E-Commerce Business Models and Features

The unique features of e-commerce, digital markets, and digital goods

In the chapter, eight unique features may be applied to e-commerce, digital markets, and digital goods. Each of them has its meaning and worth in the sphere of business. The features are as follows:

  • Ubiquity (technologies can be available everywhere);
  • Global research (technologies can be reached across the whole world);
  • Universal standards (people should follow the same Internet standards);
  • Richness (technologies make it possible to support not only text messages but also video and audio information);
  • Interactivity (technologies may interact with users);
  • Information density (information available cannot be calculated but remains to be available for all users);
  • Personalization/customization (technologies promote modification of messages and goods);
  • Social technology (technologies support content generation through social networks).

Four business trends are the online market for software, social networks, travel reservations that are available online, and mobile e-commerce. Three technology trends are smartphones, Internet-based computing models, and Wi-Fi.

The principal e-commerce business and revenue models

E-commerce business models are:

  • Portal (the provision of an initial point with the help of which it is possible to enter the Web);
  • E-tailer (the selling of physical products that can be used by consumers);
  • The content provider (the provision of digital content that can be used on the Web);
  • A transaction broker (the assistance in saving consumers’ money and time with the help of online sale transactions);
  • Market creator (the development of a digital environment where consumers may spend time, share information, etc.);
  • The service provider (the introduction of special Web 2.0 applications to users);
  • Community provider (the organization of online meetings where people with the same interests can spend time).

Revenue models consist of advertising revenue, sales revenue, subscription revenue, transaction fee revenue, affiliate revenue, and free revenue.

The way e-commerce transformed marketing

E-commerce has transformed marketing rather successfully because it is evident that many Internet providers can offer some new ways to recognize consumers and offer them an appropriate digital environment. Besides, people may save their money using Internet services and get access to different services. For example, people can listen to music, watch the video, or read books and pay for the traffic only. Traditional media cannot provide the same opportunities. Each service has its price. The creation of a Web leads to the introduction of a new term, “the wisdom of crowds” which means the possibility to use the opinions, ideas, and thoughts of different people from different parts of the work to improve one particular service or product. Several customers are eager to share their ideas. In a certain period, all ideas are analyzed to satisfy consumers’ needs and meet social expectations.

The way e-commerce affected business-to-business transactions

There is a certain relation between such items as e-commerce and business-to-business transactions that should be investigated and understood. The point is that several business-to-business transactions take place on the Internet. Business organizations can develop various relations online, communicate with potential and regular partners, place and take orders, talk about the details of different procedures, etc. Internet technologies are used to support business-to-business electronic commerce with the help of specially developed schedules and transactions. Schedules may be modified in cases of emergency, and transactions may be improved or canceled without any additional efforts and time spent on the discussion of the details. People save many things using e-technologies.

The role of m-commerce in busines, and the most important m-commerce applications

M-commerce is the field that has been considerably developed in the last several years. Its role remains to be crucial in business because of several reasons. For example, people use the possibility to access any portion of information in a short period. In case the Internet connection is available, people can use their devices and applications to watch the video, read books, look through documents, etc. The only disadvantage of m-commerce is the size of the mechanism.

Not all people can find it comfortable to use their smartphones to read the text. M-commerce applications are divided into several categories: location-based services (GPS maps are used to find friends, shops, and other organizations), financial services (people can make payments and participate in other financial operations), wireless services (advertisement may be sent to consumers), personal services (people can save their personal information and share it any time they want), and entertainment services (consumers can play games online, watch and download video and audio files).

Issues that must be addressed when building an e-commerce web site

Several issues should be identified in case the necessity to build an e-commerce Web site takes place. A developer should understand clearly all business objectives and learn how to choose an appropriate technology that can help to achieve the goals set. As soon as management challenges are discussed, an e-commerce presence map should be developed (sites, e-mail, social and offline media), and the phases of the project should be identified.

Web sites are the required platforms to promote e-commerce using properly chosen features, apps, displays, and affiliations. E-mails are used to exchange newsletters and other documents necessary for sales, updates, etc. Social media like Twitter may perform the functions of communicators and the platforms for sharing information, ideas, and opinions. Finally, offline media is traditional media like TV or radio that can be used to educate consumers.