IT for Decision Makers
e Commerce Overview
By Omkar Nath Nandi
What is e Commerce?
e commerce is enabling or achieving your
business objectives by using information
technology to enhance or transform your
Business to business (B2B)
increasing business efficiency
Business to Consumer (B2C)
Consumer to Consumer (C2C)
ecommerce is more then just an online
shop selling goods…. Businesses make
huge savings by more efficient interaction
with their suppliers or buyers.
A local pharmacist orders 60% of his supplies from
an overseas pharmaceutical suppliers website and
saves 5% in his purchases - is this ecommerce?
A remote Fiji resort attracts guests from the USA
after several exchanges of email. Is this ecommerce?
Consumers are willing to spend money on
Despite the recent dot.com drop in
investment - consumers continue to use
the Internet in growing numbers.
45 million users are always online in india.
What is working?
Travel / Tourism
Retail - items that don’t need personal touch -
objectivity in product quality and performance
music, books, gifts, Computers, electronic items
Real Estate - houses and investment properties.
Customer support services
More efficient and effective processes between
businesses (B 2 B)
What is not working?
Items which require “touch and trial”
Clothes - beyond Tshirts
Groceries - it works for some people but
market is restricted
Note: Many OFF line factors determine
success of Online service. Eg. Transport
network, customer profiles,
e commerce and the
Isolation – distance from market
Small local markets
Limited human capacity
Internet provides “instant” access to
ecommerce adoption in
small operators and multi nationals
expatriate owned businesses due to better
awareness of communications possibilities.
Online retailers - often overseas based,
some Pacific based exporters.
Generally for the Pacific it has been ad hoc
entry with ecommerce/
Lessons from experience
Start with a strategy
know your market and how to reach them
Traditional Off line issues determine profitability
management, product, operations and financing.
e Commerce and Pacific
The challenge is identify market niches for
products unique to the Pacific (core
Ecotourism, trade niches, island goods
Identify skill industries where local capacity can be
developed and product transferred electronically.
(insurance, banking, drafting etc)
Other Opportunities - call centers, credit card
processing without an exit plan because these
IT niches will be the world’s most MOBILE
industries and governed by cost of labor.
Demonstrations - Tourism
Sailing Safaris - Tonga
One boat operation in 1996 from small island
Competing with 2 multinational yacht
companies with global marketing network
Since 1997 - 80% of business from web site.
This statistic 60-80% of bookings from web
inquiries is common to Tourism operators in
Example 2 - Tourism
Pacificnavigator.com - Travel Portal
One stop shop for travel info and
9 Pacific Island Countries
Travel Information and Bookings
Sticky Items - bring people back to site
message boards for comments
Example 3 - Retail
Www.Fijilive.com - Portal
Popular site and daily local news.
immature advertising market – difficult to get local
Numerous in-house websites
sells through www.fijionsale.com
uses credit card transactions with manual batch
Kava, music, Jewelry, etc.
Example 4 - Retail
Artifacts - Papua New Guinea
www.niugini.com - PNG Portal
Forums, News, Chat, Postcards, Info pages
Sells PNG artifacts.
Transactions via email and bank transfers
Great product but management and
operation issues and no online
The Internet is the best opportunity :
traditional business principles still matter online.
Value to the customer comes first.
Be realistic about revenues and costs
Even For the international market
Initiative and creativity are premium.
An ecommerce strategy for a Small
Why get online?
Promote awareness of your Organization
Sell a product
Information and contact page
Everyone else has a web page
What is your product?
Electronic, Services or physical
Portable and inexpensive to deliver
Who is your market?
Overseas Fish buyers
Upper income art collectors
Budget travellers / Up market
Obstacles, Implementation and deadlines.
Hosting Your Website
Cost, Support, Space and Services
Choosing a Domain Name (web address)
www.myname.com / .nu / .to / .tv / .fj /
Choose name that relates to product
Reflects on organization
Easy to remember
Often Simple Is Better
E.g. National PNG, Yahoo
Complexity depends on your website
How do you keep content fresh and relevant
Who Develops your website?
Do it Yourself
Managing your Web Site
Managing your website can take TIME!
Adapting Business processes
Good Samaritan Inn example
Look at employee time
Limitations of the medium (non face to face)
1. Getting paid online is very difficult in the Pacific. Many
banks will need a large deposit or a strong relationship
to allow a SME to open a merchant / credit card
processing account at a bank.
Bank transfer / wire
Manual / Automated processing
Third party processing
Delivering an artifact after online purchase or
attracting visitors to an eco tourism resort -
managing expectations is essential
People are used to guaranteed delivery but more importantly,
communicate reality so expectations are realistic.
E.g. Implement a 2 week guarantee for goods
Ensure online advertisement meets expectations
Use a reliable delivery service (TNT, FedEx)
Marketing Web site
How do people find your website?
Links from related and / or popular web
Informed by other users
Marketing Your Website
OFFLINE Strategy - Show Your URL
Advertising on conventional media
Despite infrastructure limitations in the Pacific,
the target market in developed countries are
likely to be Internet users.
If unsure, start small. An existing website helps
develop your capacity to interact with customers
and measure web potential.
Lobby Government for effective IT Strategy that
develops infrastructure and builds local capacity.