A business going online can face many diffuculties. These problems include payment security; unfamiliar markets; errors in ordering; loss of personal information; hostile attacks; keeping the website up-to-date; language problems/issues; hardware failure; staffing issues and financial issues.
When a customer buys a product by either debt or credit card they are be trusting the business with their personal details to be kept safe and confidentioal. Sellers are also not safe because they could be a victim of Card Not Present (CNP) fraud, this is where someone is using someone else’s card details to buy goods online. They may not have the card physically on them, but all they need is just the details of the card to be able to purchase. This can be kept safe by specific security standards. SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) this encrypts the information in a browser eg: Internet Explorer which protects the consumers who can see a padlock symbol and also a ‘https’ on the address bar.SET (Secure Electronic Transfer) also protects the seller since the credit card company authorises the card to prove that the person using the card is legitimate. The seller does not know the card number, only to the card’s issuing bank.
This is where a website is available everywhere and the company could be dealing with consumers in unfamiliar markets. Also with different cultural expectations, accuring with unfamiliar regulations and also legal requirements should be dealt with. The business may not understand the popularity of its website, or the number of orders it will receive or even the costs of running the online operations or more so the distributing goods. If the business doesn’t meet orders promptly it will rapidly lose customers and may even be left with unsold stock or even struggle to repay money borrowed to be able to finance the website development.
Errors in ordering
Order forms online are to be designed to automatically check fot any errors by questioning unexpected entries and boxes left blank. Also they should be designed to remind the consumer if they leave out any information
Loss of personal information
Business are vulnerable to hackers or other types of cybercrime. Financial fraud occurs when a customer or business is denied of money that is theirs.
Keeping the website up-to-date
Businessess need to update their website from time to time to make sure that the information they have is accurate and reliable eg: product descriptions and prices. All companies have a legal requirement to provide pricise and up to date information. Most websites have a disclaimer clause to protect the problem if a customer takes action based on wrong information.
Some buyers from multinational online business may not understand. These can be fixed by the firms using a local agent who specialises in overseas sales or they can have enquiries translated by an expert.
All people who use computers depend on their Internet Service Provider. If that is lost, then it can cause many problems for the business especially if it’s offline for long. Many businesses have back-up servers that they can switch if one server goes down. Software problems may be caused by programming errors or through a virus. To stop this the, business installs an anti-virus software and network security.
Staff may be concerned that their jobs could be changed or disappear. Most companises have a call centre to answer customer queries. The staff now may feel that they may not have much personal contact with consumers as they now can order things online or email the company if they want information or they could contact a call centre if they have a question.
Having to set up a small website can be done not very high priced but companies who like to carry out big amounts of companies online or use their website as a extreamly important way of promoting their business can be expensive. Also, having to calculate the estimated financial benefits is hard. The set-up expenses includes having to register the domain name, to be able to arrang for an ISP to host the site (if not being done in-house), having to pay the agency having specialists to design the website, the marketing and promotional costs (so that potential customers can acknowledge the website) and is nessary any staff training requirements.
All companies go online to make more trade. There may be a problem if there is a massive flow of interest in the business. This could cause the site to crash or can make it run slowly and if there is not much stock or very few staff to process them, then the orders and enquiries may not be dealt with. Just simply by buying more stock or even employing more staff could result in a bad cash-flow problems. If the business gets a bad reputation online, it will lose customers rather than gain any.
Task 2 (P6, M2)
The market research information from online enquires are all obtained and looked over for many different reasons. The logs and cookies collect all the information on site usage; eventhough users can see their browsers to close the cookies and also many sites don’t use them. Logs, however, are made by all websites this is because they are the records that are created by the web server. Records include the number of hits it has made, the number of visitors it had or even unique users to a website, and how long they have stayed on the site. Some ISPs look at their log file data for consumers while others provide a software and the compnay produces its own reports. Registration forms also allowe the business to find out about the who is visiting their site, where the peson lives and also what they need.
The onnline market research can go from small pop-up questionnaires (which assess a user’s online experience) to produce longer customer service questionnaires which is sent by email and then once they are completed, they are looked at to provide more market information. The website activity software finds which search engines get customers onto the website; also which pages are popular and also which landing pages result in users going off the website eg: a lengthy form or even registration page. Having access to a whole new markets can include having a remote locations such as rural areas or even Highlands and the Islands of Scotland (if they have Internet access).
A new markets could also have customers which have disabilities who may have problems(mobility) or customers who are recovering from surgery or who camt go out as they are ill with a cold or flu. So having the internet provides easy and quicker access to a large range of information and fine priced products from their own homes. Under the Disability Discrimination Act, people in charge of websites are to have legal duty to make sure that the services they give on the Internet is available for disabled people.
Customers which have travel difficulties e.g. mothers with young babies, the elderly. Meaning that the customers will not be able to go the shops physically as to the inconvenience it would cause them so it would be suitable for them to buy online. It would also be quicker and easier to buy things online and also receive information from the Internet. Having access from a wide range of devices can also make site be viewed from anywhere. Phones with internet accses, laptops and a Wi-Fi hotspot when they are not at home.
Having a wider choice is a great benefit for people who live in small town or even rural areas as they are able to view information online and they can also see what goods are available in store as they don’t live in places the stores aren’t available. Convenience is a massive benefit because having the internet, it is more easier to search and to order online than to have to travel to the shop. All online businesses are also very beneficial to the people who come home late from their work or those who are simply too busy in the day to shop.
Websites that are available 24/7 helps those who are busy as it would be easier for them to order online to make their life less stress. It also benefits busy families as all they need to so is simply sit with their computer/phone/laptop and just shop there and then. People with disabilities or special needs can also benefit from the online businesses as they also don’t have to go to the shops for hours just to look for one thing as they may get tired, so online businesses make their life easier. There are several ways to pay securely eg: over the internet, through log details and PayPal.
Task 3 (D2)
Improving the security of the cardholder – they have entered the correct pin number, also asking them what their last payment on the card was to make sure it is the actual cardholder before any confirmations Unfamiliar markets
Having an option where your website is available in many different languages . Also having the currency of different countries.
Errors in ordering
Having a database where you can store all the customers’ details eg: name, address, order and shipping date this will prevent any mix up with the orders. Making sure all the correct orders are going to the right address, the staff should always double check before they ship goods and also after the delivery; staff should alwaysa ask the customer if they ordered the goods.
Loss of personal information
Websites should never put personal information on the website as other users can see. All personal deatils should be kept confidential. Do not give personal information in emails and all customer details should be all kept in a secure files or database.
Not keeping the website up to date
If there is a new offer, or even price reduction, websites should include or change it in their website. In order for them to achieve this, the owner of the website will have to check up on the website everyday for atleast a few hours to sort any latest information out and to also keep customers update to their products. If they do this, websites will become known for its reliability.
Backup server is when the main server is down it can help prevent any hardware failure. Also making sure you have antivirus on the website and a network security which helps because there could be programming errors or even viruses that could potentionally change or delete information.
In call centres, the staff can offer a call centre in which it support people and also trained staff can talk to customers so they can resolve any faults or connection problems. To get aways from having not much of personal contact with customers, staff should always stay and help the customers out. If they start off helping at first they then can build a better trust with them. Staff can also keep in touch with the customers and also stay with them until all their purchase is complete. To avoid any staff being unable to work with the technology, you can make sure all staff are capable with all the latest technology.
Having a small business can be a good thing as you won’t have to be spending as much money and you would also have a bigger income in which it can help you expand your business and it can also prevent you from having any financial issues in the future. If you start with a big business, you may not be getting much interaction and instead of making any profit, you’ll be making a loss instead. Therefore, starting out as a small business is the best way to avoid any financial issues. The business may think to much for their stock where there is not much for it this can impact on the company as it then will be making a loss. To prevent any of this, you may want to estimate very logically and sensibly.
This method help as you are able to know for sure who you are actually dealing with the real cardholder and to also avoid any fraud. The likeliness of the problem going down is high as you will need a pin number as well as a security question if you are to forget it.
This method helps as it is available to different people all around the world. The likeliness of the problem going down is likely as you are sure that you have the option available just in case you do get someone not from the country that is viewing website.
Errors in ordering
The solution to having errors in ordering will decrease the risk as having a database with the customer’s name, an order and a order number and address will reduce the risk. This will make sure that the staff will know exactly who is ordering and what they have bought.
Loss of personal information
From having anything lost it should be be stored somewhere private where it’s not available for the public eye. It can be reduced and also the effectiveness of the method is good as long as information on the business website has nothing personal and is kept private.
Not keeping the website up to date Customers will know always know the latest information and changes in your business. This is very important as it will help in the success of the business going online as the customers will feel that the business is reliable and up-to-date.
Having a hardware and protecting it well and also a back up system will be a very good way of reducing the risks from hardware. Using these methods to solve the problem is effective for a business. This will effect as having a back up copy of all the information if it gets lost or deleted.
The method for staffing issues are that the staff are able to communicate better with the customers and also have more of a personal approach with them, e.g. emailing requesting orders or deliveries. With the solution it is likely that the risk will reduce if staff has a personal email in which they are able to contact customers individually.
To not have problems of facing financial issues, by starting a small business instead of a large one can still be very beneficial. It is very likely that a business will not go into financial issues and will also not have to suffer from.
Courtney from Study Moose
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