Unit 8 (P1, P2, P3): E-Commerce

Technologies Required

Describe the technologies required for e-commerce (P1)

Web Server

All the content of the website are stored on the server. This server can be maintained by Cuckoo or pay hosting company to provide their server for them. Cuckoo needs a web server to actually have a website, this is the foundation and without this, there is no site that people can go to.


Server Software

The web server software processes the access request and transmits the client machine the correct files. Cuckoo needs to have this software installed for customers to connect to their website, this is a crucial step in order for customers to connect.


Browser

Customers need to use a browser to load the website. When a website is loaded, files from the web server transmitted and rendered onto the browser. Cuckoo needs to take into consideration that all customers use different browsers and it is important to make it optimised for all of them as possible, starting with the most widely used browser.


Web Authoring Tool

Customers need to use a browser to load the website. When a website is loaded, files from the web server transmitted and rendered onto the browser. Cuckoo needs to take into consideration that all customers use different browsers and it is important to make it optimised for all of them as possible, starting with the most widely used browser.


Database

Databases are used to store information about the products. Cuckoo needs to have a database system to maintain their products and images etc.

Protocols

A protocol is a rule of how connections are set up.


TCP

TCP (Transfer Control Protocol) is a wired connection between different machines on the internet. It is used to transfer data and information over a network.


IP

IP (Internet Protocol) and each device has its own unique IP address.


FTP

FTP (File Transfer Protocol) is the set of rules used to communicate information running TCP/IP based network. If a customer was to request a receipt, this would be sent to them using FTP.


Cuckoo does not need to worry about TCP, IP or FTP . They can just hire someone to set everything up for them and won’t have to hassle with it themselves.


Ports

Ports allow a device with one IP address to access another device with a different unique IP address. When you want to access an E-Commerce site like Cuckoo, you would need to access the IP address via the machine with port 80. Again, Cuckoo can discard this information because they can hire someone else to set it up for them.


Domain Names

Successful E-Commerce companies have recognisable names. Short one word names are usually easy to remember like Cuckoo. When Cuckoo becomes successful, it is good to protect the business by registering all the extensions like .co.uk, .com, .it, .es, .net, .org etc. This is important to Cuckoo so they can become a successful business online.


Programming

If a customer searches for items, you can store that search in the back-end database so you know what most of the customers are looking for. Other requirements such as embedding JavaScript to increase functionality or security to your site to protect customers details. Cuckoo can hire someone else to programme a website for them, it is not necessary for Cuckoo to know this.


Download Speeds

It is important to constantly monitor download speeds of your customers using tools such as Google analytics. All coding must be efficient as possible so the site loads quicker.

Cuckoo needs to know how to maintain their website. Using Google analytics is a good start to improve their service to their customers.


Browser and Platform Compatibility

It is important to test your site on different browsers and operating systems.

If most of your customers are using IE on windows 7, you would need to tailor your site to ensure most of the customers are compatible. Cuckoo does not need to worry about compatibility because they are not designing the code themselves. But they need to know that if most of their customers are using a browser that is not compatible, they need to tell the web programmers to fix the issue.

The Benefits and Risks of E-Commerce

Explain the impact of introducing an e-commerce system to an organisation (P2)

Benefits

24/7

E-Commerce allows the business-like Cuckoo to become available online for 24/7. This is beneficial to them because now; their customers can shop at any time they want, this is very convenient to the customers. In Cuckoo’s perspective, this increases profit because they are expanding their business to be available outside their local zone which means it allows them to get new customers.


Worldwide Customers

Another benefit of being online is that the business has worldwide access. Cuckoo will benefit from this greatly because now, they can get even more profit from the growth of new customers. Not only this, but if someone wants a clock and they are outside the UK, it may seem to them that the item is very cheap, but actually you get the money from post and packaging.


Reducing Costs

Having an e-commerce business allows them to be efficient. Instead of having a warehouse for all the stock the shop has, you can decide to send the item straight to the customer. What this does is that it reduces the cost of managing a warehouse and fuel for transportation.


Website

Having a website can gain a competitive edge over other clock shops or local shops around Cuckoo. Customers are now more attached to technology such as a phone or computer so it would be beneficial to Cuckoo to setup a website so they can get a new influx of customers. Cuckoo could also advertise their shop on Google to gain new customers at little cost.


Customer Details

Focusing on the people who are interested in Cuckoo will help you reduce the cost. Having E-Commerce will help Cuckoo to find out who buys their products by making them sign up to the website. Using their address details that they signed up with, you can send them leaflets every once a month or so to advertise Cuckoo. As opposed to sending leaflets to people who may not be interested, sending leaflets to customers that sign up can save time and money and could potentially increase sales.

Risks

Explain the potential risks to an organisation of committing to an e-commerce system (P3)

Lack of human contact

E-Commerce allows a business to go online and increase customers worldwide. This is a risk because you don’t get that same customer service online then if you go to that shop several times a week. It is good to have customer loyalty because you get a different experience than the average customer, whether you get better customer service or discount on your order, if you are an online customer, then you will not get that personal touch and reputation that you may have wanted.


Delivery issues

In a traditional shop, customers have the option to purchase items physically in a shop and take it home immediately after purchase, so there is no need to wait for a delivery. Although E-Commerce can allow the customer the browse a shop online without moving distance, you still must wait for the items to arrive and an additional cost for post and packaging.


Consumer Trust

Certain website may not be legit or safe to use and they may steal personal information such as your address, credit card details and name.

Well known websites are also well trusted, so offering a good customer service helps to improve the relations with the customers, which therefore helps spread awareness of the site.


Product description

Products may be described incorrectly, and the customer may receive something different to what they expected or in a different condition than described. Also, the picture displayed of the product may not be accurate to what is being sold.

There are also technology related errors such as if the user has trouble identifying colours because they have a broken monitor or maybe the display settings are different which makes the product description misleading.


Security issues

Security issued such as having your financial details stolen through the use of unsafe sites. Using trusted purchasing methods such as PayPal can make customers feel safe when purchasing from online businesses.


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