The major underlying reasons behind the success of electronic retailing (e-retailing) is that the technology convergence that offers better experience to consumers, enabling them to shop products from anywhere and at any time at a cost effective manner. There are several models of e-retailing that a business can select from to suit its needs (Botha, Bothma and Geldenhuys, 2008). E-retailing can be achieved with the help of the following two types of systems (Gilbert, 2003):
Interactive systems in e-retailing
This kind of e-retailing system permits two way interactions and consists of promotional touch screen booths or internet and kiosks for components such as holiday or airline bookings. Some systems can describe the product in use. In case of touch screens systems, they permit further inquiries or give printouts from the database. A feature of both systems is that a credit card can be used in order to protect the sale.
Passive systems in e-retailing
These are non interactive one way media, where the retailer can decide upon the timing and content of messages. They include entire one way communication media forms such as clubs on television, shopping pages or one way cable systems. The form of selling using passive systems consists of electronic media or video catalogs which describe the product in use or offers further information.
Technology today has seen a wide development so as to facilitate the electronic retailing function properly for both online businesses and consumers (Sople, 2009). The electronic retailer, in order to make the retailing process a success has to make several decisions regarding how online business will function. However, all decision must be taken over and against the principles guiding direct marketing.
- Sople V V (2009), Logistics Management, Pearson Education, New Delhi.
- Gilbert D (2003), Retail Marketing Management, Pearson Education, New Delhi, p 354.
- Botha J, Bothma B C and Geldenhuys P (2008), Managing E-Commerce in Business, Juta & company limited, South Africa, p 274.