The case scenario being presented is a small brick-and- mortar specialty boutique that specializes in designer clothing, shoes, and handbags. The boutique offers affordable designer clothing and accessories for men and women. The business currently has a total of five employees. The store is operated by two full-time employees and three part-time employees. As far as marketing is concerned the store has a generic website with a list of few products, and customers can only purchase the items in-store. The goal of the company is to promote growth with an online presence and become more customer-focused (Rainer et al., 2016).
Upgrading to a new system to keep up with changing times will be faced with challenges that may arise. The owner is seeking to solve several problems by doing this system upgrade. Some of the challenges are the ability to reach the masses like their competitors Macy's and Kohl's. I will elaborate more on these two companies later. The business is lacking key technology that needs to be integrated into the existing system that will allow them to also conduct business as an e-business. The owner is aware the system will need to have a multi purpose use to run the business effectively. Including online shopping integrated, managed inventory, shipping capabilities, order status, online payment processing, facilitating collaboration internally and externally, managing customer contacts, provide reporting. Being able to use the new technology to manage the current brick-and mortar processes (sales, payments, inventory, and customer contact) (Rainer et al., 2016). The owner is aware that with these changes present potential risk concerning consumer privacy and security concerns that can arise. The owner wants to take all necessary precautions to protect the consumers as well as the company's data internally. The owner wants to be confident that the suppliers for the store and technology vendors do the same on their end in taking precautions against potential data breaches. Currently, the store is struggling with managing customer data and does not have a reporting tool to help management make informed decisions.
To better understand and to be able to help the owner I will research two technologies that will help the business when creating the business systems analysis; the owner has asked me to create. The first technology identified in business is mobile computing and mobile commerce. Meaning the ability to transmit and access data from any location, and capacity to conduct business in a wireless environment respectively (Rainer et al., 2016). The second technology research is social computing. Defined as the ability to use social media networks to conduct business (Rainer et al., 2016).
In the business system analysis, it should accomplish the wants and needs of the owner. The goal is to do what is in the best interest of the business. Incorporating online shopping, social media presence, managed inventory, and shipping capability, order status, and online payment processing, facilitating collaboration internally and externally, the ability to managing customer contacts, provide reporting. Accomplishing these goals will support the business with the use of new technology to manage the current brick-and mortar processes including sales, payments, inventory, and customer contact. Incorporating these technology changes into the business will increase social media presence. Therefore, increasing the revenue for the store.
The purpose of this project is to analyze the current system of the clothing store and to help implement new technology for a more efficient e-commerce presence. To satisfy the objectives of the business the owner would need to share more about the operating function of the business me. I will require the owner to go more in depth of how they are currently using their technology system in full detail from beginning to end. I need to understand the exact cycle and make sure I have a clear understanding of why the store wants to make the changes. The desired results at the of the project are to establish an e-commerce presence for the store. The business owner needs to know the importance of considering implementing the new technology if she wants to expand her e-commerce business presence. The new technology will reduce cost, improve efficiency, and develop a relationship with the current customers and potential new customers. The business owner knows the main reason to consider implementing new technology is to compete against the other major retailers with a stronger presence.
Competitors and Technology
Wireless, Mobile Computing, and Mobile Commerce
One competing company that operates in the same industry as the store is Macy's. Macy's is a large retailer with brick-and-mortar locations and well a significant e-commerce presence. Macy's is a retailer that sells everything from apparel, shoes, accessories, and household goods. The technology Macy's uses are a very user-friendly system. For example, on their website Macys.com, you can browse products, order products have them shipped to your home, order, and ship to someone else, or order products and pick up in the store. Ease of use is all done from a mobile device that consumers have in their hands 24/7 a sure way to increase revenue.
Another competing company in the same industry that uses this technology is Kohl's. Kohl's uses Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and Twitter just to name a few. By Kohl's using these multiple social media outlets they have the ability to reach the masses all at once. Kohl's post to these social media sites on a daily basis about what products they are currently offering. For example, on Facebook you can click on an image and then click a link in the bio and then once the image opens it will take to Kohl's website specifically to purchase that item to purchase others items. Another example of how social media is used is the interaction between the Kohl's and the consumers on Instagram. The customers can make comments in real time, and Kohl's can respond. Having this interaction with the customer lets them know that Kohl's is listening.
In researching the companies above one specific way Kohl's is benefiting from technology is the use of social media. The interaction with consumers along with increased revenue gives Kohl's significant benefits. If our store were to incorporate social media into the business, we too could have the potential of the same benefits. If the company adopted this same approach, the new technology would allow information to be broadcast quickly using fewer resources. Another added benefit of technology would be for marketing. Using technology for marketing the business will be able to reach millions of consumers through various social media sites. Another added benefit of technology is the ability to automate job functions, therefore, eliminating the need for a physical employee. An example would be the bookkeeping functionality that will now be handled by a chosen software applications.
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