White Papers

Something to get you thinking

Much of our success to date has been based on the extensive research we conduct in the industry. We embark on all of our projects with the same philosophy; that to make the correct decisions, find the best direction and garner the optimal results, we have to be well informed and knowledgeable. One of BUY4NOW Technology Group’s key aims is to deliver the greatest solutions possible, greatest because they deliver the exact results that our client seeks. We can’t achieve these results without intelligence and we build this through research and learning. Although we consider ourselves as experts in many domains of the eCommerce industry we know there are many more areas where we can improve our understanding of and it is this realisation which underpins our constant focus on knowledge and theory. We have sourced a plethora of white papers from around the industry. These productions, presented below, have been developed by leading academics and professionals from a cross section of the eCommerce arena and from numerous institutions and markets around the globe. We populate this section with established and new studies which offer solid frameworks, new insights and revolutionary findings to help guide you through your online journey. Browse through our continually expanding collection of papers here and discover for yourself some of the amazing thoughts and innovations we have embraced as we seek to maintain our business at the front of the industry. As we learn, we strive to keep you informed so you can keep on moving forward.

Measuring eCommerce Website Success

Published by: The Interdisciplinary Journal of Contemporary Research in Business; April 2010. Vol 1, No 12

Authors: Ahmad Ghandour; George Benwell and Kenneth Deans

This study presents a research model which is built on communication theory and an established information system model, with the aim of identifying dimensions for a successful eCommerce website. The paper ties both of their focused theories together, and, through comparison and a blending of core features, manages to posit some interesting points for analysis and further research pertaining to the subject of optimising your website for high performance in the eCommerce realm. BUY4NOW Technology Group found resonance with this study as it provides some crucial findings based on strong academic research. Some of these results include the concept of merging your offline and online operations together; keeping a consistent brand identity between all channels and the overall message that eCommerce success is only achieved when considered as a multi-dimensional phenomenon. The paper also offers some clear insights into the activity of attracting traffic to your website. These issues have been incorporated into BUY4NOW’s model and are areas which we understand and have implemented in some manner over the years to the benefit of our clients.

The effectiveness of Online Shopping Characteristics and Well-Designed Websites on Satisfaction

Published by: MIS Quarterly, Vol. 36, No. 4, pp. 1131-1144, December 2012

Authors: Jifeng Luo, Sulin Ba and Han Zhang

This research paper focuses on the paucity of research and application which has been given to the area of eCommerce for modern retailers. With a particular emphasis on the U.S. market, the report posits, that while eCommerce is undergoing considerable growth, the online space still only contributes a modest level of sales to the overall retail industry and underpins a stagnation in growth of late to be an area of concern for online marketers and business owners. The core aspects of trust and uncertainty which have been prevalent since the inception of online shopping prevail here as key research points. The authors claim that sparce information and visibility of the retailer’s brand and products is leading to a great deal of ambiguity for consumers who thus find it difficult to develop trust with the retailer online and commit to a loyal relationship. With uncertainty likely to play a part in the online realm for some time to come regardless of the visibility of your brand, this paper argues that the plan of your site should facilitate easy access to relevant information to improve the consumer’s extensive research required to ascertain whether the retailer can supply their needs. BUY4NOW Technology Group has devised numerous projects which put some of the key learnings from this paper into practice. One of our main objectives is always to design a client’s website and plan their strategy to encourage an overt and clear brand message to be transmitted. All online activities should seek to help the consumer in their journey; this will entice customer affinity over the long term. This paper deals excellently with these crucial issues and bases its findings on in-depth research presented succinctly here.

The Software Development Process of eCommerce Systems

Published by: Annals of the University of Oradea, Economic Science Series, December 2008

Authors: Lazarica Marinela and Surcel Traian

This short paper provides a good insight into the software development process of eCommerce systems. It focuses on the manner in which these processes had changed in recent times as software developers must adapt to the power of the internet and the higher demands of the knowledge economy. The paper can give readers a clear view of how the software development process ensues today and will enable our clients, partners or interested readers to gain an insight into how we at BUY4NOW have adapted along with the industry and the needs of our customer base. The article illustrates the general transformation in the way the development process is carried out and details the modern approach of viewing the process as an iterative framework as opposed to the traditional ‘waterfall’ style. The paper proceeds to place the spotlight on the importance of using software in business to propel your organisation forward in the new economy. The need to invest in time and resources to ascertain quality software and integrate it, both among your business’s existing software and its use among your different staff groups is alluded to in some detail. The report is short, but concise and still manages to provide some valuable intel to the reader and may be especially beneficial to any business seeking to understand the advantages of proper software development in eCommerce and how it is engineered, you may also attain an idea of how BUY4NOW operate in the development process for our clients.

Is eCommerce boundary-less? Effects of individualism-collectivism and uncertainty avoidance on internet shopping

Published by: Journal of International Business Studies (2004) Vol 35, pp. 545-559, Palgrive Macmillan Ltd.

Authors: Kai H. Lim, Kwok Leung, Choon Ling Sia, and Matthew KO Lee

This study takes two variables disseminating from the renowned study on culture by Hofstede (1991), namely, Individualism versus Collectivism and Uncertainty Avoidance and applies them systematically to the eCommerce sphere. The paper assesses which types of culture are more susceptible to online shopping and thus, which consumer groups are more inclined to become patrons of online stores. The paper is interesting as it aims to disprove the theory that national and geographical boundaries should become irrelevant when engaging in business exchanges online. Using different cultural dimensions primarily abiding to the parameters of either the individualistic/collectivist nature of a nationality and or the uncertainty avoidance or willingness to take risk of that people, the study raises some fascinating points. The report assesses some key issues of eCommerce including the riskiness of shopping online and how certain groups and nationalities are more prone to adapting to new technologies than others. The report declares some highly revealing and potentially impactful findings such as the fact low uncertainty avoidance-collectivist countries including Hong Kong and Malaysia on the whole have uncertainty when it comes to online shopping and find it difficult to commit to trusting relationships with eCommerce retailers. These discoveries are extremely insightful for retailers, particularly those with an aim to internationalise with their online offering and are discussed with practical implications digressed to benefit retailer’s planning and strategy goals.

Internet retailing: the past, the present and the future

Published by: International Journal of Retail & Distribution Management; 2010, Vol.38 Issue 11/12, p943-965, 23p.

Authors: Doherty, Neil F. and Ellis-Chadwick, Fiona

This paper critically reviews the literature that explicitly addresses the adoption, application and impact of internet technologies, by retailers, for the promotion and sale of merchandise. The research assesses early predictions for the internet retailing scene and compares these against current trends in the industry. Evaluation of a wealth of previous studies and a blend of theory and knowledge of the industry provides some interesting facts about the origins of internet retailing and how it has grown and offers clear insight into where and how key successes have been formed for businesses who have made the move online. The paper progresses to take a holistic approach to reviewing the overall development of the industry and underlines the key advantages of online retail for both the retailer and the customer. The paper reviews current predictions in the industry and explores where e-tailing may be heading in the coming years while the authors provide their own summation of what direction the industry is likely to head in and offer some guidance on how retailers can prepare for this change. They ultimately claim that online retail is destined to increase and have a serious impact on high street retail as the activity becomes more mainstream. The study attempts to define where this future success will be based and determines that with brand becoming more important, established retailers are likely to gain much of the share. They do however, posit the threat which virtual intermediaries such as Amazon and eBay pose for established firms and also postulate the potential for smaller retailers who have read the market well and crafted an effective business model to make a strong impact and in so doing grow very big very quickly.

Industry Profile – Online Retail in the United Kingdom

Published by: Datamonitor, September 2011

Authors: Unknown

This report published by DataMonitor in 2010 focuses on the eCommerce industry in Europe paying particular attention to the U.K. market. The report relays the findings of a comprehensive market analysis on the U.K. eCommerce sector over the past decade. It compiles findings from two periods of research on the U.K. retail industry from a review of 2005-2009 and a forecast of the 2009-2015 timeframe. The report provides a wealth of statistics, graphs and other related core findings from the online retail scene and blended with the strategic analysis of a number of industry experts provides some clear and thought provoking insights about the industry to the reader. One can gain a detailed description of where the online retail scene has come from in the U.K. since its spawn in the early part of this millennium, how it has developed, and most crucially, what direction it is heading in. the in depth and analytical review of the market reveals some defiantly interesting facts about the industry and why the U.K. has become the most prominent market in the European online retail.

We are exposed to a number of key facts about the U.K. sphere and learn how it has achieved more growth than any other European region over the first decade of the online retail boom with a Compound annual growth rate of 22.7% between 2006 and 2010. The forecast for the 2009-2015 period also reveals some telling facts including the point of the U.K.’s expected temporary stagnation in correspondence with the general deceleration of the eCommerce arena in Europe. Growth is anticipated to slow to a CAGR of 11.6% for the five year period 2010-2015, but thus is expected to drive the sector to a value of $66.2 billion by the end of 2015. The report analyses some pivotal market components and thus, deciphers reasons for success in the industry and why the U.K. has dominated the online arena for so long. The Five Forces of Industry Competition is used to analyse the competitive status of the market. It assesses the key players, buyers and suppliers in the industry based on peak levels of performance in 2010. The report diverges some interesting findings about buyer power. While buyers had a good stranglehold on the industry due to relatively low numbers and low switching costs, the increase in online shoppers has reduced their power and this point has been compounded by increased concerns over security and retailers expanding into multiple sectors leading to more loyal shoppers. The report is extremely detailed and while it is based on the U.K. market, it does offer insights from other European markets and for retailers from similar regions such as Ireland, much of the findings and forecasts are relevant and valuable, at least at providing a foundation on which to develop future strategy for the capricious online sector.

Re-imagine retail: Why store innovation is key to a brand’s growth in the ‘new normal’, digitally-connected and transparent world

Published: 2012

Authors: Chris Aubrey and David Judge

This whitepaper published in 2012 by renowned U.S. business executives Chris Aubrey, Director of Commercial Experience at Adidas AG and David Judge, Executive Creative Director at Start JudgeGill takes an in-depth look at the current state of traditional retail in the backdrop of the meteoric rise of the eCommerce arena. The authors allude to the considerable and successive changes occurring to the retail space and postulate that the face of the industry will be completely transformed in five years’ time from what we were, and even are, familiar with. With a more educated and expectant consumer reaping the power of being digitally connected and availing of endless realms of information, buyers are now extremely price conscious, they are capable and willing to exploit the multiple of channels and vendors which come before them in order to get the product they want at the right price. This report alludes to the major pressures on traditional store retailers as more and more consumers flock to the web to gain the benefits of increased convenience and easy comparison of price, but instead of declaring the bricks and mortar platform a practice destined only for a slow but progressive descent into obsoleteness, the authors claim that the new digital and technologically inspired world we encompass presents a golden opportunity for physical stores to take advantage of.

While eCommerce is indeed the way forward, simply building your online platform will not guarantee success. Retailers need to assess how their different channels can work to support each other. By re-inventing your physical store and planning a set of features which are relevant and valuable to your key customers you can not only boost the strength of your physical store but re-enforce the value of your other operations including your website and indemnify a broader platform underscored by a Omni-channel eco system. By propelling your offline presence you have the potential to develop a formidable competitive stance against the generic, price-led, internet only competitors and ultimately ignite your brand. The article hits a core premise that innovation must flourish and it should be based on customer insight and focused around store structure and function so as to fortify your brand as it enters the precarious retail world which awaits.