Chapter Six The Future, Critical Success Factors, E-Business Strategy, Results and Conclusion


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The E-Business, the E-Customer, their Relationship and Interactivity


KunnskapskildenE-Business –
E-Business, E-Customer, Relationship and Interactivity


The E-Business, the E-Customer,
their Relationship and Interactivity 

Jan Vig 

Dissertation  av Jan Vig om E.Business, E-Customer, Relationship and Interactivity  (286 sider) i forbindelse med Masterstudie i Information Technology and Communication Juni 2000.


The E-Retailer Business, the E-Customer,
their Relationship and Interactivity

Table of Contents

Chapter One Introduction to the study

Chapter Two Business in Cyberspace

Chapter Three E- Retailer Commerce

Chapter Four E-Customer, Relationship and Interactivity

Chapter Five A Successful Case study –

Chapter Six The Future, Critical Success Factors, E-Business Strategy, Results and Conclusion



Chapter 6

The Future, Critical Sucess Faktors, E-Business Strategy, Results and Conclusion 


Chapter Six The Future, Critical Success Factors, E-Business Strategy, Results and Conclusion

6.1 Introduction 185
6.2 Future trends 188
6.3 The critical success factors for E-Business 194
6.4 Developing effective E-Business Strategy 203
6.5 Lessons learned 210
6.5.1 Understanding E-Business 210
6.5.2 Change 210
6.5.3 A ‘complete’ development process 211
6.5.4 Customer satisfaction 211
6.6 Recommendation 212
6.7 Conclusion


At the moment we do not have a clear vision of how E-Retailer commerce will develop and extend. But one thing is sure and that is that the development has been much faster than anyone has assumed only some years ago. The research companies has all the time delivered estimates which has shown far too low figures compared with what really has been the case. The fundamental role of E-Retailer commerce is today recognised.


E-Retail commerce is not a supplement to physical sales and purchase, it is an own market, which is established but not matured.

The customers need two things to change the habit and go from the physical store to the online store. First the barriers to E-commerce have to disappear and the advantage going online has to be clear. These advantages are good for motivating the customer to go online and start to buy there.


Security and low cost is the key for payment and the trigger for online shopping development. There are secure systems for payment online today and it is more secure to use the credit cards on the Internet compared with the physical world as supposed by the public opinion.

Experience show that it takes time before habits and shopping pattern are changed. But the changes will happen. The most important thing the companies could do is not only to have secure systems, but also get the E-Customers to understand that the systems are secure.

The media has a lot of the ‘blame’ for the scepticism among people. People see the securness on the Internet as a case and not the really truth that generally securness by the use of credit always has been a case.


The growth of Internet lead to the fact that the companies have to adopt to the new media. It is necessary to develop a strategy and that is today. It is not reasonable to sit and wait and let others find solutions. That will only costs market shares in the long run.

Training and education is necessary to achieve advantages by the use of Internet. It is important to note that that marketing online is quite different from marketing offline by print, TV, radio etc.

The marketing efforts are divided in two, one for reaching the customer and one to keep the customer. The last one is a new and complicated area we do not know enough about today, but we know that interactivity, flow and stickiness plays a significant role. The E-Retailer has to be aware of the necessity to make it easy for the E-Customer to buy and that means simplicity. It should be exiting and entertaining to discover the products, the E-Retailers are selling, but if the E-Customers are seeking certain information in a goal oriented way it has to be easy and fast to find that information. Ordering forms has to be easy to understand and intuitive. The E-Customers have to get clear information how they should fill out the forms and clear message back if the customers have filled out the form in a wrong way.


As much as Internet’s abilities have an influence on the E-Retailer’s relation to their E-Customers, it has also an influence on the relationship to partners and competitors. New partnerships will occur and a lot of companies will outsource more than earlier to new partners as communication and coordination will be cheaper.
The middleman will get harder competition, what will force them to adapt to the new situation or they will disappear. New ‘intermediaries will appears. They will come out of now where and adding new value on top of the old value, aggregate it and resell it with other value, and steal the customers.

The agent technology will also get a greater significance. E-commerce will not get the necessary efficiency without the services the agents will be able to offer. The quantity of information is enormous and all of us have to get help to manage it.


As secure payment is the key to the realisation of E-Commerce, the agent system is the key making it efficient. Internet’s strength is at the same time it’s weakness. It is much information out there. Agents are ideal to sort out the information and help the customers to take the right decision, by reducing the quantity of information and do it more relevant and to the point. It is essential that the agents could talk to each other and with the user in an efficient and correct way.

The use of agents will increase because they do the tasks for companies and customers more efficiently, more convenient, fast and user-friendly. But a human being has to trust these agents because the human being wants security, control and understanding. The customers has to be sure that nothing will be missed, changed or done in a wrong way if and when the agents should take over the buying process. Intelligent agents have a great potential, but they aren’t at all fully developed.


Customers can’t just be won, they have to be satisfied. E-Retailers have to create customer oriented business processes to succeed. That means it is critical for the E-Retailer to design and implement procedures that are satisfying the needs the customers have. The E-Retailers have to keep the promises they make concerning for instance delivery and time.  Successfully E-Retailers offer also build-to-order products and personalisation. The focus is on creating lasting relationship


E-Retailers have to assure that the business processes are function in the way they should:

  • Design processes for customers, not for themselves
  • Use the customer’s knowledge
  • Let customers, suppliers and service providers help
  • Collaborate with suppliers and service providers
  • Make sure that security is assured
  • Select the right products and make sure they are bought
  • Triggering orders
  • Handling payments
  • Delivering the goods
  • Receiving feedback



Last but not least there are eight critical trends in information technologies that E-Retailers have to take into account, They are already under ways and they will create the real consumer revolution and create unprecedented growth in productivity and personal wealth: They are: (Dent, 1998: 111)


  • Trend 1 Vastly expanded computer power
  • Trend 2 Mass adoption of portable and home PCs
  • Trend 3 Computer evolve into simple, inexpensive appliances
  • Trend 4 Microprocessor-embedded home appliances linked through Internet
  • Trend 5 Consumer rapidly move online
  • Trend 6 Expansion of communications bandwidth
  • Trend 7 Object-oriented programming for customised software
  • Trend 8  Increased computer literacy, due to an aging population





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