The e-commerce system chosen is the Overstock.com. Overstock.com is an online retailer offering a broad variety of high-quality, branded name goods at discount prices, including bedding, home decor, appliances, watches, jewellery, electronics, sporting goods, clothing and shoes. At the beginning, Overstock.com sold surplus and returned merchandise on an online E-commerce marketplace and liquidating the inventories of the failed dot-com companies at below-wholesale prices (Drummond, 2006). Recently, it has expanded to sell new merchandise and also offering manufacturers, distributors and other retailers an alternative sales channel for liquidating their inventory. In addition to its direct retail sales, Overstock.com has also offered online auctions on its website. The company’s major competitors are eBay and Amazon.com (Mann, 2005). b. The e-Marketplace.
Overstock.com is considered as a private e-marketplace that is owned by a single company. In a sell-side e-marketplace, such as Overstock.com will sell either standard or customised products to individuals (B2C) or to business (B2B), this type of selling is considered to be one-to-many (Turban, King, Lee, Liang & Turban, 2010). Overstock.com uses the Internet to create a more efficient market for liquidation, closeout and other discount merchandise by providing consumers and businesses with quick and convenient access to high-quality, brand-name merchandise at discount prices. Besides that, Overstock.com operates the part of their website as an online auctions business, a marketplace for the buying and selling of goods and services-as well as online sites for listing cars and real estate for sale (Mann, 2005).
Overstock.com is an example of virtual e-tailers that sell directly to consumers over the Internet without maintaining a physical sales channel. Virtual e-tailers have the advantage of low overhead costs and streamlined process (Turban et al., 2010). General e-tailers, such as Overstock.com, selling a vast range of goods and services online, capitalize on the internet to offer such variety to a diverse group of customers geographically without the need to maintain a large physical storefront network (Mincedmedia, 2008).
2. Research into the e-business components.
i. Possible internal organization functions involved the system.
The internal organization of the Overstock.com is formed by few different departments. The sales and marketing department will find and retain customers by building effective customers relationships to increase the sales of the firm. Marketers of the Overstock.com uses several types of online advertising methods such as banner ads, e-mail advertising and video ads (Turban et al., 2010).
The engineering department will be in charge of the firm’s e-commerce system, online security, payment systems, IT compliance, application software, website design and maintenances and also data management. The firm’s IT engineer will be responsible to use technology expertise such as the defence and e-commerce security strategy, e-commerce payment systems, application of software and the knowledge in the web 2.0 to facilitate the online business of Overstock.com (Kelly, 2005).
The accounting and finance department will be responsible in partnering with other county departments to leverage resources that are essential toward achieving related objectives and also ensuring that quality financial services and information is provided. In addition, the operations department does the day to day operation of the business.
The operations department of the Overstock.com consist of the merchandise operational coordinator, co-op manager and system administrative. They handle all the clerical functions having to do with clearance, settlement, and execution of trades (Mincedmedia, 2008). This department keeps customer records and handles the day-to-day monitoring of margin positions. ii....