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Innovation refers to the process of introducing and implementing new ideas or methods for improving the quality of services to create value among customers. This includes set of activities like gathering information, resources and other material that are required and then implementing those for innovating processes. This report is about eBay which is an online auction based American multinational company (Archibald and Archibald, 2016). It provides a platform for interaction and performing transactions between consumer to consumer and business to consumer related to the purchasing or selling of commodities.
The main purpose of this report is to identify the opportunity of bringing innovation in marketplace. Further this report also focuses on determining the capabilities that a company have and required to enhance for becoming compatible to changing innovation needs of customer. This project includes a detail description about the future of E-commerce industry by 2020 and beyond for identifying the growth and innovation opportunity present in front of company. It also explains about the various innovations that are expected to introduced by eBay in 2020 (Van Lancker, Wauters and Van Huylenbroeck, 2016). In addition to this it also depict about the capabilities which are required by company for future innovations.
E-Commerce industry is a group of companies which uses internet as a medium to operate or perform its business operations. This sector is drawn up over technologies like electronic fund transfer, supply chain management, internet marketing, online transaction processing, inventory management system and mobile commerce. E-commerce is one of the fastest growing industry as it is encouraging businesses to perform their operations online and globalising their networks. The industry generally provides several services like online shopping, home delivery of products, online payment option etc. This support in simplifying the life of people by connecting retailers and customer at one place. It provides industrial player an opportunity to interact with customers as well as business partner worldwide which help in expansion and further growth (Milic, 2017).
The attractiveness and growth opportunity of industry influencing businesses to digitalise their operations over an online platform and offer quality of services to customers worldwide. Hence, the competition is getting higher as different players are bringing innovative approaches for achieving sustainability. So, the environment of E-commerce is constantly modifying and upgrading due to technological changes which competitors are bringing for enhancing their service quality and capturing larger market share. This in turn also contributing toward the development of industry which provide several growth opportunities to other players of this sector.
The key players of E-commerce industry are Amazon, Flipkart, Alibaba, Etsy etc. which keep on innovating their process as well as services to remain competitive and enhancing their customer base. These players are now planning to launch some innovations for enhancing the level of services like Amazon which is best known for its innovation practices. It continuously focuses over innovating its current services or processes for enhancing the satisfaction level of its customers. One of its innovation in process is “Amazon basic” where it offers its own manufactured product which are of high quality and sold under affordable price. But apart from this Amazon is also planning to introduce its physical outlet which provide its customers an option to select their products online and then can check it over its physical outlet (Amazon opens its first store, 2018). On the other hand, Alibaba has innovated its current process of customer support services by involving Artificial Intelligence as a voice assistant. Under this innovation, the customer complaint calls are being handled by Alibaba's AI voice assistant where it not only taking calls but also provide a pre-recorded demo to customers (AI voice assistant, 2018).
These innovations are being expected to be introduced by the player of E-commerce industry in near future which proves to be very beneficial for this sector. The major growth barrier of E-commerce industry is lack of product intangibility which restrict people to purchase luxury commodities online. This barrier may be removed with the establishment of physical stores. Apart from this, the complaint handling through robot will provide quicker and reliable solution to customer problems. These innovations will be beneficial for Ebay, as by offering its own brand product company can enhance their profit (Pyroh and Horyachka, 2016). Apart from this it doesn't require to invest over promotion and other promotional activities. In addition to this by setting up its physical outlets, Ebay can enhance its customer base even by selling luxury products. The AI customer support services will simplify the process of complaint handling without arranging larger workforce.
eBay Inc. is an online auction service based company which deals in offering product or services to its customer over internet. Company continuously emphasize over improving its current process as well as services in order to sustain its business within such competitive market. eBay belongs to E-commerce industry which is one of the fastest growing sector and anticipate frequent changes in term of technology for enhancing the quality of operations (Ackley and Aparo, eBay Inc, 2016). So, in order to keep its business technologically advanced and competitive in marketplace, it is required to bring innovation in its current processes to survive in marketplace. Following are some innovation that eBay can bring in its current business process to enhance customer experience:
Fly Drone:- The increasing demand and competition within the E-commerce industry raise the need of innovation among the player in market. For surviving in this competitive environment eBay can use flying drone as a medium to deliver the product to its purchaser. This innovation process will be fruitful for eBay because flying drone is gaining popularity from the event like delivering the first aid to people who got trapped in disaster (4 EMERGING ECOMMERCE TECHNOLOGY INNOVATIONS, 2018). So, people will easily accept this innovation. This flying drone will deliver the ordered product at customer's place and also provide them an option to pay through card swapping. This feature will aid toward the development of E-Commerce industry as the innovation work toward increasing competition within industry. This in turn will encourage other player to bring more innovation to remain competitive and this contribute toward expansion of industry.
VR, AR and wearable devices:- Virtual reality is not more a science fiction as it now become a part of human life. These technologies are now used by people as a medium of their entertainment and most demanding innovation within the society. This innovation can be used by eBay to enhance its quality of services and current process. By assessing this feature, user will be able to link images with real world which provide a seamless experience to customers (The Future of E-commerce: 2020 and Beyond, 2018). As virtual reality will provide customers a chance to see how product like apparels, jewellery and other accessories look in reality. This will help in encouraging customers to purchase product online instead of visiting physical store which in turn will support in growth and expansion of E-Commerce industry.
Selling based on mobile location:- Mobile has now become a major source for assessing the E-commerce services which eBay can use to enhance their processes as well as operations. The company is now planning to improve their process in order to increase their customer base where eBay will excess the location of its customer and provide them suggestion regarding nearby stores (5 New and Upcoming Waves of Innovation in Ecommerce. 2018). Under this customers will be notified with information regarding the stores and offers will be provided to them when they visit those store with reference to company. This will make it easier for customer to purchase product or services (Grewal and et. al., 2016). This will also benefit the industry by connecting online and offline stores together, which remove the barrier to customer choice i.e. “Product intangibility”.
eBay is an E-Commerce corporation which operates toward consumer to consumer and business to consumer sale using their website. But being a player within such a competitive and continuously growing sector, it is very crucial for eBay to build up capabilities for dealing with future competitions. This will support company in achieving sustainability in market place, as rivals are continuously brining new innovation for improving their quality of services and for eating one another's market share (Grewal and et. al., 2016). So by bringing continuous innovation in their processes, eBay will be able to capture larger market share along with higher customer satisfaction.
For implementing any innovation effectively, it is very essential for a company to formulate strategy to determine feasibility of idea and direction to work. Hence, eBay is required to develop a road map of innovation which depict about actions to be taken for achieving desired result. Following are the steps which are included in road map of innovation:
Suggestion:- eBay is planning to bring innovation in its current process for achieving competitive advantage, it is recommended them to adopt Flying Drone as an option for delivering its product at customer's place.
Reason:- The reason behind this option is that, Flying drone is gaining attention within the society as a source of making things available to people who need help by providing first aid facility, food etc. So people will be more excited to see a flying drone as a delivery option. Apart from this it will also reduce the chance of cybercrime or hacking of customer's financial information which has now become a major barrier to the growth of E-Commerce. Because this drone will provide two benefits to customers, firstly it will reduce the delivery time and secondly it will provide payment option where user can pay through card swapping after getting their product delivered.
Impact of changes:- For introducing this technology by 2020 to marketplace, eBay is required make several changes to its current operation and processes (Blanchard and et. al., 2017). Following are the factors that eBay must consider for developing the capability in order to implement future innovation:
Research & development:- For bringing innovation, R&D department plays an essential role by collecting and analysing the information regarding the marketplace. This will support in identifying the requirement of innovation and ways to implement those to achieve positive outcome. For bringing this flying drone as a delivery option, eBay is required to bring several changes in its current R&D operations. The company is required to either hire new experts or work toward improving knowledge, skills as well as capabilities of its current workforce for implementing this innovation.
Required resources:- For bringing new innovation, eBay required number of resources to implement and develop this flying drone delivery option. Major resources which are required by company is capital, human resources, machineries in tangible resources and knowledge, skills, software etc. in intangible resources (Zarli, Bourdeau and Segarra, 2016). So, eBay is required to hire high skilled and competent workforce which have a thorough knowledge about this field so that they will be able to implement or manage this innovation successfully. In order to arrange these resources eBay require more financial resources.
Technical skills required:- eBay requires some sort of technical skills in their employees for implementing this flying drone innovation effectively. As the actions performed by this drone will be handled through software, so company require software managers and range of expertise for operating this operation successfully. Skills required by these technical staffs are programming skills, data management and analytics etc.
Legal aspects/compliances:- For implementing this change, eBay also required to consider some legal aspects along with arrangement of resources. As for introducing Flying Drone in market, eBay is required to take permission from government and need to comply with some laws. This includes, intellectual property law in which eBay must ensure that all the legal standards under this law should not be violated by the practices performed by company.
Cost of change: - This section explains about the cost which is incurred by eBay while bringing changes to its current process for developing the future capabilities (Berlanga Zárate, 2016). Feasibility:- Once the market has been analysed and information regarding resources required for implementing the innovation is interpreted next step is to evaluate the feasibility of this innovation plan within marketplace. This evaluation will help in determining the soundness of project that whether this will work in work in future or some modifications are required to be done. This is one of the most crucial step within the roadmap as it focuses over determining the effectiveness of plan. Following are the sectors involve in this feasibility analysis:
Economical:- This analysis will focuses on analysing the current financial position of eBay in order to determine whether the company have sufficient fund to adopt this innovation or required to raise the fund from outside (Yu and Zhang, 2017) Apart from this it will also support in evaluating that whether after introducing this innovation, company will be able to manage at effectively or will it cost higher.
Technological:- Under this analysis eBay will focuses on determining the technical soundness of current innovation plan. It means that in technical feasibility analysis, eBay will focus on analysing the availability of its existing technical resources like machinery, staff and other resources. This analysis will help in determining that up to what extend the existing technical resources are helpful for company and resources that are required to arrange for developing technical capability for future innovation.
Operational:- Under operation feasibility analysis, eBay focuses on evaluating the skills that its existing employees have and what kind of skills they needed to develop in order to implement the Flying Drone innovation successfully. This evaluation will help in estimating the training & development requirement of employees for enhancing their skills and building up future innovation capabilities.
Approval process:- After analysis each and every factor regarding the implementation of innovation process, next step under road map is to take approval from the key persons of organisation which is very essential. So, in order to take approval for implementing this innovation process i.e. “Flying Drone for delivery”, eBay can arrange formal meeting for board of directors for presenting their new idea. As changes in its current process cannot be done without the permission of board of directors because they are the key persons who take decision through mutual concern (Godfrey, L., 2016).. Therefore, by organising board meeting, eBay can convey its innovation planning for taking approval from them regarding the implication of this innovation.
Apart from this, for using flying drone to deliver the product at customer's place eBay is required to take permission for government. As currently flying drone is not allowed to use privately and it is also illegal for their business and other purpose. So, for involving flying drone as a delivery option eBay is required to take permission from government.
Implement the changes:- After analysing the requirement of resources for implementing innovation and taking approval from government as well as board of directors next step is to implement the changes. This step is the execution of planning after arranging all the required resources which ever has decided in previous steps. So in order to implement this innovation first of all eBay will hire technical staff for developing the software for operating and managing the flying drone. This software will track each and every action performed by Drone as well as also guide it over direction in which drone has to move for delivering products. In addition to this, its official website will also get modified to add new option of “Flying Drone for delivery”. Apart from this some engineers will also be hired by eBay in order to manage the technical and other issues that a drone may face while performing its operation.
Review the impact of changes:- Once all the planned processes has been implemented and actions being performed next step is to review the implication. This support in determining that whether the innovation implication is successful or requires some changes for becoming successful before getting launched commercially. For reviewing this, eBay can arrange a mock test where technical staff will test the sample model to determine whether it will be reliable and sustainable after getting launched in market. Apart from this success of this innovation can also be analysed on the bases of its financial reliability.
From the above given information it can be summarized that innovation plays an essential role within the growth and success of a company in marketplace. As innovating current product or process, company will be able to maintain its market share and also become successful in achieving competitive edge in marketplace. E-commerce is one of the fastest growing sector which regularly experience a new technology or innovation approaches within industry introduce by key players. The future of this industry is very bright as various innovations are expected to be seen in nearby time up to 2020. These are Flying Drone for delivery, Virtual & Augmented reality for assuming a product in real life image and swelling based on mobile location. But in order to implement these innovations as well as technologies the key players of industry needed to develop capabilities for adopting the future requirements. For developing these abilities companies are required to arrange adequate resources like fund, technical staff, skills and knowledge which support in implementing innovation plans successfully.
In addition to this road map also plays a major role in bringing innovation within the company and its successful implication at marketplace. A Company planning for bringing innovation must create a roadmap for executing its innovational plan effectively as it support in providing step by step execution of plan. Road map suggest about the most appropriate option to choose for innovation then analyse about the changes that are required to be made in current system for developing capabilities and then analysing its feasibility regarding future innovation. This also support company in determining the method that must be used by company to implement those changes for developing the capabilities for future innovations.
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