This possibly varies by geographic region. In the Northwest, the last mile is complete and demand for online purchasing has moved from people wondering if it's available for certain goods, to people assuming it's available, and then downgrading their product opinion if it isn't.
Clark Nuber CPAs
We are seeing increased demand for e-commerce from a majority of our clients. I think it is a combination of a variety of factors: One would be customer service and customer demand. In some cases, clients are being pro-active and delivering services to customers over the Web while others are being pushed into it by customer demand. I think another reason is increased productivity and lower costs. For instance, if a customer can check their own order status, that makes the customer happy, and increases the productivity of the staff and lowers over-all costs.
Terry J. Kimes, CPA, CITP
Mize, Houser & Co.
We are seeing more demand for a wide range of e-commerce services. The drivers for this are pretty much the same as we see in many other new technology developments—more information to more potential users. In addition, e-commerce is sexy and provides instant information in a world of instant gratification.
Lynn K. Berman
We are seeing more demand for both customer-only and public access to client sites where the site directly interacts with the accounting package for real-time inventory feedback and follow-ups on orders placed. Clients can finally see the payback in having a Web presence and one that is more than just a fancy business card.
Laguna Beach, Calif.
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More companies are using Web stores for selling product, even small three-to-five-million-dollar-a-year companies.
Precision Computer Methods
West Chicago, Ill.
It depends upon what you mean by "e-commerce." Our consulting services include a number of e-business engagements that include sharing of information via Web-based time sheets, “live” credit card processing, and a number of other Web-enabled technologies. This area of our practice is growing as we learn more practical ways that businesses can leverage the Web. The need to share information is driving this business. Selling on the Web is only a very small subset of this trend.
Sandra E. Glick
More clients are seriously looking at e-commerce with an “educated eye.” In the early stages of e-commerce, the theory was that if you have an e-commerce site everyone will buy from you, thus giving you increased sales with little or no added expense and overhead. I believe clients concluded that while e-commerce has the ability—with the right marketing budget—to reach new customers, it's more important return is the ability to free up the sales force to call on new customers, service established customers, and offer the customer base a method of ordering without the time and expense of having to constantly call on them. Many e-commerce orders are orders of impulse versus orders of need. This does open up an entirely new type of customer order that a salesperson just cannot provide. Obviously, I tend to view the business side of ordering rather than the “retail” side of ordering.
Donald L. Reeves Jr.
SCSI Business Solutions
We have seen a dramatic increase over the last six months in eBusiness revenues. The eBusiness revenues are a combination of Web stores and CRM systems integrated into the accounting systems. We are finding that our clients are experiencing an upswing in business. Business owners are looking for efficiencies to facilitate order taking without increasing staff. Additionally, they are investing in the sales/customer support process by investing internally and implementing systems to support staff. This has resulted in our firm selling both boxed and custom-programmed Web store products and CRM systems.
ACCeSS - ACCounting eSolutions & Services