Role of E-Commerce Models in Enhancing the Accessibility & Affordability of Education
By: Rico Wang, Chairman, Singapore Chamber of E-Commerce
In a recent interaction with Prisila, Correspondent, Asia Business Outlook Magazine. Asia Business Outlook, Rico shared his insights on the role of e-Commerce models in today’s online education landscape. Below are the excerpts from the exclusive interview –
How are education providers implementing e-Commerce models to enhance the accessibility and affordability of educational resources?
Online learning platforms have experienced tremendous growth over the last decade. The advancements in technology and rising internet penetration have acted as true enablers for both students and the educators. There are several kinds of e-Commerce models that can be used by online learning platforms. Prominent ones among them are subscription model, pay per use model, and premium model. Implementing e-Commerce models into online learning platforms can offer a host of benefits to both students and the educators by offering a platform to buy & sell educational content, making quality education more accessible and affordable to all sections of the society. However, a major challenge here is to determine a proper pricing strategy for educational resources. While some students are willing to pay for premium content, others may not enjoy the same financial benefits to do so. Thus, it is important for online learning service provider to find a balance between affordability and sustainability. For this, e-Commerce professionals and educators must work together to solve this challenge effectively through proper collaboration and innovation.
Incorporating visuals aids and interactive elements into the course materials being offered enhances the students’ ability to understand the concepts irrespective of any language barriers
Suggest a few ways in which educators can customize their e-Commerce strategies to cater to diverse international markets.
Formulating strategies to cater to specific needs and cultural differences of different international markets is crucial for success of any company. Language barriers can pose serious challenge to online education platforms because learners from diverse geographies of the world have varying levels of proficiency in the language of instruction. Online learning platforms can leverage e-Commerce strategy to overcome this language barrier and create a more inclusive learning environment by offering course materials in multiple languages. Additionally, incorporating visuals aids and interactive elements into the course materials being offered enhances the students’ ability to understand the concepts irrespective of any language barriers. Lastly, collaborating with local educators and institutes enables online learning platforms to not only offer effective learning to students, but do so by understanding the local market dynamics.
How is Singapore Chamber of E-Commerce supporting micro-entrepreneurship in the education space?
Micro-entrepreneurship in education has been a growing trend across the world in recent times, wherein it is enabling individual educators to create and sell their courses online. Some of the key advantages that this approach offers are ability to reach a wider audience, traceability in cost, design & deliveries, and huge potential to bring-in increased revenue. However, there are also a few challenges associated with micro-entrepreneurship in education. Prominent ones among them are the need for self-promotion & marketing, time & effort required to develop high quality courses and many other.
Our committee plays a crucial role in supporting micro-entrepreneurship in the education sector. By providing the necessary resources, guidance and networking opportunities, we help individual educators develop and sell their courses online. Additionally, we also support entrepreneurs create effective training content for their corporate clients which help them enhance their e-Commerce skills and capabilities. Realizing the potential of micro-entrepreneurship in education, we also provide all the necessary support to individuals wanting to start their own business, thus empowering them to share their knowledge and expertise with a global audience, while simultaneously maintaining high quality standards.
"Most educational institutes lack the necessary infrastructure, tech experience and resources that are required to implement e-Commerce strategies"
Throw some light on how your committee is preparing educators for potential disruptions through robust e-Commerce strategies?
There is no doubt that the covid pandemic has disrupted almost every aspect of our lives, and education is no different. With all schools and colleges being closed, many educational institutions were not at all prepared for this massive shift where students had to continue their education via online medium. With the advent of e-Commerce, it has become crucial for educational institutions to implement e-commerce strategies to ensure that they can continue to provide quality education to their students. However, most educational institutes lack the necessary infrastructure, tech experience and resources that are required to implement e-Commerce strategies. Also, with the cultural chances within the institutions, they are forced to have a change in their mindset and processes, which not every stakeholder agrees with. Thus, it is paramount for every educational institute to clearly communicate to its stakeholders the huge benefits that adopting an e-Commerce model brings-in.
The first step towards being prepared for any unseen disruption is for the educational institutions to conduct a details analysis of their existing infrastructure, resources and capabilities. Also, there must be a clear collaboration between all departments if the institution to ensure that they are all in line with the organization’s overall vision and mission. Secondly, they must establish clear goals for e-Commerce strategies such as increasing the number of online enrolments and accordingly look for suitable solutions that might help them in achieving their objectives.