E-Commerce: Resources for Doing Business on the Internet. (the Alert Collector)
Zabel, Diane, Movahedi-Lankarani, Stephanie Jakle, Reference & User Services Quarterly
One of the big business stories in early 2002 was Amazon.com's profitability for the first time in four years. The company reported a $5 million net profit in the fourth quarter of 2001. (1) Although many dot.com entrepreneurs filed for bankruptcy in the past two years, many business forecasters continue to be optimistic about the future of e-commerce, in terms of both consumer online buying and business-to-business Internet transactions.
E-commerce has caught the attention of the general public as well as the business and academic communities. Colleges and universities have aggressively integrated e-commerce into existing curricula, often as a result of pressure from recruiters and industry. In some cases, schools have created new degrees or concentrations in e-commerce. A recent survey conducted by the international accrediting body for business schools found that almost half of business schools around the world have formally integrated electronic commerce into their curriculums. (2) This direction is likely to continue. One of the business education trends projected for 2002 is increased integration of e-commerce into the undergraduate and graduate business curricula in the United States. (3) In fact, one business educator predicted that "there will definitely be more courses with e-marketing and e-commerce in their titles" and that "these topics will pervade the overall business curriculum more as well." (4) It is apparent that it will be critical for librarians in various library settings to monitor e-commerce developments and build corresponding collections tailored to the needs of their users.
The guest columnist for this article is well informed on the topic of electronic commerce. She currently serves as a full-time staff member in the Schreyer Business Library, located at the University Park campus of The Pennsylvania State University. Stephanie Jakle Movahedi-Lankarani has almost two decades of experience as a reference assistant in subject-based research libraries. She has developed an expertise in e-commerce research and has created a pathfinder on e-commerce that is posted on the Schreyer Library's home page (www.libraries.psu.edu/ crsweb/business/ECommerce). She has also delivered instructional sessions on e-commerce resources to MBA students. In addition, she has authored a comparative review of e-commerce Web sites for an upcoming issue of the Journal of Business and Finance Librarianship, and she has written an article on best e-commerce Web sites for a forthcoming special issue of the Journal of Business and Finance Librarianship.--Editor
E-commerce rocketed, seemingly out of nowhere, into the collective public conscience during the holiday buying season of 1998. For the first time, the selling and buying of goods on the Internet reached a level of consumer spending that made the average retail consumer sit up and take notice. Amazon.com made more than $1 billion that year, and America Online rang up more than $1.2 billion in sales in just the last ten weeks of the year. (5) Then, almost as quickly as e-commerce had arrived, it seemingly imploded upon itself and sank below the economic horizon.
As Internet company after Internet company closed their doors, and the value of technology stocks dropped to the basement, many pundits wrote off e-commerce as a loudly touted, heavily advertised, but largely empty phenomenon. Others added that regardless of what it had been--advertising hype or commercial reality--e-commerce was now quite dead. Like Humpty-Dumpty, they maintained, the dot.com bubble could not be put back together again.
Here To Stay
Despite the great slowing of its growth in recent years, e-commerce does remain a strong and steadily expanding sector of the United States economy. Statistics from the U. S. Department of Commerce show that total e-commerce retail sales for 2001 were $32.6 billion and accounted for one percent of all 2001 retail sales (up from .9 percent of total retail sales in 2000). (6) Although these numbers represent much slower growth than in previous boom years, market watchers predict that steady e-commerce growth will be maintained for years. (7)
Indicative, perhaps, of good things to come for e-commerce, is the fact that Internet traffic has quadrupled in the past year, and total e-commerce activity has increased thirty percent since the NASDAQ slump began. (8) For retail e-commerce, there are waiting in the proverbial economic wings, the ninety percent of U.S. coming-of-retail-age consumers (kids and teens aged five to seventeen years) who use computers. (9)
Representing forty-eight million potential new customers poised to enter the e-commerce marketplace over the next twelve years, these customers will not need to change already established purchasing patterns or jump a technology divide that has kept their elders from online retail. These consumers will shift, with infinite ease, their e-mail, chat room, and Internet surfing skills to online shopping.
The business-to-business (B2B) e-commerce sector, the largest sector of the electronic commerce economy, is also expecting slowed but strong and steady growth. An industry report for the last quarter of 2001 found that large-volume-buying organizations purchased more than one quarter of their goods or services via online marketplaces and an increasing percentage of these companies (45 percent currently) saved money by doing so. (10) Where money is saved, a trend is sure to be continued. B2B e-commerce is expected to reach $4.8 trillion worldwide by 2004 and by that year it is estimated that fully 40 percent of all U.S. B2B purchasing will be conducted via the Internet. (11)
Given the outlook, restrained though it may be in light of its history, e-commerce will remain a strong, contending economic force. A larger e-commerce presence in the overall economy will produce a greater need for all types of e-commerce information. Researchers looking for information in all the traditional business areas will also need that information in their e-commerce flavors. Business information will be needed on all aspects of e-business--from the logistics of creating, financing, and doing e-business; to e-marketing and e-advertising; to the current state of the industry or the health of a particular e-business.
The E-Commerce Information Gap
The meteoric rise of e-commerce left traditional providers of business information scratching their heads in frustration. Faced with an inconsistent vocabulary riddled with overlapping and contradictory terms, as well as a lack of adequate industry codes under which to group e-commerce industry and company information, e-commerce information ended up scattered among a variety of subject headings and industry groupings. The frenetic 24/7 pace of e-business and the rapidity of the rising and falling fortunes of the e-commerce sector also did not fit well with traditional publishing timelines. The result was an e-commerce gap in the body of traditional business information print sources.
As the North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) has gradually increased in use, as subject-specific vocabulary has settled into fewer, more well defined terms, and as the e-commerce economy has gained some historical perspective, print resources on e-commerce have begun to appear. Traditional business information sources now provide more e-commerce-specific information, increasing numbers of e-commerce monographs are being published, and periodicals specifically covering e-commerce and e-business have appeared.
There are many different types of e-commerce depending upon who or what is selling and who or what is buying. In addition, e-commerce is more than an exchange of funds and goods or services, it encompasses an entire infrastructure of services, computer hardware and software products, technologies, and communications formats.
ADSL (asymmetric digital subscriber line): technology that allows high-speed use of the Internet by normal telephone lines.
ASP (application service provider): company that hosts and manages software over the Internet.
bandwidth: the rate at which information can travel down a given communications link used to connect to the Internet.
bricks-and-clicks: businesses that have both an online and offline presence (e.g., Barnes and Noble and BarnesandNoble.com), as opposed to "bricks-and-mortar" businesses whose presense is solely offline. Also known as "clicks-and-bricks," "clicks-and-mortar."
broadband: generic name for methods of delivering electronic data that are fast enough (have enough bandwidth) to deliver motion picture quality images.
browser (Web browser): software used to display pages from the Web. Two popular browsers are Netscape's Navigator and Microsoft's Internet Explorer.
cookies: small amounts of structured data that are shared between a Web server and a user's browser. Cookies give the server information about a user's identity, preferences, or past behavior.
CRM (customer relationship management): ensuring that customers are satisfied in their dealings with a business.
cyberspace: currently describes the whole range of information resources available through computer networks.
domain name: unique name of an Internet Web site.
e-business: conduct of business via telecommunication-based tools.
e-commerce (electronic commerce): The buying and selling of goods and services online; conduct of commerce via telecommunications-based tools.
EDI (electronic data interchange): Often used for business-to-business sales. Transfers data between companies.
ISP (Internet service provider). Company that provides services to connect with the Internet.
Internet: global network of computers that use Internet Protocol Suite (IP) to provide communications and other distributed service.
Internet market (I-market): Virtual place of exchange between buyer and seller in cyberspace. Similar to "marketspace."
marketspace: virtual context in which buyers and sellers find one another and conduct business. Similar to "Internet market."
portal: a Web site listing other Web sites. The Web sites on a portal are listed in a hierarchical arrangement of topics; convenient place to start an Internet search.
secure Web server: Web server that allows the safe transmission of data between user and server (using encryption).
server: the computer that hosts a Web site, usually at an Internet service provider. The server "serves" visitors to the site with the pages they request. (See "Web server".)
URL (universal resource locator): the "address" of a site on the Web.
Web server: a server running at a Web site. A Web server sends out Web pages in response to requests from remote browsers. (See "server".)
Web services: class of computer applications that can talk and work with one another over the Internet.
Web storefront: virtual store on the Web. Web storefronts often provide merchant information, product listings or catalogs, ordering capabilities, and provision for secure transfer of payment information and processing.
World Wide Web: fastest growing aspect of the Internet. The Web allows information to be accessed by subject matter regardless of its location. Users can move automatically from site to site, using hyperlinks.
Types of E-Commerce
There are several types of e-commerce, separating roughly into the same categories found in the non-Internet economy. Differences in the type of business enterprise and the client served provide for the major categories of e-commerce, although differences in the channels of communication used in business interaction also account for some forms of e-commerce (specifically, mobile commerce).
B2B (business-to-business): businesses doing business with each other via the Internet. This is the largest segment of e-commerce, projected to grow to $4.3 trillion worldwide by 2005. (12)
B2C (business-to-consumer): the most familiar of e-commerce business models, where businesses sell products and services to customers via the Internet.
C2B (consumer-to-business): customers initiate transactions and purchase products via the Internet (e.g., Priceline.com).
C2C (consumer-to-consumer): most commonly online auctions where consumers buy and sell directly to each other (e.g., eBay.com).
G2C (government-to-consumer): government doing business with consumers online (e.g., U.S. Postal Service). In 2000, the United States federal government brought in $3.6 billion in sales from its 164 Web sites, selling everything from Amtrak tickets to Treasury bills, notes and bonds. The government earned $5.4 million alone taking online campground reservations, and earned $12 million selling Internet access to federal case and docket data. (13)
mobile commerce (m-commerce): use of radio-based wireless devices such as cell phones and personal digital assistants (PDAs) to conduct e-commerce transactions over wireless communications systems.
online banking: access to personal or business banking services from a commercial online service or over a public network such as the Internet.
General Overviews: E-Commerce and the Internet
Berners-Lee, Tim, with Mark Fischetti. Weaving the Web: The Original Design and Ultimate Destiny of the World Wide Web by Its Inventor. New York: HarperCollins, 2000. (ISBN 0-06-251587-X)
Tim Berners-Lee, of the World Wide Web Consortium at MIT, wrote a computer program in 1980 that he called "Enquire"--short for Enquire Within Upon Everything--which eventually gave rise to the Web. Written in his spare time for his personal use, Enquire was designed to help Berners-Lee remember the connections among the various people, computers, and projects at the lab where he worked. Inventing the Web "involved [the] growing realization that there was a power in arranging ideas in an unconstrained, web-like way."
Berners-Lee is credited with being the first to use many of the computer-related acronyms that we are familiar with today: URL (then known as UDI), HTTP, HTML, and WWW. Maintaining that he did not work in a vacuum, and only "happened to come along with time, and the right interest and inclination, after hypertext and the Internet had come of age," Berners-Lee tells a fascinating story. The book gives context to the virtual structure that underlies e-commerce and depth to its history.
Levine, Rick, and others. The Cluetrain Manifesto: The End of Business As Usual. Cambridge, Mass.: Perseus Pub., 2001. (ISBN 0-7382-0244-4)
The Internet has, in many fundamental ways, changed the doing of business. By accelerating the break up of mass markets into ever smaller, more tightly focused market niches, the Internet has, at the same time, enabled many of the new micromarkets to align along common interests. Businesses must realize that the Internet and the Web are not just new communications media, nor just places to market goods or make a quick fortune, but "a global set of conversations--people talking together, in their own voices, about what they care about." This book discusses how businesses have been slow to realize and adapt to these changes, and describes the changed business environment in the age of the Internet.
Perkins, Anthony B., and Michael C. Perkins. The Internet Bubble: The Inside Story of Why It Burst--And What You Can Do To Profit Now. Rev. ed. New York: HarperBusiness, 2001. (ISBN 0-06-664001-6)
Anthony and Michael Perkins are the founders of Silicon Valley's Red Herring, a communications company most familiar through their magazine, Red Herring. This book is written for people who want to understand what the Internet marketplace is, how it works, and its history--from bubble to burst and back again. Well-written and comprehensive, the book is filled with examples, statistics, and case studies that underlie the technology, financial markets, and entrepreneurial spirit of e-commerce.
Pal, Nirmal, and Judith M. Ray. Pushing the Digital Frontier: Insights into the Changing Landscape of E-Business. New York: AMACOM, 2001. (ISBN 0-8144-0644-0)
This book, a collection of articles, provides a good overview of all aspects of e-commerce by people who work in or study electronic commerce for a living. The book is descriptive, "using anecdotes to make a point, case studies to deliberate key issues, and personal experiences and insights to provide the reader multiple lenses to choose from for examining the subject." The chapters cover a wide array of e-commerce topics--including e-commerce metrics and collaborative commerce--and most chapters end with a "where-to-go-from-here" advisory conclusion.
Lindstrom, Martin, with Don Peppers and Martha P. Rogers, Ph.D. Clicks, Bricks and Brands. Dover, N.H.: Kogan Page, 2001. (ISBN 0-7494-3490-2)
This book is designed as a practical tool kit to help retailers and e-tailers create effective bricks-and-mortar to bricks-and-clicks strategies. The authors "demystify the clicks-and-bricks concept and clarify the term," give a concise and thorough history of product branding, and end most chapters with a practical guide to enacting the principles explained in each chapter. Although written for already established retail entities and e-tailers, the book is also an effective tool for start-up e-commerce entrepreneurs as it provides clarity and gives context to important e-commerce retail concepts.
Korper, Steffano, and Juanita Ellis. The E-Commerce Book: Building the E-Empire. 2d ed. San Diego: Academic, 2001. (ISBN 0-12-4211661-5)
This is a good, basic book on e-commerce. Written by the cofounders of the "E-Commerce Program," a seminar series used by many corporations and academic institutions, the second edition emphasizes doing e-business properly. E-commerce best practices are discussed and the concept of "business" is emphasized over "electronic." Each chapter provides a good overview of the constituent parts of running an e-business, from the initial business vision to the nuts and bolts of payment systems and security solutions.
Amor, Daniel. The E-Business (R)evolution: Living and Working in an Interconnected World. Upper Saddle River, N.J.: Prentice Hall PTR, 2000. (ISBN 0-13-085123-X)
Daniel Amor is the chief e-commerce technologist for Hewlett-Packard in Germany. Focused on e-business technologies, the book is divided into four sections: The Foundation, E-Business Applications, Internet Technologies, and Present/Future Outlook. The book also includes a useful glossary and sections analyzing dot.com "deaths," the internationalization of Web sites, examples of Internet business architecture, and how a business can be moved to the Internet.
Carton, Sean. The Dot.Bomb Survival Guide. New York: McGraw-Hill, 2002. (ISBN 0-07-137779-4)
Read and learn from the mistakes of others who came before you in e-commerce. Sean Carton, a writer for ClickZ network and founder of several successful technology companies, describes what was wrong with the business models used by the first generation of dot.comers and talks about what is different, or not so different, about the online customer. The book details past e-marketing disasters, points out advertising pitfalls, and discusses e-business financing issues. The book is filled with expert commentary and examples of what not to do.
Smith, Dayle M. The e-business Book: A Step-By-Step Guide to E-Commerce and Beyond. Princeton, N.J.: Bloomberg Pr., 2001. (ISBN 1-576-60048-3)
This book gives you the good news and the bad news on e-business. Full of cautionary tales, the book presents points to consider while deciding if, and which way, to go in e-commerce. From shaping your e-business idea and e-business plan, to knowing your competition, The e-business Book spells out the components of a great e-business Web site, the qualities of a great domain name, and the ins and outs of technology outsourcing and hosting. Useful information and guidelines on making Web sitse ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) compliant is available in appendix C.
Bayles, Deborah L. E-Commerce Logistics and Fulfillment: Delivering the Goods. Upper Saddle River, N.J.: Prentice Hall PTR, 2001. (ISBN 0-13-030328-3)
This is a how-to book for tech savvy executives, information technology professionals, and e-business owners. It covers e-business technology issues, details the necessary tasks for setting up and "costing" an e-business technology infrastructure to handle e-logistics and fulfillment, and covers Federal Trade Commission rules and regulations. This book details what happens, and what e-businesses need to know, when the customer clicks on the "Buy" button: payment processing, order fulfillment, product delivery, and product returns handling. According to the author, fulfillment and backend logistics are where e-businesses incur about 40 percent of their costs and are the areas that will most often make or break an e-business.
Jagannathan, Sridhar, and others. Internet Commerce Metrics and Models in the New Era of Accountability. Upper Saddle River, N.J.: Prentice Hall PTR, 2002. (ISBN 0-13-028186-7)
This book gives an overview of e-commerce, describes how it is evolving, and identifies the myriad issues that comprise the building and maintaining of a profitable e-business. The book details the ways in which e-business models are constructed, breaking the models down into their component parts to allow e-businesses the ability to reassemble them to fit specific needs. Once an e-business has the ability to break apart the components of their business, they have gained the ability to estimate costs and evaluate choices.
E-Business How-To Guides
Fiore, Frank. TechTVs Starting An Online Business. Indianapolis: Que, 2001. (ISBN 0-7897-2564-9)
The book, produced by TechTV, a cable television channel covering technology news and information from the consumer, industry, and market perspectives, provides a broad overview of the process of starting an e-business. A step up from a beginner's guide, this book is a good starting point for readers who know very little about e-commerce and want an overview of what is involved in starting an e-business. The book contains good lists of Internet resources, e-commerce terminology is very well explained, and the book contains a good index.
Gutzman, Alexis D. The E-Commerce Arsenal: Twelve Technologies You Need to Prevail in the Digital Arena. New York: AMACOM, 2001. (ISBN 0-8144-0623-8)
Alexis Gutzman, who writes newsletters and two weekly columns for internet.com, investigates why online companies are struggling and identifies the technologies that will help e-businesses survive and prosper. The book points out how important it is to the success of an e-business that the right technologies are implemented. Gutzman identifies twelve technologies in e-commerce and places them into three categories: getting people to your site, the Web site itself, and customer service. The technologies are fully explained and put into context within a business environment, and their significance to e-business health is explained.
Holden, Greg. E-Commerce Essentials with Microsoft FrontPage, Version 2002. Redmond, Wash.: Microsoft Pr., 2001. (ISBN 0-7356-1371-0)
This book is useful for the entrepreneur who wants to create an online business presence using a readily available software package--in this case, Microsoft's FrontPage. Focusing on the fact that consumers often shop on small business Web sites because they are able to locate unique products on these sites that they cannot easily obtain elsewhere, E-Commerce Essentials shows how to use FrontPage to create an online presence that pays attention to the customer experience.
Friedlein, Ashley. Web Project Management: Delivering Successful Commercial Web Sites. San Francisco: Morgan Kaufmann Pubs., 2001. (ISBN 1-558-60678-5)
This book, designed to be used by teams charged with getting large commercial Web sites up and running for clients, has many great insights for anyone starting an online business and wanting to create a Web site. This is not a step-by-step book on how to put up a Web site, but a broad overview of the skills needed to create, manage, and maintain a highly functional e-business Web site.
Spool, Jared M., ed., and others. Web Site Usability: A Designer's Guide. San Francisco: Morgan Kaufmann Pubs., 1999. (ISBN 1-558-60569-X)
What makes a Web site usable? Web site designers put a lot of thought and effort into creating Web sites that will be usable. Yet, what does usable mean, and do Web site visitors use sites as they were designed to be used? A team of researchers looked at how people used various Web sites and studied what these users were trying to accomplish at the sites. Web Site Usability discusses what insights the researchers found and details what makes successful, and usable, e-business Web sites.
Reding, Elizabeth Eisner. Building an eBusiness from the Ground Up. Boston: McGraw-Hill/Irwin, 2001. (ISBN 0-07-242636-5)
This book is a step-by-step guide to creating a Web business presence. Heavily illustrated and written in a straightforward manner, this manual shows readers how to create and launch a business Web site in very little time using standard Microsoft Office software. Geared to beginners, the book assumes readers have no business or computer knowledge, and the chapters combine conceptual lessons with hands-on exercises. Specifically designed for use by instructors in a classroom setting, it is also appropriate for individuals who want to teach themselves how to put up a Web site.
Carroll, Jim, and Rick Broadhead. Selling Online: How to Become a Successful E-Commerce Merchant. Chicago: Dearborn Trade, 2001. (ISBN 0-7931-4517-1)
Selling Online is all about setting up a "store" on the Internet and covers all the basics of obtaining that goal: types of online stores and their relative merits, thinking strategically, online payment processing, online security issues, and all aspects of marketing. The book is well-illustrated with images of creative, well-designed e-business Web pages and contains an especially useful chapter devoted to tips from online merchants.
E-Commerce Marketing and Customer Relationship Management
Janal, Daniel. Dan Janal's Guide to Marketing on the Internet: Getting People to Visit, Buy, and Become Customers for Life. New York: John Wiley, 2000. (ISBN 0-471-34976-3)
This how-to book exhaustively covers e-marketing and offers excellent advice and searching tips for locating marketing research information on the Internet. Divided into six parts, the book covers online marketing strategy, online selling, promoting your Web site, how to keep your customers, marketing tools available on the Internet, and online media relations.
McKeown, Max J. Why They Don't Buy: The Science of Selling Online. Upper Saddle River, N.J.: Financial Times/Prentice Hall, 2002. (ISBN 0-273-65674-0)
This book strives to put excellence into the e-customer experience. The book is centered on the premise that it is excellence in product and in customer interaction that will convince the 85 percent of Internet users who do not yet purchase online that they need to be your e-business customer. Only those online businesses offering excellence will prosper in the Internet era.
This book can be read as a whole, or picked up in bits and pieces as a need arises for the information. Each chapter frames its subject matter in the same manner: how does this subject shape the customer experience, how do your customers react to this subject, and what your e-customers know about this subject. Each chapter also includes a set of activities that help access how far away your e-business currently is from your customer's ideal experience in relation to this issue.
Godin, Seth. Permission Marketing: Turning Strangers into Friends, and Friends into Customers. New York: Simon & Schuster, 1999. (ISBN 0-684-85636-0)
Written by Seth Godin, founder of Yoyodyne, one of the first online marketing companies, this book was the first to define successful online marketing as permission marketing. Permission marketing, a term that is now nearly ubiquitous in marketing, is trademarked by Yahoo! Inc., the company that now owns Yoyodyne. Godin was one of the first to realize that the Internet had fundamentally changed the nature of the business-customer relationship and marketing. The book details the theory and practice of permission marketing, where marketers engage consumers in a dialogue and build an interactive relationship.
Breakenridge, Deirdre. Cyberbranding: Brand Building in the Digital Economy. New York: Financial Times/Prentice Hall, 2001. (ISBN 0-13-089410-8)
This book presents a framework for integrating Internet marketing strategies with traditional marketing strategies and shows how to create or re-engineer a brand to succeed online. While aimed at larger businesses and companies, the book is also useful to the small e-business entrepreneur who can utilize the basic ideas presented in the book to learn how to use the Web effectively or refine their services or the presentation of their products. Information presented in the book includes marketing basics, audience impact, market research, online endorsements, and case studies.
Greenberg, Paul. CRM at the Speed of Light: Capturing and Keeping Customers in Internet Real Time. Berkeley, Calif.: Osborne/ McGraw-Hill, 2001. (ISBN 0-07-212782-1)
In the Internet economy, the consumer is no longer molded and shaped to a product. The customer is now the controlling force. This is the revolutionary new face of business in the Internet age, and the premise of this book. Customer demand has superseded product demand, and the definition of "customer" has evolved to include anyone, or any entity, with which your business has a relationship. This book is not a how to guide to managing customer relationships, nor is it a technical manual. It does, however, describe the history of the forces that created the e-market, detail the technology that drives a customer-centric business, and explain how vital customer relationship management is to business in the Internet age.
Locke, Christopher. Gonzo Marketing: Winning Through Worst Practices. Cambridge, Mass.: Perseus Pub., 2001. (ISBN 0-7382-0408-0)
By the author who helped bring us The Cluetrain Manifesto, Gonzo Marketing is iconoclastic, argumentative, and entertaining. Locke maintains that most online advertising, illustrated most profanely by banner and pop-up ads, may actually be doing more harm than good to the cause of product sales. These types of ads, obvious holdovers from print advertising, irritate customers and drive them away.
In the new Internet marketplace, where the consumer/customer holds the power in the relationship, marketers need to tap into the Web's populist culture by coming up with new approaches to online advertising. Not a how-to book, but a look at the culture of the Internet, this book is a highly entertaining read that carries a serious message along with the humor.
McKie, Stewart. E-Business Best Practices: Leveraging Technology for Business Advantage. New York: Wiley, 2001. (ISBN 0-471-40251-6)
Stewart McKie, who specializes in writing about business management software, has written this book as an introduction to e-business best practices from a software perspective. As a way of doing business, McKie defines an e-business as an entity that "makes use of business processes which leverage technology to maintain or create competitive advantage."
The book examines various technology solutions for e-business management, collaboration, customer relationship management, e-procurement, knowledge management, digital asset management, and application outsourcing. It is not a book about dot.com companies or specific technologies, but about ways of doing business. The book also includes a section on e-business benchmarking, and identifies XML (extensible markup language) as the next critical e-business technology.
Lindgren, Lisa M. Application Servers for E-Business. Boca Raton, Fla.: Auerbach, 2001. (ISBN 0-8493-0827-5)
The intent of this book is to describe the technologies available for use in e-business and to provide a comprehensive understanding of what these technologies do and where they fit into the big picture of the online marketplace. Several chapters focus on specific technologies: Web technologies, Java technologies, CORBA, and application servers. Other chapters discuss enterprise deployment issues, detail the advantages of application servers, look at decisionmaking processes, and provide overviews of seventeen specific application servers. So that readers can keep up with the rapid changes in application server technologies, Web sites are provided as references throughout the book, and there is a comprehensive Web listing in the "For More Information" section.
Toigo, Jon William. The Essential Guide to Application Service Providers. Upper Saddle River, N.J.: Prentice Hall PTR, 2002. (ISBN 0-13-019198-1)
This book is about the evolving application service provider phenomenon--the who, what, when, where, and how of it all. The book covers companies that consider themselves to be provisioners as well as those who consider themselves to be providers, and it discusses how businesses can save money by using application service providers. Included are explanations of different technologies that support the services and the common problems encountered by businesses using service providers.
Miscellaneous E-Commerce Topics
Horton, James L. Online Public Relations: A Handbook for Practitioners. Westport, Conn.: Quorum Bks., 2001. (ISBN 1-567-20406-6)
This desktop reference and guide to online public relations is useful to both experienced public relations practitioners and new arrivals. The book is designed to provide quick access to definitions and resources, and includes public relations terminology, the use of online media in public relations, and industries and sources.
Each entry defines a topic, tells how the topic fits into public relations and why it is important, who uses the topic, why the topic should be used to communicate more effectively, suggests appropriate uses of the topic, and gives pointers on how to use it tactically. The book is divided into sections that discuss online technologies, online information dissemination and retrieval, how to use online media to build PR relationships, and industry sources.
Hall, Robert E. Digital Dealing: How E-Marketers Are Transforming the Economy. London: Norton, 2001. (ISBN 0-393-04210-3)
The premise of this book is that all business transactions, including e-business transactions, involve making a deal: setting a number, determining a price. The fundamentals of business and business making do not disappear with the arrival and adoption of new communication technologies. Yet in order for e-commerce to flourish, electronic systems need to be put in place that will enable e-businesses to identify potential trading partners; communicate about, and haggle over, deals with potential partners; carry out the deal; and to disseminate information about the deal to other traders. With these four systems, profitable e-markets are born.
Digital Dealing identifies the essentials of online deal making and discusses auction deal engines, stocks and bonds auctions, business-to-business procurement auctions, exchanges, posted pricing, antitrust and regulation issues, and patent and copyright issues. It also takes a look at the future of e-markets.
Skyrme, David. Capitalizing on Knowledge: From E-Business to K-Business. Boston, Mass.: Butterworth-Heinemann, 2001. (ISBN 0-7506-5011-7)
K-businesses are businesses that produce knowledge and information as a salable product and who market and sell these products via Internet-based technologies. Focusing primarily on online trading and knowledge commercialization, this book is designed to be used by knowledge management practitioners but will be of benefit to anyone developing new business ideas. In addition to looking closely at all aspects of creating, packaging, and marketing of k-products, the book includes case studies and a k-business readiness assessment.
Kling, Arnold. Under the Radar: Starting Your Net Business Without Venture Capital. Cambridge, Mass.: Perseus Pub., 2001. (ISBN 0-7382-0468-4)
The author's purpose in Under the Radar is to encourage prospective e-business entrepreneurs to think, and then think again, about the ideas they bring to their business ventures. The book's main premise is that it is not always necessary for prospective e-businesses to hunt for venture capital in order to launch their enterprise. The book details e-business successes that were funded without venture capital and without exhaustive market research and that went through multiple transformations before they obtained success.
About--Electronic Commerce http://ecommerce.about.com
Offering quick categories, such as "E-Commerce 101," "Start-Up Ideas," and "Research and Stats," this Web site is one of several hundred guide sites on the About network. About--Electronic Commerce covers all the basics of e-commerce and e-business, and provides an e-commerce survival guide and e-commerce reports and statistics.
Business 2.0 http://business20.com
The Business 2.0 Web site covers general e-commerce industry and company news and information. Look for their "Web Guide," a continuously updated guide to e-commerce information in 13,000 subtopics, spread over 50,000 Web pages. Created and maintained by professional research librarians, the Web Guide focuses on sources that follow current e-business news and support the editorial content of the magazine.
BusinessWeek Online www.businessweek.com
BusinessWeek Online, online counterpart to BusinessWeek magazine, offers a "Today's Market" section by Standard and Poor's, and a "stock look up" search box. In addition to be able to search for analyses of individual companies or traditional industries, you can select "Internet" as an industry and obtain a snapshot of this new economic sector. Articles from BusinessWeek and BusinessWeek Online are archived at the site back to the beginning of 1991 and searchable via the site's search engine.
This site combines current business and technology news with trend analysis and coverage of Internet technology products. There are links to the other c/net networks, including mySimon (product and price comparisons), TechRepublic (internet technology community), and ZDNet (comprehensive technology news and information).
This site focuses on interactive e-marketing and, in addition to providing current marketing and product delivery news and information, contains several very useful directories: Internet advertising and marketing agencies (interactive), advertising networks, ad servers (solution providers), e-customer service (customer service technology providers), e-Fulfillment, and e-Research (e-research companies). The directories provide detailed information about the services offered by each company, contact names (linked), and Web addresses (linked).
E-Business Forum www.ebusinessforum.com
Produced by the Economist Intelligence Unit, this site provides analysis and forecasts of the political, economic, and business environment in more than 180 countries. The site maintains a "doing e-business in ..." tab at the top of the main Web page that links to a list of sixty countries for which up-to-date and detailed information on their e-business environments is available. There is also a "Best Practice" tab linking to case studies on the use of the Internet in business and a "Research" section containing assessments of the impact of e-business on specific industries and countries.
The internet.com network, along with its sister network EarthWeb.com, covers e-commerce and information technology news and information and resources, and contains 160 Web sites. The internet.com "ECommerce/Marketing" channel contains more than seventeen groupings of e-commerce related information and provides links to ClickZ Network (www.clickz.com), which specializes in Internet marketing and advertising information and case studies, and CyberAtlas (http:// cyberatlas.internet.com), which specializes in Internet marketing statistics and research.
NewsFactor Network www.newsfactor.com
The NewsFactor Network is a community of ten sister sites that cover the entire gamut of e-commerce topics: Internet technology, e-commerce business news and information, industry analysis, and marketing. The sites offer up-to-the-minute information and original articles and commentary. There is a site for every need and interest in e-business, including CRM, wireless, and Linux. The sites are easily navigated, and all content is archived and searchable.
NorthernLight Special Edition: Electronic Commerce http://special.northernlight.com/ ecommerce
This special edition from Northern Light contains e-commerce news links, links to organizations working in e-commerce, e-commerce research, government standards information, and infrastructure technology information. The site also contains a section called "Special Collection Titles," which lists online journals that focus on e-commerce.
Offering e-business news and information gathered from more than B00 Web sites, searchEBusiness.com focuses on e-commerce infrastructure and information. Here you can find news and information on e-commerce and e-business technology applications, core technologies, and platforms. The site contains a "Best EBusiness Web Links" section that showcases the editors' choices for best-of-the-Web sites in fourteen subject areas.
This site is owned by CMP Media and it draws its content from three company publications: Information Week, InternetWeek, and Internet Computing. If you want news, reviews, analysis, opinions, and research on Internet information technologies, this is the site to visit.
Webmonkey http://hotwired.lycos.com/ webmonkey
This is a good site for small e-business entrepreneurs who need comprehensive background information on how e-business is constructed and conducted. It contains a great deal of practical how-to information arranged in ten guides: building the site, making money, attract customers, saving money, Web site design, Web site operations, Web e-commerce, Web marketing, Web advertising, and international Web operations.
References and Notes
(1.) "Amazon.com Posts Profits, Loses Euro Heads," Chain Store Age 78, no. 3 (Mar. 2002): 86.
(2.) Michelle Leder, "Second Thoughts on E-Classes," Crain's New York Business 17, no. 32 (Aug. 6, 2001): 16.
(3.) S. J. Burton and others, "Education/Professional Development," Marketing News 36, no. 1 (Jan. 7, 2002): 11.
(5.) Jon Weisman, "The Making of E-Commerce: 10 Key Moments," Commerce Times (Aug. 22, 2000). Accessed Feb. 20, 2002, www. ecommercetimes.com.
(6.) United States Department of Commerce News (Feb. 20, 2002). Accessed Feb. 20, 2002, www.census. gov/mrts/www/current.html.
(7.) James W. Michaels, "A Business, Not a Religion," Forbes.com (Dec. 2, 2001). Accessed Feb. 7, 2002, www.forbes.com.
(8.) Barry Golson, "A Bubble of Bad News Hides True Web Reality," Advertising Age (Nov. 5, 2001). Accessed Feb. 20, 2002, from Proquest Direct.
(9.) "U.S. Internet Population Continues to Grow," (Feb. 6, 2002). Accessed Feb. 7, 2002, http:// cyberatlas.internet.com.
(10.) "Online Purchasing Increases in Q4 2001," (Jan. 30, 2002). Accessed Feb. 7, 2002, http://cyberatlas.internet.com.
(11.) "U.S.: E-business Marketplace," ebusinessforum.com (Aug. 20, 2001). Accessed Feb 3, 2002, www.ebusinessforum.com.
(12.) "B2B E-Commerce Will Survive Growing Pains," (Nov. 28, 2001). Accessed Mar. 1, 2002, http:// cyberatlas.internet.com.
(13.) "Vital Statistics," U.S. News & World Report 130, no. 23 (Jun. 11, 2001): 12.
Correspondence concerning this column should be addressed to Diane Zabel, Endowed Librarian for Business, Schreyer Business Library, Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA 16802; e-mail: email@example.com.
Stephanie Jakle Movahedi-Lankarani is a Library Assistant, Schreyer Business Library, Pennsylvania State University, University Park.…
Questia, a part of Gale, Cengage Learning. www.questia.com
Publication information: Article title: E-Commerce: Resources for Doing Business on the Internet. (the Alert Collector). Contributors: Zabel, Diane - Author, Movahedi-Lankarani, Stephanie Jakle - Author. Journal title: Reference & User Services Quarterly. Volume: 41. Issue: 4 Publication date: Summer 2002. Page number: 316+. © 2003 American Library Association. COPYRIGHT 2002 Gale Group.
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