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Information Technology And E-Services

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Question:

Discuss about the Information Technology and E-Services.
 
 

Answer:

Introduction

The report gives a brief overview of an E-commerce business in Saudi Arabia. In this context, there is description of the product and services offered by the company, the business vision and statement of the company. There is also an explanation of the E-commerce business processes adopted by the company along with a SWOT analysis. The report also has a pictorial representation of E-commerce website design along with a brief description. There is also an explanation of e-commerce system functionality in the report. The report also mentions the suitable hardware and software necessary for running the website. Further, the report also mentions about the security issues of an E-commerce website and the means adopted in order to avoid it.

E-commerce Business in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia

The retail market in Saudi Arabia is experiencing a boom because of the overwhelming young population. Therefore, E-commerce has been the biggest bet in capturing the fashion market with increasing number of players trying to explore new opportunities (Alshehri, Drew, and Alfarraj 2012). The new e commerce business that can have profound scope Saudi Arabia known as Qua Roda that specifically focus on selling fashion apparels.

The business will mainly deal with fashion and accessories. Presently since there is a shortage of capital, therefore there is a segregation of the launch into four different categories (Bahaddad, AlGhamdi and Houghton 2012). The company also plans to expand its products to men and children provided they find a steady market amongst the females. With the expansion, the company also plans to start building a catalog.

The company focuses on helping people in getting the maximum value for the money spent through the delivery of high quality fashion products. The e commerce company serves as a one-stop destination of fashion for women where they can find everything at one go (Schmidt and Cohen 2013). Thus, the company tries to simplify the effort that women have to put in while choosing a dress or apparel.

The e commerce company focuses on presenting collections that are not only high end but also represent latest designs. Therefore, the company tries to provide materials that are worth the money paid by the customers. Each garment is a representation of the best solution provided by the company. Further, the company also has the largest collection of women fashion and apparel and plans to expand its products to men, babies and children along with a collection of beauty products (Bahaddad, Houghton and Drew 2013). Therefore, the company moves forward with the vision of becoming one of well-known company in the e commerce arena.

 

Explaining the Business E-commerce Processes

Whether one is buying at a store or making online purchase, everything revolves around transaction that represents the basic exchange of money for services and goods (Al-Somali, Gholami, and Clegg 2013). However, in a real world store, one is able to check out the product before handing out the cash but online purchase allows one to check out and do a trial only when the product arrives home. The retailer apart from processing transactions also needs to check out whether the specifications for the products mentioned by the customers are available in the stock of the company before the delivery done to the mentioned address (Brosdahl and Almousa 2013). Thus, e commerce business has to deals with three different systems that include a web server, a database and a dispatch system. The web server deals with managing the process transactions and online storefront. On the other hand, the database system is able to keep a track of all the items in the stock and the dispatch system linked to a warehouse that helps in locating a particular good and ensures its dispatch to buyer as early as possible (Alqahtani, Al-Badi, and Mayhew 2012).

The above-mentioned processes are however important in running the e commerce company. However, many people successfully run the small-scale online business without complicating the dispatch system or databases (Alqahtani and Wamba 2012). In such cases, businesses simply have a website where they promote their business. Through the website, they also take orders, manage stock control and ensure dispatch.

Applying SWOT Analysis to the Business

The new commerce company to open its doors in Saudi Arabia plans to provide cheaper and faster shipping compared to other e commerce business existing in the country. The company also provides niche products where people get a worth for their money (Alshehri Drew and Alfarraj 2012). The company also seeks to be a one stop shopping destination of fashion apparel for women. However, Ecommerce Company is at an advantageous position due to its structure since there is no operational cost involved.

Cost is an important factor in an E commerce business and always creates a headache. This is because there are times when shipping of heavy, bulky and perishable goods can be quite expensive. There are also security concerns, as most people feel reluctant in using their credit cards (Al-Somali, Gholami  and Clegg 2013). This is a platform where customers only have to decide by seeing the look of the product that might sometimes make them apprehensive about quality issues while ordering the products.

E commerce is a business that changes on an everyday basis. The improvements in shopping carts software can create a smoother, quicker and customer friendly shopping experience for the E commerce business. There are also facilities for live chat that can improve customer service. Big data analytics also provide act as an opportunity for e commerce companies as it helps them to understand preferences of the customers (Al-Maghrabi and Dennis 2012). The E commerce can also make their promotions on various social media websites thereby making ensuring low cost promotions.

The E commerce business must always look for broader shifts in the industry that might affect its growth that includes regulatory and legal changes. E commerce companies also face a constant threat of low barriers for entry.

 

How it will look Like in Terms of Design and Format

The website design of an E commerce company is an important factor in determining the failure or success of the business. Thus, the E commerce website is attractive but at the same time usable, reliable and secure. Further, the site is easily navigable to the clients without creation of any kind of confusion there is a separate section for describing the home page, fashion items for women, accessories, bags, about us and contact us. On the top right site there is a cart added where people can choose and add the items they want to buy (Bahaddad, Houghton, and Drew 2013). However, on the top left hand side there is a section called my account where customers can create their account and make payments accordingly. There are also options for payments via PayPal that helps in faster processing due to its in built credit card processing features for handling transactions (Makki and Chang, 2014)

Therefore, setting an online store is a task in itself because to run the business one has to build a dedicated website from scratch. There business also needs to develop a dedicated merchant system that will be responsible for processing transactions.

E-commerce System Functionality

The product menu is the main portion of the e commerce website that provides details about each product of the company. The products segregated under various headings like women dress, women shoes, and women bags and accessories (Goh et.al 2013). One stoke at each of these headings gives detail about the available options of the various products in various color, sizes and styles.

The contact button of the E commerce website will not only have the location and the contact details of the company but it will also provide social media links which will enable the customers in finding the products of the company in various social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram(Ariyani and Mandiri 2015).

The system adopted for management of a company’s client interactions refers to Client Relationship Management (CRM) system. The CRM solution for an E commerce company designed specifically keeping in mind the sales. This is because the CRM platform forms the basis of determining information related to customers that includes interests, shopping habits and shipping preferences (Huang and Benyoucef 2013). Thus, an efficient CRM system is able to determine a clear journey map of the customers thereby allowing the business to come up with marketing strategies meant for increasing sales. Therefore, CRM solution of an e commerce company helps them to not only store, organize and gather but also analyze information about the customers of the company.

 

What type of hardware needed? Do you need a server or it will be in the cloud?

The hardware required for an E commerce business includes a keyboard, mouse, CPU (tower), modem, network card and a VOIP phone and handset that enable making calls over the internet (Niranjanamurthy et. al 2013).

The CRM software used by the e commerce company is Salesforce, the world’s largest CRM software provider. The software ensures efficient and unique CRM facilities known as Salesforce IQ (Turban et.al 2015). This software used for its unique facilities more so if the business grows in size then business can immediately get it upgraded to Salesforce sales cloud CRM with the help of artificial intelligence.

Thus, in E commerce business safety is of utmost importance to the online retailers as well as the customers. The type of security required for securing for E commerce website includes(Laudon and Traver 2013):

  • Upgrading the hosting process
  • Making use of secure HTTPS hosting
  • Keeping the software updated
  • Basic level security to the administrator
  • Performing regular backups
  • By avoiding storage of sensitive data
  • By Using Fraud Prevention Geo location software
  • By Using Hacker Protection Software
  • Creating a Security Manual
  • Through the usage of a content delivery network

Potential Threats to the Website

Either the threats for an e commerce business can be technical or business related. The situations that can lead to potential threats to the website are as follows (Matbouli and Gao 2012):

  • When the number of orders catered in a day is huge as it involves high operational cost.
  • Situations where delivery is not accepted also poses a threat in terms of higher cost.
  • Attempt of the Hackers in stealing steal information or disrupting the site
  • When the server that contains customer information is lost or stolen
  • There may be presence of impostors who can mirror the ecommerce site with the purpose of stealing customer money
  • With the presence of huge number of products, making clear distinction between fake products becomes difficult.
  • People may misuse the money of the investor
 

Conclusion:

The report concludes by giving recommending means on maintaining a secured website. There is also a mention of the type of securities undertaken for an e commerce website and the potential threats. The report also discusses about the suitable hardware and software used by the e commerce company in running its business. There is also discussion about the E commerce functionality in context of the product button and contact details of the company. There is also a pictorial representation of the E- commerce website along with a draft provided in the report. The report also does a SWOT analysis along with a brief description of the business, its statement and vision.

 

References:

Al-Hudhaif, S.A. and Alkubeyyer, A., 2012. E-commerce adoption factors in Saudi Arabia. International Journal of Business and Management, 6(9), p.122.

Aladwani, A.M., 2013. Key Internet characteristics and e-commerce issues in Arab countries. Information Technology & People, 16(1), pp.9-20.

Aldraehim, M.S., Edwards, S.L., Watson, J.A. and Chan, T., 2012. Cultural impact on e-service use in Saudi Arabia: The role of nepotism. International Journal for Infonomics (IJI), 5(3/4), pp.655-662.

Al-Maghrabi, T. and Dennis, C., 2012. The driving factors of continuance online shopping: gender differences in behaviour among students–the case of Saudi Arabia. International Journal of Business Information Systems, 9(4), pp.360-384.

Alqahtani, M.A., Al-Badi, A.H. and Mayhew, P.J., 2012. The Enablers and Disablers of E-Commerce: Consumers’ Perspectives. The Electronic Journal of Information Systems in Developing Countries, 54.

Alqahtani, S. and Wamba, S.F., 2012, January. Determinants of RFID technology adoption intention in the Saudi retail industry: an empirical study. In System Science (HICSS), 2012 45th Hawaii International Conference on (pp. 4720-4729). IEEE.

Alshehri, M., Drew, S. and Alfarraj, O., 2012. A Comprehensive Analysis of E-government services adoption in Saudi Arabia: Obstacles and Challenges. International Journal of Advanced Computer Science and Applications, 3(2), pp.1-6.

Al-Somali, S.A., Gholami, R. and Clegg, B., 2013. An investigation into the adoption of electronic commerce among Saudi Arabian SMEs'. E-Commerce for Organizational Development and Competitive Advantage, p.126.

Bahaddad, A.A., AlGhamdi, R. and Houghton, L., 2012. To what extent would E-mall enable SMEs to adopt e-commerce?. arXiv preprint arXiv:1211.2402.

Bahaddad, A.A., Houghton, L. and Drew, S., 2013. Attracting customer in Saudi Arabia to buy from your business online. International Journal of Business and Management, 8(7), p.65.

Brosdahl, D.J. and Almousa, M., 2013. Risk perception and internet shopping: comparing United States and Saudi Arabian consumers. Journal of Management and Marketing Research, 13, p.1.

Chaffey, D., 2017. E-business and E-commerce Management: Strategy, Implementation and Practice. Pearson Education.

Makki, E. and Chang, L.C., 2014, January. E-commerce in Saudi Arabia: Acceptance and implementation difficulties. In Proceedings of the International Conference on e-Learning, e-Business, Enterprise Information Systems, and e-Government (EEE) (p. 1). The Steering Committee of The World Congress in Computer Science, Computer Engineering and Applied Computing (WorldComp).

Goh, K.N., Chen, Y.Y., Lai, F.W., Daud, S.C., Sivaji, A. and Soo, S.T., 2013, April. A comparison of usability testing methods for an e-commerce website: A case study on a Malaysia online gift shop. In Information Technology: New Generations (ITNG), 2013 Tenth International Conference on (pp. 143-150). IEEE.

Ariyani, W. and Mandiri, B.E.P.S.N., 2015. E-Commerce Web Development in Wiga Art. Publikasi Internasional, 1(1).

Huang, Z. and Benyoucef, M., 2013. From e-commerce to social commerce: A close look at design features. Electronic Commerce Research and Applications, 12(4), pp.246-259.

Matbouli, H. and Gao, Q., 2012, March. An overview on web security threats and impact to e-commerce success. In Information Technology and e-Services (ICITeS), 2012 International Conference on (pp. 1-6). IEEE.

Niranjanamurthy, M., Kavyashree, N., Jagannath, S. and Chahar, D., 2013. Analysis of e-commerce and m-commerce: advantages, limitations and security issues. International Journal of Advanced Research in Computer and Communication Engineering, 2(6).

Turban, E., King, D., Lee, J.K., Liang, T.P. and Turban, D.C., 2015. Electronic commerce: A managerial and social networks perspective. Springer. Laudon, K.C. and Traver, C.G., 2013. E-commerce. Pearson.

Sait, S., Al-Tawil, K. and Hussain, S., 2014. E-commerce in Saudi Arabia: Adoption and perspectives. Australasian Journal of Information Systems, 12(1).

Schmidt, E. and Cohen, J., 2013. The new digital age: Reshaping the future of people, nations and business. Hachette UK.

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