A new fashionable sector, e-business, is still little known. And yet, this sector could well become essential in the years to come. It is a booming market where the number of recruitments will be more and more important. What is e-business? And what is its objective?
1. What is e-business?
E-business refers to any commercial activity developed or operated on the Internet. Mainly using online information and communication technologies, e-business makes the company's relations with its customers and partners more efficient. It allows companies to create new business opportunities and facilitate the flow of information about them.
E-business requires skills in Commerce, Marketing, and Management and also technical mastery of the Internet and digital technology. This field affects several trades (IT, Graphics, Communication, Mobile Marketing, etc.) and is found in different sectors of activity (Fashion, Media, Banking and Insurance, etc.).
Over the past ten years, with the democratization of computers in homes, companies have developed their activity on the web so much, so that today it is possible to do everything on the Internet; buy tickets shows, shopping, booking a trip, looking for a job, and more.
New professions have appeared with the development of the press on the Internet and the evolution of communication media (social networks, blogs, websites). The trade sector is modernizing by accompanying the evolutions of our society, and this trend towards e-business is creating a new wave of recruitment on the labor market.
2. The role of e-business
E-business applies to any business; commercial business, industrial business, electronic business, etc. It is an internal and external growth factor for any company.
It applies to:
These are the companies totally present on the net and which base all of their activities there; such businesses are referred to as “Click and Mortar” businesses.
So-called traditional companies
These are the companies that have kept their traditional functions and their productive processes in the real economy; such enterprises are referred to as "brick and mortar."
These two types of companies were at the origin of e-Commerce, also called electronic commerce. This term is always confused with the term e-business.
Many people stipulate that, in reality, e-commerce is a facet of e-business. A facet that uses electronic support for the commercial relationship of a company with individuals, suppliers, customers…. etc.
It should be noticed that the objective of e-business is to integrate different technologies, as underlying, to the existing or traditional productive processes of any company.
3. Characteristics of e-business
To understand the concept of e-business as a whole, you must, first of all, know the relationship between online business and the net economy and know who the typical market players in the field of e-business are.
Net economy and online business
The extent of e-business is determined by the possibilities of the modern net economy. This is the area of electronic data networks used economically to develop information, communication, and transaction processes on various platforms.
Since the beginning of the 90s, progressive digitization has led to structural changes in society and the economy, the central theme of which has gradually shifted to the information sector. The systematic use of technologies to collect and use information has established an "information economy," in which competitiveness is achieved through superior knowledge.
This part of the economic system, also known as the "net economy," now exists alongside the traditional "real economy."
Stakeholders in e-business
E-business can take place between a large number of market players: between companies and consumers, various individuals, public administrations, as well as other organizations (for example, non-governmental organizations).
In general, the different market players are subdivided into three groups to define the different sectors of activity:
- Business (B): companies
- Consumer/Citizen (C): consumers and citizens
- Administration (A): public administrations and other organizations
Each of the three groups can intervene in the market both as a service provider and as a customer so that nine different relationships in online business are conceivable. B2C (Business to Consumer) and B2B (Business to Business) are, for example, part of e-commerce, A2C (Administration to Consumer), A2B (Administration to Business), and A2A (Administration to Administration) are part of e-government (itself part of e-business).
4. E-business function
The most important mission of e-business is the "creation of electronic value," i.e., the generation of "electronic added value." A main distinction is made between the following forms of electronic added value:
Structuring value: an online offer provides an overview of a large amount of information.
- Selection Value: An online offering provides certain database information upon request.
- Added value: an online offer creates the possibility of bringing together supplier and customer inquiries more efficiently.
- Transaction value: an online offer makes a business more efficient.
- Coordination value: an online offer allows the various providers to better link their range of services with each other.
- Communication value: an online offer improves communication between different customers.
Depending on the type of added value to be sought, the company chooses one or more value-added activities, for example, the collection, structuring, pre-selection, summary, or dissemination of information. It is about creating a "digital information product" that offers added value or several added values and for which the customer is ready to pay. This product can be a website, a blog, a comparison portal, an e-book, or application software.
The electronic value creation process encompasses the following points:
- The collection of a large amount of information in order to be able to identify the relevant data for each information product.
- The processing of the information collected to transform it into an information product.
- The transfer of the finished information product to clients.
- If necessary, repeat this process based on new information since information products are generally not static and need to be constantly updated.
In addition to the creation of electronic added value, different long-term goals of e-business are also to be distinguished: for example, the best possible automation of business processes or the implementation of new or obsolete business models (e.g., by from intermediaries).