E-business applications are designed for businesses to conduct activities electronically or on the Internet. These applications comprise the infrastructure of online business, providing electronic ways to deliver products and services to customers. Some applications also offer other business benefits, such as assisting a business in collecting and maintaining financial records and responding to customer service requests.
Demand for Online Business Applications
An e-business application helps a business to establish its business presence online, but it might not be designed just for online businesses. Traditional businesses can also establish one or more parts of their business online while still maintaining their regular activities. For example, a doughnut shop might create an online presence to inform customers about special offers and product information, such as new flavors being sold at the shop. It might need an e-business application to sell gift certificates to customers online.
An e-business application might also assist a business in different purposes, such as information gathering. When a customer creates a profile and begins shopping at an online store, a business application can collect and store information about a customer's preferences and transactions. Then when the same customer returns, as is the case with the Amazon.com business model, the website will suggest products and services based on his previous history.
E-business applications also help customers to make other kinds of business transactions besides just buying goods and services. For example, in the hospitality industry, customers can use a hotel chain's website to search for room availability and to make a reservation online. This type of application does not involve a sale, but a customer might provide a credit card or debit card number to guarantee a reservation.
E-business applications also help businesses to market to potential consumers and services. For example, an e-business application can help a business to send out targeted emails and advertisements to consumers in different markets. If a consumer responds to a marketing effort, such as by clicking on a link in a targeted email and visiting the business's website, an e-business application might track how a consumer learned about the company. This kind of information tracking enables a company to focus resources on its most successful e-marketing strategies, including sending future communications to existing customers.