Unit 4 Study Guide: e-Commerce

4a: Explain the concept of e-commerce.

4a.1. E-commerce is the use of computer networks to improve organizational performance.

A. Understand all aspects of e-commerce as an organization’s electronic interactions with stakeholders.

B. List and briefly define some of the activities involved with e-commerce beyond ordering goods from an online catalog.

C. Understand how innovation and inefficiency risk affect products and services in e-commerce.

Read “Chapter 1: Electronic Commerce: An Introduction” to prepare for the final exam.


4b: Describe the technologies used in e-commerce, including hardware, software, and database systems.

4b.1. Internet technology, IT infrastructure, electronic publishing, e-commerce topologies, security, electronic funds, and secure electronic transactions are the technologies used in e-commerce.

A. Internet technology such as data transport, routing, and addressability are some of the elements enabling computers to communicate when using a common protocol, or language.

B. Understand data transport, routing, and addressability.

C. E-commerce is built on multiple technologies which create a layered, integrated infrastructure that permits the development and deployment of e-commerce applications.

D. Understand all layers of e-commerce infrastructure.

4b.2. Internet, Intranet, and Extranet are the three types of communication networks used in e-commerce.

A. The Internet is a global network of networks used to connect with any server in the system.

B. The Intranet is a local network of networks within an organization that focuses on employee information and communication.

C. The Extranet is a series of business partnership distribution channels that host the internal processes involved in e-commerce.

4b.3. Security is an eternal concern for organizations as they face the dual problem of protecting stored data and transported messages.

A. Data access control is the major method of controlling who has access to stored data.

B. Firewalls provide a layer of defense between an organization’s network and the Internet.

C. Through encryption technologies, data can be protected and used to complement data access controls.

D. Understand every security element used to protect data in organizations and how critical security is for e-commerce.

To prepare for the final exam, read pages 21-38 of “Chapter 2: Electronic Commerce Technology”.


4c: Analyze the competitive advantage of the types of hardware, software, and database systems as they relate to e-commerce.

4c.1. In Unit 1, you explored the ideas of Michael Porter and how organizations achieve competitive advantage. In this unit you will understand how the creative use of information technology and communications technologies can help obtain competitive advantage.

A. Review Porter’s Five Forces Model. Understand how each element contributes to competitive rivalry within an industry.

B. Understand Porter’s three generic strategies and how they contribute to businesses pursuing competitive advantage.

C. Porter’s Value Chain uses a graph of the processes involved in most organizations to display ways to streamline costly activities and add value to activities through the use of information systems.

4c.2. Computer firms struggle to solve hardware and software problems for multiple customers. Some customers solve each other’s problems while other problems can spiral out of control if not probably mitigated in time.

A. Apple uses a listserv to network customers using similar products, which results in customers supporting each other to reduce the number of people Apple has to support.

B. Software developers use their web sites as a venue for customers to voice complaints and offer suggestions about the product.

C. List a few methods hardware and software connects customers to their favorite e-commerce sites for customer service.

D. E-commerce databases contain the names, phone numbers, and addresses of customers who have either expressed interest in an organization’s products and services, or are existing customers.

E. Once a customer or potential customer’s information is captured, their data is a strategic asset that can be further examined to refine and retarget electronic marketing efforts.

Review “Chapter 10, Section 6: Using Information Technology Competitively”, “Chapter 1: Electronic Commerce: An Introduction”, “E-Commerce in China”, “Importance of e-commerce”, and “e-Commerce” to prepare for the final exam.


Unit 4 Vocabulary

This vocabulary list includes terms that might help you answer some of the review items above and some terms you should be familiar with to be successful in completing the final exam for the course.

  • E-Commerce
  • Data transport
  • Routing
  • Addressability
  • Infrastructure
  • National Information Infrastructure
  • Message Distribution Infrastructure
  • Electronic Publishing Infrastructure
  • Business Services Infrastructure
  • Electronic commerce applications
  • Electronic publishing
  • Internet
  • Intranet
  • Extranet
  • Security
  • Coding
  • Encryption
  • Electronic money
  • Electronic funds transfer
  • Digital cash
  • Secure electronic transactions
Last modified: Wednesday, July 17, 2019, 6:01 PM