Foundation of Electronic Commerce

Only available on StudyMode
  • Download(s) : 21
  • Published : March 2, 2013
Open Document
Text Preview
Model-of-Use

DIGITAL
OPPORTUNITIES FOR
DEVELOPMENT

5
Michael Tetelman
Michael Teleman was Senior
Program Officer,Technology
Access and Application for the
LearnLink Project.

Foundations of
Electronic Commerce

Overview
E-commerce, a prime driver of the global economy, has
changed business processes worldwide, increasing logistical
efficiencies and facilitating the buying, selling, and marketing of goods. Similarly, e-commerce has benefited millions of
consumers through decreased prices, increased competition,
and faster order and delivery times.
Large and small companies across multiple industries
depend on e-commerce applications to survive and compete
in local, national, and global economies. These companies use e-mail to communicate with customers and suppliers and the
Internet to handle marketing and electronic transaction
processing and settlement. They rely on myriad hardware and
software solutions to manage large databases and carry out
sophisticated analysis of complex business operations, support back office automation, assist document sharing, and facilitate communication with clients, customers and colleagues.
While e-commerce has advanced most rapidly in
developed countries, companies in developing countries
increasingly use e-commerce to strengthen their core business practices and spin off new businesses. In Asia, for example, the e-commerce solutions market looks to grow at an annual
rate of 24 percent, while Latin America’s online retail
revenues were expected to more than double between 2000
and 2001. In short, e-commerce will continue to transform
business – and societies more broadly - on a global scale
irrespective of geography, topography, gender, ethnicity, or nationality. This transformation is likely to intensify and
companies in developing countries must become versatile in
at least basic e-commerce applications if they are to
participate in the global economy.

E-Commerce

275

5

DIGITAL
OPPORTUNITIES FOR
DEVELOPMENT

5

E-Commerce

276

Development practitioners who wish to
promote e-commerce have a unique opportunity
to learn from the spectacular failures that befell
many pioneering e-commerce initiatives at the
start of the 21st Century and the way in which
companies are now successfully using a variety of
e-commerce applications. In the short-term quest
for rapid profitability, U.S. and European
companies often rushed to develop expensive, high
profile applications without adequately assessing
whether demand existed for them. In addition,
many e-commerce businesses that adopted these
digital applications lacked the physical
infrastructure to handle increased demand and
fulfill consumer expectations. Companies have
since matured in their use of e-commerce, using
precisely tailored applications to compliment their
core business processes and leverage applications
for transaction processes with a high return on
investment (ROI). Similarly, businesses in
developing countries are wise to use e-commerce
applications judiciously, and practitioners are urged
to promote appropriate and cost-effective ecommerce initiatives that are linked closely to and augment traditional business principles.
The purpose of this paper is to propose a
model-of-use for development practitioners
interested in applying e-commerce approaches to
address targeted development challenges.The
model presents an analytical and programmatic
framework for understanding the opportunities
and costs involved in implementing e-commerce
initiatives. The central premise of the model is
that three primary components must be addressed
if e-commerce applications are to become
widespread and effective in developing countries:
(1) a strong enabling environment, (2) active
human capacity development, and (3) effective
local delivery and support mechanisms.These
three components are closely inter-related and
mutually dependent.
A strong enabling...
tracking img