Introduction to Electronic Commerce

Online business has many names; e-Commerce, e-business, online shopping and others involving the use of the internet or a modern telephone or smart phone to place transactions for desired products and services. As you read, think about the power a successful online firm has over his store-based counterpart. What is online business? What is the role of the Internet and other communications media in providing an organization's e-business presence? What are some similarities and some differences between e-business and brick and mortar commerce? How can they complement each other? Are the days of brick-and-mortar stores coming to an end?

Key themes addressed

Chapter Six: Distribution

In the nineteenth century, a shopkeeper was likely to know all of his customers by name. He knew their needs. In the late 1800s, organizations with a truly national presence (e.g., Standard Oil) began to dominate the economic landscape in the United States. This marked the birth of the large, modern corporation. Distribution problems became large and complex. Organizations needed to be large to respond to these logistical challenges. The advent of electronic commerce has the potential to transform logistics and distribution. Today, a small software firm in Austin, Texas, can deliver its product (via the Web) to a customer in Seoul, South Korea. The economic landscape is altered dramatically. This chapter (along with the others) is future oriented as we outline strategic directions that are likely to be successful in the twenty-first century.