Electronic transactions have become the norm for consumers and for the business world.
Today, as paper books are rapidly replaced by eBooks and other physical formats fall into the past, the way the world has changed is readily apparent to consumers during their daily activities. Shopping expectations for product availability and speed of delivery have evolved dramatically in the last 10 years. Businesses are changing to keep up with consumer demands by adopting electronic transactions for business documents.
Electronic transactions are becoming more sophisticated. EDI (Electronic Data Interchange) allows information systems to automatically take care of many transactions between businesses such as sales reports, orders, shipment manifests and payment advices. Those transactions can then be used to update internal systems, increasing efficiency for all parties.
Point of Sale (POS) data helps retailers keep items in stock without maintaining excessive inventory by communicating effectively with their suppliers. With constantly updated POS information, suppliers can be alerted to when a given item will need to be replenished. Orders can be sent automatically, making the entire process more efficient than it’s ever been.
In the digital economy, consumers expect that their orders will be handled very quickly.
Take a look at major online retailers such as Amazon and you’ll see examples of this. Items that come directly from the company are oftentimes handled so quickly that there’s really no inconvenience involved in ordering online instead of making a trip to the store. If you’re old enough to remember, ordering items from catalogs routinely involved several weeks of delay. Today, there may only be several hours involved in order processing time due to the speed of electronic transactions.
Digital transactions drive today’s economy. They’re more efficient and more reliable than they ever have been and, today, consumers expect the convenience that they support. They also expect to get their goods shipped almost immediately, which is possible even in drop shipping arrangements thanks to EDI transactions.
With the technology that is available today, even smaller businesses can take full advantage of the efficiency the technology has to offer. There are better systems, better communications infrastructure and better logistics setups than there have ever been. The electronic transactions of the digital economy orchestrate those many moving parts.Electronic Transactions in the Digital Economy by Steve Brewer