Many educational institutions in the UK are looking at including e-commerce opportunities in education. What is eCommerce? If you’re looking for a simple e-commerce definition, it refers to the buying and selling of goods and services electronically on the internet. With the growth of e-commerce UK, there is an increasing demand for employees skilled in e-commerce.
E-commerce opportunities are constantly growing, with e-commerce software like CS-Cart Multi-Vendor making it very easy for entrepreneurs to open an e-commerce marketplace from scratch or expand a business.
As companies shift many of their resources into e-commerce sites, the need for e-commerce savvy employees is increasing at a phenomenal rate. Teaching students about e-commerce in higher education helps to prepare them for the workplace and meet the demand.
Uncertainties about Inclusion of E-commerce in Education
E-commerce is already a part of education and integrated somewhat into many areas of study like business management. Students today use online materials to study for school, they download apps to manage their time and start their own blogs.
E-commerce and education are driven by contradictory forces. E-commerce relies on marketing, branding and aggressive pricing. Education relies on the quality of the academic content and the study experience.
This creates some uncertainty about how to apply e-commerce in the educational context. Some educators believe that e-commerce needs to be taught as a distinct discipline, whereas other educators feel that it should be integrated into the current curriculum.
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What Educational Institutions Can Learn from E-commerce
Student engagement: Educational institutions have been slow to adopt certain e-commerce principles which have proved to work well. For example, customer engagement is vital to any e-commerce business and the source of its success. Student engagement should be considered vital to the success of any educational institution as well.
There are many ways of introducing e-commerce into the curriculum could help with student engagement. For example, students could start their own blogs to help them develop their language skills and then learn how to monetize them.
Student support: People have very high expectations for customer support when shopping online. Companies are finding ways to deal with more customers and use less staff at the same time. Educational institutions need to learn how to do the same. Students should be able to get consistent support throughout their journey, especially when studying online.
Student support staff should be career experts who are familiar with conducting business in the real world and can guide students on the right study path. They should be able to advise about the courses they should be taking and even introduce them to possible employers when they complete their studies.
Alumni reviews: Colleges and universities could learn from the way e-commerce stores use customer reviews. The value of reading reviews of the first-hand experience in using products or services is inestimable. If there is no review for a product online, people are less likely to buy it.
When it comes to education, potential students have to rely on a few reviews written by previous students which may even be faked to use as a marketing tool. Educational institutions need to look at working proactively with alumni to create genuine, valuable feedback for potential students.
How education is going to be influenced by e-commerce is not known yet, but its impact is likely to be significant. Traditional educational institutions are finding too difficult to adapt and engage proactively with all the quick changes.
Outdated curriculums must be updated to make students more employable when they leave school. E-commerce has the potential to transform education, but the challenge is to create an environment conducive to exploring new technologies and making some fundamental shifts away from the old and towards the future.
|Elizabeth Skinner worked as a consultant for several financial institutions before realizing that she was ready to become an entrepreneur. She now makes a living from her passion—teaching students everything she knows about e-commerce and helping them build startups that can change the world for good. In her free time, she meditates, reads non-fiction books and likes to go out for fishing.