The Search for Digital Excellence takes on the nuts and bolts of electronic commerce--how it can be used to attract and keep customers and how it can benefit the company that uses it. A key point of the book is one that should not come as a shock to anyone who understands any form of business, but that many--if not most--Web practitioners tend to forget: e-commerce success--let alone excellence--is not a matter of technology. It's a matter of building worthwhile relationships within the company and between the company and its customers.
The authors discovered, however, that the approach to building those relationships is different in an electronic environment than it is when dealing face to face, by telephone, or by catalog. They expound and expand upon five key principles of e-commerce success: (1) Competitive advantages are more difficult to achieve and harder yet to maintain.
(2) Technological solutions will not put you ahead because your competitors can use them as easily as you can.
(3) Traditional long-range planning must give way to constant self-questioning and the search for unpredicted, emerging opportunities.
(4) Isolation is deadly, while networks of positive relationships--even with competitors--are essential.
(5) Companies must focus online technologies on core competencies while engaging noncore competencies only with extreme caution.
The research behind this book has been distilled into plain language and is presented with a commonsense approach to forging lasting e-commerce success. --Elizabeth Lewis