Customer-supplier Integration System in E-commerce


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The supply chain is a network of retailers, distributers, transporters, storage facilities and suppliers who take part in the production, delivery and sales of a product. From the above statement it may also be true to say that the supply chain involves connecting the suppliers to the consumer, in which a supplier is a party that delivers goods and services while a consumer is a person or organization who purchases goods and services for personal use, so in order to complete the supply chain, the customer and supplier has to be brought together to maximize profit and minimize losses in the process.The retail sector acts as the main bridge between the customer and the supplier, by buying the products and services from the suppliers and make it available to the consumer. This system however leads to increase in product prices since a retailer buys and sells the same product at a higher cost than that which he bought it on to earn profit. So, if there exists a long chain of the retail sector each buying from one another and selling it at a profit, then the end consumer in the chain will buy the product at a higher cost than if he could have bought it direct from the original supplier.

For a consumer to buy a product directly from those whole sale suppliers or import suppliers is usually difficult if not impossible since those suppliers rely on a minimum order number which to the consumer it may be higher than what he/she requires since a consumer mostly requires only one product not a complete order if it is for personal use. In order to overcome this limitation, the consumers usually try and form a group of consumers with similar interest on a particular product in order to meet the minimum order requirement from the supplier so that they can place their order under one person but share the products once it is received. However, most of these groups end up being a scum making the customers lose their money hence the need of a common, reliable intermediary to facilitate this process.

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The current ecommerce sites such as OLX tries to bridge the gap between the suppliers and retailers but they do not take advantage of the current social media networking technology in their websites or apps combining the two to come up with a platform that can provide a better and improved way of e-business where consumers and suppliers can interact freely and provide feedback to each other through chats, comments and subscription to newsletters as it is done on the social media apps we have making it easier and enjoyable for the customers to buy and interact with their suppliers easily and in real time. In many of the existing ecommerce sites, millions of transactions and data are shared on those platforms but due to lack of proper data mining software and algorithms, all this data goes to waste which if mined correctly can be used to help predict market demand and other factors which can help the suppliers choose the type of product to tread in and at what time’.

With the available ecommerce site, only suppliers or those with something to sell have the ability to post their products. This however prevents the consumers from posting to ask if someone has a specific product he /she want making the consumers just a mere chooser from a list in which if what he/she wants is not provided in the list he has to choose an alternative which may not satisfy his needs.

With all this factor brought in perspective, the question now is how do we solve all this? With that question in mind I came up with an idea of an online customer-supplier integration system which provides a solution to all the above factors resulting into high sales volume, cheap marketing and increased profit margins for the supplier, while the consumer on the other hand will enjoy high quality products at affordable prices and a larger market to choose from and compare prices.

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