Ecommerce Strategy Case Study: CanCric

Document Introduction

This document presents the analysis of an e-commerce implementation in the CanCric, a Canterbury based company that sells cricket products to sports stores around the UK. This document will aim to give a more inside picture of the e-commerce implementation the management has envisaged and will provide a basis for the feasibility analysis of the project.

Document Audience

This document has been prepared primarily for the senior management. However, as there are no current employees who have sufficient in-depth expertise to develop the application ‘in-house’, it is likely that a commercial service provider will be contracted for the job. This document will provide the basic understanding of “what to do” for the contractor.

Document Contents

This document contains analysis of the CanCric e-commerce implementation and following artefacts will be included in the overall report.

  • Project Introduction
  • Project Benefits
  • System Requirements
  • Implementation Plan
  • Risk Assessment
  • Conclusion

Project Introduction

CanCric is a Canterbury based company that sells cricket products to sports stores around the UK. Their products include crickets equipment (gloves, helmets, balls, bats, pads, shocks etc.) and memorabilia (flags, T-Shirts, prints etc.)

CanCric is a market leader because of its high quality products and listening to its customers. The company wants to further improve the quality of its products and create a stronger relationship with its customers by implementing an e-commerce system.

Project Benefits

The project will bring following envisaged benefits to the company:

  • The new website will provide a better marketing place for the company to capture much more business by publicizing their products on internet.
  • The company will be able to increase its profit by the increasing sales. Increase in sales is part and parcel with the e-commerce implementation.
  • The company will be able to expand the size of the market from regional to national or national to international. Currently the company is only selling its products within the UK.
  • The company will be able to decrease costs in different areas elicited below:
    • Costs of creating the product
    • Cost of Marketing since online marketing is cheaper than other print media
    • Costs of distribution in few cases, like providing online brochures will reduce cost of printing and shipping information to prospective clients
    • Costs of processing orders from the customers are the most important cost reduction the project will achieve. The online application will ease the repeating activities and information processing for the overall order processing.
    • The cost of handling customer phone calls will also be reduced by providing online discussion forums and suggestion boxes which most of the customers will willfully accept.
    • Online presence of information will decrease the manual handling of sales inquiries, thus reducing a lot of cost in terms of time and resources.
    • E-commerce project implementations can be enhanced to perform thousands of other operations to provide the user with very rich information. One is the inventory forecast. E-commerce systems can be enhanced to forecast the sales in the upcoming months by analyzing the past trends. This can greatly reduce the cost of extra inventory management.
  • Electronic content management services will be provided to reduce the cost of content retrieval and provide security and controlled access rights features.
  • Websites provide easy change management. The point here is that with a web site, you can have the prices listed, and change them - you simply edit the web page - whereas in a printed catalogue you are stuck with the expense of printing a new version if you need to change many of the prices.
  • Websites enables customization of products if CanCric ever want to support it.
  • The project will enable CanCric to build more collaborative and stronger relationships with its suppliers. This includes streamlining and automating the underlying business processes, enabling areas such as
  • Online procurement of material
  • Replenishment
  • Information Management
  • Reduced inventories due to efficient information exchange
  • Reduced delivery delays.

System Requirements

Given below are the requirements of the system, listed with respect to the modules in the system.  

Web Site
1. The website of the system should be very user friendly
2. The website should show the overall mission statement and vision of the company
3. The website should clearly give a complete catalogue of all products the company is manufacturing, along with the pictures of the product.
4. The website should also highlight the future plans of CanCric about the product expansions.
5. The search functionality should be provided on the website
6. The website search should be to display the closest results to the search strings
7. The search functionality should support input of multiple search criteria.
8. The functionality to display the whole site map of the website should be provided.
9. The website should also be maintaining the sponsored players’ information
10. The sponsored players’ information should be shown in the column form
Discussion Boards
11. The website should also have functionality of online discussion boards
12. The registered users should be able to participate in the discussions
13. Any visitor can see the discussions
14. The system should be able to maintain discussions in the form of tree and chronological order
15. User should be able to delete the post from discussion boards
16. User should not be able to edit the discussion posts
17. Administrator should be able to administer the discussion boards.
Online Order Processing
18. The website should allow users to maintain their user profiles.
19. The website should make sure that the user information will not be misused.
20. The website should provide the facility to the user to pre-enter the credit card information of the user for the future use by the user
21. The website should allow the user to maintain a shopping cart along with its profile
22. The user should be able to add cricket products in its shopping cart.
23. The user should be shown the overall cost of the current selection in the shopping cart
24. The user should be able to delete entries from the shopping cart
25. The user should be able to preview the shopping cart any time it want to
26. The user should be able to save the current shopping cart for future use
27. The facility to buy the items in the shopping cart should be provided with complete security measures.
28. The shopping cart should be empty after the transaction
29. The delivery options should be shown to the user.
30. The user should be given option to choose a courier company of its choice.
31. The user should be able to change the billing details any time during the whole procedure of online order processing.
32. The payment options available should include:
  • Payment through personal credit card
  • Payment through company credit card
  • Payment through the monthly billing option
Research and development
33. The option to host a online survey should be provided
34. The data collected from surveys should be available for reporting and analysis purposes
35. Support to generate reports on given criteria should be provided in the system
36. Multiple types of reports should be available in the system
37. The sales data, the visit history on the websites and the survey results; all should be available for the analysis purposes.
38. For the analysis purposes, application should support technologies like data mining and data warehousing.

Implementation Plan

The iteration from current business to new computerized system will take following steps to be completed:

  • Training of resources who will be using the new application
  • Development of confidence for the new system among the CanCric employees
  • Web Hosting Plan

Web Hosting

E-Commerce Web hosting is adding an e-commerce application to a Web hosting package, which is what allows you to have a store on the Internet. To have a Web site or store on the Internet we will need a Web server. Unfortunately, owning a Web server can be very costly and requires technical expertise that CanCric lacks. So, we will have to outsource this management and hosting to some Web Hosting Company. Web hosting companies will provide the equipment and other technical resources.

I have identified these ecommerce packages and hosting plans as suitable for CanCric’s needs.

Hosting:

  • www.bluehost.com – This site offers 10 GB of storage and 250GB of transfer each month as well as SSL, PHP and MySQL, which are commonly required for a lot of ecommerce applications. It also has an excellent account administration system that incorporates management of databases and private server settings. The package also comes with free wiki and forum software that can be easily integrated. Bluehost is available from £30 per year.
  • www.newnet.co.uk – Newnet offers hosing packages from £57 per year and collocation from £150. Although our needs don’t require co-location yet, having the option to upgrade to co-location on the same premises will be an asset. The host offers scripting and SSL services necessary for ecommerce and a managed back up timetable to secure our businesses data.
  • www.ukip.co.uk – UKIP is a broadband provider that also offers hosting services. They offer the same hosting scripting services as Bluehost and Newnet, they also offer support for active server pages and java server pages which will allow us to consider a wider range of ecommerce applications.

Ecommerce:

  • www.actinic.co.uk – Actinic is one of the most popular systems currently available with over 10,000 users in 40 countries. Actinic can integrate with dreamweaver MX and has a range of features not just suitable to the ecommerce but also to many other facets of business management such as stock monitoring. Actinic Business is suitable for our level of development as cost £799 per license. Actinic is also capable of both B2B and B2C practises.
  • www.storefront.net – Storefront is an API that can be integrated into dreamweaver or front page or used independently. It provides mechanisms form displaying products and managing a shopping cart. It is designed to allow maximum creativity for the designer while still taking part of the technicalities such as shopping and paying.

Risk Assessment

There are also a few risks associated with the e-commerce system implementation at CanCric, which must be mitigated to make the project successful.

  • The hardware and network infrastructure should be sufficient to run and access the system
  • A level of confidence must be built within the company for the usage of the new system. The employees are expected to resist to such change in the organizations.
  • Customer fear of personal information being used wrongly. Such issues should be catered in the system.
  • Rules and regulations must be redefined according the new system.
  • Security and privacy must be handled carefully since the CanCric system involves online transaction support.

Conclusion

The e-commerce implementation will definitely provide CanCric an excellent opportunity to capture the international markets of cricket goods. However, there are few things we should take care of; first of all we must avoid over-expecting e-commerce lest we create a backlash when its promises are not fulfilled. E-commerce will not, in and of itself, correct all the businesses problems. Secondly, the benefits of e-commerce will be restricted if we do not recognize its full system implications, and instead implement it in limited ways that only partially meet its requirements.

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