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About e-business

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About e-business

Table of contents


E-Business Benefits

Selling online has a number of advantages over selling by conventional methods, including:

  • Making savings in set-up and operational costs – There is no need to recruit and pay any shop assistants, rent high-street premises or answer a lot of pre-sales queries.
  • Reducing order-processing costs – Customer orders can automatically come straight into an orders database from the website.
  • Reaching a global audience – Advertising and promoting products and services online allow the business to reach and target a mass audience, thereby increasing sales opportunities.
  • Greater competitive edge – Online businesses have an increased competitive edge by being able to remain ‘open for business’ 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
  • Prompt payments – These businesses are able to receive payments directly via online transactions.
  • Larger customer base – This can be achieved by being able to attract customers who would not have normally investigated certain types of high-street outlets.
  • Improving products/services – The products/services offered can be improved by analysing and exploiting the data gathered from purchases.
  • Online catalogue – A business can use its online portal as a comprehensive catalogue for both existing and potential customers.

Online selling will work best if a business has:

  • Well-defined products/services that can be sold without human intervention in the sales process
  • Fixed prices for all types of potential customers
  • Products/services that can be delivered with a predictable lead time

E-Trading from Gibraltar

Many businesses can run pilot e-commerce/e-business sites without significant investment. However, a fully automated online shop tailored to meet precise requirements could be expensive. Whatever form of online shop is chosen, a strategic view must be taken.

If a business launches a website that disappoints customers or is overwhelmed by traffic, the business risk damaging its reputation and lose sales in the process.
A business must therefore ensure that its website is:

  • User friendly
  • Fully functional
  • Easily accesible

With its unique situation as an associate member of the EU whilst being exempt from VAT and other capital gains taxes, Gibraltar makes for an excellent base for e-businesses. This can certainly be evidenced in the growth of e-trade companies, variously aimed at both local and international consumers.

On a general level, Gibraltar likewise benefits from its strategic geographical location, adjacent to southern Europe and within sight of the developing economies in North Africa. It is thus ideally placed for companies wishing to target these markets with their products and services.

Local Connectivity

Businesses located in Gibraltar make full use of its readily available, resilient bandwidth. Companies can choose from leasing fixed lines, flexible bandwidth or adopt to manage their sites via ADSL or dial-up modem connection.

Payment

Selling on-line will require the enrolment with some form of Secure Payment Gateway (SPG). Any credit card transaction needs to be effected via a secure system to minimise the risk of hackers obtaining credit card details.

It may also be advisable to ensure, particularly when starting up, that all payments are routed through an established SPG (e.g. WorldPay or PayPal). This facility typically charges a small percentage cost, but will practically circumvent high set-up costs and `teething troubles'. Businesses can likewise apply for an Internet Traders Merchant Account with a bank.