E-commerce is a very broad topic that can apply to many areas of an organization: business, technical, and security to name a few. Unfortunately not all of these areas have the same goals and objectives, but still are closely tied, which can complicate an E-comm strategy. Consider the following:
Of course, each focus adds value to the E-commerce strategy, meaning that there isn't a one-size-fits-all answer that works for every organization.
Any current E-commerce merchant, or anyone who is thinking about entering the world of E-commerce, will have much to consider when building a strategy that meets the many demands of all stakeholders. Consumers demand privacy and protection of sensitive information, as do payment brands. The business demands a solution which maximizes return while investing enough to mitigate perceived business risks, which requires technologies that align with the business's goals and objectives. Further, security needs demand policies and processes that reduce risks related to confidentiality, availability, and integrity.
So who's right? Or rather whose goals and objectives are most important? Ultimately, it is the consumer's experience that drives the business's focus, the technologies in place to support the business's focus, and the security functions that help build customer trust in the technologies.
Of course, large organizations must put thought into an E-commerce strategy, but it's equally applicable to anyone who is thinking of adding E-commerce functionality to their website. This includes:
The same demands exist in each scenario, and your strategy towards E-commerce will help you meet your goals and objectives - regardless of your organization's type or back story. We've established that there is no one-size-fits-all strategy, and that no one strategy is better than another. The key, then, is ensuring that you do have a strategy and that it meets the needs of your organization.
Best case scenario, nothing - but the worst case scenario could involve a breach of consumer information, resulting in the loss of customer trust, large fines, bad press and other associated horror stories. Other situations could involve a great marketing opportunity that gets your website or product mentioned on a popular radio or television show and now hordes of eager customers are knocking at your site.
It is great news when you have an E-commerce strategy in place. Without a strategy, it could be a very long, very bad day. This is where strategy becomes critical in the planning of an E-commerce site - not only planning for the good, but also planning for what could have gone very badly. In essence this is called risk management.
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