(Dubosson-Torbay, 2005)Electronic business, commonly referred to as “eBusiness” or “e-business”, may be defined as the application of information and communication technologies (ICT) in support of all the activities of business. Commerce is all about exchanging goods and services across businesses and various groups of individuals. It may be viewed as one of the fundamental activities comprising in any particular business. The concept of electronic business rests on the principles of ITC.
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Often, this concept involves the application of knowledge management systems-business involves business processes spanning the entire value chain: electronic purchasing and supply chain management, processing orders electronically, handling customer service, and cooperating with business partners Standards that are technical in nature for E business help in data exchange between and amongst various companies. Software solutions comprising of E business solutions help in the integrations of various processes within and outside the firm. E business is conducted using the web inclusive of internet, intranet and extranets Definition
(UNDP-APDIP, 2003)A more comprehensive definition of e-business is: The transformation of an organization’s processes to deliver additional customer value through the application of technologies, philosophies and computing paradigm of the new economy.
E Business Models
EBusiness Model design
The accomplishments of the Informational and Communicational Technologies (ICT) result to revolution of internet-organization in the commences and companies sector. (Tapscott, Lowi, Ticoll, 2000; Timmers, 2000; Martinez, 2000)
In general, there are some parallel goals between the Enterprise model and E-business model. The characteristics of E-business modelling are mostly useful for the growth of business aspires and policies, reforming and allying business and others. . Business model can be defined as a structural design of the business with its creation, marketing and deliver valued partners plus capitals linked to more than one divisions of the targeted audience for higher and gainful revenues collection
The main key essentials those e-business model frameworks incorporate are:
The products and services are presented by the company with respect to the targeted audience.
The resources which are produced by the firm keeping in mind the view point of the targeted audience to satisfy the consumer result to yield high revenue.
The value and good customer relationship is result from the enhanced infrastructure and well spread partner’s network.
Other financial aspects like income configuration and cost
(Sliwinsky, 2007) This is an aspect of the e-business Model framework still having the importance in the area of internet, but the definition is changed deeply. As per the Tapscott, Lowi and Ticoll (2000), says that the promotion, advertising, publicity, public relationship and lot of other aspects are fetching as ancient concepts. The branding is the relationship between the client and the interaction of the firm with the client which is an emotional and transactional element. (Hamel, 2000)
In the present hi-infrastructure usage of internet age, SONY which is one of the most finest worldwide consumer electronics brand which almost enjoyed no similar brand justness and fidelity is astonishingly a typical case study for what a brand should not be to wear down its individual brand standing in the market place.
As per the company press release, it mentions that,” the Alix Partners Brand Power Index illustrates a complete difference between simple popularity, which a brand can attain momentarily through money off, etc., and true brand power, which the directory processes on a consumer satisfaction-versus-disbelieve formula. The first place is occupied by the Sony followed by Johnson & Johnson and Kraft. In the top ten lists, Dell and Hewlett-Packard is the only consumer of electronics at simply at the way of bottom.
The Sony kept its good sign in almost 5,000 consumer’s minds. Now considering the PS3, there are no issues of the brand power; because of the sales of the play station 2 says that the money is the making monster.
Segmentation to meet the different customer groups
(Hamel, 2000; Afuah, Tucci, 2001)The definition of ‘Market Scope’ covers the various aspects of how the competitions of market evolve, locations, and various breakups of product features accordingly.
With the expansion of communication by the use of ICT (Information and Communication Technology), differentiated strategies for different geographical regions become an important issue even for small firms.
Sony markets many products. For the purpose of this study and website analysis from a business perspective we have taken
Mobiles and accessories (Sony Ericsson)
How the Sony Website guides the users
The website is extremely user friendly and gives the customer the ease to choose the product he needs at the geographical location he /she is located at. It also gives a detailed description of the product including the technical specification along with the price.
The Mobile market
Aims to target low-end market by rolling out lower priced handsets to target low-end market
â€¢ Offered simpler products in addition to high level products
The Note book market
(Sony, 2009) The notebook category caters to
It lists out the product specifications and the available soft areas which eases the customers’ choice and helps him narrow down on his specifications.
Windows® 7 Professional
Intel® Centrino® 2 Processor Technology
Blu-ray »NVIDIA® GeForce® GT 230M
Built-in Wireless LAN 802.11a/b/g/n
Cam recorder market
Cam recorder market for instance targets the homemakers primarily.
9 new models have been launched from 14,990 onwards. Various specifications and versions of the cam recorder have been given. These specifications are in terms of
Hours of recording
Design and being compact including the facility of a memory stick
Advanced features and control
Certain other features are also given which include
Exmor R” CMOS sensor
Optical Steady Shot (Active)
Full HD 1080
ClearVidâ„¢ CMOS Sensor with ‘Exmor’-derived technology
Dolby® Digital 5.1 Creator Featuring a back-illuminated design that maximise and efficiently utilises the amount of light received. The end result being minimised noise, smoother action sequences, and better quality of the image, which is usually prevalent in low-light conditions.
It also gives the option to compare all the models .FAQ options are also given. This eases the customers’ anxiety and confusion.
All these features give the customer a wider variety of choice and it enhances the clarity in the customers mind as to which product would suit his requirement the most.
Serving the customer
Allocating the consumer comprise of fulfilment, sustain and customer relationship management (CRM). An organization have to enquire itself how it wants to distribute extra value to its consumers and what support and service point it wants to endow with. Fulfilment and sustain consign the way the company “goes to market” and how it actually “attains” customers (Hamel, 2000).
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A company have to classify its outlet scheme and recognize that the Internet has a huge prospective to balance rather than cannibalize its business (Porter, 2001). At the front-end, the Internet plays a significant character in consumer support and customer relationship management. It can make many of these methods more competent, by providing the consumer with a broad variety of essential information on products, prices and availability and by offering modified real-time information (i.e., delivery status, product lifecycle management).
Sony ensures customer satisfaction to the maximum. For example information regarding the following is available on the Sony site
Shipping at Sony
It should be kept in mind that the not all shipping methods are available for all products or to all locations:
Economy Ground Shipping: shipping time is 5-7 business days; delivered Monday-Saturday, (except TVs that are larger than 32″, which will not be delivered on Saturday).
Express: shipping time is 3 to 4 business days; no weekend delivery. Items may be shipped by a variety of carriers.
Expedited: shipping time is 2 business days; no weekend delivery. Items may be shipped by a variety of carriers.
Television Delivery Options
(America, 2010) Economy Ground Shipping: shipping time is 7 to 12 business days; delivered Monday-Friday.
When your new TV arrives in your delivery area, the carrier will call you to set up a convenient time to deliver your TV. The carrier will deliver the TV to your doorstep.
3 Day shipping: shipping time is 3 business days; delivered Monday-Friday. The carrier will deliver the TV to your doorstep. With this expedited option, the carrier is unable to schedule a delivery time. Not available in Alaska or Hawaii.
Sony’s Premier In-Home Delivery with Green Glove Service: shipping time is 5 to 7 business days; no weekend delivery. Your order will be shipped to a local delivery specialist within 3 days of placing your order. When your new TV arrives in your delivery area, the carrier will call you to set up a convenient time to deliver your TV. The delivery will be scheduled Monday – Friday between 8 AM and 6 PM with a three-hour delivery window. Delivery will include placing your new TV it in any room, unpacking, and set up and connection to one video source, and removal of all packing material. We’ll also remove your old TV and haul it away for eco-friendly recycling. Not available in Alaska or Hawaii.
Shipping Policy: Sony Style is unable to ship to P.O. Boxes, APO/FPO addresses, Guam, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands or locations outside of the U.S. To select a country for information on ordering products for delivery outside of the U.S., please visit Sony Global. To calculate when you will receive an item, please consider that items are typically placed with a carrier for shipment the business day following the order date OR the business day following availability of the product for shipping, whichever comes later. Signature upon delivery required.
*Sony requires a signature at the time of delivery. However, if you have an existing waiver form in place with the carrier, then it would be respected.
Sony Style endow with credit and financing alternatives to our customers from third party companies. Promotions, coupons, refunds, and credits are supervised by these third party companies.
The purchasing or selling the currencies which results from the execution of an order is called as transaction. Following are few different ways for the transaction facilities provided on website:
A customer can register online through using credit or debit card and also by attesting some personal details and email address and an online transaction can be done.
Customer can also use the existing account for making an online transaction through auto- recharging the account. Whenever the account has a minimum credit customer can activate auto recharge facility and can enjoy making online transactions.
Transactions can even be made when the customer is willing to subscribe to a few of the promotional offers. He/she needs to just click on buy now button on the promotional offer.
Transaction is an important process which must be very much secured and protected. Customers belonging to True roots can recharge their existing account even if the auto-recharge facility is not activated.
Sony performed well in the E business arena and was earning reasonably good profits however a careful investigation revealed the following
Sony limited was in need of a perfect incorporated and extensible solution that would attract more customers and build online loyalty by integrating customer facing creations with backend incorporations with their present IT systems. In order to meet the demands and objectives of their latest business Sony selected Grape City in order to identify and examine their current application and also to create a new platform.
Sony performed well in the E business arena and was earning reasonably good profits however a careful investigation revealed the following
(inc., 2007) Sony limited was in need of a perfect incorporated and extensible solution that would attract more customers and build online loyalty by integrating customer facing creations with backend incorporations with their present IT systems. In order to meet the demands and objectives of their latest business Sony selected Grape City in order to identify and examine their current application and also to create a new platform.
Challenges faced by Sony
In order to offer a comprehensive platform it completely incorporated the ERP and CRM technologies/systems.
Developed a website that is very easy to maintain and extend over a period of time.
Provided visibility to their stake holders and the management tools for the administrators.
In order to attract the customers offered a personalized shopping experience and also captured the customers’ point of view.
Grape City selected to base the new solution on top of the Microsoft® SQL Server technologies and Microsoft Commerce Server and they have decided this only after analyzing the problem in depth and studying carefully about Sony’s present system.
Microsoft® Commerce Server contains vital elements in order to build and spread the online customer concentrated businesses. It only permits for personalization, ongoing administration and product catalogue setup.
Following are the characteristics of the new system:
Flexible Product Catalogue: Microsoft Commerce Server is used in order to handle and publish the catalogues of the product. It resulted in decreasing the effort and the time taken to develop the website for certain time duration and also it made user experience consistent. Without usage of custom design effort it easily modified the products from time to time, about the price and other data. The product search at various levels and out-of-the-box product catalogues were also supported by this system.
Targeted Marketing: In order to examine the market in depth the system is incorporated with the existing CRM of Sony. It also verifies different markets by demographics and also attracts the online and offline marketing operations like sponsoring, promotions, emails and discounts.
Automated business workflow: the Commerce server was used by the system in order to automate the order processing operations like acknowledgement, order consolidation, manage inventories, processing the payment and controlling order version by incorporating with the Sony’s SAP ERP platform.
Customer Analytics: the system also directs Sony in order to examine and understand their online customer behaviour and to attain marketing opinions about improving their sales and marketing groups.
High System Security: the system is acquiescent with the C2 Standard of United National Security. A very high security was needed as the website not only contains the customer’s information (payments and personal data) but is also incorporated with Sony’s confidential sales record and marketing database through the integration of CRM and ERP.
How did Sony benefit
Following are the advantages that Sony acquired by implementing new solution:
Sony attracted more visitors to their website and also supported then in order to shop online by offering a more secured and personalized experience.
It took a very small amount of time for Sony to go from design to deployment because of the incorporation of Microsoft e-Commerce platform.
It allowed the central management and the reporting by the administrators resulting in active indulgence and very effective monitoring.
The decisions were very effective due to the visibility provided to their stakeholders in every phase of the business.
(John, 2009) Every year Sony spends millions only on marketing and promoting its products and the complete range of the customer’s electronics. The major part of the promotion consists of personal selling, advertising, sales promotion, direct marketing, indirect marketing and publicity. Sony has used all the above marketing mix.
Advertising is a part of promoting a product in the form of non-personal communication by using different media in order to present the services, idea etc. by the help of a sponsor. Sony had promoted and marketed its products through different ways and media. Through television we have seen many advertisements of Sony products like Bravia, Wega. Sony promotes its products by using some events like Miss India 2008.
Sales Promotion is a technique in performed in order to achieve good number of sales in an organization. It is concerned with programs which are focused on the customers, sales level that generates specific and measurable action and response of the customer, trade etc. Sony has implemented various policies and plans in order to promote its products. For instance when Sony released its new television brand Sony BRAVIA sets it promoted tem by early bird prizes by saying that all BRAVIA full HD LCD TV’s that are purchased in between July 2008 are subjected to get selected for a bonus Play Station 3.
Public Relations and Publicity
Public relation is like a communication activities performed to build a stronger relation and to maintain a good relation with the customers, employees, stakeholders, distributors, educators, media, investors, government, financial institutions, officials and also community. Sony is offering contacts for the customers much needed information from the company by developing this website. So, by this approach Sony builds a mutual relationship with its potential customers and also makes sure that it serves the best services and meets the expectations, wishes and demands of the customers.
Sony has done extremely well in providing excellent and exquisite service and products to its customers. Its E business has further enhanced and retained customer loyalty in a manner that Sony is able to boast about its brand being one of the best. It not only provides product information but also assists its customers in shipping and delivery. Its implementation of its E business solution where in its site was linked to back end was of great assistance and proved to be a boon to Sony. Not only did it give a more personalized experience of shopping to the customers but it also allowed the site to be managed dynamically where in incorporates changes were being immediately reflected.
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