Tuesday, 23 August 2011

Week Three

So this week we had our lecture at SEATS and had Ian Knox, from UB come in and speak to us. He was very interesting to listen to and I found his honest and frank out look on ebusiness interesting and inspirational. He spoke of the many ways to run a business on line and touched on the power of social network sites.

Week Three Questions.

Explain why a customer centric web site design is so important yet so difficult to accomplish.

It seems in this day and age that it is fairly obvious why a web site needs to be customer centric. When businesses first started to use the web, their sites were for the most part just a digital brochure of the products or services that the company offered. The user would be most likely searching for information rather than to make a purchase or use a service. As the world moves toward digital marketing and the consumer embraces the technology of online shopping, a company wishing to remain competitive must develop a site that is easy to use and that makes the customer feel comfortable with the purchase process. If a customer can not use the site with ease or does not feel that the site and therefore their personal information is secure they simply will not purchase from the site.
A customer centric site is so difficult to accomplish for lots of reasons. Before a company can develop a customer centric site they must first get to know their customer very well, this presents it's own set of challenges. Once the company has a sound understanding of their customer they then have to design a process that works well, large companies may have the huge amounts of capital to fund the research into this but many have not. Another thing that makes this difficult is the rapid evolution of the digital world on a whole. As things change so too do the customers expectations. What might have worked a year ago will not necessarily work next year.

Define the term 'Presence". Write an additional paragraph that describes why firms that do business on the web should be more concerned about presence than firms that operate in the physical world.
 Ok so probably the best description I could find online is the following;
Simply, how you or your company are represented on the web. This may include you website, but isn’t limited to it. It also includes your keywords, your satellite sites, your social network, your articles, links to your site from other sites, etc. ... (up state, 2011)
So with this in mind, there are numerous reasons that a firm that does business on line should be more concerned with their online presence than one that does not. A firm that operates online relies on it's presence to attract customers, sell products or services as well as to promote their brand. A strong presence will assist in all of the areas mentioned. It's interesting too, that both businesses that operate on line and those that do not must remain aware of their presence. Just as a presence can help sales, branding etc. Businesses must to be aware of the potential negative effects of a presence.
The attached graph (malbon, 2008) puts this into perspective by showing the growth in the number of web sites over roughly the last two decades. this is a clear indicator that businesses are taking viewing their presence as important. It also gives us some insight into how difficult it is to be noticed in the crowd.
 Pindom graph of 0 to 162 million websites

Write three paragraphs to briefly describe the things that Real Estate Agents can best accomplish through their web sites, Mass Media Advertising and Personal Contact.
(1) A Real Estate Agent can use their web site to help the potential customer save time, if they have a large amount of properties listed, potential customers can brows many properties and compile a short list of properties they wish to inspect. Their sites could also be useful for taking online applications for rental properties, advertising auctions and introducing new staff.

(2) Mass Media can best accomplish capturing the portion of the market who either doesn't use the Internet or who may not know that they are interested in purchasing a property. For example, a man and his wife are having a coffee and he browses the real estate section and sees a property that has a double garage and a pool. Al tho he wasn't thinking of moving (so was unlikely to search for such a property online) the thought of a two car garage and a pool get him thinking and then the process can begin.

(3) No matter how far the web goes I can not see a time in the near future where Personal contact will be obsolete. Purchasing a house for the vast majority of the population is a huge event and one that is very emotional and requires alot of thought. It is for this reason, among others that personal contact is very important in the real estate industry. People need to talk to a 'profecinal' and feel that they are making a sound decision when they purchase a house. It is in this part of the process that a customer could easily walk away from or commit to a deal, it is all about how comfortable they feel with the person they are dealing with. Buying a house is too important to most people to be done wholly online.


up state business websites (2011, March 29). Retrieved from www.upstatebusinesswebsites.com/web-glossary/

Made by many, brilliant graph of the web's growth (2008, April 08). Retrieved from http://madebymany.com/blog/brilliant-graph-of-the-webs-growth 


1 comment:

  1. Well done, not sure how to put in videos yet!!