Reaping the Benefits of Electronic Retailing

Youlong Zhuang
Project Director
(606) 323-2108
ecomm@pop.uky.edu

Albert L. Lederer
Professor
(606) 257-2536
lederer@ukcc.uky.edu


The purpose of this survey is to learn about the benefits of electronic retailing and the features that might produce them. All responses will be kept strictly confidential. Neither you nor your firm will ever be identified.

To enter a raffle for gifts of the sweatshirt of the college or sports team of your choice, or to obtain a summary of the results of this survey, instructions will appear at the end of the survey.


Please answer the following questions based on your organization's e-commerce site. If your firm has no such site, please go to Section 4.

SECTION 1: Benefits


What is the address of your Web site?  
In what year did the organization initially build the e-commerce site?  

Please click the number to indicate the extent you agree or disagree that your organization's e-commerce site has provided the following benefits (1= strongly disagree; 5=strongly agree).

Our e-commerce site has ...
Strongly
Disagree
Strongly
Agree
1 2 3 4 5
- enhanced ability to customize sales approach
- facilitated billing
- facilitated electronic auditing
- facilitated information exchange with business partners

- facilitated order entry processing
- facilitated shipment tracing
- helped maintain current customers
- improved ability to respond to competitors

- improved control of data
- improved customer service
- improved operational effectiveness
- improved operational efficiency

- increased customer awareness of our products/services
- increased sales
- permitted better interaction with customers
- permitted better understanding of customers

- permitted differentiating our products/services from those of competitors
- provided access to new markets
- provided better information for management decision making
- provided customer intimacy

- provided customers with better information about products/services
- provided opportunities for niche marketing
- reduced administrative costs
- reduced customer support costs

- reduced distribution costs
- reduced information processing costs
- reduced inventory costs
- reduced marketing costs

- reduced the time required to repackage products/services
- streamlined the inventory replenishment
- streamlined the procurement processes
- dramatically increased our productivity

- improved our competitive position
- dramatically increased our sales
- dramatically increased our profitability
- improved our overall performance

- Other:  

Since we built the e-commcerce site, ...
- our firm's financial performance has been outstanding
- our firm's financial performance has exceeded our competitors'
- our firm's sales growth has been outstanding

- we have been more profitable than our competitors
- our firm's sales growth has exceeded our competitors'

SECTION 2: Site Features

Please click the number to indicate the extent you agree or disagree that your organization's e-commerce site provides the following features (1= strongly disagree; 5=strongly agree).

Our e-commerce site ...
Strongly
Disagree
Strongly
Agree
1 2 3 4 5
- responds quickly to email queries
- lets customers easily summon a human to answer questions
- readily accepts orders worldwide
- publishes clear answers to frequently asked questions

- publishes important company policies (i.e., on credit, privacy, or payment terms)
- publishes useful general company information (e.g., company history, background, phone number, and physical location)
- makes extensive use of bulletin boards for customer interaction
- makes extensive use of audio conferencing for customer interaction

- makes extensive use of chat rooms for customer interaction
- allows customers to compare multiple products easily
- allows customers to search the catalog contents easily
- returns answers to catalog searches that fit customer profiles well

- allows customers to complete their orders online easily
- allows customers to complete their orders online securely
- provides up to date order tracking for our customers
- generally loads quickly

- loads quickly during sudden, large volume surges
- infrequently crashes
- provides rich product descriptions using graphics
- is easy to navigate

- provides links to direct customers easily to related items

SECTION 3: The Organization

Please click the number to indicate the extent you agree or disagree with the following statements about your organization (1= strongly disagree; 5=strongly agree).
Strongly
Disagree
Strongly
Agree
1 2 3 4 5
- In the home office, our people are open and trusting with one another
- We have very little formal bureaucracy in our company
- Our people would say this is a loose, informal place to work
- Written and oral communications are very open in our home office

- Our people communicate widely, not just with their own departments
- Communications are very open between our home office and our stores
- Our top executives have clearly indicated their commitment to e-commerce
- Our top executives have championed e-commerce within the company

- Our top executives have shown that e-commerce is mportant to the company
- In general, our people accept change readily
- Our people have openly embraced e-commerce
- We have had very few problems fitting e-commerce with our company culture

- We have very open, trusting relationships with our suppliers
- We have very open, trusting relationships with our shipping firms
- We have very open, trusting relationships with the financial institutions
- We communicate with customers on a personalized basis to build long-term relationships

- We tailor our products and/or services to suit customers' specific needs
- We collect maximum amount of customer data without intruding into their privacy
- Our IT and business managers have a mutual understanding of each other's e-commerce responsibilities
- Our IT and business personnel share the responsibilities of the online store

- Our IT and business executives share a vision for how e-commerce will support the business
- We redesigned our inventory management process to fit our e-commerce
- We redesigned our marketing and sales process to fit our e-commerce
- Improving company processes is a key part of our use of e-commerce

- We actively research the best e-commerce practices of other retailers
- We actively research the best Web practices of other Web sites
- We regularly search the Web for new features of other Web stores
- We have a long-term strategic plan for e-commerce

- We have clearly identified our e-commerce project priorities
- Our e-commerce planning is integrated with the overall business plan

SECTION 4: General Information

Please try to answer all of the questions below. Leave blank any you cannot answer.

What is your organization's primary product?  
About how many employees work for your entire organization?  employees
About how many employees work on the e-commerce site?  employees
About how many daily hits does the Web site have?   hits
About what percent of the company’s transactions now come through the Web site?   %
About what percent of your Web customers return to the site again?   %
About how much revenue came through the Web site during the last 12 months?  $
About how much profit came through the Web site during the last 12 months?  $
What is your job title?  
For how many years have you worked for this organization?   years
For how many years have you worked in e-commerce?   years
What is your highest level of education?  

To enter a raffle for gifts of the sweatshirt of the college or sports team of your choice, and receive a summary of the results of the survey, please write your email address here:  or mail your name and address to Mr. Youlong Zhuang, DSIS Area, School of Management, University of Kentucky, Lexington, KY 40506-0034.

Please this survey.

Thanks very much for your time and help!