Electronic business (e-business) is a general concept covering any form of a business transaction or information exchange executed using information and communication technologies (Whiteley, 2000). E-business may take place between firms (B2B), between firms and their customers (B2C), or between firms and the government (B2G). Task 1 – The Scope of E-Business
a. Differentiate between business to consumer (b2c) and business to business (b2b) transactions. B2B (business to business): a business that sells primarily to other business, such as Cummins providing engines for vehicle and computer part manufacture such as Dell. In the online world, b2b is reported to be bigger than b2c. Transactions between businesses may be less frequent over the internet, but they account for more in terms of money value. Furthermore, the business is buying either for its own internal maintenance, repair and operations purposes, or for items used as part of what is sold to another business in a supply chain. The reason b2b Internet trade become so significant is that there are many more opportunities for big-deal transactions between businesses than there are for transactions with private customers (Healey and Samtani, 2002). Business organizations are likely to have several suppliers and the suppliers themselves will have suppliers. Moreover, online markets places for components are becoming more common. For example, Ford and General Motors have joined forces and moved their US$300 billion and US$500 billion supply chain online (www.convisint.net). B2C (business to consumer): related to the sale of product for personal consumption. The buyer may be an individual, family or other group, buying to use the product themselves, or for end use by another individual. A B2C businesses service the consumer demand. If you walk around any shopping areas and you will see a range of retail outlets offering goods for sale to us, private consumers. Before the development of the Internet, shopping was restricted to particular times and you had to travel to them (Dooley and Prause, 2004). By contrast, an online shop is unlimited and there are no boundaries to what an internet retailer can offer to consumer. There is big different between adding an online sales channel to an existing firm and trying to set up a completely new online retail outlets. Most of the growth in e-business is due to physical businesses adopting an e-strategy (Patrick, 2001).
b. Explain how a business benefits from having its own websites.
The use of the Internet has become a well established form of communication for businesses to take advantage of. It allows the organization to open up new markets, reduce costs and create opportunities of trade on a world wide scale. Today all large businesses, as well as many small businesses and enterprising individuals, have websites. The terms ‘e-business’, ‘e-commerce’, and ‘on-line communications’ have become a part of everyday life. General benefits
* Customers can access the website anytime of the day (24/7) which is a good advantage for disabled customers, and it also saves time for businesses as it is cheaper for them to set up and is a good way of getting information across to the customer. * Recommends the latest offers and advertisements which can be persuasive * Having their own website allows them to monitor statistics such as the number of times the page has been viewed. This is an advantage because it provides a sense of knowledge to the needs and wants of customers’ interest. A survey is an efficient method also, which can help find out more on consumers * Allows businesses to gain global access to worldwide consumers * Delivery services (fees, time consuming and shipping options) * Memberships terms
* Allows customers to customize their own products of purchase * Check status of order through the site
* Technical support services are...