E-Business (electronic business) is using technology to improve your business processes by conducting business online (Northern Territory Government, 2006).
Ethics deal with what one considers to be right or wrong. Ethical behavior will depend on one’s own discretion. The customer’s viewpoint may be considered unethical but from his/her viewpoint it is ethical since he/she is just expressing opinion. Everyone has a freedom of speech. By allowing customers to express both positives and negative opinions is healthy for Broadway since it allows them to understand customer needs and take corrective steps to meet those needs.
The posting may be even beneficial for Broadway as it would be able to attract at that hour, those customers who love children. Parents, who may have not known about this, would also be motivated by this comment and want to take advantage of Broadway’s story session. They might start bringing their children along as they see this session as an opportunity for their children’s’ personal development and interaction with other children.
As a response to the anonymous posting, Broadway can make certain changes to satisfy those customers who were finding it inconvenient to have children around in the café. One particular portion of the café should be exclusively reserved for children at this hour. This area should be enclosed so that other customers are not disturbed by the story session. This way Broadway will be able to maintain existing customers whilst still being able to accommodate children.
By allowing customers to give their views openly on the web page, Broadway can improve processes and service quality to customers. It also helps bonding with the customers as they value the recognition given to their opinions by Broadway.
Broadway can post a reply to the comment addressing the issue and resolving the customer’s confusion by explaining that Broadway encouraged people to bring their children so that all members of the society were served by the café and the café remained children-friendly. Broadway was a café for the whole family and therefore, no generation was to deprived from the products and services offered by Broadway. Broadway’s plan of having a separate area for children should also be expressed so that the customers can see that immediate action is being taken to address the issues of the customers. Finally, I would thank the customer for expressing his/her view which might have been shared by other customers as well and also apologizing for the unsatisfied visit.
An open line of communication can be encouraged by providing a suggestion box at the café, allowing customers to drop in their views about the products and services offered and their recommendations for improvements. The suggestions are then to be analyzed and evaluated to identify how corrective actions can be taken to obtain maximum customer satisfaction.
Likewise, an open forum should be maintained at the Broadway website, whereby a section is designed for users to post comments and suggestions. Any negative comments should be replied to and if the user leaves in his/her contact information, then the customers are to be contacted and requested for further details and asked to give recommendations as to how the problem could be resolved.
To motivate customers to post comments on the website, recipe competitions can be hosted whereby the best recipe wins a meal voucher for the Broadway café. This would encourage and give incentives for greater customer participation.
Making Business Decisions I
An e-business strategy is the direction and scope of an organization over the long-term which aims to achieve advantage for the organization through its configuration of technology within a challenging environment, to meet the needs of markets and to fulfill stakeholder expectations (strategy – what is strategy?, 2011).
Incorporating e-business strategies in Broadway Café could be used to increase efficiency which will help expand customer base.
Two types of e-business that could be deployed at Broadway Café include business to business (B2B) model and business to customer (B2C) model. Business to business supports electronic commerce transactions between two businesses involving products, services and information (B2B direct business model, 2011). With business to business model, Broadway will be able to interact with its business partners such as suppliers, fostering communication and collaboration. Additionally, it would enhance accounting records as online purchases from suppliers would enable better record keeping through digital receipts, eliminating the need for entering manual receipts into the accounting program in use by Broadway.
Business to customer describes activities of businesses serving end consumers with products and services online (Business-to-consumer, 2011). This is facilitated by Broadway’s website where consumers purchase products and take advantage of Broadway’s services. Business to customer enhances customer service by providing a platform for customers to voice their views and give feedback on the services provided by Broadway.
E-business strategy can help Broadway Cafe attract customers and increase sales by offering online promotions and customer loyalty programs. These are a form of effective marketing which reaches a widespread customer base and enhances sales. In addition, it provides a competitive advantage which results from generating value for the customer.
To measure the success of Broadway’s website, it is important to track certain metrics. For Broadway Café, the metrics that can be used track e-business website are time spent by visitors on the website, number of new members, total purchase amount, top internal search key words and number of repeat visits. These metrics will demonstrate the strengths and weaknesses of the website and also reveal whether it is viable to have a website.
Broadway Café can use e-business strategy to partner with suppliers using business to business model. Orders can be placed online with suppliers hence reducing traditional telecommunication costs. In addition, online payments avoid delays hence Broadway can negotiate discounts for prompt payments. There is also better communication and collaboration with suppliers, developing stronger relationships. Data is effectively exchanged and avoids misunderstanding regarding order quantity or delivery dates.
A portal is a central place for making all types of information accessible to an audience of varying range (What is a portal?, 2004). Developing a portal exclusively for employees can be very helpful for their personal development. The portal would be only allowed to be accessed by employees of Broadway and this will be ensured by having an employee ID and password system. Employees can use this platform to directly communicate with management, giving suggestions on how processes could be improved to provide better customer service and discussing any issues they have related to the workplace. Furthermore, employees could also use the portal to provide feedback to the manager on the day-to-day operations of the business. In addition, the portal can help boost employee loyalty since it enables them to stay in close touch with the management.
Employees can also review their hours worked by evaluating the data provided on the portal. Communication among employees will also be encouraged and they can discuss schedules and build stronger relationships with each other.Overall, the employee portal would help improve productivity of human resources at Broadway Café and thus enhance sales.
Kiosks are standalone PCs designed to offer venue for internet access (Kiosks, 2007). Having kiosks in Broadway Café can be used to gain competitive advantage in the market. Customers can access the Broadway home page and go over the menu, decide what they would like to have and then place the order either using the kiosk or at the counter. This makes it very convenient for the customers since it avoids the hassle of having to stand at the counter and deciding what they would like to have. In addition, customers can also get nutritional facts for every menu item using the kiosks. This enables customers to make a choice which suits their diet. With the use of kiosks, Broadway can attract many new customers and increase its sales level.
Making Business Decisions II
Web metrics refers to the measurement of website events and extracting trends from the data (Web Metrics 101, 2011). There are many web analytical tools available online but the difficulty arises in understanding the web metrics which is of most importance (Chaudhry, 2010). The web site metrics of three local restaurants will be analyzed to determine an appropriate metrics that would provide Broadway with the greatest knowledge of its web site’s success. The metrics would be used to increase the value the web site provides to its customers.
The metrics used by SlickRock café include browser, next website, time spent and data transferred. A basic web metric is browser used by the customer in accessing the website. The data shows that the most popular browsers used to access SlickRock café’s website were Internet Explorer and Netscape. This metric gives no indication of the popularity of the website hence information regarding this cannot help improve a website.
Another basic web metric used by SlickRock was the next website visited by the customer. The data shows that the most common site visited next by SlickRock’s customers was Google. This information may be useful as SlickRock can use Google has a platform to market its business so that customers are linked back to SlickRock’s website.
Time spent by customers was another metric used by SlickRock café. The average time spent by customers on SlickRock’s website was 5.58 minutes. This is an important metric since it gives an indicator of the quality of the website (Web Metrics 101 – What Do all these Terms Mean?, 2008). The longer a customer spends on the website, the better it is considered to be. However, it could also mean that the customer is facing difficulty in locating what they are looking for.
The final metric used by SlickRock café is data transferred. Data transfer is also known as web traffic or bandwidth. When visitors access a web page, data is sent from SlickRock’s server to the visitor’s computer in the form of HTML files, graphics and audio clips (How To Check Traffic / Data Transfer Usage, 2011). The transfer of these files generates traffic. The average data transferred on SlickRock’s website was 42.90MB. A high data transfer indicates more visitors.
Blue Cow Restaurant relies on three metrics to measure its website performance. The first metric it uses is the number of new members. The highest number of new members was attracted in January 2007 when the number peaked to 210. This is a good measure of web performance since it indicates how successful the website is in attracting people to join in as members.
In addition, the metrics ‘most online’ was used by Blue Cow. From June 2006 to July 2007, the most number of visitors online was 15 in August 2006. This metric gives an indicator of the number of customers who appear on the website. The higher the number, the better it is as it indicates that more customers are spending time on the website.
Another metric used by Blue Cow is hits. From June 2006 to July 2007, the highest number of hits was experienced in March 2007 when it numbered 22118. The metric ‘hits’ does not give a representation of the performance of a website. This is because it includes any hit to the web server, like images and not just pages. For pages with many images, more hits will be received than a webpage with plain text. Therefore, it is an inaccurate measure for web popularity (Web Metrics 101 – What Do all these Terms Mean?, 2008).
The metrics used by Morrison Eatery include pages views, previous site visited, total purchase and language used. The total number of page views for January 7, 2007 was 815. The average number of views per customer was 58. This data shows the amount of views Morrison’s website is getting. A view counts as a loading of a page (Web Metrics 101 – What Do all these Terms Mean?, 2008). Page views are a good indicator of website popularity but it gives no guarantee that customers will buy products.
Another metric used by Morrison was the previous site visited by the customer. The most common previous site visited by Morrison’s customers was eBay. This shows that most customers are finding out about the website from eBay and are given a link to Morrison’s website. The company can use this information to improve its marketing on the other websites, from where fewer visitors are arriving. In addition, the previous site may be an entrance page to the website, hence improve the entry point so that users can navigate easily to the website.
Total purchase amount is another metrics used by Morrison. It indicates the purchases made by each customer on a particular day. The highest spending customer on January 7, 2007 was the customer with ID number 6, who purchased $52 worth of goods online. This is an important metrics since it shows the customer who is spending most. This data can be used to improve the customer service provided to this customer so that his online purchase is not only maintained but encouraged further.
The final metric used by Morrison is language. The language most commonly used by Morrison’s online customers is English. This is an important metrics since it indicates the language the customers most understand and prefer to use. Using this data, the company can decide on what language options they can make available depending upon the need of the customers.
For Broadway Café, the most valuable website metrics can be time spent by customers on the website, number of new members and the total purchase amount. In addition to this, Broadway can use two other metrics to analyze performance and improve its website. These are top internal search key words and number of repeat visits.
By evaluating the time spent by customers on the website, Broadway can implement strategies to get customers to stay on the site longer, hence building stronger relationships with them. The time spent is important because if customers leave the webpage in a short time, it indicates that they have not got exposure to the full range of products and online services that Broadway has to offer. Broadway can make visitors stay longer on the website by including educational tools, detailed information about the products and entertainment. Additionally, interactive features in form of internet forum and a blog can be included so customers stay longer and increase customer potential for greater sales (How to get people to spend more time on your website, 2011). To get a more accurate picture of the quality of the website’s content, Broadway must combine time spent with the bounce rate and exit pages (Web Metrics 101 – What Do all these Terms Mean?, 2008)
By keeping track of new members, Broadway can evaluate how adequate its website is in attracting people. It also reveals how Broadway is progressing in getting popularity online.
The total purchase amount is another important metric that can help Broadway determine the success of its website. By evaluating the total purchases amount, Broadway can determine the viability of its website based on the sales it is able to generate online. Through analyzing this data, trends can be seen as to what products are fast selling and the level of marketing required for other products.
Another essential metric that can provide useful information is top internal search key words. It refers to searches performed on Broadway’s website. This is important metric since it reveals what people are actually looking for on the website (Web Metrics 101 – What Do all these Terms Mean?, 2008). If most visitors are searching for some content which is not yet available, Broadway can include it to meet customer demand. Additionally, it can also reveal the most popular products which are consistently searched for by customers. Using this data, Broadway can capture customer behavior and make relevant amendments to accommodate the expectations of the customers.
Number of repeat visits is another important metric that can provide essential information about the quality of Broadway’s website. The more visitors returning to the website is an indicator that customers are interested in participating online on the website (Web Metrics 101 – What Do all these Terms Mean?, 2008).