Information Technology free essay: The Impact of Web Analytics on E-Commerce
The Impact of Web Analytics on E-Commerce
In order to paint the most accurate picture of the modern day aspect of management, information technology applications, innovations and improvisations must dominate the discussion. Contemporary management variable are synonymous with the information technology solutions in conjunction with the traditional debate of the definition of the organization and management. In light of the different technology applications in solving organizational needs, perhaps unlimited information resources are at the disposal of the manager than at any other period of management history. The application of the online platform for access to ever growing opportunities and information resources has brought the definition of the organization closer home as it is with the enumeration of relevant management approaches. Perhaps one of the most interesting observations on the compatibility and suitability of the information technology to management is its flexibility regarding various organization-specific management needs. In this discourse, web analytics in contemporary management is discussed against the background of information age style of management. Special attention is placed on the importance of web analytics and the impact it generates on management, technology and the definition of the modern organization
The evaluation and appraisal of any data obtained on the internet usage for proposes of various applications ranging from study of internet users’ behavior to application in making useful business decisions describe web analytics. According to the Web Analytics Association, the application of web analytics assists scholars and professionals to comprehend the usage of a particular website in order to draw inferences on the nature of intervention required to increase audience satisfaction (Sostre 2007, p9). It is assumed that the visitation of a website is driven by specific interests, which could be addressed to assess relative value passed on to the audience. Websites visitation data is therefore possible to be obtained and processed to obtain useful information on the visitation patterns from which derivative usage variable can be extrapolated to make interventions to increase value. Currently, there are several web analytic tools that are available for web experts to closely monitor web usage with an aim of obtaining such information as would lead to cues on audience behavior, satisfaction and engage possible enhancements to the website.
It is perhaps important to briefly trace the origin the contemporary business context. Business setting at the earliest recorded period in history was facilitated through a number of challenges, to which the modern age has significantly been able to find solutions. From challenges of finding an acceptable means of exchange to mass production for commercial sustainability, the world has made tremendous steps in harmonization of business as an important socioeconomic aspect of the global community. Internal and local trade under commercial production support thrived to allow drastic changes in the manner in which future business would be conducted. Industrial production emerged as one of the main few civilization revolutions that the human race has witnessed (Reed 1996, p. 39). Challenges of sustainable and efficient production as presented by the management of resources at the factories led to several management ideas that have eventually led to the establishment of organizations run on management perspectives as highlighted below.
Realization of comparative advantage in production further opened the need for cross border trade making it easier to specialize in production of certain products (Brewer and Hay 2011, p1). Business within such a background has perhaps led to cooperation in production of various products while allowing trade at the international arena to allow supply of what is not possible to produce. Continued cooperation of the international community in order to meet global business demand and supply has not only improved relations across nations but also led to sharing of resources in trade. Competition in the comparative advantage setting pushes businesses to think for ways to outcompete the international rivals on efficient and accurate approaches. Today’s business is largely based on the need to meet international market demands which has led to further cooperation in sharing ideas of the best productivity, which has attracted globalization and increased cooperation.
Through innovations that are mainly based on communication technology and trade as highlighted above, the world has continued to become interconnected by the day. The process of globalization has literally made global interactions easier on a global village platform since virtually every corner of the world is reachable. Under business relations on this platform, businesses can now be relocated from one country to the other, either physically or virtually due to the interconnectedness that has been achieved. Overseas subsidiaries in the multinational framework of conducting business make it a reality to set shop at any corner of the world, through the continued cooperation. Production resources as well as market resources guide investors where it is most productive to set up their operations, with a friendlier international business environment being created by the globalization element of the commercial interconnectedness. Countries encourage foreign investors to set up shop on their own soil in order for a global village based on business interactions to be established. Thanks to the information age, communication across the globe has been made as simple as possible. Specialization in various areas of production at the international level based on efficiency analysis can only make the future of business bright at the helm of globalization.
The human race is experiencing its third major revolution presented by information technology that is characterized by unparalleled innovativeness in every sphere of the human society, particularly in business. Modern day human population is better informed than any population in history due to the opportunity availed by the computer usage that embraces reliance on and delivery of information than ever before. Perhaps businesses have benefited from the information and communication technology aspect of computer innovations than any other sector of the human society. News, research and learning on virtually every topic are now possible to be relayed and shared without restrictions, thanks to the information age platform of sharing information across the globe, which benefits business in various ways (Kaushik 2007, p15). Trade and commercial activities are based on business data obtained from computer based systems referred to as information systems. Information on the best perspectives to conduct business from production, management to market information can now be obtained from well coordinated information systems.
Virtually every customer has gone online through changed sociocultural adaptations that have drastically occurred in the society today. Computer usage is no longer for study or business purposes as the society becomes integrated into a more compact network enabled by innovations based on information and communication technology. Social media as an illustration has emerged as one of the most powerful ICT infusions into the sociocultural environment and the entire world is making interactions online. Business has to get reorganized to set up business products that are responsive to these consumer changes, to provide clear-cut value in service provision and product presentation. This presents opportunities for modern business to embrace the new frontiers of innovation to capture newer emerging consumer demands based on internet usage while capturing globalization derived unlimited markets. Websites applications are therefore part of the larger business reorganization to capture changed sociocultural impacts on consumer behavior.
Computer based models of management to optimize operations of organizations have been brought forward in modern business. Collection of important data, analysis and simulation into applications can now be carried out by the coordinated and integrated information digesting computer systems of the modern business context (Benson and Tribe 2008, p8). Handling of data and information is not only accurately done in the information systems but also direct the management to make important decisions touching on the productivity hence sustainability of the modern day organization. As an illustration, information systems enable corporations to monitor the performance of its products in the market and facilitate appropriate production and marketing strategy reactions. Within the context of business applications of web analytics, the modern day organizations are able to follow the use of their websites to draw conclusions such as distribution of their clients, their numbers, peak period of visitation of the websites, satisfaction and related websites and type of competition available. From such systems, the organizations are able to obtain web analytic indications such as the type of clients available in specific market locations, the appropriate product design and packaging, advertising strategies, nature of market competition and make improvements on their public relations as well as other product management variables.
Since the industrial revolution, the rush to remain industrially competitive to overcome rivals has been the main goal of the manager. The oldest forms of management were based on rationalized concepts that were aimed at scientifically transforming investments into unlimited returns. Management theories were initially designed to exponentially increase productivity of employees as illustrated in Taylorism and other scientific management theorists’ postulates (Bolman and Deal (2003, p109). Principles of management generated through such theories proved the point that with certain definitions of approaches, it was possible to increase productivity. Although the definition of the organization over the evolution of the organizational relations differed in certain concepts, the desire to increase productivity led to the establishment of the managerial position and roles as observed in contemporary setting. Several management approaches were brought forward to incorporate leadership attributes of the manager such as trait approach, skills approach, style approach, situational approach, contingency approach, path-goal, leader-member exchange, transformational leadership, team leadership and psychodynamic approach among several others. Definition of the manager’s input over the years continued to become clear as the organizational definition continued (Benson and Tribe 2008, p7). Several perspectives have been formulated over the history of management but with the advent of information age, it is possible for the manager to apply technological perspectives to facilitate the correct and sustainable approach.
Modern day manager is able to forge the appropriate management path based on the unlimited resources availed by the information technology solutions. Different roles of the manager can be harmonized by an internal information systems solution that highlights the areas of management roles that are compromised. Through information technology, modern day management options are placed on a pool of actionable alternatives for different scenarios of the organization’s needs. Management roles are nowadays designed for the competitive environment that business presents to virtually all industries. Increased innovation has facilitated the competitive nature of the corporate space, making it important to make business moves that only allow advantages in operation to remain in business.
Management relies on research data to design the best internal and external operations that can enable a competitive presence in the market against the backdrop of critical economic decision making (Clifton 2008, para.1). Every department is led by the best possible and updated market trends which necessitates strategic approaches in changing competitive environment. Marketing management concepts as an illustration cannot be conceptualized within the current setting without integration of operations based on information technology. Various aspects of management that information technology attempts to resolve for the manager include expanding intervention alternatives by availing information from other sources as availed by scholars and business professionals.
Among the most competitive management approaches of the modern setting is web analytics as defined above which enables various approaches to be designed to fit operations into the changing times. Getting data from the website usage by online customers has provided a channel to enable business and corporate culture to be reorganized to fit into the culture (Peterson, 2004). Web analytics concept of taking extra initiative to not only understand consumer behavior but track incidental needs for the sake of strengthening market presence, is a perfect managerial tool. Internal operations of the modern organization are largely controlled by the set information systems and continued reliance on market trends to formulate relevant operation approaches make web analytics an invaluable management tool. The making of any managerial decision within the integrated operations setting presents the challenge of following market needs such as through web analytics a necessary consideration. Management environment is currently defined by clarity of definition of the interventions (Kaushik 2007, p16).
In order for the modern corporation to realign management with information technologies, the first strategic decision is to ensure an online presence. According to Bradley (2010, para.3), web analytics advantages must be realized from an internal assessment from determining the sort of online presence to how customers perceive the website. Using web analytics, it should be possible to determine what the customers are looking for and the duration of time spent on the website. Search engine optimization tools assist customers to search for particular products and the frequency of appearance of the particular terms sought facilitates in the definition of the product that the corporation needs to concentrate to deliver. From the cues obtained from such browsing parameters, information systems enable management reorganization and design of competitive strategies.
Business on the online platform describes the setting brought to the business fraternity by information technology applications that bring together buyers and sellers through the internet. Corporations engage their customers on the internet through websites, where information regarding the solutions offered in line with particular customer needs. Customer clicks and web navigation when searching for specific products and services describe the nature of e-commerce from where orders and communication on deliveries are followed up (Brown and Burby 2007, para.3). Available information on customer behavior can be used to determine the market forces of demand and relevant supply trajectories can be concluded. Web analytics involves studying of the attributes of market forces driving certain customer behaviors and making extra interpretations to design responsive business production.
The impact of web usage by customers onto decision making is perhaps the power of the internet data to dictate consumer needs. Business is largely driven by what the customer wants within the competitive environment where exact market needs are addressed to reduce costs and increase productivity. Some of the variables of web analytics on ecommerce include interpretation of clicks data to determine the customer intentions, to observe trends and reorganize internal and external approaches in order to remain sustainable (Manning n.d, para.3). Click density data delivers information on the most sought after products and services and facilitates marketing and production strategies. In addition, it is possible to determine the audience’s primary purpose of visiting the website and this data assists in enumerating the main intention of customers frequenting a particular site and precisely obtaining prospective market guides. Besides mere visitation, task completion rates give information that is useful in establishing if a site visitation successfully met the expectations. Additionally, segmented visitor trends from web analytics assists in the identification of various types of customers visiting the website and facilitates their distinction into various distinct segments resulting in market characterization into specific segments and guide production and marketing strategies (Kaushik 2007, p15). Alternatively, multichannel impact from web analysis assists in picking countless clues from web analytics and translating them into more than one value addition targets for establishing organizational competitiveness.
As mentioned above, management evolution has subsequently changed several things in the approach that managers take to deliver results within the organization. Initially, the management theories developed were only intended to deliver maximum productivity mainly as observed in the scientific models of management. With increased research on the topic of productivity and the need to institute organizational approach to business, much realignment has been incorporated to bring more satisfaction for all stakeholders. An example is the need for a balanced approach towards work as management departed from much reliance on rationalized organization. According to Bolman and Deal (2003, p113), there was continued need for the incorporation of social and human needs driven approach in balancing the role of the organization that has many stakeholders. Whereas taking care of productivity, the organization must ensure that the owners, employees, managers, customers and the public benefit from the existence of the organization. To collect the data of how the organization is viewed from all these angles, perhaps one of the best tools to employ is information system application. The enhancement introduced for this balance by web analytics makes it easier to learn how the customer and the external environment need to be taken of.
Certain management concepts based on the improvement of the organization must be enhanced in the modern corporate culture environment. The need to assure the public and community around the company of a responsible business presence must be facilitated through corporate social responsibility. Rallying community and public support is important in management of the image manifested to the public on humanitarian aspects. This must be coupled to responses to public online communication especially on the modern day social media public relations that augurs well with corporate image. Employees professional ethics issues are managed within the organization from an understanding that continued cases of indiscipline could be an indication of unfavorable internal relations. Allowing employees to have a better human resource approach in the management of their welfare must be through various communication channels (Ritson 2011, p21). Web analytics assists modern human resource management in obtaining the appropriate corporate image from the way corporations treat their employees. International human resource management in the new globalization business platform presents a challenge on the management’s cross border reorganization to establish overseas presence. It is therefore important for the web analytics data to be incorporated for the development of the appropriate organizational culture.
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