Click-only or pure-click business can be described as new company that conducting business digitally via Internet (online) by using e-commerce system without physical existence as firm (Philip Kotler and Kevin Keller, 2008 p.434) while click-and-mortar or click-and-brick business can be described as company that added new channel for marketing by using e-commerce or nay other business software. (Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia, n.d) and (Philip Kotler and Kevin Keller, 2008 p.434) from these definitions, click-only business is a company that lunched a website for all business activity by using e-Marketing, e-Purchase, and e-commerce; or any combinations of e-business modules that fits to the business objectives.
Click-only business uses a website as first step, starting from domain registration (choosing simple and beautiful word for the domain and them .com prefix that often used), usually website name is the brand name that reflects also in the domain name. The second step is good hosting service that provides reliable futures for long-run to process e-business modules with good performance. The third step is security system that includes (SSL certificate: for encrypting data between client and server, and using secure e-business platform on secure server). The remaining part that plays a big a role in click-only business is the Website (that integrated with the e-business), starting from basic things: website language, design and layout, and contents that accomplish business goals and objectives, for example: Community and communication sections (discussion board, feedback, simple voting and reviewing system, etc). All those points as whole will provide easy navigation through the website that helps visitors to easily find, compare, and buy products.
Current online market (market-space) is highly competitive by its nature because of existing more International companies that distribute their products online directly or by using third-part companies like (Amazon.com, Ebay.com, Yahoo.com, or directly through Company’s’ websites). Considering this challenge, another issues also facing online business, for example: competitor can easily take business secrets and methods so that brand identity is difficult to establish and maintain, and building trust and ensuring security and privacy have proven most challenging (Sirkka L. Jarvenpaa and Emerson H. Tiller, n.d., p.1).
For click-only business in highly competitive sectors of the market, it require a good strategy for building trust within visitors to became customers, in regard to other factors that mentioned above, visitors must trust the website before buying any product, because later, buying process require visitors to enter their information like (Name, age, address, and Credit-card details, etc) that require a trust for competing the purchase, there are several factors that attracts visitors to trust website: Valid contact information including (physical address, land-line, e-mail) also using secure system for processing online transactions like (SSL and trusted Gate-way for shopping cart) that provides safety behavior against theft, hacking and any online issues.
In conclusion, click-only business is not just putting materials on website, products that offered online must exist also in offline inventory, and the company also requires building brand equity offline for building trust within customers. Finally, click and mortar is the effective than click-only, because integrating traditional business with e-commerce provides more benefit like: “potential cost savings, gains due to enhanced differentiation, improved trust, and potential extensions into new markets” (Charles Steinfield, 2002).
- Sirkka L. Jarvenpaa and Emerson H. Tiller (n.d.) PROTECTING INTERNET BUSINESS METHODS: AMAZON.COM AND THE 1-CLICK CHECKOUT [Online]. Available From: http://btl.mccombs.utexas.edu/IBM%20Course%20modules/bizmethpatents1.pdf (Accessed: 17 December 2011)
- Charles Steinfield (2002) Understanding Click and Mortar E-Commerce Approaches: A Conceptual Framework and Research Agenda [Online]. Available From: http://jiad.org/article19 (Accessed: 17 December 2011)
- Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (2002) Bricks and clicks [Online]. Available From: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bricks_and_clicks (Accessed: 17 December 2011)
- Philip Kotler and Kevin Keller (2008) 'Marketing Management', 13th Edition, Pearson Prentice Hall, ISBN-10: 0136009980