Pooh-Pooh E-Commerce at Your Peril

January 1, 2000

John Irving’s ‘Towards 2000’workshop began with an apt quotation from A. A. Milne ‘A long time ago, maybe last Thursday…’ IT development is moving at an ever increasing pace these days. So much so that by the time users have become accustomed to a system its own manufacturers will have most likely superseded it.

The swing towards e-commerce, particularly across the Internet, was initially viewed as a fad. However, most current marketing strategies put an emphasis on the existence of a Web site. The power of advertising is well recognised and is generally aimed at the young. These ‘Post-Generation-X’ clients-to-be were and are weaned on IT and the Web.

One only has to look at Amazon.com, probably the largest most recognisable ‘virtual’ company in existence today, to see the market potential of the Internet. Without the Internet, that bookseller would not exist. With more and more people ‘getting connected’ every day, can any company afford to miss out? Future success seems to depend upon businesses having a Web presence, be they service providers or suppliers of goods.

If a Web site has sufficiently detailed advice pages and online transaction tracking, it is argued that customers would not telephone a firm so often – thereby freeing up time to tackle the tasks at hand. Increased throughput owing to the reduction of interruption would increase revenue.

Any concerns about data security should be put into perspective. Most of us have, at one time or another, given our credit card details to a complete stranger over the telephone. Our livelihoods are of great concern to us all, but dare we ‘e-gnore’ e-commerce and, with it, the likelihood of falling behind the times?

Listen to Pooh and judge for yourselves.