The Positive Impact of Computers on Commerce By Kristopher Fiecke, eHow Contributor , last updated April 17, 2012 * * * * Print this article The ever-evolving computer has changed how people conduct business. The computer has evolved over time into an essential tool for most businesses. Whether it’s a small business or a multinational corporation with offices in a variety of locations around the globe, the computer has become an integral part of how most people manage their business. Computers have taken tasks that many people spent a vast majority of their time on and simplified them to help businesses run more efficiently.
The computer has revolutionized how people from all walks of life conduct their business. Other People Are Reading * Fall Furniture Trends Take Cues from Nature * The Advantages, Disadvantages and Limitations of E-Commerce 1. Competitive Pricing * The evolution of the computer has really benefited consumers when it comes to pricing. Retailers now have to compete with other retail outlets all over the world to maintain competitive prices, thanks to the prevalence of the Internet. Stores in certain regions no longer are able to hold local shoppers hostage by charging higher prices because they are the only store in town.
Consumers simply have to do a quick search on the Internet to determine if they will be able to have a product shipped to their home for a comparable or lower price. Faster Checkout * Computers also have impacted commerce positively by allowing consumers in retail outlets to complete their purchases quicker. No longer does a cashier have to punch in a series of numbers into a cash register, the cashier simply has to scan a barcode, which tells the computer how much the product costs. The results of the purchase are displayed for the consumer to see.
This lets the consumer prepare to finalize the transaction by counting out their money, writing a check or taking out their credit card. Computers still have problems like crashes and network errors, but overall, the checkout experience is much faster due to the impact of computers. * Sponsored Links * ASP. NET C# E-commerce Easy to use and flexible CMS with E-commerce and Social Networking. www. kentico. com/ecommerce More Detailed Inventory Records * Computers also have had a positive impact on commerce by allowing stores to maintain more accurate inventory control systems.
An associate in a retail outlet doesn’t have to head back into a stockroom to determine if a product that isn’t on the shelves is in the stock room waiting to be brought out onto the floor. The associate simply has to enter the item’s bar code into a computer and the computer’s inventory list will tell the associate the quantity of the product in the store’s stockroom. If the store is out of a product, they can easily hook into another store in a different location and let the consumer know if the product is in stock at that location. More Efficient Filing Systems * Computers have made the filing systems of businesses more efficient.
The days of keeping a customer’s purchase or service records in a manila folder stuffed with papers are long gone. Businesses can do a simple search of their client and find out the last time they came in for a particular service or the last purchase they made and how much they spent or how often they frequent the business. http://www. ehow. com/info_8448538_positive-impact-computers-commerce. html The department store’s twin characteristics of a wide range of merchandise and a high level of customer service compel it to react quickly to a constantly changing and a more sophisticated customer base.
The customer also looks for service – credit, delivery, and after sales. Originally computers were used in department stores only for payroll and purchase ledger. Now the objective is to run the entire trading operation round an integrated computer system. It is primarily in the area of conveying timely and accurate information to executives responsible for taking decisions, that computers are making the greatest impact on the department store trade. USE OF COMPUTERS IN RETAIL PHARMACY Sir, I am pleased to report a satisfactory result from a feasibility trial of computer support for the retail harmacist, which was first described in your Journal in 1974. The trial took place in an Exeter pharmacy and used prototype equipment which logged the dispensing transactions and kept track of stock which needed to be re-ordered. The nature of the drug preparation dispensed was mechanically read from a printed code on the container via a sensor. The signal created was recorded on to magnetic tape side by side with the number of units counted. The units were counted automatically by a machine preset from a keyboard to the number required on the prescription. Each ay’s transactions were transmitted by telephone to a computer which printed out re-order lists for the pharmacist. This trial has shown that marked improvement can be obtained in the accuracy of the lists of goods which need to be re-ordered from the wholesaler for the retailer and provided strict control of the total stock levels and trends in demand. The automatic tablet counter equipment produced a significant saving in the pharmacist’s time and relieved him of an irksome task. The combined machine proved acceptable in use to the pharmacists even though they were asked to aintain dual systems for the purposes of comparison. This type of equipment in future could reduce drug processing and clerical work, abolish the procedure for re-ordering by telephone, and could improve profitability in many ways. If in addition pharmacists were prepared to share their recorded data, then most of the wholesaler’s clerical activities could be automated, the drug manufacturer’s clerical tasks could be greatly helped, and pricing bureau activities and prescribing statistics could be fully automated. Further proposals would be the formation of a computer-based central national register for angerous drugs, a monitoring service for the sideeffects of drugs linked with the data banked in the computer’s memory from prescriptions. The expense of introducing a system of this kind would be no greater than that involved in analogous systems currently being developed in other fonns of retailing. Further design work will be required to produce a machine suitable for general pharmaceutical use. J. F. PREECE The Computer’s Impact on Retail By Dennis Hartman, eHow Contributor * * * * Print this article Anyone who makes purchases online knows something about the relationship between retailers and computers.
The field of retail sales has its basis in retailers bringing buyers and products together in the marketplace. There are a number of ways retailers can do this, and many tools they can use in their work. Computers, which have had an impact on nearly every economic sector, are especially prevalent in retail where their effect is visible at each level of the retail organization. Other People Are Reading * The Impact of Computers in Business * How Are Computers Used in Health Care? 1. Online Sales * One of the most significant impacts of computers in the field of retail sales is the phenomenon of online sales.
Most major retailers have large Web presences, offering a full range of their products for order. Customer can order out-of-stock items from a physical location for home delivery or in-store pickup, eliminating the lost sales that come from lack of inventory. The Internet also allows small retailers to sell to a wide base of customers who may not live near the retail location. It makes online-only retailers possible — these businesses don’t need to invest in the cost of a physical location since they process all of their sales online. Marketing Retailers also feel the impact of computers when it comes to marketing. In addition to print, radio and television marketing, retailers can turn to the Internet for banner ads, websites and email promotions that get customers’ attention. Email allows retailers to send sale reminders or special discount coupons to customers on their mailing lists, reducing the cost of contacting customers directly via postal mail or phone. Online marketing also means that a retailer can reach potential customers anywhere in the world for a much more reasonable cost than other forms of global marketing. Sponsored Links * Your Own Online Store All in One Website & Shopping Cart, Award-Winning Ecommerce, Get Trial. Volusion. com/ShoppingCart Inventory Management * Retailers need to control their inventories to succeed. Too much overhead means the business’s money is tied up in unsold products. Too little means there might be problems meeting customer demand. A simple computer program such as a spreadsheet allows a retailer to track inventory levels over time and ensure that the right amount of product is always in stock.
A computerized inventory system can also save time and money by storing ordering information for reference and, in some cases, integrating with distribution systems online for automatic ordering when inventory levels are low. Payroll and Accounting * Like other business owners, retailers can feel the impact of computers when they take advantage of programs that simplify their payroll and accounting tasks every day. Accounting software streamlines the process of keeping accurate records for tax purposes and personal business assessment. It may even reduce the amount of money a retailer spends on an outside accountant.
Retailers can also use software to manage their payroll and employee benefits. Outside payroll services allow managers to go online and enter payroll information, such as hours worked and salary changes. These services can also distribute paychecks automatically, giving retailers one less administrative concern. http://www. ehow. com/info_8050562_computers-impact-retail. html The Impact of Computerization on Retail Sales Ever since computers were released to the public for private, non-military use, people have been thinking of ways to use them for profit.
One industry that has seen a huge impact of computerization is the retail sales industry. These are the commercial businesses that are closest to the customer, distributing finished products directly off the shelves and into the customers’ homes. In this essay we will examine the retail sales environment over three stages of computerization — direct replacement of current activity, enhancement of activities, and ability to perform new functionality. Before the process of computerization began in retail sales, the store manager was in charge of nearly all aspects of running the store.
This included deciding which items to keep in stock, how much to charge for each item, and managing the employees. For a manager, running a successful and profitable store meant hard work and clever thinking. Bad managers were typically disorganized and did not have what the customers wanted. A good case study for computerization in retail sales is Wal-Mart. Wal-Mart is a good case study because it is a company that was founded before computers had much impact on sales. The first Wal-Mart store opened in 1962 and the company is now the world’s largest retailer thanks in part to computerization.
Throughout this essay we will examine how computerization has impacted retail sales in general and more specifically how it has helped Wal-Mart rise to become the world’s number one retailer. First Stage In the 1960s computing devices began to be increasingly associated with businesses. The first credit cards came into common use during this era, reducing the need to carry large amounts of cash to stores. Some larger businesses even purchased computers to manage customer data and speed up accounting. This was the beginning of the first stage of computer insertion into retail sales.
During this era where computers began replacing tedious business tasks, there was some change in productivity, primarily in keeping up with company expenses. In some cases, consumers did not have to wait quite as long to check out because of increasingly powerful cash registers and calculators. Some jobs were replaced because the stores did not need as many people to support their customers anymore. In the case of Wal-Mart, this was the time when the first stores were opening. Other discount retail stores like Kmart and Target were quickly expanding and searching for ways to operate cheaper and more efficiently.
Computers began to be used in a very limited way for accounting and other minor tasks. Second Stage Another phase of computer insertion into the retail sales industry reached its height in the mid 1980s and early 1990s. Computers had become fairly popular and were in common use by even small retail stores. During this phase many tasks were being automated. Nearly every store had inventory control computing systems to keep track of what goods the store had as well as what items should be reordered and restocked.
Bar codes also came into wide use in the 1980s, making retail store checkouts much faster. It was around this time that anti-theft systems became popular in stores. Many retail stores used computer software to take care of accounting and employee payrolls. Together, these technologies made stores much more efficient. Goods could be ordered and stocked faster, employees could check out more customers in less time, and managers had an easier time doing their accounting. All this meant that fewer employees were needed to run existing stores.
It also meant that it was easier to run larger stores that sold more goods and catered to more customers. Huge malls and super-stores like Wal-Mart could never have existed without the level of computerization that was developed by the early 1990s. The major factor that determined the success of major discount retailers was computerization. Wal-Mart ultimately won its war with Kmart because it was the fastest to embrace computerization. By 1993, Wal-Mart was using one of the most sophisticated privately owned computer systems in the world for its inventory tracking.
The entire process for restocking was automated through the use of its computer systems and satellite links. The system at Wal-Mart stores would determine when more of a product was needed and then send an order directly to the closest supplier via satellite. This efficiency in inventory control was the main reason that Wal-Mart was able to beat its competitors. Third Stage Today we are at the point where new functionality is enhancing the way goods are sold to us. For the most part, it was the dot-com boom that paved the way for this new level of computerization.
With the World Wide Web emerging as a new method of retail marketing, local businesses could sell products to anyone with access to the Internet. The Web also provides a place where businesses can advertise their products and provide information all over the world. With the Internet rapidly becoming a massive worldwide marketplace, many businesses are being forced to open new employment positions for technical workers. Even though it may take fewer sales clerks to keep a store operational, technicians, programmers, and web developers are now required to keep the systems in good maintenance.
If a system or web site goes down, it could prove extremely costly for many companies. Wal-Mart recognized the growing importance of the Internet by launching its website in 1996. By 2000 Wal-Mart released its online shopping sites to compete with major online retailers like Amazon. com. Another aspect of retail sales which computerization has affected is data collection. Tracking systems have become very popular in retail stores. Many stores have systems which track every item in the store, who purchased the item, and who sold the item.
Inventory tracking systems allow stores to determine what kind of products the store needs more of and how many of those products to order for restocking. They help keep the stores stocked with things that customers want. Customer tracking systems keep a database of all of the store’s customers, their buying habits, and what kind of products they may be interested in purchasing. There are even employee tracking systems which keep a record of employee actions in order to gauge productivity. All of these tracking systems are part of a push to personalize the shopping experience in an increasingly impersonal and computerized world.
Businesses use the computerized tracking and personalization to simulate caring and understanding of the customers that was much more present before the introduction of computers. Only time will tell how much information consumers will allow companies to gather from them before they feel suspicious of the company’s motives. Conclusions None of us live completely independently of others. We all depend on retail sales to live, so the computerization of the industry affects our everyday lives in a large way.
Computerization in the retail sales industry takes away the tedious and time-consuming jobs and allows retail stores to serve more customers in less time. Consumers also benefit from computerization. They have more access to product information and alternatives, so they can make more informed choices on the products they purchase. Regardless of whether its impact is good or bad, computerization in retail sales helps our society work more efficiently and cost effectively. http://www. stormshock. com/archive/articles/impact. html