FlashMobz is a mobile phone retailer in England and they have decided to take over PhoneRUs. Asif has also decided to adopt the ICT services to initiate the e-commerce activities (Sandberg and Håkansson 2014).
The report will highlight the barriers and challenges that FlashMobz can face while integrating with PhoneRUs and while taking up e-commerce activities. The recommendations have been made in the report following which Asif can enhance the business activities of the company.
Identification of the key business challenges
Barriers due to the acquisition of PhoneRUs
The PhoneRUs is an independent company that has been purchased by FlashMobz. FlashMobz has decided to retain the employees that are working in PhoneRUs, however, the new management team employed by FlashMobz will take care of PhoneRUs’s current business operations. The employees and the management may face issues regarding communication with each other. There may be a linguistic problem while communicating with each other and this linguistic issue is certainly the barrier for the company (Mupfiga 2015). The employees will have to follow the business policies and will have to work with the existing employees of FlashMobz. Thus FlashMobz’s employees can face communication barriers.
Barriers to the customers
The Internet connectivity
The Internet connectivity can prove to be one of the barriers to the e-commerce. The citizens staying all over England must have an Internet connection. The citizens must have an online Internet connection or a broadband connection so that they can sell a mobile phone. FlashMobz must configure the Internet connection in their premises and must provide the better connectivity to the consumers so that they can enjoy the services of FlashMobz.
Consumer trust and protection
The consumer trust and protection is mandatory. In case of offline shopping, the consumers and the users have the opportunity to choose a particular phone and can test it and view the features. The consumers can see a sample of a mobile specimen on the website of FlashMobz. The consumers can view the workings of the mobile phone of their choice on the company website. The customers of FlashMobz can get to know the best model of their choice, can choose the colour of the mobile specimen, however, it is the responsibility of the FlashMobz to deliver the right product to the customers (Ahmad and Ibrahim 2017). The consumers can even get a faulty product and so FlashMobz will have to be careful about the phone they deliver. The customers can order a product and it may happen that they do not get the product. It may also happen that they get a faulty product, thus this can be an issue that can prove to be a barrier for the customers. Many customers’ may get feared and this fear can act as a barrier for the customers.
If the consumers are not well versed in English, then it may happen they cannot shop online (Tatnall 2014). Therefore, the language is the barrier for the e-commerce. Although many popular retail sites have initiated their multi-lingual version of their website, FlasMobz is the new mobile phone retail store that has emerged in the market. They can implement a website having a multi-lingual facility, however, a huge amount of money, a huge amount of time will be required to implement a multi-lingual website having a multi-lingual facility. This is another kind of issue both the retail chain and their consumers can face.
Barriers to the retailers: Lack of relevance
Often it is found the retailer conduct the business activities online and the procedures are not relevant enough for their business and are not aligned with the business needs.
Relatively high costing of developing and maintaining the website
FlashMobz will have to concentrate on developing a website for their business convenience and that requires a huge amount of costings, also to maintain the website FlashMobxz will have to spend heavy (Makondo and Wang 2015). Therefore, this is one sort of barrier.
The fear of fraud and the payment
There are risk and threat from the hackers to conduct the business online and so this is certainly a barrier.
The lack of IT skills
FlashMobz needs to have the proper IT skills that means the skilled people having the IRT knowledge who can take charge of the online activities as they do not have any right now they will have to hire them and certainly it is a barrier (Lawrence 2013).
The legal issue
The employees must be aware of the all the rules and regulations of e-commerce and also abide by the and should act accordingly, the consumers also must be aware of all the regulatory barriers and the legal issues are the barriers for the company (Baddegamage 2014).
FlashMobz must consider the transportation and the delivery of the phone to the customers that is why the courier service is one sort of barrier. Therefore, the transportation facility is important, FlashMobz must consider all the barriers associated and the courier service team must be appointed by the FlashMobz (Fattal 2014). Therefore, that the barriers related to the logistics need to be solved.
Payments of course
The payments related to e-commerce is somewhat problematic, if some consumers outside England want to purchase the items then they will have to convert the currency and then will have to pay this can be a barrier for FlashMobz.
Integrating all the chain stores
To integrate the chain stores all over England FlashMobz will have to use the Internet connectivity effectively. They need to constantly update the stock so that the consumers can get the correct information about the stock products as well as the details of the branches can be aware of all the details of the stock products (Kithulgoda and Jayaweera 2015). If stocks are updated in a proper manner, then they can face barriers and can face huge problems to maintain the same.
The barriers or the challenges to the implementation
The technological challenges associated with the e-commerce are the lack of electricity or the power cutoffs. In the rural areas the consumers generally do not have the electricity service and thus those consumers can be deprived of the FlashMobz’s service. Again there is an issue related to the Internet connectivity, the slow Internet speed can be really challenging (Bannister and Connolly 2014). The rural areas generally have the connectivity issues, the network connectivity is relatively slower and for the slow connectivity they can face issues while purchasing any phone from the FlashMobz’s website.
Not having skilled ICT personnel
FlashMobzs currently lacks the ICT personnel who are skilled in the computer technologies, they are not well versed in the software technologies, cloud services. They also need to communicate among themselves and lest not forget the new stores that Asif bought. FlashMobx needs to educate the employees so that they can communicate with each other, can communicate with the customers and solve their queries, also they can update their stock phones and can keep track of the financial data and the purchase history of the customers (Albert, Serafica and Lumbera 2016).
Lack of finance
FlashMobzs has decided to adopt the ICT services and the latest cloud technology services to enhance the B2C services, to enhance the business activities of the company (Amiri et al. 2017). The development of the website requires a lot of money, also the maintenance requires tons of money, they have to hire the IT technicians who can assist them and educate them so that they can conduct the business activities that require a lot of charges, they will have to pay the consultancy fees, have to pay for the electricity and the network connectivity so they have to bear huge amount of costs, they must consider all the charges and should make the budget beforehand effectively and should spend accordingly, the lack finance can be a serious challenge for the company in ere future.
The security concerns must be taken into consideration. FlashMobz must adopt the cloud services, must adopt the cloud technology from the reputed cloud vendor like Amazon AWS, Microsoft Azure otherwise they can face issues regarding security breaches. The insecure network can lead to the malware attack from the hackers’ end (Siddiqi et al. 2013). The hackers can hack and exploit the database, can steal vital information from the employees, the financial data of the enterprise and the customers’ personal information.
The organizational culture can lead to the risk of e-commerce adaptation failures (Damunupola 2014). The employees often feel the face-to-face interaction is much better and easily adaptable and generally avoids the online chatting and the online interaction. This adaptation can be really challenging.
The Business Environment which is unfriendly
FlashMobz must be careful about the Internet connectivity as well as they must be careful about the electricity services and electricity and the network connectivity aids in the efficient implementation of e-commerce activities. FlashMobz will have to adapt the ICT services and that not going to be easy as they have to bear the heavy cost (Jameel, Abdul-Karem and Mahmood 2017). They will need to have the electricity services all throughout 24x7 services besides they will have to provide the high-speed Internet connectivity without any buffering and all these going to be a tough challenge for the enterprise.
The lack of credit cards and payment systems
Many consumers do not use the online banking facility, even they do not use the credit cards and the debit cards as there are no proper established e-commerce payment systems (Zafar, Ishaque and Javaid 2014). Therefore, those consumers get deprived of the e-commerce facility.
Lack of macro-economic facilities
Like any other enterprises, even FlashMobz will have to follow the regulatory policies and the policies of the Government so they can be restricted from taking any initiative. FlashMobz must be aware of all the latest laws and the latest regulatory policies and must stay updates all the time (Djavanshir et al. 2017). They must stay focused on meeting the needs of their customers.
Peculiar nature of the industries
FlashMobz can take up the ICT technology to enhance the business activities of the enterprise, they can stay ahead of their competitors as a result of the adoption of the ICT services or the e-commerce activities. As FlashMobz wants to move forward they must be willing to take the challenge and the risks.
The occurrence of the natural disasters
The natural disasters like tsunami, earthquakes and the floods can be really challenging for the enterprise, their hardware and their server can be at risk and can be under vulnerability due to the disaster caused by the natural disasters. Thus it is a serious risk and challenge.
The local business culture: The managers and the employees of the company must not share the information with others outside the enterprise otherwise the security breaches can occur, the confidential data of the enterprise can get compromised due to this, the financial data of the enterprise can be a stake if the managers share information with others. The sharing of information by face to face interactions can diminish the chance of the e-commerce activity and there will be importance and encouragement for the ICT usages.
Challenges from the owner or manager challenges
The managers and the leaders must be knowledgeable of all the ICT technology knowledge and must educate the employees of the company the same so they can use the ICT services in case of e-commerce activities effectively (Nawi, Fong and Tatnall 2014). If the managers are not knowledgeable then they can face huge problems adopting the e-commerce activities and can face huge losses and their productivity can get disrupted due to this attack.
The building of inclusive and persuasive argument that can be presented to Asif
- Communicating with the employees of PhoneRUs:Asif as well the managers of FlashMobz must conduct meeting on daily basis and should communicate with the employees of PhoneRUs, the managers should educate them with the workings of the company and must educate them the use of ICT services so that the employees of PhoneRUs can conduct e-commerceactivities and can work hand in hand with the existing employees of FlashMobz.
- The lack of verification measures: Any customer can get registered with FlashMobz, however, the enterprise cannot know the real identity of the customer. The customers can create a fake account. If the customer registers bank card with the account, then the originality of the account can be predicated, if customers want to purchase any phone via cash on delivery, the genuineness of the customers cannot be predicted (Sandberg and Håkansson 2014). Asif can solve the problem by verifying the mobile number and theemail address verified by the customer.
- The product returns:The consumers can be dissatisfied with the phone’s quality, phone’s colour texture and can be willing to return the phone. The company must be ready for those circumstances, their queries must be heard of and must refund back the money (Mupfiga 2015). FlashMobz can face losses due to this, Asif must control the cost management applying certain rules and regulations for the return management.
- Integration:All the aspects of the e-commercelike the order management system, dispatch system and the order tracking system and the customer support system must be well integrated and the respective teams should work together hand in hand (Ahmad and Ibrahim 2017). Asif along with the managers of the enterprise must develop management body that can help the enterprise to carry out their business activities online fast and effectively.
- The customers’ feedback:The customers’ queries often remainunnoticed. FlashMobz must set up a customer service team that will provide 24x7 services to the customers. If any critical issues arise Asif should be ready to solve the problem.
- The solutions to the technological challenges:FlashMobz must make a budget and based on that Asif must implement a quality internet service and the electricity services.
- The solutions to the organizational challenges:The enterprise must appoint skilled ICT personnel to carry out the business activities over the Internet. The company must educate the employees onthe cloud technology and the ICT services so that the productivity can enhance and the profit of the company can significantly great increases (Ahmad and Ibrahim 2017).
Asif must optimise the budget which they get by selling the phones. They must use the money properly to develop the website, to maintain the website, to pay the IT technicians, to pay the electric bill and to pay the Internet bill.
The security concerns must be considered and The must adopt the cloud services provided by the cloud vendors like Microsoft Azure or Amazon AWS. The cloud vendors have the capability to provide advanced cloud solutions and the advanced secured solutions so there are fewer chances of security breaches and the privacy breaches.
As FlashMobz will use the cloud technology and the cloud services so there are fewer chances of data losses due to the occurrence of the natural disaster like flood, earthquake (Tatnall 2014). The cloud vendor will record and store the vital information of the enterprise and they will keep a backup of the files stored so FlashMobz does not have to worry about the security breaches.
Asif along with the managers should keep all the data confidential and must conduct the business operations over the Internet as that will encourage the employees to use the ICT services and the e-commerce activities.
- The solutions to the management solutions:Asif as well as the leaders must be knowledgeable and must stay updated about all the technical knowledge so that they run the business activities, the employees must be educated as that can help them to effectively use the e-commerceactivities (Makondo and Wang 2015).
Conclusion and Recommendation
It can be concluded from the above discourse that FlashMobz has taken a significant leap in adopting the ICT services and the cloud technology, as that can help in enhancing the e-commerce business activities. The barriers regarding the acquisition of PhoneRUs have been discussed in the report and the barriers that FlashMobz can face after the acquisition of PhoneRUs and after the adoption of ICT services have been discussed in the report. Also, the challenges the enterprise can face have been elaborated in details. The best possible solutions to mitigate the challenges and barriers have been highlighted in the report.
Asif must follow the recommendations made, he must communicate with the employees of PhoneRUs, must develop the company website incorporating multiple security features and must adopt the cloud architecture provided by the reputed cloud vendors. Asif must consider the customers’ feedback. He also should take into the consideration the technological and the organizational challenges and must take actions accordingly as prescribed earlier.
Ahmad, A. and Ibrahim, K.M., 2017. Managerial, Organizational And Technological Determinants Of Ict Adoption: Survey Of Academic Staff In Bauchi State. Atbu Journal of Science, Technology and Education, 5(1), pp.157-165.
Albert, J.R.G., Serafica, R.B. and Lumbera, B.T., 2016. Examining Trends in ICT Statistics: How Does the Philippines Fare in ICT?. Philippine Institute for Development Studies, Discussion Paper Series, (2016-16).
Amiri, S., Amiri, S., Woodside, J.M. and Woodside, J.M., 2017. Emerging markets: the impact of ICT on the economy and society. Digital Policy, Regulation and Governance, 19(5), pp.383-396.
Baddegamage, S.I., 2014. Use of ICT for Sustainable Development in the Cinnamon Industry in Sri Lanka.
Bannister, F. and Connolly, R., 2014. ICT, public values and transformative government: A framework and programme for research. Government Information Quarterly, 31(1), pp.119-128.
Damunupola, D.A., 2014. Adoption for ICT and E-Commerce Services in Hospitality Industry-Challenges and Opportunities.
Djavanshir, G.R., Li, X., Luo, K., Zhang, M., Pan, W. and Huang, Y., 2017. ICT Innovations in Traditional Business: A Perspective of O2O Entrepreneurship Strategy in China. International Journal of Trade, Economics and Finance, 8(1), p.11.
Fattal, T., 2014. Creation of an Analytics platform for an on-site eCommerce search engine.
Jameel, A.S., Abdul-Karem, M. and Mahmood, N.Z., 2017. A Review of the Impact of ICT on Business Firms.
Kithulgoda, C.I. and Jayaweera, P.P.M., 2015, July. Meeting Development Challenges by Introducing Global ICT Standards to Agricultural Industry in Sri Lanka. In Proceedings of International Conference on Humanities and Social Sciences (Vol. 1).
Lawrence, J.E., 2013. Barriers hindering ecommerce adoption: A case study of kurdistan region of Iraq. Technology diffusion and adoption: Global complexity, global innovation, pp.152-165.
Makondo, H. and Wang, Z.H., 2015. A Review of the Uprising of Ecommerce among SME’s in Tanzania. International Journal of Information Science, 5(1), pp.1-4.
Mupfiga, P.S., 2015. Adoption of ICT in the Tourism and Hospitality sector in Zimbabwe.
Nawi, N.C., Fong, M.W. and Tatnall, A., 2014. Using Research Case Studies in eCommerce Marketing Courses: Customer Satisfaction at Point-of-Purchase and Post-Purchase. Journal of Information Technology Education: Research, 13, pp.15-25.
Sandberg, K.W. and Håkansson, F., 2014. Barriers to adapt eCommerce by rural microenterprises in Sweden: a case study. International Journal of Knowledge and Research in Management and E-Commerce, 4(1), pp.1-7.
Siddiqi, J., Al-Kadi, O., Al-Sayyed, R. and Najdawi, A., 2013. Emerging Trends in ICT Security: Chapter 8. Assessing the Role of Governments in Securing E-Business: The Case of Jordan. Elsevier Inc. Chapters.
Tatnall, A., 2014. ICT, education and older people in Australia: A socio-technical analysis. Education and Information Technologies, 19(3), pp.549-564.
Zafar, F., Ishaque, R. and Javaid, M., 2014. Use of ICT and e-commerce towards achieving competitive advantages. European Journal of Research and Reflection in Management Sciences, 2(1), pp.1-10.