Not everyone will be able to pan the e-commerce gold

The Government’s position on the future of e-commerce is that we must allsee the internet as an opportunity or else it will be a threat.

There is an e-commerce buzz in the air. Companies and individuals are on agold rush frenzy to adopt e-commerce before it is too late. In every paperfrom the tabloids to the broadsheets we are being hit by internet fever.

Bill Gates recently said that in five years time all companies will beinternet businesses or they won’t be businesses at all.

Closer to home in the UK the Prime Minister has said go online or go out ofbusiness.

But in the mad rush to a wealth beyond their dreams – many entrepreneurshave lost sight of business basics such as: customer satisfaction and marketunderstanding.

Having great ideas and the strategies to exploit opportunities is crucial,but the gap between success and failure is all about customer satisfactionand shaking off the competition. Which boils down to market understanding.

In the e-commerce rush many businesses are forgetting what their customersreally want and the customer is always king. E-commerce, like any business,requires good service and a quality product, which is available when,advertised.

Some are merely putting their current tried and trusted operations on theweb. Others are using cyber technology to help them make savings inotherwise traditional business sectors.

Others are cutting out the middlemen between producer and consumer anddiversifying into new markets.

Significantly, firms are investing heavily in IT related positions, as therecruitment pages show.

The business community has been driving the development of the Internetforward. Previously it has been business to consumer. But now e-commerce isprimarily a business-to-business affair and will remain so over the years tocome.

The big software companies are working hard to pan the e-commerce gold, andthe big prize will go to those who show innovation and excellence.

BBC TV recently claimed 63% of European companies are now selling on theinternet. The ability to reach new markets is seen as the main benefit.

Not every pioneering entrepreneur wanting to provide internet solutions willprofit from e-business. Few of the innovative ideas will get the support ofventure capitalists or incubators because of the associated risks.

Exploiting the internet is critical for worldwide businesses – but not atthe cost of business basics such as customer satisfaction and marketunderstanding. But above all it is NOT easy. Only the educated and energeticwill survive.

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