Starting a Business Online Part 2
Bus 107: Fundamentals of E-Business
The size and objectives of electronic commerce sites vary greatly; thus, a variety of software and hardware products are used to build those sites. The specific duties that electronic commerce software performs range from a few fundamental operations to a complete solution-from catalog display to fulfillment notification. All electronic commerce solutions must provide at least: a catalog display, shopping cart capabilities and transaction processing. A catalog is a listing of goods and services and it organizes those goods and services that are being sold. A small commerce site can have a very simple static catalog, which is a simple list written in HTML that appears on a Web page or a series of Web pages. To add an item, delete an item, or change an item’s listing, the company must edit the HTML of one or more pages. Larger commerce sites are more likely to use a dynamic catalog. A dynamic catalog stores the information about items in a database, usually on a separate computer that is accessible to the server that is running the Web site itself. A dynamic catalog can feature multiple photos of each item, detailed descriptions, and a search feature that allows customers to search for an item and determine its availability. In the early days of electronic commerce, shoppers selected items they wanted to purchase by filling out online forms. Using text box and list box form controls to indicate their choices, users entered the quantity of an item in the quantity text box, the SKU (stock-keeping unit) or product number in another text box, and the unit price in yet another text box. This system was awkward for ordering more than one or two items at a time. The forms-based method of ordering has given way to electronic shopping carts. Today, shopping carts are a standard of electronic commerce. A shopping...
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