Internet and E-Business

Table of Contents

Present paper explores the strategic way through which IDS (Ideal DIY store) would transform its business model from the traditional bricks & mortar business to the click and mortar business. The major issue faced by top management is that they are not able to understand the customer and looking to develop click and mortar business in place of their existing business model. Responsibility in the present task is to develop the click and mortar business model for IDS so that present issue faced by the company can be resolved in order to develop strong business model (David and Terry, 2010).
In second task case scenario of Don’s Lumber company would be examined in order to determine the suitable e-business model which can be used by the company for its click & mortar business model. In the final task of the present paper importance of website design, intranet & extranet and usability of the site would be discussed in context to Amazon.
Below are the learning objectives which would be fulfilled through present paper:
LO 1: Understand the scope of e-business
LO 2: Understand how the internet works
LO 3: Be able to use different e-business models
LO 4: Be able to use good website design

Task 1 Understand the scope of e-business
1.      E business solution
The proposed click and mortar business developed by IDS would be of immense importance for the organization in order to develop a thorough understanding of its customers and develop sustainable competitive advantage. Different business functions of IDS such as the marketing, sales, finance, human resource, ordering and other systems would be connected through online processes so that customers can take benefits of the online presence. Use of ecommerce solution would be done by IDS for marketing & promotion purpose, handling transactions, payment or order tracking, interaction with the customers and online reservation system developed for the customers (Beynon-Davies, 2014).
IDS can develop the click and mortar business model wherein all the product offerings would be made online so that customers can buy the products with a single click only. All the products would be available at the site in all shape, size and colour and customers can order the products online by checking the availability of the products. Marketing and promotion for IDS can be integrated with the click and mortar business model as online marketing tools such as social media and online marketing can be used so as to promote the website and product offerings of the company. Customer interaction would become easy with the newly implemented click and mortar model and this would allow top management to understand consumer preferences. Transactions can be handled automatically through the click and mortar model without involvement of the human resource.
2.      Benefits and barriers to this business considering an online presence
Benefits and barriers to the business of IDS with present online business structure can be given as under:
1.      IDS would be able to gain the access to global market with present click and mortar business model
2.      There would be lesser expense for the IDS in terms of human resource and business premises requirement (Meyer, 2007)
3.      IDS would be able to manage their business 24*7
4.      Message or content delivered by IDS to their consumers can be easily controlled in the online businesses
5.      An efficient central storage system can be implemented for the e-business model setup by the customer
(i)   There would be financial impact for IDS in order to develop the click and mortar business in terms of development, maintenance and ongoing cost for the IT equipments
(ii) Development of the click and mortar business model would require IDS to have an efficient and expensive web designer
(iii) It would become mandatory for the organization to update information provided on the internet (Amor, 1999)
(iv)  Reliance would increase highly for the host internet service provider
(v)  There would be additional expense for the organization for training and development
3. Identify the security issues to IDS e-business model and describe prevention measure you would suggest
Some of the major security issues for the IDS e-business model can be given as under along with their prevention measures:
·         Unauthorized access: e-business model of IDS would contain key information pertaining to customers such as their financial information and personal details which can be attacked through unauthorized access at the system. In order to restrict the unauthorized access users can be properly trained on password policy and password sharing issues (Paul, 2010).
·         Intrusion: External stakeholders can gain access to the system in order to access the critical data present in the system of IDS. Firewall need to be implemented in the organization so that any external intrusion is not allowed.
·         Phishing attacks: There can be online phishing attacks wherein users can be directed at different sites which would try to access the personal details from the users. Users should be guided for checking URL before opening any site so that URL is authenticated and only reliable sites can be opened through that.
·         Virus: Virus can be present along with the material downloaded from internet and can harm to the e-business model of IDS (Gerstner, 2012). In order to avoid viruses from the downloaded content it is important that scanning should be done for the material downloaded from the internet.
4. Explain the internet technologies and their importance in making an e-business successful
Internet technologies are mainly used by IDS in order to improve their relationship with the customers, to develop good understanding about the customers and to develop smooth flow of sales. Importance of internet technologies for IDS can be understood through several business aspects which would be improved by the usage of internet technologies. Customer understanding can be enhanced through internet technologies by gaining the feedback from consumers (Allan and Christopher, 2011). Consumer purchase pattern can be observed and accordingly product offering can be given by IDS so as to attract the consumers. Improvement can be done by IDS in their existing product offering so that a responsive brand image can be developed. Internet technologies would also help IDS to develop competitive and market intelligence. Product to market time would also be reduced through the internet technologies for IDS.
In addition to this, IDS would be able to enhance the consumer market share not only in domestic market but in overseas market through internet technologies. Promotion and advertisement for IDS would be quite cost effective and easy for IDS. Different customer demands can be adapted by making use of the internet technologies and these can be incorporate in the overall offerings made by the IDS to their consumers.
1. Illustrate the different e-business models that can be suited for Don’s Lumber Company
a) Describe how this process could be improved with e-business solution
In the present context of Don’s Lumber Company which does not have an e-business model and their representatives face problems in getting prices from their supplier, business process can be improved by making use of the e-business solution. E-business model needs to be implemented not only by Don’s Lumber Company but by their suppliers as well hence Don’s Lumber Company should choose their supplier having e-business model. With the help of e-business model supplier would be able to share their price information on real time basis on internet or on request from the representative of the Don’s Lumber Company (Steven, 2011). This would reduce the issue of taking quotation and referring back to the supplier for the actual prices of the raw material. This would reduce the response time of Don’s Lumber Company for their consumers as they would be able to quote prices in lesser time with accurate time.
Further e-business solution implemented by Don’s Lumber Company and their suppliers would be helpful in removing any error in offering prices to the customers as online business model would offer higher level of accuracy to its users. Availability of the price information can be ensured 24*7 which was earlier available at the time of physical operations of the Don’s Lumber Company. In addition to this Don Lumber can plan their inventory levels which company wants to hold depending upon the quick changes in prices and company can also offer appropriate quotation to their customers (Marc, 2001).
b) Analyze each model in terms of its capacity to generate revenue
There are several individual and combination e-business models which can be used looking into the present case scenario of Don’s Lumber Company and revenue recognition for each of the business model can also be given along with these business models. Individual e-business models are given as under:
·         Merchant e-commerce model: In this type of e-business a company would be having online version of the local store along with the elementary store but most of them would be having only online presence. Customers can make their orders by checking price and availability of the goods. Revenue would be generated through product sale and 3rd party payment system would be enabled to accept the payment. Business organizations having merchant e-commerce model include eBay and Amazon etc (Thomas, 2000).
·         Advertising e-commerce business model: This business model is based on the business model of newspaper and magazine wherein revenue is collected by the firm by renting small space on their website for advertisement or for every click payment s received such as good ad sense etc. Business organizations having this business model would include Facebook and Twitter etc.
·         Affiliate e-commerce business model: Don’s Lumber can also adopt affiliate ecommerce business model wherein revenue would be generated based on the commission obtained by redirecting customers to some other website. In this business model owners of the company don’t have to sell any product and they just have to develop the portal through which redirection can be done (Christine, 2002).
·         Brokerage e-commerce business model: In this type of business model both buyer and seller are brought at the same platform to carry out the transaction and revenue is earned in terms of the commission charged from both buyer and seller of the goods. EBay is the best example in brokerage ecommerce business model.
·         Information e-commerce business model: In this type of e-commerce business models consumers looking for specific information in a field can be catered. Consumers may be charged subscription fee e.g. Don’s Lumber can offer information in the area of lumberyards.
A combination of few ecommerce business models can be developed in order to make suitable ecommerce business and below are the major combination of the ecommerce business models which can be used for Don’s Lumber:
·         Web catalogue revenue model: The objective for specific business models can be to improve upon customer service or reduce cost but most of the ecommerce businesses are having their primary aim as to earn profit and enhance their revenue. Access of electronic catalogue and shopping cart is given to the customers throughout the world. Revenue is earned in these businesses through customers (James, 2002).
·         Digital content revenue model: Internet is considered as an efficient source for distribution of information. This business model would be combination of two models i.e. information e-business and subscription model wherein based on the particular area of information subscription fee can be charged from the consumers in order to access the information on critical area.
·         Advertisement supported revenue model: This business model would offer the particular services or information to the targeted audience at free of cost in order to develop large footfall at the site. Based on the foot fall on the site advertisements are promoted on the website and advertisers would be offering revenue to the company. For example, Yahoo portal offers vital information to the consumers at free of cost but advertisements are given at the portal so as to earn revenue through advertisements (John and Arthur, 2007).
·         Advertising subscription mixed revenue model: In this type of e-business subscriber would pay some amount of fee and also accepts advertisements as well. So revenue of the company would come from both the sources i.e. from subscription and advertisements. In such business models subscribers are exposed to much lower number of advertisements as compared to the normal users on these websites.
·         Fee for transaction revenue model: In this type of businesses fee is charged from the users based on the transaction size carried out by them. Business provides information which is important in order to accomplish the transaction and fee is charged purely on the basis of that. For example, travelling agents working online would charge a fee in order to book the ticket for flight or hotel at some tourist location. Similarly, stock brokerage firms are offering their services to the consumers which can help the customers to accomplish their transaction and charging fee based on that (John and Marc, 2010).
·         Fee for service revenue model: This business model is not based on the service offered by the brokers or agent but the revenue would be earned in this business model by rendering particular services to the customers. Professional services would be offered by doctors, lawyers and accountants would be related to this category. Businesses offering online games and other entertainment sources would also be included in this business model.
Based on the revenue models discussed above a mix model consisting of fee for transaction and merchant ecommerce model can be used by Don’s Lumber Company so as to develop their click and mortar business model for gaining revenue. Appropriateness for this model can be examined through smooth product flow, gaining higher understanding on consumer by asking for feedback, knowing about consumer preference and purchase behavior through survey methods and developing automated revenue stream for the business of company. Don’s Lumber can carry out transactions by providing critical information to their customers so that a fee can be charged based on the information shared by Don’s Lumber on their portal. Implications for this business model can be understood in terms of lower cost for attracting consumers, development of better customer understanding and automated revenue stream which is not possible through physical stores of Don’s Lumber. Don’s Lumber Company would be definitely benefited through proposed ecommerce business model as the issues faced by Don’s Lumber Company would be resolved through this.
In the present task e-business models have been evaluated which offers choice for the selection of business model for Don’s Lumber Company. These business models have been evaluated based on the revenue generated by each of the business model which presents a fair judgment for each business model based on its capacity. Further business models presented above can be mixed properly as suggested for Don’s Lumber Company so that benefits can be obtained for multiple business models. Business model assessment and judgment for Don’s Lumber has been done keeping in mind requirements and viability for revenue generation for the company so that company can adopt suitable business model for generating revenue. Hence it can be concluded that mixed revenue model for the merchant and fee for transaction would be suitable for Don’s Lumber Company in order to develop their online presence. 

1. Analyze the functions of client servers & browsers and the role of the search engine and search facility of a website
A network server is designed in order to process data request from one computer to other over the local area network or through internet. Network servers are generally maintained by additional storage capacity and processing so as to handle customer servicing requests. Some of the common network servers would include FTP servers, web servers, proxy servers and online game servers. Client/server networking model is being used by the most of websites and email services (Michael and Ronda, 2007). Peer to peer model can also be used which would enable all computers to act as either client or server. Central storage shared by all users can be established with the help of this networking model. User management and security feature enabling can also be done through the client/server networking model. Client would be dependent on the server for the resources and even processing power. Server would be the power house having higher memory, bigger disk drives and central processors etc. Looking into the Amazon website some of the key benefits of this networking model can be given as under:
·         Connections made in the network are not fixed can be made as per the requirements of the users
·         High number of users can gain the access to the database located in the centre
·         Software development becomes easy as this networking model would support the modular approach for the software development
Figure 1: Showing client/server networking model
Web browsers and webs servers are considered as the best examples of client/server networking model. Processing in the client server model would be based on the request from client for accessing particular data which would be processed by the server by offering the access. Machine acting as client and server would be generally separated from each other but this is not the mandatory rule (Marc, 2011). Two tier and three tier architecture can be enabled in this networking model wherein two tier models would have direct connection between client and server. There would not be any intermediary in the in the two tier architecture.
Figure 2: Showing the two tier client/server networking model
For example, in case we need to save employee information in a two tier client/server networking model then data tier containing database and client tier containing the client application. In client application client would write the information in SQL and these records would be saved in the database. The major advantage of such network would be easy maintenance and limitation would be reduction in performance with increase in number of users (Daniel and Leslie, 2007).
A three tier networking model would contain client layer, business layer and data layer. In the client layer design would be made by text box and label etc, business layer would be used in order to develop faster communication between client layer and data layer. Data layer would be having the database contained in it.
Figure 3: Showing the three tier networking model
Major advantages of this three tier networking model would be easy modification without affecting other modules, higher performance in three tier and faster communication process. Search engine optimization is being used as a major marketing tool by Amazon wherein online search are made to discover information on web (Thomas, 2011). With the help of search engine optimization Amazon can easily reach to the consumers looking for particular products and services with specific keywords.
So as to accommodate the advertisers search engine has divided their results into organic and sponsored part. Advertisers can submit their bid for placement of their advertisements on the popular pages on web. SEO is generally done in two ways i.e. white hat SWO and black hat SEO. White hat SEO would improve the content of site while black hat SEO would only improve the ranking of the site. Search facility provided on the website would list down all the results available for specific keyword searched by the user. This would help in easy navigation on the website and provides good result for the convenience of users.
2. Evaluate the use of intranet and extranet within business communication
 Extranet can be considered as a form of internet which is partially authorized for outsiders to access. Actual server (providing access to web pages) placed in case of extranet would reside behind the firewall developed in the network. The main purpose of firewall would be to provide access between intranet and internet wherein intranet would provide access to the people having suitable authorization. Level of access would be set different for the individuals and outside users. Access for the database is given based on the username, password and IP address allotted to the users. IP address is the unique set of number having format such as and would define the computer at which user is working (Steven, 2012).
Present age intranet used by the organization is completely changing the way business is being conducted, offering operational support, transparency, collaboration and employee profiling etc. There are five major purposes which are served by intranet in the day to day business activities and these are decision support, learning, employee engagement and risk mitigation. The major role of extranet deployed in the organization would be to link the resources of company through intranet with the intranet of suppliers and customers. Extranet can also provide access for the operational company database and legacy system for its business partners. Hence, extranet offer strong business value by strengthening the relationship of a company with its customers and suppliers etc (Anne, 2009).
Implementation of the intranet or extranet can improve upon the overall communication and collaborate between individuals & teams. It also shares the valuable business information with ease of use and at lesser expense. These are critical web applications in order to develop operational support and enhancing communication within and with outside stakeholders of the organization overall leading to efficient business management.
3. Indicate the key elements of good website design structure
A good website design develops the balance between different pages which are laid down on a website. Professional web development companies and ecommerce businesses lays high degree of emphasis on the website design principle (Kalakota and Marcia, 2009). A web page should follow proper light & dark elements, light & busy elements and small & large elements etc. Balance is maintained on the website in order to attract user eye on the webpage developed by the company. There are six major web design elements which are proportions, fluidity, simplicity, visual balance, contrast and harmony etc. A great website design can be considered as the first milestone for the successful e-business and user friendly website developed would help in order to attract higher customers on the site. In order to develop good website design it is important to select the professional service provider who can cater to the business needs by understanding the overall requirements of business. Success of the e-business would depend heavily on the website design as it is the only interaction medium between company and its customers (David, 2007). There are large numbers of competitors in online business so in case the website design is not catchy then competitive advantage can’t be maintained by the organization. Internet marketer should attract its focus towards elements such as easy site navigation, privacy policy, general outlook, FAQ section and conveniently located contact multimedia information etc. Millions of consumers make use of the website for buying products and this trend would be increasing in future and lower success rate for the e-business would require marketers to lays high emphasis on website design (Amy, 2010).  
4. Identify issues concerning website usability
Usability of the site would play a major role in order to attract consumers at the site of their last purchase. In case usability for website is low then consumers would not return to it. Some of the key features to which consumer look at the time of deciding usability of the website can be given as under:
·         Page layout: Page layout is related to the content and shows how content is displayed on the web page. People would scroll down to the page and in case they do not find the content relevant they would leave the page. So page layout should be clean, simple and should contain relevant information (Rob, 2012).
·         Colors: Colors are important in deciding on the usability of the website and color usage may confuse to the customers. For example, color blind customers may not be able to look at coded images.
·         HTML: This is programming language and would appear at the time of decoding and encoding. Usage of this language should be done in easy way so that users are able to develop it in flexible way (Steve and Stephen, 2012).
·         Download speed: Access to internet should be faster which does not mean the web pages should be large but the download from the website should be fast. For example, if website takes 10 sec to download then customer may lose interest.
Present paper has explored the internet and e-business associated with the internet. It has been examined that e-businesses are forming the successful business model in present age by developing smooth product flow and efficient business operations. Further business model selections in e-businesses are important and suitable business model can lead to success. Website design would be critical and offers high success rate for the organization.

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