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Ketel & Tim (2010) define E-commerce as a form of business that entails buying and selling of goods and services through electronic systems for instance the internet together with other computer networks. Due to the widespread accessibility and usage of internet, the rate of e-commerce/e-business has tremendously increased over the past few years. The nature of this business, measuring its returns and progress is often a challenging and daunting activity. Therefore it calls for appropriate metrics to help in dispensing this duty.
The most important role of e-commerce metrics is monitoring the major business performance drivers, that is, processes and input. Additionally metric attempt to assess whether the organization is achieving its underlying objectives, that is, outputs and consequently contributing to the long-standing success of the said organization. They do this by effectively assessing the possible playoffs of the business hence serving as a determinant because in most cases, online companies fail to invest where they ought to or waste resources investing where they should not (Ketel & Tim, 2010).
The situation is however different in traditional businesses as the availability of financial reports give a stable stream of calculations through which business and companies can evaluate performance as of one period to the next. They can also compare the performance of one business to another and of a particular company to the entire industry.
In e-business metrics are also used for measure traffic on a particular website. Such metrics like bounce rate measures the percentage of individuals leaving a particular site right after looking at the first page presented. This way, the business executives can determine how their business is fairing. On the other hand, traditional businesses will employ strategies such as using video cameras and store maps. It should be noted that most importantly, e-commerce is real time business because marketplace trends’ indicators are captured as they happen (Patton, 2006).
In the e-commerce data required to develop useful metrics is collected by employing the use of various techniques and tools used to measure particular aspects of e-business performance. Such tools include online polls and surveys that are very useful in helping the companies get useful information to develop effective metrics (Patton, 2006). Additionally, they can use focus groups and surveys to get data as it is the also in brick and mortar business. Contrary to this, traditional businesses don’t use these virtual surveys but can establish how to come with effective metrics by going through existing reports of other companies and daily business undertakings observation.
Being small scale business people grocers, for instance, have not copped online data gathering techniques because their customer base is relatively too small as compared to e-business hence they have their own ways like face-to-face interviews and simple surveys.