Magazine article Journal of Services Research

E-Broking as a Tool for Marketing Financial Services in the Global Market

Magazine article Journal of Services Research

E-Broking as a Tool for Marketing Financial Services in the Global Market

Article excerpt

Over the last few centuries, human beings have experienced two major revolutions-the industrial and electronic. The former transformed our society from agriculture to industry based, whereas the latter transformed our society from being mechanical to electronics based. As we enter the 21st century, we are seeing the beginning of a new revolution, namely the network revolution. It interconnects different parts of the world, enabling the seamless flow of information. The Internet is the engine of this revolution and electronic commerce (e-commerce) is its fuel, (Turban et al 2000). In the mid-1990s, the term "Web economy" had not yet been coined; it is now a common phrase in business circles.

It is very unfortunate that the media has been as prompt in writing-off the Internet as it was in canvassing for it. However, the truth is that the Internet is neither a sweeping change that could change the face of business overnight, nor as banal a force as the media would now have us believe. Professor Hanson, in his classic book (2001) Principles of Internet Marketing, beautifully sums up the real situation as: " The Internet is definitely a force with potential to change the ways the world operates, though not overnight...It is slowly entering our lives and becoming as ubiquitous as electricity...It is improving cost-efficiencies, catalyzing disintegration, and increasing convenience for businesses and their consumers." With the advent of Internet technologies and advanced cryptographic techniques, it is now feasible to implement ecommerce and e-business over a public network-the Internet.

THE E-SERVICE (R) EVOLUTION

Perhaps nowhere else is the impact of the Internet felt as much as in the services sector. "The delivery of a service via the Internet to the consumer or other business can be referred to by the generic term of e Services, (Amor 1999)". However, the focus of the present article is on 'financial' services, with special reference to 'e-broking' of stocks. There are a wide-range of e-Services currently offered through the internet and these include banking, stock trading, jobs and career sites, travel, education, consultancy advice, insurance, real-estate, broker services, on-line publishing, and on-line delivery of media contents (such as, videos, computer games, etc.). This list is by no means an exhaustive and it is growing all the time.

E-Services can be broken in the following five categories:

1. Web-enabled Services: The primary purpose here is that these services help to save time and effort for the user, enhance convenience and improve the quality of life. In many cases, it can result in a reduced cost for the consumer. E-services that fall into this category include banking, stock trading, education, etc. In some cases, this may bring a new dimension to the original service, enhancing and altering it. E-education is an example of this. It may also bring in new groups of consumers.

2. Matchmaking services: These take a cue from an individual or business customer and provide mechanisms (from providers) for matching that need. E-services that fall into this category include jobs and employment sites, travel, insurance, real-estate sales, brokers, etc. The advantage of this kind of matchmaking through the Internet is an ability to search electronically over a wider area to satisfy the customer need.

3. Information-selling on the web: This group essentially sells information content of one sort or another and includes e-commerce sites that provide on-line publishing, such as web-based newspapers, consultancy advice, specialized financial or other information, etc.

4. Entertainment services: These provide internet-based access to videos, movies, electronic games, or theme sites. This e-entertainment sector is expected to grow rapidly in the next few years with a convergence of TV and Internet-based technologies.

5. Specialized services (such as, auctions): The use of auctions in the real-world is used by sellers to achieve the best possible price for items that they wish to sell. …

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