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Research question and Methodology (20% of coursework, 10% of module mark):

  • Hand in maximum of three A4 pages – hard copy to Advice Centre, electronic copy via Turnitin.

Management report (80% of coursework, 40% of module mark):

  • Hand in maximum of 2500 word report (in the case of a practical realisation, such as a system design, the expectation word count will be significantly less than this) – hard copy to Advice Centre, electronic copy via Turnitin.

Blank grading sheet – hard copy via the Advice Centre marked clearly with your name.


All submissions close on Friday the 20 of  May at 16.00 and must be handed in to FOTAC before 16.00 

If you have a valid reason for late submission, apply to me before the deadline.  Appropriate 3rd party written evidence must be provided in support of all such requests.

Return and feedback

Summative feedback and provisional grades normally within four  weeks of submission (annotated copy of report returned with grading/assessment sheet.  These should be available for collection from the Student Advice Centre around the end of June. You will be emailed via Blackboard when these are available.


Any attempt to obtain a pass by unfair means is very serious.  All reports will be checked using plagiarism detection software.   Cases of copying the work of another student or supplying solutions to fellow students will normally result in a fail grade of zero marks for the assignment.  Any other use of unacknowledged material will be dealt with as appropriate.  Formal disciplinary action, as in the University Regulations, may be taken against plagiarists. The disciplinary panel has the power to inflict serious penalties including expulsion from the course. 

Viruses and backup

Make sure you are protected as far as possible against virus attack or other possible loss by retaining two backup copies of your work. In particular, please ensure that the disk or email that you submit is free of viruses.

Detailed specification of work

  1. An original question about e-business that would be worth further research (20% of total).
  • This section is concerned only with defining the problem/.question.
  • Include a short paragraph that explains why it is interesting and a page of plan / research method that shows how your question could be answered.
  • Your idea can be interesting for its own sake – pure research. Or it might be useful to a specified organisation – applied research.
  1. A report to a senior manager of a real organisation on one of the following (80% of total). Or propose a topic of your own, this may include undertaking a full research study in your original question in 1 above  – but get my approval for it before you start work. Clearly identify which option you are answering.

Outline Marking Scheme

To help you pick a topic suitable for the coursework, first, consider choosing a scenario type from the options below:

  1. Analysis and critical evaluation of current e-business strategy and activities. (There must already be some significant e-business activity.)
  • You decide how to carry out the appraisal, using your own selection or those techniques taught on the module.
    1. Proposal and justification for a systems architecture to support e-business. (The organisation must have little or no significant e-business activity now).
  • Summarise the applications that are needed.
  • Outline their interfaces with each other, and any necessary standards.
  • Explain how the applications differ from current systems.
  • Identify the benefits and how they will be measured.
    1. A migration plan to develop e-business capability from scratch. (The organisation must have little or no significant e-business activity now.)
  • Identify impacts on the organisation and changes to infrastructure.
  • Identify major benefits, with suggestions for how to measure them.
  • Identify major risks, with strategies to avoid or minimise them.
    1. High level design for a completely new e-business application. (Must be relevant to the needs of the organisation and not closely based on any existing system.)
  • Explain the need and justify the design decisions in a brief report.
  • Design to include systems architecture, functional requirements, technical interface requirements, data storage requirements and sample user interfaces.
  • May consist mainly of diagrams and models.
    1. Proposal and justification for an e-business strategy. (The organisation must have little or no significant e-business activity now.)
  • Outline the strategy and summarise the main changes expected in the organisation.
  • Implementation plan should show how the changes will be achieved.
  • Identify the benefits and explain how they can be measured. 

Once you have made your choice of topic type, progress to the report, which will contain the following two sections, addressing the specified components in the marking scheme.

  1. Research questions will be marked mainly for:-
  • Originality and interest of the question.
  • Feasibility of the outline plan / research methodology.
  1. The research or management report will be marked for its:-
  • Factual basis.
  • Overall coherence.
  • Analytical depth, logical argument, critical questioning of others (including published sources).
  • Originality of thought, synthesis, new ideas and insights.

Types of E-commerce

E-commerce has become totally inevitable to most businesses. Most business today that have adopted e-commerce have made big profit margins. E-commerce has boosted the way most people perform the business (e-commerce, 2013). Most of the challenges encountered in businesses can be overcome by adopting the e-commerce technology.  Most loopholes in businesses are avoided by use of e-commerce. Using e-commerce brings along use of analysis tools.  Much data is generated in the e-commerce systems. This data can be used to make valid decisions by the business. The data is analyzed using e-commerce data analytic tools such as Google Analytics.

For a business to achieve profitability then, the business must achieve a positive balance in revenue and expenses. Every business aims at getting the highest profit margin. Every profit margin is expected to be higher than the previous profit made. The internet is one major aspect that leads to huge profit margins. Each business that incorporates e-commerce, is likely to use the internet in many ways to ensure that the profit increases gradually.

With the use of e-commerce, businesses reach many customers in many different areas. When businesses can access quite a number of potential customers, there are high chances of making more sales, thus increasing the profit margin (Jelassi and Enders, 2015). E-commerce increases traffic to the website by implementing:

Search engine optimization, social media marketing and email marketing.  Search engine optimization, involves increasing visibility on most search engines such as Google, Bing, Yahoo and many more.  Social media marketing involves marketing the business through channels such as; Facebook, Twitter, You Tube or Instagram (Liang and Turban, 2011). Email marketing involves using email newsletters. The subscribers in the newsletters will keep the potential customers with the update of the latest products in store.

When the website has traffic, then the business should work on enhancing the people visiting the site to buy the products. The website should be designed in a more friendly way. A good website design is achieved by, ensuring the navigation to different pages is efficient. The website should contain high quality images. The high quality images will attract more users and all the users could end up buying the products.

The website should also display alternative products, in order for the customers to choose the product they want. The site should be responsive to any device, the customer could be using to access the website. On implementing the above factors, then the sales will increase and the conversion rate will also improve. Business increase profit by increasing the sale and reducing the cost. The more the customers the online business reach, the higher the chance of more sales. More sales leads to more profit. On the other hand the cost of market will be reduced, less labor is required. The less the cost, the greater the revenue. E-commerce is profitable to the businesses today.

  1. A report of incorporating of e-commerce in a business


E-commerce is one of the newest and most helpful technologies. Electronic commerce is the current trend of most businesses. E-commerce is a business model that has been incorporated by most business; due to the many advantages it brings to a businesses.  E-commerce is applied in various market segments. The market segments include: business to business, business to customer, customer to business and customer to customer.

Benefits of E-commerce

Business to business is also referred as B2B. The B2B e-commerce category involves online trading between companies. B2B architecture involves: application service providers that include: hosting, content management and data management, logistics and auction software solution software which manages the content on the website and the delivery of purchased products to the customers. B2B applications that are helpful in the industries. The benefits include: inventory management system, payment management systems, distribution management system and channel management application.

Business to customer e-commerce architecture is also referred to as B2C. It involves companies and customers. This type of architecture is widely used all over the world. Most business such as, Noble, Drugstore,, ToysRus among others, have incorporated the architecture in their businesses. Mainly B2C involves selling and purchasing goods and services through the internet. The products involve both informational and physical goods.  The informational goods involve music, movies, software among others. The physical products include the electronics, furniture, books, clothes, shoes, bags among many others. The services include food delivery, car packing services, holiday vacations and many more.

Consumer to business is also referred to as C2B. The C2B e-commerce architecture involves consumer initiated transactions such as airline tickets. The consumers determine the routes they need to follow to reach their destinations. C2B involves the reverse auction by the customer.

Finally, Customer to customer which involves transaction between the individuals. The C2C e-commerce is in different forms such as peer to peer systems, classified adverts and auction that require bidding on the items being sold.

E-commerce involves transactions of various products and services such as books, clothes, music, plane tickets, financial services and hotel accommodation services. Electronic commerce has enabled establishment of a wide market globally. It has also enhanced efficient distribution of products and services. Products can be delivered at the customers at their door step, which make is much convenient to most people. Before deciding what you will sell you got to understand the business model. Below is a business model of e-commerce.E-commerce is a booming business today.  E-commerce model is quite different from other typical business models. The sales on the products depend on some factors. The factors include; the highest profit margin, e-commerce starts with the persona, the distribution of the products, use of affiliate marketing skills and the natural growth and projection. Building an e-commerce require more than generating a great brand name (Pandey and Pandey, 2018). Also, a business can integrate the best ideas but with no traffic to the website the business will flop. Customer traffic to the website is very important. A business must understand the e-commerce niche, research on the e-commerce model, understand the personas and the product selection, establish a brand, build an e-commerce website, attract customers to the site and market the products online.

Choosing an e-commerce niche means narrowing down and be specific on a small sector. You should identify the companies that are successful in the sector you are interested in. If the area is competitive, then there good market for the products. If there is no competition, then, there is no much competition in that sector and you should think of an alternative opinion.

Efficient Distribution

You got to research and settle for a specific business model. Different business structures work differently to various businesses. The business model that could attract many customers is a single product category, which is supplemented with affiliate marketing. Also, the businesses need to identify the personas and products that are appropriate for selling. After identifying the niche a business, it is required to determine the targeted audience. After identifying the targeted customers then, you need to come up with products ideas. This involves of how your products will be chosen over others. The brand that you will come up, must be unique in the market and strive for the best brand.  For a successful business, the brand should connect with the persona.  By identifying your persona then, it will be easy in building an e-commerce brand.

 Before setting up a store for the e-commerce business there are basic steps, that you must take. These steps include: registering the business, have a store name, get the license for the business, get the employer identification number, apply for the business permit and the business license, get the right and most efficient vendors, create a logo for the brand and finally get a design to be used on the e-store. The design involves the website colors, the photography to be used and other factors relating to visual aspects.

 When the basic steps are completed, then, the business can start the development of a well-designed website.  The design should be compatible with the e-commerce software. The factor that needs to be considered in designing the website include loading speed, Search engine optimization,  compatibility with the payment gateways and the compatibility with the business structure.

After the hosting of the website, there has to be visitors to the website. There must be much effort in attracting the customers. The more the number of visitors the greater the chances of making more sales. To have more customers, the business should put more effort in marketing the brand and the products. There are any ways of online making such as; use of social media platforms such as Instagram, YouTube, Facebook and many more.  Other ways of online marketing include use of coupons, newsletters, and affiliate programs. The facts must be put into action before starting an e-commerce business.

How to start an e-commerce business

There are several requirements to start an e-commerce business. The Four main requirements include; great website design, high-quality images, top-notch customer support and find a unique selling proposition.  The website design contributes highly to the traffic in the website. A website with a great design attracts more customers. The higher the number of customers the greater the profit margin. Depending on the products that your business is trying to sell, try to act upon the customer needs. If the customer needs are well represented in the website design, then, there is a high chance of making more sales via the web system. The design customer needs should not be displayed in much details. This is because there are high chances the customer does not have time to read all that information. The content about products should be brief and precise.

Wide Reach

The second factor to consider is use of high-quality images. The photography on the website really makes and impact on the number of sales one can make. People are visual creatures. High-quality images are usually linked automatically to professionalism and the level of trustworthy. If the way the images are displayed on the website is beautiful and eye- catchy then, chances that the conversion rates tremendously rise. One should not only limit the photograph to product images only. Basically people tend to be imaginative (Kr. Luhach, K. Dwivedi and C. K, 2014).  They try to see what they will achieve after purchasing the products. Therefore, it is wise to add some brief context and showing pictures or videos of how various products can help them in their day to day life activities. For example, in this company, the sale of kitchen appliances can be boosted by adding pictures of how some apparatus are helpful. And how the appliances tend to make work easier in the kitchen activities.

The third factor to consider is, ensuring there is top-notch customer support.  Ideally, people expect when customers buy products from an e-store they will come back and buy another product.  This is not the case. The customer may fail to buy another product due to failure of sufficient customer support. Customer support effort is quite important as well (Pittalia, 2015). Customer support involves rectifying the issue they are undergoing, helping them in the navigation through the website as some customers are technology ignorant. Customer support is as important as the marketing effort.

Efficient customer support brings in benefits to the company. The benefits include; the customer will come back to buy more products, it shows the company is reliable, the company will build brand awareness, it improves the attitude between colleagues and customer need to communicate to the service and product provider hence business-customer relationship is enhanced. Happy customers will always stick to the businesses they acquire products and services from.

Data management

A lot of data is generated from the e-commerce sites, there are various tools such as Google Analytics have been developed to manage the data. Google analytics is a power e-commerce analytic tool. Google Analytic is free (Clifton, 2012). You only need to download the application and generate a tracking code and inset it into the code on the website. The data analytic tools help the business to make progress in the marketing effort (Enterprise 2.0: how technology, ecommerce, and Web 2.0 are transforming business virtually: v.1: The strategic enterprise; v.2: The behavioral enterprise, 2010)

. There are many reports generated by Google Analytic tool such as the number of visitors in the site, the transaction in the site, the revenue generated in the successful transactions and many more useful report. To make valid decisions, the business must get deeper information from the analytic tool to make better decisions for the company. Below is a screen shot of a Google analytic analyzed data.

Importance of e-commerce to a business

E-commerce brings quite a number of advantages to a business. The greatest benefit that has be achieved, is the increase of sales by business online. Through the e-commerce businesses are able to reach a wider market and globally (Expose Info Tech India Pvt Ltd, 2018). The wider the market the higher the chances of making more sales. E-commerce is very convenient. The when people buy their products the payment method is easier, since the payments are also done online via payment gateways. The e-commerce sites attract customers with the search engine. The customer can get information for various products online (Medium, 2018).  The business can keep track of customer’s habit in the site. E-commerce also allows the happy clients to market the product. Online market operated 24 hours in a week. The e-commerce will also boost the awareness of the products.

Increased Profits

The e-commerce helps in decreasing the costs of inventory management (M. Deulkar, 2017). E-commerce also offer huge information which quite useful in decision making. Also e-commerce provide the customers with detailed information about the products on sale. Through e-commerce a business can calculate and evaluate the sales revenues, customer effectiveness and customer engagement. A business can do a multi-site; whereby the business is able to provide co-branded websites for specific customer (Pittalia, 2015).


From the above facts, e-commerce is a new technology that is being adopted today by most businesses. E-commerce has advantages over the traditional ways of business. Most people are aware of the e-commerce benefits and most business have switched to the e-commerce architecture (Mohammed and Tejay, 2017). E-commerce is a promising technology. From data that is collected from the e-commerce systems, the analytic tools are able to analyze the data and make decision from the analysis. Making the right decision, from accurate data results to better decision making.


I would recommend the use of e-commerce in your business. as it is quite helpful and has a great future for the business at hand. E-commerce is one of the latest technologies being implemented in business, the switch to e-commerce will increase the revenue in the business (Datta, 2010). The number of sales will increase and the business will have more customer globally.

 E-commerce will make most of the business transaction easy and convenient (M. Deulkar, 2017). The transaction will be faster. This is because all information the customer may need will be on the website with clear instructions on how to make purchases. E-commerce today has turned to be part of every business. With the current trend, business that have not adapted to e-commerce will be extinct. It upon every business owner to ensure they have switched to the e-commerce technology (Tuten, 2010).


Expose Info Tech India Pvt Ltd. (2018). Importance of Ecommerce in Business | Online Business Marketing. 

Pandey, N. and Pandey, N. (2018). 20 Facts About the Ecommerce Industry You Need to Know.

Datta, P. (2010). A preliminary study of ecommerce adoption in developing countries. Information Systems Journal, 21(1), pp.3-32. 

eCommerce. (2013). Controlling, 25(6), pp.311-311. 

Enterprise 2.0: how technology, ecommerce, and Web 2.0 are transforming business virtually: v.1: The strategic enterprise; v.2: The behavioral enterprise. (2010). Choice Reviews Online, 48(04), pp.48-2174-48-2174. 

Kr. Luhach, A., K. Dwivedi, S. and C. K, J. (2014). Designing and Implementing the Logical Security Framework for Ecommerce Based on Service Oriented Architecture. International Journal of Advanced Information Technology, 4(3), pp.25-34

Deulkar, M. (2017). Analysis on Missing Item Prediction and Its Recommendation Based on Users Approach in Ecommerce. International Journal for Research in Applied Science and Engineering Technology, V(III), pp.80-83. 

Mohammed, Z. and Tejay, G. (2017). Examining privacy concerns and ecommerce adoption in developing countries: The impact of culture in shaping individuals' perceptions toward technology. Computers & Security, 67, pp.254-265. 

Pittalia, P. (2015). Ecommerce - Introduction, Technology, Cryptography. Saarbru?cken: LAP LAMBERT Academic Publishing. 

Jelassi, T. and Enders, A. (2015). Strategies for e-business. Harlow, England: Financial Times/Prentice Hall. 

Clifton, B. (2012). Advanced Web metrics with Google Analytics. Hoboken, N.J.: J. Wiley & Sons, Inc. 

Pittalia, P. (2015). Ecommerce - Introduction, Technology, Cryptography. Saarbru?cken: LAP LAMBERT Academic Publishing. 

Tuten, T. (2010). Enterprise 2.0. Santa Barbara, Calif.: Praeger. 

Medium. (2018). 18 Major Benefits of e-Commerce Business for Retailers & Customers in 2015. 

Liang, T. and Turban, E. (2011). Introduction to the Special Issue Social Commerce: A Research Framework for Social Commerce. International Journal of Electronic Commerce, 16(2), pp.5-14.

Deulkar, M. (2017). Analysis on Missing Item Prediction and Its Recommendation Based on Users Approach in Ecommerce. International Journal for Research in Applied Science and Engineering Technology, V(III), pp.80-83.

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