Hello! I am Rianne Lim, a 3 BS MGT-H student in Ateneo. I recently took up a class called E-Business Fundamentals!
When I saw this class amongst the electives I could credit towards my IT minor, I instantly thought “ WOW! I’ll be able to improve that state of my online shop.” I immediately enlisted for it and excitedly awaited for the first modules to begin. At first, I was a bit shocked that we would be learning about the history of social media, music, & video. After all, the first thing in mind when it comes to e-commerce is websites like Amazon and Lazada. What did these play in the role of e-commerce? Even if they were on the internet, it does not mean these were necessary to learn. However, as the lessons went by I slowly began to understand the importance of learning these before diving into the current realm of e-commerce. Here are the three realizations I had while taking the class.
- E-Commerce is a HUGE industry
It turns out the realm of e-commerce is so much more than online shopping platforms. It’s literally anything that involves a transaction online and goes so much deeper than that. One of the lessons that really struck me was the module about videos and the OTT industry. When it comes to planning the next streaming sensation, there’s a lot of things to consider. What kind of videos do you want your platform to have? Should you make these videos exclusive only to your platform? Is it a subscription, pay-per-view, or ad-supported one? It’s also interesting to see how all these media companies constantly fight for the attention of potential users, like how shops sponsor their posts on certain social media platforms so that they are the first ones to be seen. You can see how e-commerce is slowly transforming into a cut-throat industry wherein order to stay on top, you have to be able to get as much quality content as you possibly can; this is why streaming services are investing in original content and exclusive streaming rights.
- It’s better to target a small niche market than a large not-interested one
After going through all the modules, I noticed one thing. Even though something would have a lot of reaches, the percentage of views to customers was still pretty small. An ad could reach millions of people yet when it comes to people buying the product, it would only be a few thousand. Why is that? In order to get customers, your promotions would have to be hyper-targeted. This means that only people who have shown genuine interest in something would be able to see the promotion of your products. This is better as the conversion rate would be higher and it would be less costly than reaching a larger crowd of people. This would bring me to the next thing I learned while taking this class.
- The goal is to target a need, not persuade one
While taking this class, this thought suddenly came into mind: as a company, what should be your target be? To be able to persuade people to become your customers or to be able to target specific customers that might have a need your company can fulfill? It may seem better to persuade people to buy your products, but actually, that might create tension between the customers and the company. Instead, find customers who have a need for your product. This creates loyal customers who will continue to purchase your products; no persuasion needed!
So after learning all of that, where can I apply these lessons? What’s my next move moving forward?
In the most direct way, I can apply it to my online store now. Although my income is stable, I believe the lessons I learned in class such as the conversion funnel and about hyper-targeted ads will allow me to grow it on a much larger scale. These lessons can also be taken even into non-e-commerce businesses. All of the models and skills that I have learned can be translated into a physical setting and allow me to improve any physical business ventures I may have.
If you want to take this class, go for it! It may seem slow at first, but eventually, you’ll see how all of these lessons lead to a deeper understanding of e-commerce. All you need is an open and critical mind in order for you to be able to tackle the modules with little problems. Also, of course, to communicate well with your professor! In an online setup, it’s very important to be able to voice out any concerns so that there will be no problems when it comes to taking this class.