Dr. Sara Beam
ENGL 1033-08 Argumentative Essay Final Draft
19 April 2018
Implementing E-commerce to Improve Small and Medium Sized Enterprises’ Development
Digital technology helps the growth of those companies that are just beginning to venture into their respective industry. Investing in digital technology and development teams allow improving each of the company's processes. These contribute more value to the organization to develop at a level equal to or greater than that of its competitors, to achieve greater participation in the market. However, some people think of the impact that what digital technology can cause is not always positive. They argue that machines are doing human's work, and as an outcome, the human labor has been considerably decreasing since a machine can perform their work. Even though the implementation of digital technology in SMEs could replace human capital by automatization, digital technology, specifically e-commerce, should be implemented to improve SMEs’ development. There are several reasons to implement e-commerce on SMEs; it makes buying and selling more efficient: for example, having easy access to product marketing and transaction through apps, being able to make a transaction/purchase online from home is convenient, and the ordering/improving process in a restaurant can be streamlined.
SMEs can help customers have easy access to product marketing and transaction through apps. The use of social platforms and apps as a marketing tool for companies is increasing. For example, Facebook allows companies to use their platform as a channel to establish bidirectional communication with their current and potential clients. As a result, enterprises obtain valuable information for their business, such as the client's needs, preferences, and criticisms. For SMEs, apps like Facebook offer a competitive advantage at a lower cost so that they can accomplish their marketing activities in a difficult environment (Odoom et al.). Facebook not only allows the company to take advantage of opportunities for marketing, allows it to be part of the innovation in the business world at a lower cost. To get the most benefit from the strategies that are implemented in Facebook, it is essential that they are aligned with the rest of the company's marketing strategies. Another app is called eBay. It is an app and platform where SMEs can put their products on sale and be more known through it. SMEs can get their business globally instead of locally through technological innovations and thus enter an industry, competing successfully (Pierre-Louis and Melin p.36). The eBay app gives SMEs the opportunity to expand their business to the region they want. Therefore thought certain apps, customers can be in touch with SMEs and made an efficient purchase of a product.
There are other types of apps that offer different uses for SMEs besides advertising, such as transaction/payment and organization of customers and sellers. For instance, Lai and Wan show that “The MasterCard Commercial Network App empowers small businesses to enhance their organizational efficiency and facilitate management…” An efficient administration the business influences the necessary capacity so that it can reach those goals that are proposed. The MasterCard Commercial Network app aims to help businesses to have a considerable reduction in costs, higher efficacy, and productivity. According to Lai and Wan, this app has “business advantages including extended payment terms using their MasterCard Commercial Cards, exclusive discounts, free advertising in addition to the availability of a merchants and products directory.” This app is a powerful tool with different uses from which SMEs can take great advantage. It is not a new way of doing business, but a platform to facilitate it. However, some people like more face to face customer service and SMEs size is particularly more susceptible to present those situations. Also, some people feel more confident about the product buying at the physical store. If the company has a physical store, it has to provide an excellent service to the client and have the good quality product to start being well known as to search online. However, using apps as a tool for SMEs and customers makes the buying experience more convenient for both.
Clients should have an effortless and satisfactory experience by being able to transact/purchase merchandise from home. SMEs can expand their business in a region or all around the world. There are e-commerce creations for underdeveloped countries that help many entrepreneurs to have access to sell and buy products from their location. This supports local markets and regional markets to join the global marketplace. According to Hussain Atiya, the digital creation of “M-PESA, launched by Kenya’s Safaricom in March 2007, has been crucial in opening the door to formal financial services for Kenya’s poor and has had a significant effect on the Kenyan economy” (p. 4). M-PESA is an effective transaction tool that has greater levels of accessibility for Kenya’s population compared with traditional banking. Therefore, SMEs make customers have a pleasing experience while trying to buy a product from their location.
There is an important mobile tool for sellers and buyers in Kenya called Soko Hewani. On one side, there is a buyer who is searching for a product and needs to buy it for a reasonable price. On the other side, the seller wants to sell as much product as possible at a good price. That means sellers and buyers need a market for their goods. In the underdeveloped country of Kenya, some people are not able to read or write. Therefore, by using a Soko Hewani the sellers and buyers can be able to post offers by recording voice mail messages. These voice mail messages are handled by an operator of the market recourse center. The main goal of the Soko Hewani operator’s is to facilitate the exchange of goods so that they can meet each other later (Hussain). Admittedly, not all the points are in favor of e-commerce transaction/purchase; there are some against it. For example, the security of an online transaction is not always the best; there is a risk for online accounts to be hacked by someone. For that reason, it is key to increase the confidence of users. Not only in the payment platform but also in the companies or people that make sales. In some cases, making transactions or the exchange of goods could be complicated. Some problems still cannot be solved by the mobile device as they can be in person. However, as digital technology advances, innovative security measures are being implemented to prevent fraudulent crimes.
For SMEs restaurant field, the ordering/improving process should be streamlined by the use of digital technology. Customers can make and customize their orders through a digital device. This improves the customer's experience and facilitates the purchase by making the process faster. In general, those digital innovations are called POS Systems for restaurants. According to Sullivan “each table will have their own POS system to log in to and order, that send food to the kitchen right away.” Besides that POS system allow customers to process orders faster, some of these devices almost always include games for entertainment while waiting for food. POS systems for SMEs restaurants can incorporate ads, which serve as an advantage for marketing as well. The new digital technology for restaurants takes advantage of the time in which the consumers of the restaurant waiting for their order to promote other products. Also, through this system, consumers with employee supervision can process credit card transactions. The final purpose of a digital device in a restaurant while giving customer service is to improve the transaction and ordering process.
An illustration of a POS system on restaurants is the MenuPad. When using MenuPad in the restaurant the experience can be more streamlined for the clients for different reasons; customers have the option of efficient service by sending their order quickly to the kitchen without intermediaries, MenuPad has the list for the food available of the restaurant and can indicate when items are sold out, it has a simple and fast use, and MenuPad has clear images so the consumer can observe in detail what the plate contains (Wang and Wu p. 404). For making dining a more enjoyable experience, MenuPad provides customers with real-time, on-demand access to services. Some people claim that digital devices, especially for e-commerce are advancing rapidly in the acquisition of skills that were previously considered exclusively human. Therefore, automatization replacing human labor is an issue because it directly impacts on employment. Some of the jobs that exist nowadays could disappear later, and just a few jobs where people could be indispensable will remain. However, digital devices in restaurants facilitate the customer service, and it does not replace human labor. There will always be a need of waiters to serve the food. The use of technology for the relationship with the client is very important. SMEs through digital technology can be more active with the consumer and create a relationship with him or her around the experience of using a device. Restaurants that implement e-commerce devices to their business have access to everything in real time and from anywhere. These include monitoring of costs, expenses, billing, management, and inventory. Overall, digital devices such as MenuPad provide consumers convenient ordering process.
In conclusion, there are numerous needs of the market, the techniques used in e-commerce are adapted day by day to satisfy each of the parts involved in the purchase and sale of products and services. One of the main goals for e-commerce is to be able to transact sales and deliver products using digital methods and delivery services. Also, create an enjoyable and convenient shopping alternative for customers. Digital markets continue developing and becoming more popular as a form of alternative shopping. E-commerce benefit SMEs by reducing market costs and attracting more customers to the business. By reducing manual processes, more time can be devoted to other activities within the company. However, in the incorporation process of e-commerce, there are some cons such as automatization of the job. The concerns mentioned above could be solved by the improvement of digital devices, security of transactions, integration of workforce, and human capital to the company’s commerce performance. For an SME, the use of technology serves to improve processes and monitor their operations, but also as a means to keep their consumers satisfied and active. Digital technology will help emerging SMEs become more competitive at a global and regional level, so their leaders can promote practices and invest intelligently in the digital tools necessary tools to achieve their purpose.
Hussain, Atiya. “E-Commerce and Beyond: Opportunities for Developing Country SMEs.”
International Trade Centre. 1 Dec. 2013, p1-4. 4p.0- eds.b.ebscohost.com.library.utulsa.edu/eds/pdfviewer/pdfviewer?vid=1&sid=7468465a- 88ab-489e-b7a9-7a83b76636dd%40sessionmgr120
Odoom, Raphael et al. “Antecedents of social media usage and performance benefits in small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs)” Journal of Enterprise Information Management. 2017, Issue 3, vol 30. 0-www.emeraldinsight.com.library.utulsa.edu
Sullivan, Kevin. “The History of POS Use In Restaurants.” pos.toasttab.com/blog/the-history-of- restaurant-pos-systems. Accessed 6 April 2018.
Pierre-Louis, Vézina and Hanne, Melin. “eBay and the Rise of the Micro-Multinationals.” OECD Observer. 2023, Issue 295, p36-37. 2p. 0- web.a.ebscohost.com.library.utulsa.edu/ehost/pdfviewer/pdfviewer? vid=17&sid=85b4544f-306e-491f-bae2-bbd9d2902aee%40sessionmgr4006
Wang, Hsiu-Yuan and Wu, Sung-Yeh. “Factors influencing Behavioral intention to Patronize
restaurants using iPad as a menu card.” Behaviour & Information Technology. 27 May
2013, p393-409. 0-web.a.ebscohost.com.library.utulsa.