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E-commerce definition
"Electronic commerce (e-commerce) is often thought simply to refer to buying and selling using
the Internet; people immediately think of consumer retail purchases from companies such as
Amazon. But e-commerce involves much more than electronically mediated financial
transactions between organizations and customers. Many commentators refer to e-commerce as
all electronically mediated transactions between an organization and any third party it deals
with. By this definition, non-financial transactions such as customer requests for further
information would also be considered to be part of e-commerce."
"When evaluating the strategic impact of e-commerce on an organization, it is useful to identify
opportunities for buy-side and sell-side e-commerce transactions as depicted in Figure 1.1, since
systems with different functionalities will need to be created in an organization to accommodate
transactions with buyers and with suppliers. Buy-side e-commerce refers to transactions to
procure resources needed by an organization from its suppliers. Sell-side e-commerce refers to
transactions involved with selling products to an organization’s customers. So e-commerce
transaction between organizations can be considered from two perspectives: sell-side from the
perspective of the selling organization and buy-side from the perspective of the buying
organization."
Types of sell-side E-commerce
How E-commerce can apply E-commerce varies a lot according to the market they are in. I
identify four main types of site which you will commonly see, although they do overlap. These
are:
1. Transactional e-commerce site. These enable purchase of products online. The main
business contribution of the site is through sale of these products. The sites also support
the business by providing information for consumers that prefer to purchase products
offline. These include retail sites, travel sites and online banking services.
2. Services oriented relationship building web site. Provides information to stimulate
purchase and build relationships Products are not typically available for purchase online.
Information is provided through the web site and e-newsletters to inform purchase
decisions. The main business contribution is through encouraging offline sales and
generating enquires or leads from potential customers. Such sites also add value to
existing customers by providing them with detailed information to help them support
them in their lives at work or at home.
3. Brand building site. Provide an experience to support the brand. Products are not
typically available for online purchase. Their main focus is to support the brand by
developing an online experience of the brand. They are typical for low-value, high
volume Fast Moving Consumer Goods (FMCG brands) for consumers.
4. Portal or media site. Provide information or news about a range of topics. Portal refers
to a gateway of information. This is information both on the site and links through other
sites. Portals have a diversity of options for generating revenue including advertising,
commission-based sales, sale of customer data (lists).
E-business definition
Let’s start from the original definition (now moved) by IBM (www.ibm.com/e-business), which
was one of the first suppliers to use the term in 1997 to promote its services:
"e-business (e’biz’nis) – the transformation of key business processes through the use of Internet
technologies".
The key business processes referred to in the IBM definitions are the organizational processes or
units in the centre of Figure 1.1. They include research and development, marketing,
manufacturing and inbound and outbound logistics. The buy-side e-commerce transactions with
suppliers and the sell-side e-commerce transactions with customers can also be considered to be
key business processes.
The majority of Internet services are available to any business or consumer that has access to the
Internet. However, many e-business applications that access sensitive company information
require access to be limited to qualified individuals or partners.
If information is restricted to employees inside an organization, this is an intranet. If access is
extended to some others, but not everyone beyond the organization, this is an extranet.
Whenever you log-on to an Internet service such as that for an e-retailer or online news site, this
is effectively an extranet arrangement, although the term is most often used to mean a business-
to-business application
How is E-business and E-commerce management used
You will find that the term E-business is used in two main ways within organizations.
The first is as a concept which can be applied to strategy and operations. For example, ‘our
organistion needs an improved e-business strategy (or E-business technology)’.
Secondly E-business is used as an adjective to describe businesses that mainly operate online, i.e.
they have no physical presence on the high-streets and seek to minimize customer-service and
support through enabling ‘web self-service’.
In the dot-com era they used to be known as ‘pure-plays’. For example Amazon
(www.amazon.com) and eBay (www.ebay.com, Case study 1.3) are the world’s two biggest e-
businesses.
I define an an online business model as
"a summary of how a company will generate a profit identifying its core product or service
offering, target customers in different markets, position in the competitive online marketplace or
value chain and it’s projections for revenue and costs".
Timmers (1999) has a fuller definition of ‘business model’ as:
"An architecture for product, service and information flows, including a description of the
various business actors and their roles; and a description of the potential benefits for the various
business actors; and a description of the sources of revenue".
Michael Rappa of the North Carolina State University also has a great summary with examples
of options for online business models.
Internet business model components
This is my summary of the options for Internet business models that an Internet startup needs to
consider.
1. Value Proposition. Which products and or services will the company offer? Read my detailed
description of an Online Value Proposition or OVP.
2. Market or audience. Which audience will the company serve and target with its
communications? For example, business-to-business, business-to-consumer or not-for-profit?
Within these categories are there particular audience segments that will be targeted. The scope of
geographical markets such as which countries, regions or towns need to be defined. A
communications plan as described in Chapters 8 and 9 will detail how the audience will reached
and influenced using online communications on other sites and offline communications such as
advertising and public relations.
3. Revenue models and cost-base. What are the specific online revenue models that will
generate different income streams? What are the main costs of the business forming its budget?
4. Competitive environment. Who are the direct and indirect competitors for the service and
which range of business models do they possess?
5. Value chain and marketplace positioning. How is the company and it’s services positioned
in the value chain between customers and suppliers and in comparison with direct and indirect
competitors?
6. Representation in the physical and virtual world. What is its relative representation in the
physical and virtual world, e.g. high-street presence, online only, intermediary, mixture? How
will companies influence it’s audience through the buying process through multichannel
marketing? For example, how important will personal interactions such as phone and chat which
attract high service costs, but often have higher conversion rates be?
7. Organisational structure. How will the organization be internally structured to create,
deliver and promote it’s service (this is covered in Chapter 10)? How will it partner with other
companies to provide services? For example through outsourcing.
8. Management. What experience in similar markets and companies do the senior managers
have? What is their profile which can be helpful to attract publicity?
Timmers, P. (1999) Electronic Commerce Strategies and Models for Business-to-Business
Trading.Series on Information Systems, Wiley, Chichester.
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  • 1. E-commerce definition "Electronic commerce (e-commerce) is often thought simply to refer to buying and selling using the Internet; people immediately think of consumer retail purchases from companies such as Amazon. But e-commerce involves much more than electronically mediated financial transactions between organizations and customers. Many commentators refer to e-commerce as all electronically mediated transactions between an organization and any third party it deals with. By this definition, non-financial transactions such as customer requests for further information would also be considered to be part of e-commerce." "When evaluating the strategic impact of e-commerce on an organization, it is useful to identify opportunities for buy-side and sell-side e-commerce transactions as depicted in Figure 1.1, since systems with different functionalities will need to be created in an organization to accommodate transactions with buyers and with suppliers. Buy-side e-commerce refers to transactions to procure resources needed by an organization from its suppliers. Sell-side e-commerce refers to transactions involved with selling products to an organization’s customers. So e-commerce transaction between organizations can be considered from two perspectives: sell-side from the perspective of the selling organization and buy-side from the perspective of the buying organization." Types of sell-side E-commerce How E-commerce can apply E-commerce varies a lot according to the market they are in. I identify four main types of site which you will commonly see, although they do overlap. These are: 1. Transactional e-commerce site. These enable purchase of products online. The main business contribution of the site is through sale of these products. The sites also support the business by providing information for consumers that prefer to purchase products offline. These include retail sites, travel sites and online banking services. 2. Services oriented relationship building web site. Provides information to stimulate purchase and build relationships Products are not typically available for purchase online. Information is provided through the web site and e-newsletters to inform purchase decisions. The main business contribution is through encouraging offline sales and generating enquires or leads from potential customers. Such sites also add value to existing customers by providing them with detailed information to help them support them in their lives at work or at home. 3. Brand building site. Provide an experience to support the brand. Products are not typically available for online purchase. Their main focus is to support the brand by developing an online experience of the brand. They are typical for low-value, high volume Fast Moving Consumer Goods (FMCG brands) for consumers. 4. Portal or media site. Provide information or news about a range of topics. Portal refers to a gateway of information. This is information both on the site and links through other sites. Portals have a diversity of options for generating revenue including advertising, commission-based sales, sale of customer data (lists).
  • 2. E-business definition Let’s start from the original definition (now moved) by IBM (www.ibm.com/e-business), which was one of the first suppliers to use the term in 1997 to promote its services: "e-business (e’biz’nis) – the transformation of key business processes through the use of Internet technologies". The key business processes referred to in the IBM definitions are the organizational processes or units in the centre of Figure 1.1. They include research and development, marketing, manufacturing and inbound and outbound logistics. The buy-side e-commerce transactions with suppliers and the sell-side e-commerce transactions with customers can also be considered to be key business processes. The majority of Internet services are available to any business or consumer that has access to the Internet. However, many e-business applications that access sensitive company information require access to be limited to qualified individuals or partners. If information is restricted to employees inside an organization, this is an intranet. If access is extended to some others, but not everyone beyond the organization, this is an extranet. Whenever you log-on to an Internet service such as that for an e-retailer or online news site, this is effectively an extranet arrangement, although the term is most often used to mean a business- to-business application How is E-business and E-commerce management used You will find that the term E-business is used in two main ways within organizations. The first is as a concept which can be applied to strategy and operations. For example, ‘our organistion needs an improved e-business strategy (or E-business technology)’. Secondly E-business is used as an adjective to describe businesses that mainly operate online, i.e. they have no physical presence on the high-streets and seek to minimize customer-service and support through enabling ‘web self-service’. In the dot-com era they used to be known as ‘pure-plays’. For example Amazon (www.amazon.com) and eBay (www.ebay.com, Case study 1.3) are the world’s two biggest e- businesses. I define an an online business model as "a summary of how a company will generate a profit identifying its core product or service offering, target customers in different markets, position in the competitive online marketplace or value chain and it’s projections for revenue and costs".
  • 3. Timmers (1999) has a fuller definition of ‘business model’ as: "An architecture for product, service and information flows, including a description of the various business actors and their roles; and a description of the potential benefits for the various business actors; and a description of the sources of revenue". Michael Rappa of the North Carolina State University also has a great summary with examples of options for online business models. Internet business model components This is my summary of the options for Internet business models that an Internet startup needs to consider. 1. Value Proposition. Which products and or services will the company offer? Read my detailed description of an Online Value Proposition or OVP. 2. Market or audience. Which audience will the company serve and target with its communications? For example, business-to-business, business-to-consumer or not-for-profit? Within these categories are there particular audience segments that will be targeted. The scope of geographical markets such as which countries, regions or towns need to be defined. A communications plan as described in Chapters 8 and 9 will detail how the audience will reached and influenced using online communications on other sites and offline communications such as advertising and public relations. 3. Revenue models and cost-base. What are the specific online revenue models that will generate different income streams? What are the main costs of the business forming its budget? 4. Competitive environment. Who are the direct and indirect competitors for the service and which range of business models do they possess? 5. Value chain and marketplace positioning. How is the company and it’s services positioned in the value chain between customers and suppliers and in comparison with direct and indirect competitors? 6. Representation in the physical and virtual world. What is its relative representation in the physical and virtual world, e.g. high-street presence, online only, intermediary, mixture? How will companies influence it’s audience through the buying process through multichannel marketing? For example, how important will personal interactions such as phone and chat which attract high service costs, but often have higher conversion rates be? 7. Organisational structure. How will the organization be internally structured to create, deliver and promote it’s service (this is covered in Chapter 10)? How will it partner with other companies to provide services? For example through outsourcing.
  • 4. 8. Management. What experience in similar markets and companies do the senior managers have? What is their profile which can be helpful to attract publicity? Timmers, P. (1999) Electronic Commerce Strategies and Models for Business-to-Business Trading.Series on Information Systems, Wiley, Chichester. Research Paper help https://www.homeworkping.com/