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A stakeholder is an individual or a group of people interested in a business and the outcomes of its actions. There are many different stakeholders in E-commerce business, and each one of them has different interests. As a business owner, it’s often a struggle to prioritise stakeholders and their competing needs. Much of the prioritisation is based on the stage a business is at. For instance, for a mature publicly-traded company, the shareholders are more likely to be first. But if it’s a start-up, customers and employees matter the most. That being said, let’s take a look at some of the most important stakeholders in an online business:


A business can’t survive without customers. They are the ones who consume your products/services, allowing you to continue existing. They also provide feedback and reviews, which can help improve products and services. Online shoppers expect quality products at reasonable prices, ease of purchase, great customer services, secure transactions, as well as many delivery options and speed such as next day delivery, standard, or express. While you’re at it, make certain that it’s cheap parcel delivery. Satisfied customers will offer word of mouth advertising, which is the best form of marketing money can’t buy.


These are the people who create and deliver products/services that customers consume. If they aren’t happy, customer service will suffer. It goes without saying that they can determine the success or failure of a business. Employees expect job security, high wages, and better working conditions. Depending on their level of satisfaction, they can change the overall performance of your E-commerce business.


A small E-commerce business may have just a single shareholder –the founder, while a public company has thousands of institutional and individual shareholders. This group of individuals invest capital to run the business and also play an important role in the governance, operations, and control aspects of a business. In return, they expect a return on their investment, meaning you have to keep the business profitable.


The state produces legislation to maintain quality. This ensures fair competition and that consumers get quality products/services. All businesses are required to run under the legal framework of the state. You may want to comply with those regulations to avoid civil disputes or even prosecutions. In return, the government collects taxes from the business and the people it employs.

General Public

Perception is reality. Are your products/services perceived as exclusive and expensive, or cheap and nasty? The public’s perception of your E-commerce business plays a huge role in gaining the confidence of shareholders and customers. By projecting a positive image, an online business can create a powerful brand identity. All the public expects is Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR).

Although these are the main stakeholders in the E-commerce business, several other individuals can affect or be affected by the actions of your business. They all play important roles to ensure the success of an E-commerce business, which is why it’s important to satisfy their expectations.


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