In the current business world, all companies must have an internet business model for them to be competitive. Essentially, an internet business model enables an organization to create a platform where customers can find out what it is selling. In so doing, an enterprise creates an interface through which it interacts with its customers. In turn, this enables it to improve its services. In addition to this, a website works as a marketing tool that showcases the business activities to potential local and international customers. This paper will discuss the various forms of internet business models, their advantages, and the ways that a business can use these websites to improve its services. Prudently, the paper will illustrate this model using an example of Timber Engines Workshop Ltd. in order to show a real life application of this model.
Keywords: Internet business model, server, marketing, business
Internet Business Models
A business success is primarily a result of its ability to market and sell its products. The internet provides a suitable environment where any organization can be able to expand and acquire new customers by using innovative marketing strategies. Essentially, enterprises adopt the most appropriate internet business models and use them to improve their overall performance. Simply put, an internet business model refers to a structure of the online company that an organization it intends to set up. Ideally, there exist three forms of internet business models: consumer-to-consumer, business-to-consumer, and business-to-business. Normally, the business-to-consumer and business-to-business models sell goods and services via their website. On the other hand, the consumer-to-consumer websites give advice, reviews, and recommendation for the purchase of certain products. Further, the internet business models are categorized as advertising, brokerage, merchant, affiliate, subscription, utility, or community models (Afua & Tucci, 2000). In this paper, I will analyze how my neighborhood local car repair business can adopt the internet business model to increase its sales, customer service, and profitability.
In order to develop an appropriate business model, an organization must first evaluate its objectives, the kind of service that it desires to offer, and its target market. Based on this information, it may be able to select the most appropriate business model. Timber Engines Workshop Ltd. will aim at offering motor vehicle repair service, selling car spare parts, providing a car wash service, and painting vehicles. In light of this, the objective of the internet business model will be to increase the enterprise’s sales through marketing, having an online sale of its vehicle spare parts, improving the customer care service, and giving precise directions of the business location to potential customers. Noteworthy, the company’s target market is all individuals and companies that own vehicles. In light of this, the business will establish a merchant internet based business model. Precisely, this will be a click and mortar business model. In brief, this means that the business will operate an online website business as well as have physical premises where the customer will acquire various services (Choudary, 2015).
Benefits From The Merchant Website
Customer Care Support
Specifically, the merchant website will be able to offer personalized customer support for the business current and potential customers. This process will be made possible using a chat box where customers will communicate to the company’s customer care personnel. Through this communication channel, the company will give customers immediate assistance on various issues.
Marketing and Sales
Importantly, the website will be a marketing tool for the company’s products. Ideally, the internet has a global reach. Consequently, by the company having the online website, it will be able to sell its products to many customers in the world (Fish, 2009). Basically, the website will facilitate the sale of products such as motor vehicle spare parts. Besides increasing the company’s sales, it will also inform potential customers of the exact location of the business and the services it offers.
Online Payment Platform
Generally, the business will be able to introduce an online payment platform for commodities that customers buy through its website. The potential payment websites that the business will link with its website include PayPal and Payoneer. Effectively, this method will provide a secure, simple, and reliable payment platform, which most international customers will be willing to use (Fish, 2009). In turn, this will lead to increased sales.
Ways That the Business Can Use the Website For its Own Benefits
Minimizing Costs and Increasing the Business Profits
Notably, once the business establishes a website, it will not need to have a lot of personnel for direct marketing. Effectively, this will reduce the costs associated with employing marketers and sales agents (Choudary, 2015). On the same breath, the enterprise will have an opportunity to become an affiliate marketer for manufacturers of various motor vehicle spare parts. In this case, it will increase its potential source of income, which will lead to an increase in profits.
Improving the Quality of its Products and Services
Timber Engines Workshop Ltd. will be able to improve its services by relying on customer feedbacks. Generally, the company will get feedbacks through its chat box, where customers will complement the company’s employees, issue complaints, or demand for better services. Similarly, the enterprise will rely on social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter to assess its performance. Ideally, customers will freely give reviews and opinion on the quality of the business’s goods and services (Shih, 2016). By relying on this information, Timber Engines Workshop Ltd. will be able to make necessary improvements of its services.
Tailoring Products to Match Customer Needs
Importantly, the use of a website will enable the company to tailor its products to match the needs of the market. Specifically, it will be able to monitor the commodities that customers are always looking for. In turn, Timber Engines Workshop Ltd. will ensure that it has an ample supply of these commodities (Shih, 2016). Consequently, it will be able to make more profits by aligning its business to the customer needs.
Functional Specification for the Company Website
Timber Engines Workshop Ltd. was established in 2004 and is located in Detroit city. The business has experienced a tremendous growth and has enjoyed a sales turnover of $1,000,000 for the last two years. Currently, the business has twenty-five employees who have a five-year contract. In addition, it has five casual laborers. The main services offered by the company are motor vehicle repair, welding, painting, customizing of vehicle, installation of bullet proof and security features in vehicles, and car track service. Moreover, the enterprise sells motor vehicle spare parts for retailers and customers.
Specifically, the purpose of the website is to market the business to various customers in the country. Similarly, it will show potential buyers where the company is located. In addition to this, the website will provide necessary information about buyers’ shopping habits and the industry trends. Finally, it will improve the business’s customer care service.
The enterprise’s key audiences are:
- Residents of Detroit city
- Security companies that want their vehicles customized with bulletproof equipment
- The government
Provisional Site Structure
|First Page||Second Page||Third Page||Fourth Page|
|Services Offered||List of Services||Price of services||Booking of service day|
|Inquiries||Chat box with 24 hours customer care support|
|Vehicle spares||List of spares||Selection of spares and purchasing||Payment links through PayPal and Payoneer
|History of the business||Information on business history and its present location|
|Frequently asked question (FAQ)||A list of common questions with appropriate answers|
The website will be hosted on a strong server that is able to support the huge traffic that will be established once it becomes popular. Ideally, a good server for this website should have 64 gigabytes (GB) of random access memory (RAM) and a 4-terabyte hard disk. In addition to this, it should have a stable internet connection. The most appropriate software for this website is Windows Server 2012 R2, Ubuntu Server, or ClearOS.
To sum up, the use of a website is important for improving a business performance. Given that the world is currently in an information age, the speed and ease through which organizations can acquire information on their customers are necessary for enabling them to identify the current market needs. Similarly, the ease in the manner that customers shop in a given enterprise has the potential of increasing or decreasing their willingness to buy from it. Consequently, the development of a business website for Timber Engines Workshop Ltd. will improve the experience of its shoppers. Better still, this will lead to increased profitability for the company since it will be able to model its activities to fit its customers’ requirements. Therefore, the formation of an internet business model is an important opportunity that most small and medium-sized organizations should harness in order to increase their market share.
Afua, A., & Tucci, C. (2000). Internet business models and strategies: Text and cases (1st Ed.). New York, NY: McGraw-Hill College.
Choudary, P., S. (2015). Platform scale: How an emerging business model helps startups build large empires with minimum investment. New York, NY: Platform Thinking Labs.
Fish, T. (2009). My digital footprint. A two-sided digital business model where your privacy will be someone else’s business! New York, NY: Futuretext.
Shih, C. (2016). The social business imperative: Adapting your business model to the always-connected customer. New York, NY: Prentice Hall.