Managing Virtual Business


Managing Virtual Business is not easy task at all. It requires huge IT collaboration, IT investment and skilled manpower. This study is actually an Individual Case Study Analysis on digital business.  


ICT has changed so many things in business as well as business concept. From the beneficial impact of ICT, the concept of virtual business is introduced. Now, virtual business is an established concept. Investing in personalisation is a worthy to get better customer experience. Personalization is recommended for digital business platform because it is always important to deal with buyer behaviour while producing as well as distributing product or services through online business platform (Postma and Brokke, 2012). Managing a virtual business is not an easy task because it requires full phase IT and ICT infrastructure. In global business environment, the impact of virtual business is very significant and it removes the barriers in international business. The practice of email marketing, upselling and cross-selling techniques, e-commerce marketing, CRM approach, machine learning technology are very much essential to operate and manage a digital business. All these applications are helpful to make the best use of personalization.

Key trends of managing virtual business in the global environment

The trends of virtual business is highly satisfactory because the popularity of virtual business is increasing day by day.

  • In the year of early 1990, the concept of virtual business is introduced and it is only possible due to the factor of ICT mechanism and its proper management.
  • The use of advance technology ad advance computer networks make the changes in traditional and therefore it is evolved virtual business.
  • With the passage of time traditional business systems have been metamorphosed as marketing policy has been changed while virtual business is introduced.
  • To fulfil the customer requirements and requests in a networked environment, the growth of virtual business is increased. Therefore, there have a massive changes in the trends of virtual business after 2000 but it was like booming after the year of 2010.
  • To support customer deliveries, virtual business increase the connectivity between producer and customers.
  • The idea of developing virtual business reduces development process and cost, improves resource utilization, and saves time (Gassmann and Zedtwitz, 2012).

Advantages and disadvantages of managing virtual business in the global environment

Advantages of managing virtual business

Virtual Business is Cost-Efficient

Cost effective prospect is very much advantageous which could be achieved by utilizing virtual business. It is possible as because it does not require the expense for maintaining an in-office team. Virtual business needs to bear office rent, utilities expense, transportation expense, maintenance expense. Employees of virtual business do work from home. Virtual business is mainly expensed for software and other ICT tools those are affordable by the organization.

Global Talent Pool

Virtual business can hire people from anywhere to accomplish the specific tasks. As, it does not require office room, selecting global talent for particular job is very much easy. Moreover, it does not require living and operating cost for those global talent (Fariborzi, 2012).

Virtual Business is Easily Scalable

With the expansion of business, scale up business operations is essential but it is different for virtual business. The reason as it does not require hiring more employees, less office space, does not need more desks and chairs, and does not need office supplies, other refreshments expenses.

Round The Clock Availability

As virtual business operation is operated for 24×7, it is very easy to hire anyone on anytime for a particular job. Moreover, service operation is active for 24×7. Therefore, interaction with customer is active for 24×7 which increase customer service availability (Fariborzi, 2012).

Happier, More Productive Employees

The employees of virtual business are not limited to the company as they do not need to maintain office hour or desk job. Employees can maintain flexible timing which helps in reducing monotonous life. It also increases productivity as they have flexible work hours which make the employees happier and satisfied with jobs.

Healthy Work-Life Balance

Due to having flexible work hours, it becomes easy to lead healthy work-life balance by involving in virtual business. To have better control in life, involving in virtual business is significant.

More Relevant Meetings

Virtual business have the possibility to arrange a meeting from anywhere by connecting all the team members at a time from different zones. On the other hand, simple email, video calling apps, group chat rooms are the right place to exchange information which reduce the unnecessary meeting volumes (Fariborzi, 2012).

Disadvantages of managing virtual business

  • Cost of Technology – The aspect of virtual business and its management is supported by the efficient use of ICT mechanism. In that case, it requires multiple communication technologies for operating virtual business globally. Therefore, the costs of technology is very high along its installation and regular maintenance from getting error free service.  Emailing, instant messaging, and video-conferencing are very common but it also require highly configured server which is expensive.  If there have any error, it becomes risky to re-establish the business (Simpson, 2017).
  • Conflicts, Lack of Trust & Collaboration – Virtual business may incur conflict, mistrusts and difficulties in managing various functional activities. It is arose just because of absence to face-to-face interactions and non-verbal communication.
  • Social Isolation – Employees involved in virtual business operation have lack of physical interactions. To some extent, it feels like social isolation which may lead to mental stress (Simpson, 2017).

Read More: Advantages and Disadvantages of Managing Virtual Business in Global Environment

Importance of technology and it impacts on businesses

Virtual business operated by ASOS is vastly dependent on the use of ICT mechanism. As the growth of virtual business is significant, the impact of using technology in this business is very large.

Managing Virtual Business


As ASOS use the online platform for selling cosmetic for women, dress for men and women, it requires own website as well as internet support. So, the technology of using internet or website helps in developing communication among the suppliers, customer and other team members. By using the technology of Emailing, instant messaging, and video-conferencing, team members can accomplish an assigned task in an organized way. Communicating with the customer of ASOS becomes easy by using 24×7 customer service and any time sale. In order to exchange data and help the company work, digital communication is very helpful (Lipschultz, 2013).


Technology helps in increasing productivity because ASOS use handy technological boosts. Even, they have central CRM mechanism to make the process of work very fast. By using the project management hub, ASOS can accomplish planned work very efficiently. The use of marketing automation helps ASOS to provide best services and smooth work experiences.


Timing is not a barrier for virtual business because technology like internet make it possible to hire people from various country to accomplish the task. It makes easy customer interaction also which confirms 24X7 customer service. ASOS use the central interfaces from anywhere and at any time, rather than having to stay within certain office hours. They also leave notes in the CRM regarding customers so that the next person on duty knows what their situation is (Lipschultz, 2013).


ASOS use a shared CRM as it becomes easy to engage multiple people on same task for similar tasks from various locations. ASOS have the technology of cloud-based documents to accomplish job without physical interaction. As a result, it becomes easy to send documents, share notes to one another and possible to manage real time conversations.

Compare and contrast Situation and SWOT analysis. Perform a situation analysis focusing on personalisation

Situation and SWOT analysis is the tool of analysing various factor of business for decision making purpose. Basically SWOT analysis is such kind of situation analysis tools that helps in identifying the strengths points, weakness points, opportunities aspect and threats variants. In broad sense, SWOT analysis plays the role of analysing the situation of internal business environment facto and external business environment factor. In this regard, SWOT analysis displays the situation of internal strengths and weakness as well as external opportunities and threats where all those things are important for taking strategic business decision.

ASOS stands for “As Seen on Screen” and is a British online fashion and cosmetic retailer. They are practicing good field of personalization to attract more customer by email marketing, Upselling and cross-selling techniques, e-commerce marketing, CRM approach, machine learning technology, and so on (Yuen, 2013).


1) Developing Brand image

For Managing Virtual Business, Personalization helps in developing brand image. It is possible as ASOS have the strength in email marketing by which they interact their customer regularly. Even, they invite all the internet browsers to visit their page to ‘complete the look’ with additional items. It is very much significant to build brand value.

2) Analysing Customer Behaviour

Personalization helps in analysing customer behaviour. It is possible as ASOS have the machine learning tools to generate data for customer’s spending habits. As a result, they can create a customer base on the basis of customer buying behaviour.

3) Offering variety of fashionable products

ASOS offers a variety of products and customer can choose those product from anywhere as they have strong e-commerce based marketing and even they have own website. Even, they are active in different social media sites to develop personalized promotion activities. E-commerce based marketing helps ASOS become the best online fashion company globally.

3) Strong Supply Chain System

ASOS has a unique approach of texting and emailing the customer before delivery of the product but the most important thing is that ASOS send text and email before one-hour delivery time slot as customer can track the right information by mobile app. This is called an Integrating technology which helps to create strong supply chain.

4) Brilliant Influencer Marketing Initiative

ASOS post all fashionable outfit on Social Media and other channels. On Instagram, user can see products code in image caption. By clicking on that caption, customer are directed to ASOS website automatically. The same thing is applicable for Pinterest also. This is highly significant for reaching more customer from social media accounts (Yuen, 2013).


1) R&D

Weakness in research and development cannot develop new product lines. ASOS have the weakness in research and development as they have less investment in personalization.

3) Innovation

Due to less investment in technology, ASOS have lacking in innovation. As a result, they fail to improve its customer experiences.  Due to lack of using of data analytics, they cannot tack the reason of slow-down in sales growth (Yuen, 2013).


1) Changing Trends

Personalization is a changing trend to deal with customer behaviour because the opportunity of using machine learning is suitable to gather information about a customer buying behaviour. ASOS can open up new markets if they can utilize the opportunity ICT for better customer experience.

2) Real Time Marketing

The Use of real-time data is very significant for real time marketing. ASOS can make the best use of various blogs, social media, and websites to improve brand value with new customer base (Yuen, 2013).


1) Competition

Competition is always a threat for any business. In this regard, ASOS will also face completion as personalization through ICT tools is becoming popular day by day.

2) Information Security Threats

The threats in using personalization is very implicated if the ICT system hacks, the whole system will be broken own due to misconduct (Yuen, 2013).


Evaluating emerging digital business models

Digital business model is basically the interaction between the need of customers and possible available technologies. Evaluation of digital business model depends on the proper use of innovation management methodologies and its effective usage. In that case, the support of Innolytics Innovation Software supports and development of Digital Roadmap is essential.

Digital business model:

  1. Pure Play – It is the business model of selling some product through online and some sell though offline. In this model, all efforts and resources are invested in one line of business. It is not always necessary to operate the business through online. Starbucks is a good example of pure play business which focus on selling one product.
  2. Bricks and Clicks – It is the business model of operating and generating sales both online and offline. Business who have physical store sells product with direct customer interaction, and also they take order from online store and deliver the products (Teagarden, 2016).


Challenges associated with information security threats and ethics

The availability of technologist today bring all the data together in one single customer view. In that case, the matter of information security threats and ethics is a concerning issue. It is like a challenge to keep the security strong and maintain a secured data management system.


Hacking is like unauthorized access to the networked computer system while it is the matter of digital business model. Therefore, the impact is very dangerous. The full control of the digital business system are gone to the hacker. As a result, business lost their all business data, computer files, and total breakdown of MIS. In this given business scenario, personalization required full back of networked computer system. If it is hacked, all customer data will be lost. That will be a huge threat for business (Nydegger and Nydegger, 2010).

Cyber Theft

It is like theft of business data by unauthorized network entry while it is the matter of digital business model. In digital business model, cyber theft is fraudulent activity which incurs alteration in computer database.  In this given business scenario, personalization required secured MIS to restrict unauthorized network entry. If it is altered in fraudulent way, the purpose of personalization in digital business will not be achieved.

Piracy at Intellectual property

Business products in digital business are pirated by copying the product images, details, features from other business websites. Piracy at Intellectual property is like a crime against ethical issue.  In this given business scenario, personalization required Intellectual property rights but if it cannot be dealt properly business expansion will be under risk.

Computer Virus and Worms

This is also a challenging issue in digital business. Virus and worms are threat for data security. In response to personalization in digital business, customer information is like asset for tracking the customer habits, buying behaviour and others. If virus effect on data system, business will face trouble (Nydegger and Nydegger, 2010).


Importance of new collaborative relationships and strategic alliances through digital technology for implementing personalisation

Personalisation in retail business is very significant through ecommerce marketing, email marketing. As there have the issue of increasing customer relationship personalised approach through ecommerce marketing, importance of strategic alliances is also significant for increasing brand affinity. Strategic alliances are agreement between two or more business to cooperate in particular business activities as business can gain competitive benefits. In this global digital business context, the formation of strategic alliances helps develop better relationships with suppliers, customers and it is very much worthy for new product and technology development. Strategic alliances allow partner to build innovative solutions for customer as it is a matter of personalization (Dasgupta, 2018).

Sharing resources and expertise

For implementing personalisation through digital technology, strategic alliance would be very helpful because it opens the path of sharing resources and expertise collaboratively for getting best customer experience. In this alliances, both the company put their best mechanism for innovating new product, increasing sales and speeding up the market (Dasgupta, 2018).

New-market penetration

For implementing personalisation through digital technology, strategic alliances provide the access to new market and it broadens the global market. By entering new market, digital business got so many opportunities to deal with more customer. Both the organization, create new market penetration by developing global network with their digital business and capture a large number of customer worldwide with their fashion based dress, products and cosmetics (Dasgupta, 2018).

Expanded Sales

For implementing personalisation through digital technology, strategic alliances supports in sale expansion because both the company have similar business objectives. In response to personalization, they make the agreement for investing in a better customer experience (Dasgupta, 2018).

Drive innovation

For implementing personalisation through digital technology, strategic alliance helps drive innovation which is significant for outpacing the competition with new solution. As a result, it would be possible to deliver the right product to the right customer as per their buying preferences and buying behavior (Dasgupta, 2018).

Compare and contrast digital business and e-commerce

Digital Business E-commerce
Digital Business is that kind of business incorporate online technology within business into business model. Email Marketing the good example of digital business. E-commerce is considered as the potential piece of an e-business. They are involved in e-commerce based marketing.
It offers business transaction. It offers commercial transaction.
Digital business offers the use of online technology for developing the business model and it is not limited to monetary transaction (Sefton Green, 2012).


E-commerce business offers online monetary transaction process.
Digital business it CRM, ERP, Website based. E-commerce business is totally website based.
The main beneficiary of digital business are all the stakeholders in this business lie customers, suppliers, business partners, and so on. The main beneficiary of e-commerce business are customers who are actually buying through online sources.
E-business is operated as well as  conducted through the mechanism of internet, intranet, or extranet E-commerce operated as well as conducted through internet exclusively (Sefton Green, 2012).

E-Commerce principles and application of those principles to digital business

Principle of commercialization

This principle focuses on the commercial transaction which involves buying and selling products around the web globally. The application of this principle is significant to digital business by the means of increasing number of customer worldwide towards digital business format.

Principles of customer relationship

This principle focuses on managing customer relationship which involves providing 24X7 customer services regarding buying or selling a product. The application of this principle is significant to digital businesses by the means of diverting customer towards online platform (Hughes, 2012).

Principles of information security

This principle focuses on securing the customer information and not allowing third parties to get access over those customer data. The application of this principle is significant to digital businesses by the means securing the business data which is more important for planning as well as executing new innovation.

Principles of ethics

This principle focuses on maintaining ethical standard while delivering the product and it should be similar product which is actually ordered for and customer paid for that product. The application of this principle is significant to digital businesses by the means of using authentic technology and marinating intellectual property rights to avoid any misconduct (Hughes, 2012).


Digital business is a broader concept of business which is incorporated by using technology. There are various issues involved in this business from information security to ethical business practice. To get the benefit of digital business, the development of personalization tools is very significant as it is related to track customer buying behaviour and customer habit regarding a product (Postma and Brokke, 2012). E-commerce is the most popular form of digital business though there are some differences. The scope of e-commerce business is expanding day by day and similarly business people are diverting their business toward digital business format. Even they are continuing digital online business as well as physical store business which is very significant to attract customer from all sources.


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Dukiewicz, T., 2019. Information in the aspect of security threats and challenges. Studia nad Autorytaryzmem i Totalitaryzmem, 41(1), pp.83-93.

Fariborzi, E., 2012. E-mail Marketing: Advantages, Disadvantages and Improving Techniques. International Journal of e-Education, e-Business, e-Management and e-Learning, 8(6), pp.222-229.

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Yuen, R., 2013. Compare and contrast Situation and SWOT analysis. SSRN Electronic Journal, 12(4), pp.89-95.

Written by

Md. Shadequr Rahaman

Email: [email protected]

Managing Virtual Business

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