write:An alternative approach is to try to collaborate in some way with the existing distributors whose services may be restructured. For example an auto company could allow customers t

and Mobile Commerce TechnologyIssues in Online RetailingDespite the tremendous growth of online retailers
many face challenges that can interfere with business growth. Major issues include the following:1. Resolving channel conflict Sellers that are click-and-mortar companies
such as LeviÕs or GM
face a conflict with their regular wholesale and retail distributors when they circum-vent those distributors by selling online directly to customers. (These distributors are other businesses that carry the companyÕs product.) This situation is called channel conflict because it is a conflict between an online selling channel and physical selling channels. Channel conflict has forced some companies to limit their B2C efforts or not to sell direct online. An alternative approach is to try to collaborate in some way with the existing distributors whose services may be restructured. For example
an auto company could allow customers to configure a car online but require that the car be picked up from a dealer
where customers could also arrange financing
and service.2. Resolving conflicts within click-and-mortar organizations When an established company sells online directly to customers
it creates conflict with its own offline opera-tions. Conflicts may arise in areas such as pricing of products and services
allocation of resources (e.g.
advertising budget)
and logistics services provided by the offline activities to the online activities (e.g.
handling of returns of items bought online). To minimize this type of conflict
companies may separate the online division from the traditional division. The downside is that separation can increase expenses and reduce the synergy between the two organizational parts.3. Managing order fulfillment and logistics Online retailers face tough order fulfillment and logistics problems when selling online because of the need to design systems to accept and process a huge volume of small orders
to physically pick items from ware-house shelves and put them into boxes
to be sure that the correct labels are applied
and to accept returns. The return process is referred to as reverse logistics.4. Determining viability and risk of online retailers Many pure online retailers went bankrupt in the dot.com era
the result of problems with cash flow
customer acquisition
order fulfillment
and demand forecasting. Online competition
especially in commodity-type products such as CDs
or groceries
became very fierce due to the ease of entry into the marketplace. As PorterÕs (2008) five competitive forces model explains
low entry barriers intensify competition in an industry. So a problem most new and estab-lished online retailers face is to determine how long to operate while you are still losing money and how to finance those losses.5. Identifying appropriate revenue (business) models One early dot.com model was to generate enough revenue from advertising to keep the business afloat until the cus-tomer base reached critical mass. This model did not always work. Too many dot.coms were competing for too few advertising dollars
which went mainly to a small number of well-known sites such as AOL
and Yahoo. In addition
there was a Òchicken-and-eggÓ problem: Sites could not get advertisers to come if they did not have enough visitors. To succeed in e-commerce
it is necessary to identify appropriate revenue models and modify those models as the market changes.Online Business and Marketing PlanningOnline marketing planning is very similar to any other marketing plan. It is not a best prac-tice
and somewhat strange
to devise separate online and offline plans because that is not how customers perceive a business. Here are several online business and planning recom-mendations:1. Build the marketing plan around the customer
rather than on products.2. Monitor progress toward the one-year vision for the business in order to identify when adjustments are needed
and then be agile enough to respond.Channel conflict Competition between a manufacturerÕs distribution partners who sell through different channels. Channel conflict can occur at the wholesale
or internal sales department level.


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