Business organizations across the world today are keen to leverage maximum technological advantages and benefits due to the increasing use and applications of modern internet based technologies and devices by consumers globally. Exponential rise in the applications of technology across all industries and societies has revolutionized the way people communicate and think consequently generating a lasting impact on their life styles. Consumers today are keen to explore millions of products on the internet that they intent to purchase. IT revolution has transformed people’s lifestyles to such an extent that almost anything can be executed or accomplished instantly with the aid of advanced IT tools and technologies. People today can perform variety of tasks online including booking a flight, making a hotel reservation, buying any products, ordering food, buying medicine, etc. This rapid transformation from conventional to modernized ways of doing business has significantly changed and improved people’s lifestyles thus creating tremendous scope, and opportunities for modern businesses to sustain and grow consistently. This is mainly because considering the tremendous popularity and applicability of internet and IOT among people, modern businesses intend to operate with broader and deeper perspectives and goals aspiring to dominate entire regions, continents, and even the world using cost effective, widely popular, and globally accessible IT tools.
This report is developed to provide valuable insights on a leading e-commerce enterprise EBay that has successfully leveraged advanced IT tools and business analytics for improvising its business performance. The report shall provide varied aspects of the business and the technologies it employs to maximize its performance and productivity.
The Case Study Organization
EBay is a globally renowned e-commerce business operating over the virtual platform and serving billions of consumers across the world. With worldwide reachability, the enterprise has emerged as a highly successful e-business across all continents and is particularly known to provide various quality products of consumer interest at highly economical prices. The company, mainly operating online, employs state of the art IT infrastructure, advanced business intelligence tools, and effective marketing and business strategies aimed to attract, satisfy, retain, and win consumer loyalty to ensure sustainable business success and competitive advantage (Mishra, 2010).
EBay has over 180 million buyers and sellers on its online platform and the data generated by its users is vast and complex that needs to be managed efficiently and promptly. Employing advanced data storage and business analytics tools such as Apache HADOOP that can store vast quantities of user generated data through a network of robust computers meant for real time information processing and analysis. EBay’s search engine optimization tools, Customer Relationship Management (CRM), HADOOP clusters, and advanced predictive tools are capable of appropriately storing very large volume of user generating information, present most relevant data for consumer search and increase the chances of sales, and also aptly forecast about sales of items based on past consumer behavior and purchase habits says EBay’s Vice President Hugh Williams (Lui, 2012). Advanced software applications embedded on the platform immensely enhance user experience on the site as loads of user friendly and easy to navigate tools has been incorporated by EBay.
Organizational Goals, Policies, and Operations
EBay being a pioneer in e-commerce industry aims to deliver quality products at highly economical prices to ensure every community globally is equally benefitted by its marketing endeavors and business practices. EBay’s high goals and business objectives resulted in adoption of state of the art IT technology and tools such as Big Data. A unique suite of business relevant technologies and tools such as HADOOP, Map Reduce, Business analytics and predictive tools has tremendously boosted EBay’s performance and productivity. With a goal to maximize business profitability by multiplying consumer volume globally the company also aspires to transform its business practices into 100 percent eco-friendly and renewable energy backed business by the year 2025. This is extremely important today as modern businesses are compelled to act in the best interest of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) concept in order to reduce their adverse impacts on society and foster a greener environment (EBay progress update, 2017). Thus, the primary goal of EBay is to foster a highly reliable and sophisticated IT backed business environment that nurtures consumer relationships, ensures customer loyalty, and builds brand recognition and reputation worldwide.
EBay policies are primarily meant to protect buyers and sellers interest and to ensure a safer and highly professional business environment. Management of EBay platform is highly efficient and professional due to adoption of advanced IT tools and technologies that not only safeguard stakeholder interests but also ensure a completely transparent, fair, and impartial business environment. Some of the important policies involving IT infrastructure implemented by EBay include:
- Any seller found to be engaged in any act that directly or indirectly violates the business interest, harms stakeholder interest or exhibits any kind of unprofessionalism would be barred from using the platform.
- Buyers and sellers must always adhere to EBay’s standard policies when engaged in any dealing or transactions through EBay.
- Auctioning on the EBay must be fair, in-discriminatory, and as per the imposed code of conduct and business ethics by EBay.
- Any dispute arising among any parties engaged with the business shall be promptly resolved by the EBay management.
- No stakeholders shall ever be tolerated for misconduct, discrimination on any grounds, fraudulent acts on the platform, or harm to the business or interest of any parties involved (Buying practices policy, 2019).
EBay’s CRM and unique set of tools and technologies meant to enhance user interaction with the company has certainly played a significant role in ensuring a secured, user friendly, fair, and mutually advantageous business association. Effective business tools such as market works software for managing auctions, Meridian app for auto calculation of shipment and invoices, Tera Peak for average price calculation, Vendio for aiding sellers to start their business on EBay, etc. immensely aid amateur buyers and sellers to efficiently perform varied business functions on EBay, a technological boon to EBayers.
EBay operations strategy involves a comprehensive framework of varied effective and appropriate business strategies aimed at delivering competitive business advantage to consumers thus ensuring lasting satisfaction, loyal relationship with business, and desired business advantage for the involved parties. For example, improved quality management by the use of advanced IT tools and strategies ensures better quality of products and services thus providing customer satisfaction and ensuring consumer loyalty. This is achieved through enhanced communication, responsiveness, transparency, and fairness between customers and the business using user-friendly CRM and IT tools. Process and capacity design segment of operations management ensures improved process efficiency and effectiveness thus optimizing various business resources such as data acquisition, data storage centers, business analytics, predictive tools, etc. Similarly, EBay’s operations management aims to optimize varied critical business processes including supply chain management, inventory management, scheduling, maintenance, design of goods and services, and so on employing state of the art IT technologies and dedicated CRMs for the business, clients, stakeholders management (Sherman, 2017).
Software Requirements for EBay
The following are some of the most important software requirements EBay employs that mainly includes state of the art IT infrastructure, marketing tools, and big data technologies:
- CRM- refers to Customer Relationship Management, an integration of varied tools meant for ensuring efficient and convenient consumer- business communication and lasting relationship with company’s existing and prospective consumers.
- Apache Hadoop- refers to a highly complex and comprehensive framework of data storage technology that stores vast amounts of user generated data and concurrently processes such complex information in real time.
- Big Data supply management and logistics tool- intended to improve supply chain management by aptly forecasting demand and ensuring adequate supply of stock.
- Big Data shopper analysis tool- it is intended to analyze buyer behavior and consumption pattern and forecast most likely products to be needed or preferred by a buyer (Osman, 2019).
- WibiData Tool- being a web analytics tool allows EBay provides real time real time response to user based on their behavior. It aids immensely in generating right suggestions to consumers and in right decision making (Rodrigus, 2012).
- Secured Payment Gateway tools- intended to process user transactions in a protected virtual environment to ensure consumer interest is protected at all costs.
- Turbo Lister- meant for customizing and bulk posting for sellers.
- Auction Stealer- for auto bidding on the site.
- Typo Tracker- for finding the right auctions against misspelt titles (Herber, 2018).
- Silent Sniper- auto placement of bid just before auction ending.
- JBidwatcher- monitoring bidding activities.
- BidBurglar- placing bids just before it ends.
- Powersnipe- place bids in the very last moments of auction.
- Sitepal- add speaking animations to your seller page.
- Auctionblox- single tool to manage all auctions on EBay.
- EBay sidebar tool- to get notifications directly on desktop.
- Spoonfeeder- to build an attractive seller site with colorful templetes, photos, etc.
- EBay sales reports- track and monitor sales performance.
- Imageshack- for storing images and reusing for future listings on EBay.
- Pro Stores- ebay store customization tool with built in shop cart integration.
- Vendio- for optimizing sales on the site and improving listing performances.
- Reliabid- tool that eliminates non-paying bidders thus ensuring fairness on EBay.
- Endicia- for printing, paying, and managing shipment right from desktop.
- Zoovy- for efficient management of billing, inventory, and shipment (Herber, 2018).
- Snapchat- for real time support chat on the site.
- Instamail- for real time communication with EBay support with built in attachment feature.
- Auction wizard 2000- software for managing and listings and stores at the same time.
- StoreCheck- tools to navigate a specific vendor’s store and view relevant products or items.
- AuctionInc- an useful software tool for checking rates of leading courier partners.
- Square Trade- a very useful tool for managing user freed backs, resolve disputes, and improve sales performances.
- Auction Username- tool for finding unregistered usenames.
- AutionHawk- useful software for tracking sales performances, managing inventory, image storing, and more (Herber, 2018).
- M-commerce application- dedicated mobile based platform for users to perform variety of functions including buying, selling, bidding, transacting, etc.
Stakeholders can be defined as individuals that contribute in the growth and success of an organization and whose interests are directly and indirectly affected by the performance and productivity of the business. A business may consist of various stakeholders that contribute, get involved, invest, or seek employment with an enterprise for personnel or professional advantage. In context to EBay, various stakeholders can be identified that possess an interest and are directly and indirectly concerned with the quality, performance, and profitability of the enterprise. The following are the stakeholders of EBay:
- Employees- these are the human resources employed by the business that contribute their services for the growth and success of the business and who actively utilize key IT resources employed by the business. Their requirements relate to consistent learning and development by the use of advanced IT systems, growth in career, and competitive compensations. Developing and implementation of appropriate software for EBay falls in their role as every application listed herein relates to this group of stakeholders.
- Consumers- these are the targeted audiences that the business intends to market its products and services to. Being a global business giant, EBay has billions of consumers worldwide that actively participate in the business impacting on its performance and productivity. Every consumer employs IT tools to buy or sell their products on EBay thus deriving Big Data advantage. Most of the tools embedded on the EBay platforms and listed herein relate to buyers and are meant for buyer convenience.
- Sellers- users that are engaged for selling their products on EBay. Majority of requirements concerning auction software and apps listed above relates to this group of stakeholders as they are the ones that auction their items on the platform. Thus, building a user friendly and convenience site with appropriate tools is essential for fostering a long term relationship.
- Suppliers- these stakeholders form the backbone of any business as they are the ones that bridge the gap between business and its consumers. Thus, EBay suppliers actively influence EBay’s business performance and are extensively influenced by company’s IT strategies and advanced marketing tools. Requirements relates to competitive rates for supplies and cordial business association.
- Regulators- entities that impact the business by imposition of laws and regulations such as local governmental bodies. Their interest lies in sustainable and lawful business practices of the enterprise.
- Competitors- entities that are severely impacted by the company’s performance operating amid a highly competitive business environment (ebay Essay – 1006 Words, 2019).
- Community- people or citizens that are influenced or affected by company’s operations, marketing strategies, offerings, products and services, etc. Requirements mainly concerns CSR to be observed by the enterprise.
- Buying practices policy. (2019). Retrieved from https://www.ebay.com/help/policies/rules-policies-buyers/buying-practices-policy?id=4374
- Ebay Progress Update, 2017. Retrieved from https://static.ebayinc.com/assets/Uploads/Documents/eBay-Impact-2017-Progress-Update.pdf ebay Essay – 1006 Words. (2019). Retrieved from https://www.studymode.com/essays/Ebay-39399052.html
- Herber, P. (2018). EBAY TOOLBOX: 50+ Tools for eBay Buyers and Sellers. Retrieved from https://mashable.com/2007/08/01/ebay-toolbox/?europe=true#2ZC3fA16OuqK
- Lui, S. (2012). How Ebay uses big data to make you buy more | ZDNet. Retrieved from https://www.zdnet.com/article/how-ebay-uses-big-data-to-make-you-buy-more
- Mishra, M. (2010). Why is eBay the Most Successful Online Auction? Global Journal of Management and Business Research, 10(9), pp.62-65 Retrieved from https://globaljournals.org/GJMBR_Volume10/10-Why-is-eBay-the-Most-Successful-Online-Auction.pdf
- Osman, M. (2019). Using Ecommerce Big Data to Build Personalized Experiences in 2018. Retrieved from https://www.bigcommerce.com/blog/ecommerce-big-data/#how-to-use-big-data-for-ecommerce-business-success
- Rodrigus, T 2012,10 Emerging Technologies for Big Data. Tech Republic. Retrieved on 25 January, 2015 from http://www.techrepublic.com/blog/big-data-analytics/10-emerging-technologies-for-big-data/
- SHERMAN, M. (2017). eBay Inc.’s Operations Management: 10 Decision Areas & Productivity – Panmore Institute. Retrieved from http://panmore.com/ebay-inc-operations-management-10-decision-areas-productivity