A conclusion will then summarise the findings and present the final thought.
E-commerce is buying and selling of goods and services online, usually through the internet (Information System Audit and Control Association, 2006, p.218 - 222). Global electronic commerce revenue for 2000 was in the region of $286 billion; a figure which was expected to increase to $500 billion in 2001 and to $3 trillion by 2004. 'According to Interactive Media in Retail Group (IMRG), an industry body for electronic retailing, British online retail sales rose by more than 60% from a year earlier in June 2006, totaling 2.26bn that month. British online retail sales totaled 13.5bn in the first half of 2006, according to IMRG' (Global Technology Forum, 2006). This rapid increase reflects the fact that electronic commerce has a number of advantages over paper-based commerce: in particular, speed and reducing the cost of doing business.
E-commerce allows organisations to reach to a wider range of audience than what a traditional brick-and-mortar shop can ever do. With e-commerce, companies can serve globally. The entire world becomes the target market depending on the type of business. For a book store like Glasgow Books, this presents an opportunity to extend to not only in Glasgow but throughout Scotland and perhaps in other parts of Europe as well, with passage of time.
An online shop is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and 365 days a year. The customers can read about the books, and can make transactions any time they like, through the comfort of their homes, without having to physically come to the shop for making purchases.
In the long run, technology costs to establish an online book store is much lesser than what it must spend to maintain a physical store. The cost of advertising and marketing over the internet is minimal.
Customer Relationship Management
E-Commerce solutions provide an effective way to keep in contact with customers, record customers' likes and dislikes, and develop a targeted marketing campaign as per the customers' tastes and wants. For example, Glasgow Books, by using an e-commerce system, can keep records of customers' preferences for books and can contact customers as and when new editions and/ or new books relating to that particular subject arrive. Accurate Armour, a manufacturer of military models, developed their website in 2003 when