These are my notes on e-commerce, taken from Computer Confluence, pages 509 to 529…

Electronic Commerce in Perspective

• E-commerce is the process of:

• Sharing information

• Maintaining business relationships

• Conducting business transactions

• E-commerce has developed since the invention of Morse code

• Features include:

• Bar codes

• Fax communication

• Electronic Data Interchange (EDI)

• Enterprise-wide messaging

• Private local and wireless area networks

• The dot-com bust was caused by excessive speculation

• Stocks managed to rise in percent by the thousands

• Estimates instead of current reports made businesses spend too much

• E-commerce still remains an effective way to earn and save money


How E-Commerce is Transforming Business

• E-commerce reaches out to new customers andopportunities

• Online sales may account for over 10% of worldwidesales

• E-commerce accounts for 5% of the US economy

• Customer and supplier relationships have beenimproved

• Internet businesses are usually:

• Three times more likely to see reduced expenses

• Two and a half times more likely to increase productivity

• Almost three times more likely to see market share growth

• Mobile commerce allows online business on the go


E-Commerce Models

• Exchangers and buyers exchange information for a purchase

• Products and services are then delivered

• Business-to-business (B2B) models handle transactions

• Business-to-employee (B2E) models handle company activities

• Business-to-consumer (B2C) models represent retail transactions

• Consumer-to-consumer (C2C) models represent individual customers

• B2E services use intranets to support internal value chains

• Intranets are composed of physical technology and information

• The physical components create the network

• One computer must use server software, such as TCP/IP

• Intranets can be WAN or LAN, or Ethernet topology

• Ethernets allow computers, and other hardware suchas printers to connect

• Middleware handles the physical communications

• Intranets usually implement firewall security

• Firewalls will only allow authorized computers toconnect

• Security may also include identification and/orauthentication

• Extra security includes data encryption and virusprotection

• Intranets are used to connect organizations tocertain information

• An intranet is designed similar to a website

• Intranets include a home page to access allinformation

• Navigational tools include:

• Menus,

• Buttons

• Maps


How Organizations Use B2E Intranets

• Businesses use intranets to support:

• Employee access to information

• Current employee data

• Rules and regulations

• Publication of documents

• Financial positions

• Current work on projects

•Schedules and announcements

• Manuals and instructions

• Employee teamwork and collaboration between departments

• Intelligence information

•Financial modelling

•Information resources

• Internal business transactions

• Automated transactions

•Insurance services

• Expense reporting

• Travel booking

• Business card ordering

• Database distribution

• Daily sales reports

• Form filling

• Corporate credit card statements

• Registration for courses


Extranets to Connect Business Alliances

• Alliances in businesses may create e-marketplaces

• Extranets extend intranets to other businesses

• They allow wide access to a specific, secureservice

• Extranets are private and inter-organizational

• Extranets allow:

• Order placements

• Check inventory levels

• Confirmed invoices

• Exchange other business information


Business to Consumer

• Public websites allow consumer access to businesses

• These websites often include an online store

• Customer-centred web design focuses on:

• Speed of transactions

• Large and up-to-date selections

• Ease of use

• Secure transactions

• After-sale information

• Order confirmations

• Order tracking

• Customer support

• Business websites should respond to a need

• Content and structure of a website can easily change success

• Information may be organised in a hierarchy

• Feedback and comments may be useful for a website

• Many public websites also include space for discussion groups

• Customer relationship can be very important for a business

• Customer relationship management (CRM) refers to the technology used


Technical Requirements of E-Commerce

• All E-commerce websites need a web server

• Web servers include both hardware and software

• Servers must be able to handle traffic

• Servers must be able to expand if needed, while handling traffic

• Larger companies hire employees to run their servers

• Smaller companies use web hosts to handle their servers

• Web hosting involves a contract with an internet service provider

• Third party companies will choose the best web server deals

• E-commerce software provides commercial services to customers

• Software may depend on the operating system the server runs on

• Most servers run on Windows, UNIX or Linux operating systems

• Software may include search engines and security items

• Site management software will check for bugs and broken links

• Other software may include directories and catalogues

• B2B companies may develop their own software

• Smaller companies may use web hosting services to provide software

• Free services are often limited and based upon e-mail

• Paid services will include far more features, such as a shopping cart


Ethical Issues of E-Commerce

• Customer trust is often a problem

• Losing trust can affect sales and profits

• A code of ethics should be included on all websites

• The code of ethics should include statements of:

• The organization’s privacy policy

• A user’s permission for use or transmission of identification, etc.

• Company information on intended uses for personal information

• Issues of ownership

• How the company monitors or tracks user behaviour



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