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Research Paper: E-Commerce
David Smith
Liberty University
BUSI 620 D01

    Salvatore (2013) defines electronic commerce or e-commerce as
the production, advertising, sale, and distribution of goods and
services from business-to-business and business-to-consumer via the
internet.  M-commerce (2007) defines e-commerce as electronic
transfers of currency or services between buyers and sellers with
devices like cell phones, tablets or personal computers. 
Electronic transactions can be executed anywhere across the global,
any time of the day.  This new phenomenon has changed the landscape
of business from the customers’ perspective as well as the
business.'  E-commerce has also leveled the playing field for
smaller businesses to compete with companies like Wal-Mart, Sears,
and Target.  Smaller companies can market with little to no cost
and attract customers in the same fashion larger organizations
does.  Overnight success for a small company is attainable with the
right product. Considering smaller company’s success, businesses
selling product 24/7, and leveled competition amongst industries,
where did the idea of e-commerce originate?
E-Commerce Origin
The origin of e-commerce dates back to the 1960s with the
development of Electronic Data Interchange (EDI).  The discovery
allowed digital transfer between two computers to take place.  This
new technology replaced the faxing of documents.  Michael Aldrich
also contributed to the origin of e-commerce through his vision to
create supermarket shopping from afar.  These types of databases
cost fortunes even-though they were limited.  This allowed other
generations to build on the research already conducted to provide
better and more developed programs that would later become
e-commerce.  Also, the research that was shared over this network
gave birth to a new method of conducting business and
globalization.  As time progressed, advances in communication
technology and business transactions grew as e-commerce began to
form.  In the 1980s, the creation of communication networks for
computers saw significant changes. Transmission Control Protocol
and Internet Protocol (TCP/IP) was introduced and revolutionized
the way information was shared and sourced in business (History of
E-Commerce, n.d.).  According to Fletcher (2002), TCP/IP was being
used in Germany and France where phone lines and national broadcast
mediums were also used.  This Business-to-Business (B2B) concept
was in its infancy stages, and the communication network was
becoming popular among household telephone subscribers.  Telephone
companies sometimes included free service with a subscription.  The
American company, Bell System, which was a telephone company
attempted to market the videotex technology, but was unsuccessful
in their marketing process.  Minitel, a France based company,
became one of the most-prominent pre-internet interfaces for
telephone users.  Minitel was successful in their country, but the
introduction of the internet dropped the value of their services. 
In the 1990s, e-commerce gained attraction from businesses and
customers.  According to Demirdjian (2011), Sir Tim Berners-Lee was
experimenting with computer codes and developed a system to share
information across a network efficiently.  Mr. Berners-Lee network
proved to be the start to a more globalized approach to
communication and business relations.  Also, this was a time when
computers became more abundant in business offices, schools, and
homes around the world.  Today, e-commerce is allowing businesses
connect with other organizations and consumers via internet in an
effort to impact their companies and nations on a global economic
scale.  E-commerce was a new easy to use tool and companies,
governments, and households started to take advantage of the easy
to use system. 
Business to Business E-commerce
Businesses engaged in commercial transactions with one another as
soon as e-commerce became a reliable option.  Business-to-Business
e-commerce is simply the exchange of funds or services over
communications networks.  This practice has restructured the basis
of business and minimized or eliminated the geographical barriers. 
The advantage goes to start-up companies because they can reach out
to customers without a large marketing budget and compete with
larger companies that do.  Inter-organizational systems and
emerging electronic market will provide better insight of how
e-commerce is being conducted on a day-to-day basis among
businesses and customers.
Inter-organizational systems.  There are two types of e-commerce,
inter-organizational systems and emerging electronic market. 
Inter-organizational systems allow businesses to conduct frequent
transactions without the need to negotiate.  This is possible
because all the information exchanged for using communications
networks so there is no need for phone calls, paperwork exchange,
face-to-face meetings.  According to Senn (2000), the following are
some examples of inter-organizational systems:
1. Electronic Data Interchange (EDI). Computer-to-computer or
application-to-application formatted documents sent over computer
networks where translation systems overcome differences in
information technology used by trading partners. 
2. Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT). This is an automated exchange
that occurs when money is exchanged between banks acting on behave
of a company or during commercial transactions. 
3. Electronic Forms. Some companies have forms they need customers
or potential customers to fill-out and send back.  This allows the
forms to sent to the appropriate department for handling. 
4. Integrated Messaging. This is in reference to electronic mail,
facsimiles, and scanned documents sent to anyone conducting
business with the company. 
5. Shared Databases. Many companies with different divisions often
have shared files between them.  This is done to keep continuity
between all parts of the business.  The database also reduces the
time different divisions would spend communicating about the
information found on the shared drive.  
    The need for inter-organizational systems stemmed from
businesses and the advances in technology-assisted with the
process.  Businesses also desired a system that would interconnect
them with partners to streamline the process in an effort to reduce
the costs of routine business transactions, reduce cycle time to
fulfill business transactions, eliminate paper usage, and create
computer-to-computer or application between sellers and buyers. 
The communications portion of an inter-organizational system is
decided before any transactions conducted.  The entities already
know the links the transactions will be transmitted.  Every detail
is discussed before business deals are discussed, all the way down
to how the receiving organization will receive their product. 
Public or private networks are used in a variety of ways and could
vary from situation to situation.

    Electronic markets. Electronic markets are emerging similar to
inter-organizational systems as an option for business-to-business
e-commerce.  The market is a system of interactions where payments
are exchanged based on information, products, and services.  The
marketplace is an electronic location for business and not a
physical location.  In electronic markets, buyers, sellers, and
other participants are usually at different locations and do not
know each other.  The relationships in electronic markets are often
predetermined by agreements.  Interconnections between parties vary
and may be different even if the businesses are the same.  The
interactions between the organizations are managed by many
different IT applications.  The companies taking advantage of
electronic marketing use the internet as a medium, leverage
business, and create clear and concise objectives for the internet.

Business-to-Consumer E-commerce
Business-to-consumer e-commerce offers virtual shopping, selling,
and trading of goods or services to consumers.  This type of
e-commerce benefits consumers and businesses because the products
or services being offered are cheaper for the customer, and it
saves money for the company by cutting back on in-store inventory. 
In addition, this method also saves money for businesses by cutting
down on advertisements and printing catalogs to get them to the
customers.  The money involved may not seem significant initially,
but over time it can get pricey.  The consumers have the most
benefits in the virtual shopping arena.  As 
Tangpong, Islam, and Lertpittayapoom (2009) pointed out, the
competition among businesses is sharpened due to the consumers’
increase in bargaining power.  Bargaining power allows customers to
compare prices, products, and availability with a click of a
button.  Businesses compete for the business even more because they
understand the options customers possess, but they want the sell. 
Small start-up companies thrive in this environment because they
need the sell more than the larger companies.  Today, many
entrepreneurial companies are become overnight multi-million dollar
operations with the help of the internet.  The capability to
contact any customer world, 24 hours a day, and seven days a week
allows smaller companies to engage in global operations without
investing the money it took 20 years ago to create such a global
reach.  Technology is the reason for such lucrative opportunities
for both businesses and consumers.  Conversely, face-to-face
transactions are becoming minimal as technology improves over time.
 Customer service must be as important as attracting new consumers.
 The retention of customers is important for businesses because
loyal consumers are who keep the organization profiting during hard
economic times.  A great example of loyal customer base is
Coca-Cola soda customers.  During the recession from 2007-2009,
Coca-Cola still made profits.  This could be attributed to their
loyal customer base.  Virtual companies must retain customers by
providing excellent customer services and shipping the right
products, to the correct address, and on-time. That type of service
builds a trusting relationship between business and customers that
are usually hard to break.  The utilization of self-service
technology should not change the dynamics of the relationship with
things like kiosks and automatic teller machines (ATMs) as they
should aid in the delivery of business. (Johnson, 2001).  Time is
always an important factor in business, and time should never be
exchanged for delivering exceptional customer service. 
Ratnasingam (2008) makes an excellent point in that customer
relations can only be maximized when the technology and customer
services are productive and positive. 

Legal Environment of E-commerce
    The internet changed lives across the world when it was
introduced and became part of almost everyone’s household or
introduced to everyone.  The new technology has affected everyone
around the world in one way, or another.  Copyrights and trademarks
are two the issues that have been at the forefront of e-commerce
legal issues.  Mykytyn (2004) defines copyrights as a body of work
in which the owner has the individual rights to reproduce,
distribute, perform, and display the material and to prepare
similar material based on them.  Music has been a huge problem for
e-commerce.  Consumers buy music from many websites, but since they
are not the copyright owners of the material; they can not
redistribute it.  Music companies lose billions of dollars yearly
at the expense of individuals downloading, repackaging, and
distributing music illegally.  There are laws in place such as the
Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) to protect the work of
companies and individuals.  Laws similar to DMCA were built with
protection for the inventors in mind, but the Internet and
e-commerce have no boundaries.  However, the litigation involved
with such lawsuits is not worth the money the company will retrieve
if rewarded.  Trademarks are also a major issue in e-commerce legal
environment.  Trademark laws in America are known as Lanham Act. 
The Lanham Act protects individuals or companies’ patents for ten
years and then it must be renewed.  If the patent is not used for
ten years, it is no longer protected by the law.  The
most-important trademark legal issue with e-commerce is mislabeling
of products sold to customers.  Products sold in stores, or other
physical locations law enforcement agencies to protect citizens. 
Products sold on-line could be shipped from anywhere in the world,
and laws could be different or the company could intentionally send
customers the wrong products.  The American government and agencies
can only control what products are sold within the borders, but not
what is coming to customers from around the world.  This issue
cannot be controlled by one government.  Several countries have
been cooperative to build common e-commerce laws.  Control measures
must be implemented to counter criminal e-commerce activity such as
copyright infringement and embezzlement while also protecting
honest e-commerce transactions.  
    E-commerce is a technology many people cannot fathom see how
businesses have survived without it.  Businesses and consumers have
accepted and adapted to this type of retail where globalization is
achievable.  The opportunities to collaborate and network with
others are two of the largest advantages due to the endless
possibilities.  E-commerce possesses the capability to create and
control efficient economies on a global scale.  The success of
e-commerce for companies depends on the quality of their customer
relations for goods or services through business-to-business,
business to consumer, and how well they protect their product and
customers with legal awareness.  E-commerce has been a major
success for many companies that have taken part in it and will
continue to grow businesses around the world for many years to

Demirdjian, Z. S. (2011). The world wide web: The stepchild of the
internet. The Business Review, Cambridge, 17(1), 2-I,II. Retrieve
from http://search.proquest.com/docview/871194214?accountid=12085

Fletcher, A. (2002). France enters the information age: A
political history of minitel. History and Technology, 18(2),
103-119. Retrieved on August 1, 2014 from

History of E-Commerce. (n.d.). Retrieved on July 28, 2014 from

Johnson, D. T. (2001). Is this a real person?: Communication and
customer service in e-commerce. Management Communication Quarterly,
14(4), 659-665. Retrieved on July 25, 2014 from

m-commerce. (2007). Bloomsbury Business Library - Business &
Management Dictionary, 4720. 
	Retrieved on August 1, 2014 from      

Mykytyn, P. (2004). E-Commerce Legal Perspectives: A Continuing
Saga for Organizations and     End Users. Journal of Organizational
and End User Computing, 16(4). Retrieved on        August1, 2014

Ratnasingam, P. (2008). The impact of e-commerce customer
relationship management in business-to-consumer e-commerce. Journal
of Electronic Commerce in Organizations, 6(4), 30. Retrieved on
August 4, 2014 from

Salvatore, D. (2012). Managerial Economics in a Global Economy.
Oxford, NY, USA: Oxford University Press.

Senn, J. A. (2000). Business-to-Business E-Commerce. Information
Systems Management,   17(2), 23. Retrieved on July 28, 2014 from   

Tangpong, C., Islam, M., and Lertpittayapoom, N. (2009). Journal
of Leadership &   Organizational Studies,16,131. Retrieved on
August 1, 2014 from        

You can choose 1 of the following two options for your Research or
Interview Paper. Your paper will be 7 double-spaced pages for the
main content (not including the cover page and reference page).
Your choices include:

1.     A research paper
Steps for writing the research paper:
a)      Choose a topic in Managerial Economics.
b)      Submit the topic and the outline of the paper to the
instructor anytime for approval.
c)      A minimum of 3 references besides the textbook are
required. Liberty University library has excellent resources for
your search for journals. http://www.liberty.edu/index.cfm?PID=178


2.     An interview paper
Steps for writing the interview paper:
a)      Choose a topic in Managerial Economics.
b)      Design at least 5 questions according to the topic.
c)      Submit your questions to the instructor for approval.
d)      Contact a local or non-local company for an interview. 
e)      Conduct the interview for answers to your questions.
f)      The paper must have 3 parts:
•       The description of the company;
•       Interview questions and answers; and
•       Your comments.

*The research paper is to be done individually, not as a group.
**Do not wait until the last module/week to work on the paper. Do
it as early as possible.
Use the SafeAssign Link in the Assignments folder in Module/Week 8
to verify that your paper consists of original material.

This assignment is due by 11:59 p.m. (ET) on Friday of Module/Week

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