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The Wijaya Group Of Companies was established in 1977 with a limited number of employees to conduct the business. It has a history of over 3 decades today, and has created employment opportunities for nearly 1200 employees. The Chairman of Wijaya Group of Companies, Mr. K.R.G. Wijesundara came out with the initial idea of establishing this company with regard to apparel industry 30 yrs ago. As the owner of the company Mr. Wijesundara has faced a lot of challenges in directing the company to achieve its prime targets due to the continues changes in the external environmental factors which aroused from the newly introduced open economic trading policies to Sri Lanka at that time. The demand factors in the apparel industry changed completely and created many niche markets during this era, forcing Mr. Wijesundara to introduce many strategies and tactics in order to face these challenges and direct his employees continuously. Due to the correct controlling measures adopted, he was able to motivate his employees and carry out a friendly environment within the organization leaving a space for the employees to complete their individual tasks effectively and efficiently.
The Wijaya Group of Companies was able to expand its core business to many new areas in the industry within a very shorter period of time due to the collective efforts by the employees of all categories starting from the top management to bottom level. Among its customers The Wijaya Group of Company, is well known as C.I.B Shopping Center today, and it provides many products under single roof, starting from imported as well as locally manufactured garments to other important house hold items. The prime target of this company is to invest in new business ventures and expand it locally as well as internationally, and as a result of this the management soon came up with the idea of specializing in some sectors and opened up special outlets for ‘Sarees’ which was named as Wijaya Saree Mandhir. By the end of this year the Wijaya Group Of Companies, holds 22 branches in Sri Lanaka, and conducts its business based on a Divisional Structure headed by five separate Regional Managers from regions such as Western Province, Sabaragamuwa Province, North Western Province, North Central Province, and Central Province. This company has currently employed 21 branch managers, to direct the activities all around its branches.
THE VISSION AND MISSION OF WIJAYA GROUP OF
THE HIERARCHIAL STRUCTURE OF
WIJAYA GROUP OF COMPANIES
THE PROBMLEM IDENTIFIED
THE ABSENCE OF ONLINE SELLING
The Wijaya Group Of Companies currently holds the ownership of 22 outlets which includes Shopping Centers as well as special outlets for Sarees and Tailoring. As the management always tends to expand its operations in different sectors, today they are in brink of introducing its products to the global market. The C.I.B shopping centers have a wider variety of products ranging from garments to household items and today it holds a strong portion of loyal customers that shop in these centers regularly.
At present the management of Wijaya Group of Company, is working hard on increasing the customer base they are holding currently, and the most common methods in use are the various marketing tactics which varies from Price differences to different Bonus Offers, through such measures the management has been able to attract customers continuously. But despite all this, our team was able to identify a problem which was a major drawback in this company, and that is the ‘Absence of Online Selling’
Today we live in a highly globalized world, where each in every individual and a country is interconnected via Internet and as a result of this, selling tactics used by most of the organizations are moving towards a more web based structure. The marketing strategies used by most of these organizations are diverted to meet this new trend in order to achieve the competitive advantage over their competitors. Profit maximization is considered as a prime target in most of the organizations today, and in order to achieve this it is vital to approach a customer before the competitor, and provide updated information to them. A company can easily achieve this through ‘online selling’, where a complex procedure like selling can be done by a single click on the screen, rather than meeting different retailers, distributors etc.. providing many advantages to the customer as well as the company itself.
The Internet is a vast public web of computer networks, which connects users of all types all around the world to each other and to an amazingly large information repository.
It is been hailed as the new technology behind the New Economy. It allows anytime, anywhere connections to information, entertainment and communication. At present many companies use the Internet to build close relationships with customers, and marketing partners. Beyond competing in traditional market places, they now have access to exciting new market spaces. The Internet may help a business in the following methods.
1. Virtual storefront
Sells physical products directly to consumers or to individual businesses.
2. Information broker
Provides product, pricing, and availability information to individuals and businesses and generates revenue from advertising or from directing buyers to sellers.
Example: Edmunds.com, Kbb.com
3. Transaction broker
Saves users money and time by processing online sales transactions, generating a fee each time a transaction occurs. Also provides information on rates and terms.
4. Online marketplace
Provides a digital environment where buyers and sellers can meet, search for products, display products, and establish prices for those products. It could provide online auctions or reverse auctions where buyers submit bids to multiple sellers to purchase at a buyer specified price as well as negotiate to fix pricing.
Example: eBay.com, Priceline.com
5. Content Provider
Creates revenue by providing digital content such as digital news, music, photos, or video, over the Web. The customer may to access the content. or revenue may be generated by selling advertising space.
Example: CNN.com, TheStreet.com
6. Online service provider
Provide online service for individuals and businesses and generates revenue from subscription or transaction fees, from advertising, or from collecting marketing information from users.
7. Virtual community
Provides online meeting place where people with similar interests can communicate and find useful information.
Provides initial point of entry to the Web along with specialized content and other services.
Example: Yahoo.com, MSN.com
Electronic commerce which is also known as e-commerce is a form of doing business via internet. It can be also known as the buying and selling processes supported by electronic means, primarily the internet. E-commerce includes e-marketing and e-purchasing. Ecommerce benefits both buyers and sellers in many ways such as ; it could be convenient, buying can be easy and private, it could provide greater product access to buyers, online buying and selling could be more interactive and immediate, it could be used as a tool for building good customer relationships, from the sellers point it could reduce costs, increase speed and efficiency, and also it could be more flexible way of conducting business.
IT Based Solution
Starting an online selling operation
Starting an Online Selling Operation
The Wijaya Group Of Companies is a medium sized chain, which conducts its business as “shopping centers” and “saree centers” in five different provinces in Sri Lanka, and concentrates mainly in the “apparel sector” today, by providing imported as well as in house garments to varies levels of categories. Currently it uses traditional methods in selling operations and has not adopted itself to the latest method of selling, which is done through internet.
Starting an online selling operation system and getting involved in e-commerce would benefit the company in many ways with the present day’s rapidly changing business world. Since Wijaya Group of Companies holds 22 outlets, they could build up an intranet which is an internal network based on Internet and World Wide Web technology standards. All the shopping centers therefore could be linked to one another. This system will help the chain to communicate and keep track of their stocks.
Wijaya Group Of Companies could also develop an extranet, which is a private intranet that is accessible to authorized outsiders such as suppliers of the company. Suppliers could communicate with the company via extranet and supply products when needed and each shopping center may place orders when they reach a re-order level. This company could have their own lease line to keep connected to their most important suppliers.
This company may start off their online selling procedure by launching their own Web site. This web site may include information about the chain, their products, and their branches, how to purchase a product online, payments, making orders, checking on new products, etcâ€¦. They could use ‘banner ads” which are graphic displays on web pages used for advertising and the banner should be linked on to the company web site so that the person clicking on the banner will be transported to the company web site immediately.
They could develop a portal which is a web site or other service that provides an initial point of entry to the web pr to internal company data. This portal could provide its viewers with a directory of information on the internet along with news, telephone directories, maps, shopping and other services. They could also develop their own internal portals to provide employees with streamlined access to corporate information resources.
CostWijaya Group Of companies will be able to sell their products directly to retail customers via internet, by passing intermediaries such as distributors or retail outlets. The purchase transaction costs could be reduced in great numbers by eliminating intermediaries in the distribution channel (disintermediation). The company could also reinforce re intermediation by shifting the intermediary role in a value chain to a new source. The benefits of disintermediation to the consumer are illustrated below.
As this processes show, the selling operation of the company could be changed into a much simpler process if the company adopts the online selling method, by reducing the extra responsibilities of retail outlets and distributors which will help to cut down the costs.
The company can use interactive features of web pages to hold consumers’ attention or to capture detailed information about their tastes and interests. The company web site can be a bountiful source of detailed information about customer behavior, preferences, needs, and buying patterns and the company can use this information to tailor promotions, products, services and pricing.
The web site of the company could also obtain customer information by asking visitors to register online and provide information about them. These information along with the consumers previous purchases could be recorded in the company web site and the next time the same consumer logs in, the web page could greet him/her by his/her name (ex: Welcome Peter) and provide the consumer with products similar to the previous purchases. This system will motivate the consumer to purchase products more often from C.I.B shopping centers and will help build strong customer relationships. Communications and product offerings can be tailored precisely to individual customers. Wijaya Group of Companies can create a unique personalized web page which is also known as web personalization that displays content or ads for products of special interest to each user.
Apart from these, they can develop their electronic payment systems and receive payments online, and could create blogs to gather customer suggestions, they could even use their web site and e-mail to customer questions and provide customers with helpful information. The web site may also have link such as “push to talk” for instance where visitors could click on and request for a phone call in case of any inquiry and the company should have a call center connected with this link to provide this service.
STEPS TO CRATE AN ONLINE STOREFRONT
SHOPPING CART PROGRAMME
MERCHANT ACCOUNT (BANK)
E-COMMERCE WEB SITE
The above picture shows the process of online selling. The procedure of online selling statrs with the creation of a website of the company and ends with a transaction which is done via credit cards.
Get Signed Up with the Best Wholesale Distributors
If a company plans to expand its operations to online, it is important to search for the best wholesale distributors, drop-shippers and sign up with them. In this case it is vital for Wijaya Group Of Companies, to complete this task first inorder to run the online selling process smoothly.
These wholesale distributors offer the lowest wholesale prices around and drop-ship the products directly to the customers location with the name of the business on the box, so that it will appear to your customer as if the package came from the oraganization itself. This will be a brilliant concept for Wijaya Group of Companies as it will help to increase the loyality of customers towards their products.
Build Up the Online Storefront
Creating a website is the next major step in this,the company will have to create and register their own unique domain name. (eg : www.cib-shop.com). The company has to choose a reliable web hosting provider as well.
After selecting the unique domain name,it is important to create and design a professional and profitable Internet Storefront that will entice visitors to buy the products on their first visit.
Select a suitable E-Commerce Software
It is important to select software that suits the needs of the company. Through this Wijaya Group Of Companies will be able to take and process orders.
Recommended Software : Product Cart Software
Select a suitable way to collect Payments
A sophisticated payment method is a must in online selling. Most of the organizations accept the credit card system today as it simplifies the transaction to the customer as well as the company. Wijaya Group of Companies can select the system as it fits, and some of the methods used by other organizations are: Real time Credit Card Processing through a number of supported payment gateways, Offline Credit Card Processing (eg : A company can use their POS if they have retail stores), Checks, Purchase order, PayPal, Google Checkout etc..
Key Facts in Online Selling
Choosing the Right Niche
This is a vital factor in online selling. The products a company plans to sell through online has a greater impact on the final value of sales, and this could be only achieved by selecting the exact niche market. Even after selecting the correct niche market if a company fails to deliver the updated information through working hard and introducing new features to their site in a daily basis still a company will fail to meet the targets set by the management. The Wijaya Group Of Companies will have to consider this matter seriously, if they want to achieve competitive advantage over their competitors. They must be in a position to update information of the new products immediately to the site and present it to the customers creatively. In the physical world, niches are based on geography, but Geography is almost irrelevant on the Internet. So it is important for Wijaya Group to choose a niche small enough that they can dominate and maintain it through constant updates.
High Production Value
In a print catalog, “production values” refers to the quality of the paper and printing processes used, the number and quality of images, and the care taken with graphic design. High production values are critically important in catalogs, which have to convince consumers to buy based on a few sheets of paper.
Production values are even more important on the Web. Consumers will not buy from an amateurish Web site. Most of the people who visit a site will still find the idea of ordering online unusual as it requires a number of special facilities. The management of this company will have to concentrate on this matter, because the site created by them needs to inspire visitors with confidence. It should say that it is a kind of company that does things right, and that if a customer order something from there, it will be a good experience for them.
Promoting the Site
Having a great Web site is not enough. The success of it, relies on how far the site is capable of bringing in people to it. But promoting an online store is different from promoting an ordinary Web site, because through an online store a company targets to sell its products. Earlier the only answer available for promoting a site was through a Search Engine that provides space for all kinds of products. But recently Internet Hubs like Yahoo! And MSN have created areas just for shopping, giving more prominence to frequently requested products. If a company plans to advertise its products and sell those before its competitors, it is important to make sure that the site created by the company appears in the first place as soon as the customer request
for similar sites. A company can achieve this by using the key words which relates to the products frequently, as it creates a greater chance for the search engines to filter it out. So it is important for the management of the Wijaya Group of Companies to look in to this fact and create a site which can be easily filtered by the search engines. It is important to use these key words (eg : the word “clothes”) in a natural manner and give out the relevant information to the customer, without irritating them by using it repeatedly in each and every sentence and phrase.
Emphasize the Services
Online selling is becoming popular in a slow pace in Sri Lanka, and the number of uses who make use of this facility keeps on increasing in a daily basis today. As it is in the verge of growth most of the people who visit a store will still find the idea of buying online a little strange, so it is important to reassure these customers. The most powerful confidence builder is a top-quality site: high production values go to work directly on the visitor’s subconscious. But it’s also important to reassure visitors explicitly. It is important for a company to ensure the security level of their site and the transactions done, as it will have a great impact on the buying patterns of a customer, and if a company is capable of providing the required level of security, they have to highlight it and mention it to the customer clearly, and this can be considered as an emphasizing of a service provided by the company.
Advantages and Disadvantages in Online selling
Online shopping malls give an immediate online presence.
Sector-specific malls can provide an effective route to your target market.
They’re easy to set up for people with moderate IT skills.
You don’t need to go through the process of setting up an Internet merchant account.
You often get help and support in getting your store operational.
Updating your subscribers can be done almost instantly through email. Visitors to your website can get up to the minute information on each visit. If you are having a sale, your customers can start shopping at the discounted prices literally as soon as they open their email.
The cost of spreading your message is next to nothing. Emailing your subscription base is more often cheaper than sending a letter through the mail.
The online selling operation would definitely benefit the company in many ways when comparing with the traditional method which is followed at present. But introducing the new technology to the company may be very costly from the company’s point of view in terms of equipment, staff, buildings, maintenance cost, etcâ€¦. It may be very risky and the results would be unpredictable.
Going online and selling online will require more professional and technical staff and since the system will eliminate paper work, a great number of employees will have to be terminated from their jobs.
Incase the system fails the company will have to face the probability of losing its existing customers.
Online selling operations require a special online payment scheme. These Payment Schemes have a greater risk of getting hacked, so the customers will be reluctant to give their credit card information and avoid this method of online selling.
There is a lot of competition for the products introduced by an organization. By the time your customer finds you, they have tried out other links. Unless they can find what they are looking for quickly, they are gone.
The Wijaya Group of Companies should not directly stop conducting its business in the traditional method instead they should practice a parallel strategy where both the systems should be conducted.
The company should adopt its web site according to the changing environment and not just stick to the basics of a web site ( ex: add more links)
The company could develop a corporate intranet for the key departments in the business. ( ex: Finance and accounting, Human resources, Manufacturing and production, Sales and marketing)
In order to attract the customers it is important to update the information available frequently.
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