Computers are a very important part of our world and are vital to the success of any firm. This paper will explore how computers are related to my profession as an Internet merchant. We will discuss the role that the computer plays in allowing me to perform my duties as a merchant. The discussion will also focus on the program languages and devices that are vital to my success. This technology includes Application Service Providers, a Merchant Account and Data Warehousing. I will explain how these technologies are used and why they are vital to the success of my business. First lets discuss the nature of my profession and the duties that I perform.
Nature of my Profession
As an Internet merchant I sell products and services over the World Wide Web. I have a website that allows people to purchase products using credit cards and shopping carts. The products that I sell include office supplies, As Seen On TV products, computers, cameras and watches. The services that I provide include business and financial consulting; this is done on a month-to-month prescription basis. The business has been in operation for five years and grosses $10,000 a month in profits. The business is home based and I have two employees; a secretary and a bookkeeper.
In my home office there are three computers that are used for business purposes. Computers aid me in keeping my business organized and allow me to track the process of business transactions. I use a computer to update my site, review and log customer orders, and to send and receive email from customers and suppliers. My secretary uses her computer to write letters, memos and to send e-faxes. My bookkeeper uses her computer to record accounting transactions.
I've found that the technology a computer provides is essential to the success of my Internet business. I have discovered that email is among the most effective tools that can be used to succeed in an Internet business. Email provides me with an inexpensive way to contact customers because I don't have to worry about long distance calls. Email has also been an important part of the internal success of the company because my employees are able to telecommute three days a week. This means that they can most of their work from home because most of the work that they perform is electronic. Telecommuting for my employees would not be possible if it were not for the vital technology that computers provide.
The nature of an Internet business is extremely competitive because there are thousands of online merchants that are vying for customers. These customers have to choose which sites offer the best prices with the best customer service. The use of computers and the appropriate computer programs allow me to cater to the needs of customers in a quick and cost efficient manner. If an online merchant does not posses this technology they will not succeed on the Internet.
Online spending produces billions of dollars a year. Experts believe that online purchasing will continue to increase significantly over the next two years. There are many reasons why people choose to make purchases online the primary reason is convenience. When a person purchases a product online they do not have to stand in line or find a parking space all they have to do is point and click. This convenience of Internet purchasing has created a huge market that is worldwide and ready to buy. It is vitally important that Internet merchants like myself are prepared to handle the demands of the growing Internet and the growing pool of online consumers. These demands can only be met through the utilization of computers and programming technology that can meet the needs of customers, suppliers and the merchant.
Computers grant me access to customers all over the world and provide a lucrative way for me to grow a lucrative business. It also allows other entrepreneurs to see that running an Internet business is possible and profitable. Computers allow me to run a business from home and be my own boss. They allot me the freedom to not have to depend on an employer for a paycheck or a vacation.
Another programming language that I use in my profession is ASP. An Applications service provider allows me to rent the hardware and software that I need to run my business. This is very cost efficient because I don't have to buy the equipment and I do not have to hire a staff to maintain the equipment. ASP technology also allows me to purchase only the equipment that I need which results in a huge savings. (Hayes)
The ASP provides several services for my business. The main service that it provides is website hosting. The ASP provides the hardware and software that allows my website to operate. The ASP also provides computing and communications infrastructure for my business. In addition it provides my business with several people services. These services include customer support, a help desk, hardware installation, application monitoring, application planning and it also provides my business with backup and recovery technology (Hayes)
This technology is vital because it allows me to manage my website in a speedily and cost efficient manner. It also provides provisions in case my computer crashes and software is lost. In addition the ASP provides me with technical support if I have difficulty operating the hardware or software.
Online Merchant Account
Another programming technology that I use is an Online Merchant account system, which is an e-commerce application. This is a system that allows me to accept credit cards, debit cards and checks. In addition to the aforementioned applications the Merchant Account system also allows me to provide accurate product information to customers. Providing accurate information allows me to maximize profits and increase customer loyalty. It also allows my customers the convenience of shopping twenty-four hours a day seven days a week. It allows customers to purchase products that they want with very little effort.
The merchant account programming provides me with several other services. The first of these services is product catalog management, which allows me to manage my product catalog. Managing the product catalog allows me to put products into categories, provide customers with product details, SKU's and product attributes. The program allows me to manage the product catalog through custom to-do list.
The second service that this program provides me with is merchandising management. Merchandising management allows me to feature certain products on my website at a special price. It also allows me to target the purchase of certain products to the right customers. I can base this merchandise management based on the information that the service provides me about cross sells, up sells and price.
The last service that the program provides is collaborative enterprise integration. Collaborative enterprise integration allows me to integrate online transactions with the internal business strategies. This integration allows me to make adjustments to my e-business strategy.
In addition the merchant account allows me to track transactions and have access to the money within 48 hours. The merchant account that I have deposits money made from purchase directly into my checking account. This service is convenient for me as a merchant and it is convenient for my customers. The merchant account service is vital because more than 90% of online purchases are made with a credit card. It would be impossible for me to be successful if I did not have a merchant account.
The final programming device that I use is database management. Database management tracks the purchasing habits of customers. This allows me to gain repeat customers, retaining customers is much simpler and less expensive than gaining new customers. This program gives me a competitive advantage over other online businesses because if I need to sell a particular product I can go to the database and find out which customers are likely to buy the product and I can advertise the product to those particular customers. (McCollum)
This Technology teaches me a great deal about my customers and this knowledge is very valuable. The knowledge that I gain about these customers allows me to conduct one-on-one market. The database provides me with information about prior purchases or any problem that the customer may have had with the purchase. This allows me to personalize the conversation with the customer that I have when I contact them via email or phone. (McCollum)
Database management also allows me to divide may database into segments depending on the amount of money that customers spend on the site. Customers that purchase products frequently are given certain incentives and discounts. The customer list that the database provides allows me to send these customers customized newsletters that can be easily printed and sent. I can also inform customers by mail when new products are introduced. This targeting and customization saves me thousands of dollars in advertising expenses a year because I do…