all of these components to offer the best of their services to the customers.
Components of Technology
UI Component of Technology – E-commerce website
E-commerce industry is one of the marked developments in the field of technology. It refers to the buying and selling of goods through the electronic medium which is mostly the Internet. In order to reach out to the customers, it is necessary for an organization dealing in electronic commerce to have a portal in the form of a web site or a web application.
E-commerce website is an online portal that allows the customers to access the site and complete their transactions electronically. These web sites display the products that are offered by the company along with the product descriptions, details, pricing information, images, reviews and many more. The users get the opportunity to browse through such products and add their desired products to their carts associated with their accounts and complete the purchase thereafter. There are various modes of payments offered by these sites such as payment through credit or debit cards, use of mobile wallets or cash on delivery (Niranjanamurthy, 2013).
E-commerce website of Amazon (Amazon, 2017)
There are also discounts and other offers that are provided by these web sites to the customers in order to attract more and more users. Also, when a customer succeeds in availing such offers or deals, he/she feels connected towards the site and an engagement between the business unit and the customer is formed. These e-commerce web sites may be based upon any of the e-commerce models. For instance, Amazon is an e-commerce company that has a retail store online and offers several products to its customers. Therefore, the e-commerce model that Amazon is based on is Business to Consumer (B2C) model. There are also e-commerce web sites in which consumers sell and purchase goods from each other and such sites are based on Consumer to Consumer (C2C) model. There are also sites that have been constructed as per Consumer to Business (C2B) and Business to Business (B2B) model.
There are a number of advantages that are offered by these e-commerce web sites to their customers. First and the foremost are the non-stop availability and ease of accessibility. These sites can be accessed from any location and the users can purchases goods at any hour of the day. There is no closing time involved in these stores. Also, the users get to browse through hundreds and thousands of products sitting at their homes or offices without the need to physically visit various stores. There are also easy return policies that are provided through which the users can return their purchases goods. The items are shipped free of cost and doorstep delivery of the same is provided. These are the reasons which have contributed in immense popularity of the e-commerce web sites and their preference above the brick and mortar based stores (Khan, 2016).
E-commerce website – Insurance Sector (Policybazaar, 2017)
E-commerce web sites are a mandate in the present times as the industry has rapidly expanded across a majority of sectors. It is necessary for the organizations to offer the customers all of their products and services online through the medium of a web site that is easy to navigate and self explanatory in nature.
Software Component of Technology – Payment Tool
Electronic commerce has spread over a majority of sectors and industries in the present times. There are a very few business that still do not have web presence and are running completely on the offline mode of business. With the expansion of e-commerce, there is also a lot of advancement that has been done in the modes of payments that are offered to the customers. It is necessary for the e-commerce web sites to collaborate with the payment tools to make sure that the payments made by the customers are safe and secure.
PayPal is one of the most popular payment tools that is a trusted platform available for the customers.
PayPal Account (Paypal, 2017)
PayPal is a payment tool that allows customers to send and receive money from anywhere in the world. It has some of the unique and interesting features to offer to the customers. It is a payment tool that is available worldwide and supports twenty five different currencies. It can be joined by the customers for free of cost and supports currencies sound as US dollar, Australian dollar, Pound and many more. There are a number of security attacks that have been developed to adversely impact the online payments and gain advantage out of the same. PayPal has a secure mechanism to prevent these security attacks by making use of a security key for the completion of the payments (Braun, 2008). It also allows the teenagers to create their accounts and avail some of the extra benefits from the payment tool. There are millions of customers that have their accounts on PayPal and millions of transactions take place through the tool on a daily basis. In spite of such a huge traffic, there are no issues with the performance of the tool at any point of time. It allows the customers to make their transactions in a fraction of seconds. Along with the information associated with the payments and accounts, PayPal also makes sure that the personal information of the account holders is protected. It also allows the users to make donations by a simple click on a button called as donate. It allows various web sites and blogs to raise funds for themselves through the use of PayPal. Users can also add or withdraw money in to their accounts and pay easily. When the customers associate with a credit card company, they need to pay a huge amount of monthly fee. With the aid of PayPal, such monthly charges can be easily avoided especially by the Freelancers as they can receive payments through credit or debit cards.
PayPal Payment Options (Baddeley, 2014)
The personal information of the buyer and the seller is not revealed at the time of transaction and there are various modes of payments that can be used on the tool such as credit cards, debit cards, net banking and likewise. It is also the most preferred tool by the merchants as the tool has managed to establish a good reputation in the market and has also achieved to avoid any of the security breaches as well.
Technological Process – Supply Chain
Working of an e-commerce web site or a web application needs to accomplish a lot many processes before delivering the expected services and products to the customers. There are various entities that are involved in the functioning of an e-commerce web site such as supplier, manufacturer, customer and likewise. The normal flow starts from the supplier to manufacturer that goes to the wholesaler followed by the retailer and then finally reaches the customer. The management of this flow and the activities that are associated with the same are termed as supply chain management and this flow is called as supply chain. It is a chain that inter-connects these various departments and entities to achieve the final business goal.
Technology has led to the advancement of the supply chain process and the overall management of the same. There are automated supply chain management tools and various packages available for the management and tracking of the sub-activities that are involved. In order to make sure that e-commerce web site functions correctly, there needs to be complete tracking and availability of the information associated with the orders, sales, inventories, stocks and likewise.
Supply Chain Management (Simon, 2015)
First and the foremost is the demand management which is included in the process of management of supply chains. The procurement of the goods and products shall be done as per the needs of the customers in order to avoid the losses later on. Supply chain processes primarily carry out an analysis on the customer expectations to figure out their needs. The procurement process and collaboration with suppliers and partners is then executed. There is an automated tracking of the entire activity to make sure that the errors that may come from the manual operations may be avoided. The tools that are available for the management of supply chains of a particular organization can also be customized as per the organizational needs and requirements. The purchase order requests are also stored and managed by the technological tools that have been created to keep track of the same. Communication is one of the key processes in any of the activities and the case is the same with the management of the supply chains. The associated parties are integrated as one single unit with the aid of effective communication and there are various tools that are used in the process. There are various vendors that are contacted and vendor catalogues are also maintained in the tool itself (Kampstra, 2017).
An organization cannot function well in the e-commerce industry if the supply chain processes that are associated with the same are not up to the mark. The automation of these processes has enabled the organizations to achieve their business goals and objectives and has also allowed them to fulfill the customer needs and expectations with much ease. There are also lesser errors that are now encountered in the process. The managers and resources in the organization have also succeeded to bring forward their higher levels of efficiency and productivity with the automation of the supply chain processes leading to the benefit of one and all (Sharma, 2012).
Technology has a number of different definitions and is not restricted to the use of automated tools and gadgets. It also covers processes, systems, policies, methods and services as some of its essential components. Technology has evolved over the years and has seen some of the rapid developments in various sectors and one such sector is the e-commerce industry. E-commerce industry needs some of the technological components to function well such as presence of an e-commerce web site, payment tools and an automated supply chain process.
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