Electronic business is gaining high momentum and popularity in these days. It has given the option to the customers to enable business transactions efficiently and conveniently. This Assignment on Internet and E-Business enables us to understand the scope of e business and understanding how does the e-business system functions. It is also aimed to enable the understanding of the use of models of electronic businesses.
Task 1: Understanding the scope of e-business
1. e-business solution for IDS.
- Scenario- IDS operates in an old fashioned way of the bricks and mortar style of business. They lack the advanced online presence and e business model to gain added efficiency and better handle the suppliers and the customers.
- Electronic business is the online operation of activities to sell a product or a service. It can be a business of any form which includes the interaction of the buyer and the seller electronically and not by physical and direct contact. E-business includes the business transaction using a computer mediated platform. Electronic communications technologies and applications are used in the e-business model to create value for the end customers.
The e business can enhance the following process at IDS-
- Add value to the production process – e-business will enhance the procurement, payment processing at IDS. Linking with suppliers and controlling the production processes would be efficient at IDS with e business operations.
- Increasing customer focus – e-business increases the marketing and the efforts of promotion. Customer support. Purchase orders and payment processes of IDS will be adding value to the end customers. It will help in increasing the efficiency of the management process within the organisation (Lorette, 2014)
2. Explain the benefits and barriers to businesses considering an online presence
Benefits of e businesses
- E business will lead to cost effective marketing for IDS, as online marketing techniques and e-newsletters are cost effective strategies than compared to physical marketing. It will provide the advantage of flexible business hours to IDS as the time constraint of location based marketing is eliminated in the e-commerce (Lorette, 2014)
- Geographic boundaries are reduced as online business can reach out to customers around the globe. The overhead costs are reduced – the cost of operating a business in a physical location is reduced while operating online. Phone, rent and other utility bills are lower in e-business. Many e businesses do not even require a dedicated office space, lowering the costs further more. It is easier, and faster to connect to the customers by e business (Hinton & Barnes, 2008)
Barriers to online businesses
The success of an online business depends on the threshold of the parties to the online business, according to Metcalfe’s Law the value of the online business is directly proportional to the square of the number of online users. Major barriers are;
E – Business is directly proportional to the Personal Computer Penetration. So owning PC’s and having internet connections is a factor that limits the online business.
Infrastructure– if infrastructure is improper it acts as a barrier to the e-commerce there is a requirement of internet connection, access to internet facilities, including the software and the hardware’s required act as barriers. Political, Economic and Business Barriers –people still prefer cash payment over credit, the security of e-commerce payment act as barrier for encouraging people. Government e-commerce regulations also sometimes restrict e-commerce.
Marketing barriers–ethical constraints, language barriers, etc. will act as a marketing barrier for IDS. (Pahladsingh, 2010)
Technical Issues and security concerns for e-business
E-business is prone to barriers of security threats and technical issues some of them are;
- Security threats of viruses andmalwares – computer can be prone to attack of malicious softwares that can be viruses, worms and any other form of malware that can cause disturbances in the normal functioning of the computer. These viruses can lead to the loss of money and time for the e-Business.
- Software bugs security threat– these are errors in the coding of the computer program that creates disruption in the behaviour of the computer program or the site. This can crash the site of the internet business and also results in access to data that is not needed.
- Activemaliciusthreats – these are outside parties attacking the internet business.And includes hacking and phishing for stealing data.
- Physical theft of data – stealing of the hardware of the internet business can also affect the business as the hard drive and any other such data source contains crucial data. (Pahladsingh, 2010).
3. Identify the security and legislative issues facing to IDS e-Business model and describe preventive measures you would suggest
The security and legislative issues will inhibit the online business of IDS if not tackled properly
Verification of the identity of the seller is difficult in e-businesses for IDS. There is a risk of the online message sent being tampered and hacked (that might contain important personal details and bank details) taking the evidence of the date and the time and place of making an online contract is another issue. Dealing with laws of electronic signatures-The Electronic Communications Act of 2000 replaced digital signatures with electronic signatures
Parties to e-commerce need to comply with the UK Electronic Communications Act that states that at the time of a dispute, electronic signature will be considered as legal evidence(Out-Law.com, 2013).So IDS is prone to the threat of all of these security issues.
Dealing with the security issues
As e-commerce is highly prone to security attacks, virus threats, hacking IDS need to devise plans to deal with these security issues.
- Encryption can be used to underpin information and keep them secured. An encryption algorithm can be used to ensure safe and secure transaction. Encryption would lead to the protection of the message content as well as can be helpful in providing the integrity of the communication
- Digital Signatures can be used to get the confirmation of the identity of the sender in the online transaction process
- Certification Authorities are third parties that work independently and issue certificates digitally after verification (Out-Law.com, 2013)
Firewall is used to stop and prevent the access to and from a network that is private in an unauthorised manner. It is used for both hardware and softwares or for both in an combined manner. These will prevent the access to the network without authorisation.
Common techniques of adding firewalls
- Packet Filter– In this technique each packet that leaves or enters a network is looked at and is based on rules that are defined.
- Application gateway– in this firewall system specific applications are granted security mechanisms these may be FTP, Telnetservers.
- Proxy server– in this system all the messages that leaves and enters the network are intercepted, effectively hiding the original address of the network(Out-Law.com, 2013).
Other control methods are all security incidents must be duly reported. There should be the adoption of a policy of continuity management of the business.
4. Explain the internet technologies and their importance in making an e-business successful
There are different technologies used in making an e-business successful, some of them are listed below;
Mobile computing technologies and applications are gaining market momentum. The wireless e-commerce is made possible by mobile telephones and computer devices that are hand held such as tablets and laptops, smart phone applications are making e-commerce possible anywhere and everywhere.
Java, Extensible Mark-up Language (XML), Java 2 Platform, Presentation layers are other technologies extensively used by e-businesses such as Amazon to gain market success.
Amazon uses SCA or Service Component Architecture to integrate efficient service delivery. This is a combination of programming language and also frameworks used along with the programming language. It uses Web services, Messaging systems and Remote Procedure Call as access methods(TIMOFTE, Carmen, 2010).
SDO or Service Data Objects are used to be able to handle data of the business for Amazon. As the data is both in the formats of relational databases and XML, SOA is used efficiently to manage and handle data in both the formats(TIMOFTE, Carmen, 2010).
Local area network technologies such as IEEE 802.11 and IEEE 802.1 lbs are standards that are widely being used with laptops and personal computers making e commerce possible
Telecommunications technology such as 2G and 3G digital technology services are enabling the access to high speed internet to people and making an e business gain success
Universal Mobile Telecommunications are third generation technology leads the user to get connected to the internet at all times and there is no need to log in to use e businesses. This has resulted in speedy and efficient e businesses
E-commerce secure payment gateways have heavily contributed to the success of the e-businesses, consumers also have benefitted by this technology as there is no need to stand in queues to make payment and time efficient and secure transactions can be made at feasible locations(Tarasewich, Nickerson, & Warkentin, 2011)
Social Networking is a platform that has led to the high popularity of e commerce by efficient marketing of the e commerce businesses
Business to business share points and intranet communication systems
Use of internet to make
The Importance of these technologies in making the e-business successful
All these technologies and applications have enabled efficient internal communication and contributing to the popularity of the e business systems. These technologies have added efficiency in marketing and the time and money spend to be able in a physical shopping location has been replaced by comparing prices, vendors and best options online. E Businesses are providing a host of shopping options to its customers. These technologies have enabled secure payment options and option of exchange policy too, if the product is unsatisfactory.
Illustrate the different e-business models that can be best suited for Don’s Lumber Company
A. Describe how this process could be improved with e-Business solution
Don’s Lumber company is a Hardware retail company that lacks the integration of e-business model leading the company’s suppliers to rely on a manual price sheet list and telephonic calls to get the quote and recent price information. So it is needed that the Don Lumber Company and their suppliers should implement e- Business models to get information in real time accurately and conveniently. This would lead the company to share the pricing and other relevant information accurately and there would be no need to maintain manual documentation. Electronic data handling would minimise errors and lead to storing data for a longer time (Steven, 2011).
The benefits of having an e-Business model for Don Lumber’s Company
An online business model would lead to minimising errors in the quotation for the firm and pricing information can be availed at any time from any location and there would be no requirement of the constraints such as physical presence, telephonic conversation, etc. It will lead to inventory planning for the company and even customers can contact the company through the e-business model (Marc, 2011). The model would enable the company to offer personalised service to the customers that would be of a superior quality. Having an online presence would also add to the growth and the recognition of the Don Lumber’s company. As e Business would enable the business to use technology to gain competitive advantage.
ecommerce model for Don’s Lumber company would lead to the increase in business functioning by better coordination with the stakeholders. Don’s Lumber company can have a cost effective marketing by using the eBusiness model. It will be possible to use marketing tactics without spending a lot of money all offers and discounts of the company can be displayed in the e-business platform of Don’s Lumber.
Flexible working arrangements - Don’s Lumber company is currently working with time barriers. The e –Business model would eliminate this .
The transaction costs would also be lowered by the use of the e-Business model. This includes the costs of operating a business in a physical location (LORETTE, Kristie, 2014).
B. Analyse each model in terms of its capacity to generate revenue
Don’s Lumber Company can use many e-business models which combined together would create effectiveness in the supply chain management of the company. Merchant e-commerce model. The e business models would lead to the creation of an online store for the company in which the suppliers, vendors and customers can check relevant details. They can get price quotes, inquire about inventories. A third party secure payment gateway would lead to the generation of sales revenues.
- Storefront model - this model enables the combination of the process of transaction, security, online payment, storage of information, this model simply enables the business to take part in e-commerce process. Don’s Lumber company to adopt this model needs to integrate an online catalogue of their products, the website will enable the company to take orders, payment gateway would also be secure, merchandise could be arranged for delivery to the customers and customer data can also be maintained. This model would enable the Don’s Lumber company to interact with the buyers directly and generate revenue directly.
- Shopping cart technology – this is very commonly used. Don’s Lumber company can integrate the shopping cart model to enable customers to accumulate the items in the shopping cart and make the purchase of the accumulated items. Product catalogue would be available to support the shopping cart in the form of a database. The merchant server will enable data storage and management. Don’s Lumber database would include the details of all the hardware’s sold and available. It will also store the information of the customer such as their addresses, contact number’s, payment information. Don’s Lumber can use the database to save the relevant information of the suppliers too.
- Portal Model – This model has wide utility in providing the shoppers the option to find and search everything that they want in one place. This model provides news, weather forecast ability to search the internet. Online shopping activities of the Don’s Lumber Company can be added to the portal. Online sites like about.com, yahoo.com, rediff.com are linked to shopping sites selling many products. Don’s Lumber can link itself to such a site too. As portal linking provides added advantages as the portal collects information about the user regarding the item that they are looking for and enables the users to have independent browsing of the storefronts. Example Yahoo! Allows the users to search many sites and they have the advantage of making the payment while being logged in to the yahoo account.
- Dynamic Pricing Model – This model is used by companies like Priceline and Imandi in which customers can list the prices for their goods such as auto-mobile, consumer products . A mouse click can enable the user to find the lowest price offered, etc. This would enable bulk buying of inventories from Don’s Lumber company getting the added advantage to the customers to get lower prices.
- Advertising e-commerce business model– this model works by revenue generate by renting a space on the business website for advertisement and promotion. An Example of the business using this model are social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter.
- Affiliate e-commerce model – By adopting this model Don’s Lumber Company can enable revenue generation by the redirection of its customers to other websites. In this model the owner of the business would not have to take part in the process of selling, but the business just has to take part in portal development which can direct the buyers and lead to the generation of revenue
Brokerage e-commerce model or Consumer- to-Consumer model –
This model is used to involve transaction and business operations between two consumers eBay uses this type of business model. By using this business model Don’s Lumber company can advertise their products online and sell the products stating the price quotation. For making this model work it is needed that both the parties to the model such as the buyer and the seller must be registered with the site that is auctioning so Don’s Lumber company and their suppliers needs to register with the auction website. This model works on the principle of serving as a platform for bringing the buyers and the sellers together (ESERVGLOBAL, 2014).
- Merchant e-commerce Model– This model is used by Amazon and gives it the advantage to the customers to check the availability of the products and place orders. The revenue generation for the sales is done by a third party secure payment gateway(G., James, 2002).
- Web catalogue revenue model - Amazon customers have the option access the shopping catalogue electronically and access Amazon’s shopping cart throughout the world adding to the revenue of the firm.
- Information e-commerce business model –this model can be used by Don’s Lumber company as it will enable the business to serve the customers with specific and detailed information that they seek. In this model a subscription fee is charged by the business for the information. (John and Marc, 2010).
From the above models suggested the Don’s Lumber company can adopt a model that can be a combination of two or more models according to the personal requirements of the organisation. The model’s suitability for Don’s Lumber company has to be judged on certain parameters such as the ease of getting supplies from suppliers, vendor management, feedbacks from the customers and the suppliers. Don’s Lumber company should adopt a low cost model initially. I would recommend Mixed Revenue Model for operation with the suppliers and the transaction model suitable for Don’s lumber Company.This evaluation and selection is done on the basis of the suitability and the capacity to generate revenue for Don’s Lumber Company.
1. Identify issues concerning website usability
The website being user friendly affects the visitors a lot as they consider the ease of use as a key that affects their purchase decision. In e-business the website usability affects the purchasing decision lot as customers do not return to a website that is not easy to use. Certain issues need to be considered regarding the usability of the website they are;
- The Layout of the page- the website content and the content that is displayed needs to be chosen carefully. People while selecting the online business retailer scroll down the content to scan its relevance and usability and do not consider the content of any value if it does not give the required results easily (Rob, 2012).
- HTML- the HTML programming language used for coding and encoding should be simple to use, providing flexibility to the end users and adding features to increase the usability (Steve and Stephen, 2012).
HTML stands for HyperText Markup Language it consist of the Markup Language that is used for the creation of Web pages. HTML tags describe the documents of HTML. Each tag is unique and specifies a different content of the document.
HTML Markup – These are elements such as tags and character based data, references for characters and entities.
The versions of HTML so far are HTML, HTML 2.0, HTML 3.2, HTML 4.01, XHTML and HTML 5.
We will look at the features of HTML 5.
- Video elements -With the latest version of HTML it is possible for the designers to design web pages without the use of plug-ins such as Flash. YouTube is using the HTML 5 to display videos.
- Application cache – it is possible to store web applications just like emails efficiently using the HTML 5. Google is using HTML for this reason.
- The image canvassing–this lets the manipulation of the graphics and the photos and has eliminated the use of technologies like jQuery saving time and adding efficiency.
- Geolocation -this enables identification of the location of the user by the help OF Global Positioning System and IP address tracking, GSM/CDMA Ids etc. This feature of the HTML 5 can be used by e-businesses such as Amazon to track the location sand other details of the user and show relevant marketing to them.
- Web workers-this gives the web application the utility to execute tasks and operations that are complex in nature, without hampering the web page performance in real time. So it eliminates the inconvenience of the end users when websites are restructured (S., Sahil, 2010).
- Colour choice–colour scheme is an important factor that has to be kept in mind. And should not be confusing to people and kept in mind the colour blind individuals.
- The website download speed – A website that takes long enough to get downloaded is an instant turn off and people refrain from using such a website as long download time leads to loss of customer interest.
This Assignment on Internet and E-Business has clearly highlighted the advantage of having an online presence for a business. With the advance in technology there is varied business models that a business can choose to operate online, according to their own specification and requirements. With the numerous advantage of e-Business there are also disadvantages that the business has to deal carefully such as security and legislative issues. The website plays a vital role in the marketing and the recognition of business as it the first interface in the case of online businesses with their customers. So the website designing should be considered carefully, integrating easy to use and user friendly functionalities.
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