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Main article: "Supply chain management
For a long time, companies had been troubled by the gap between the benefits which supply chain technology has and the solutions to deliver those benefits. However, the emergence of e-commerce has provided a more practical and effective way of delivering the benefits of the new supply chain technologies.
E-commerce has the capability to integrate all inter-company and intra-company functions, meaning that the three flows (physical flow, financial flow and information flow) of the supply chain could be also affected by e-commerce. The affections on physical flows improved the way of product and inventory movement level for companies. For the information flows, e-commerce optimised the capacity of information processing than companies used to have, and for the financial flows, e-commerce allows companies to have more efficient payment and settlement solutions.
In addition, e-commerce has a more sophisticated level of impact on supply chains: Firstly, the performance gap will be eliminated since companies can identify gaps between different levels of supply chains by electronic means of solutions; Secondly, as a result of e-commerce emergence, new capabilities such implementing ERP systems, like "SAP ERP, "Xero, or Megaventory, have helped companies to manage operations with customers and suppliers. Yet these new capabilities are still not fully exploited. Thirdly, technology companies would keep investing on new e-commerce software solutions as they are expecting investment return. Fourthly, e-commerce would help to solve many aspects of issues that companies may feel difficult to cope with, such as political barriers or cross-country changes. Finally, e-commerce provides companies a more efficient and effective way to collaborate with each other within the supply chain.
Along with the e-commerce and its unique charm that has appeared gradually, virtual enterprise, virtual bank, network marketing, online shopping, payment and advertising, such this new vocabulary which is unheard-of and now has become as familiar to people. This reflects that the e-commerce has huge impact on the economy and society from the other side. For instance, B2B is a rapidly growing business in the world that leads to lower cost and then improves the economic efficiency and also bring along the growth of employment.
To understand how the e-commerce has affected the society and economy, this article will mention six issues below:
- E-commerce has changed the relative importance of time, but as the pillars of indicator of the country's economic state that the importance of time should not be ignored.
- E-commerce offers the consumer or enterprise various information they need, making information into total transparency, and enterprises are no longer is able to use the mode of space or advertisement to raise their competitive edge. Moreover, in theory, perfect competition between the consumer sovereignty and industry will maximize social welfare.
- In fact, during the economic activity in the past, large enterprises frequently had the advantage of information resources at the expense of consumers. Nowadays, the transparent and real-time information protects the rights of consumers, because the consumers can use the internet to pick out the portfolio to their own benefit. The competitiveness of enterprises will be much more obvious than before; consequently, social welfare would be improved by the development of e-commerce.
- The new economy led by e-commerce changes humanistic spirit as well, but above all, employee loyalty. Due to the market with competition, the employee's level of professionalism becomes crucial for enterprise in the niche market. The enterprises must pay attention to how to build up the enterprises inner culture and a set of interactive mechanisms and it is the prime problem for them. Furthermore, though the mode of e-commerce decreases the information cost and transaction cost, its development also makes human beings overly computer literate. Emphasizing a more humanistic attitude to work is another project for enterprise to development. Life is the root of all and technology is merely an assistive tool to support quality of life.
- Online merchants gather purchase activity and interests of their customers. This information is being used by the online marketers to promote relevant products and services. This creates an extra convenience for online shoppers.
- Online merchandise is searchable, which makes it more accessible to shoppers. Many online retailers offer a review mechanism, which helps shoppers decide on the product to purchase. This is another convenience and a satisfaction improvement factor.
E-commerce is not a new industry, technically speaking, but it is creating a new economic model. Most people agree that e-commerce will positively impact economic society in the future, but in its early stages its impacts are difficult to gauge. Some have noted that e-commerce is a sort of incorporeal revolution. E-commerce has numerous social benefits: one, the cost of running an e-commerce business is very low when compared with running a physical store; two, there is no rent to pay on expensive premises; and three, business processes are simplified and less man-hours are required to run a typical business smoothly. In the area of law, education, culture and also policy, e-commerce will continue to rise in impact. E-commerce will truly take human beings into the information society.
E-commerce has grown in importance as companies have adopted pure-click and "brick-and-click channel systems. We can distinguish pure-click and brick-and-click channel system adopted by companies.
- Pure-click or pure-play companies are those that have launched a website without any previous existence as a firm.
- Bricks-and-clicks companies are those existing companies that have added an online site for e-commerce.
- Click-to-brick online retailers that later open physical locations to supplement their online efforts.
Examples of new systems
According to "eMarketer research company, "by 2017, 65.8 per cent of Britons will use smartphones".
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