Delivery in the Net Economy

Delivery in the Net Economy

Anthony Scime (The College at Brockport, State University of New York, USA) and Anthony C. Scime (Purdue University, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-61520-597-4.ch014
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Firms need to deliver their products. In the Net Economy, delivery often has to leave the Net and be provided through traditional means. The firm’s delivery mechanism influences the design of the firm’s Net presence. This chapter examines the pursuit of e-entrepreneurial ventures by existing businesses with specific attention on the architecture of Web portals and the delivery mechanisms of products. Additionally, outlined are features and facets of Web portals necessary to sell and deliver mark-up based and production based products and services in the B2C sector of the Net Economy. Specifically, three case studies are examined: a catalog sales/brick-and-mortar business, a financial service institution, and a travel provider.
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The Net Economy encompasses all transactions and transfers that utilize the Internet and World Wide Web technologies. Commonly, these activities can be classified as business to business (B2B), consumer to consumer (C2C), and business to consumer (B2C). All of these relationships have existed, of course, outside the Net Economy for centuries. The use of information technology provides opportunities for businesses to establish a presence as an e-entrepreneur in the Net Economy (Kollmann, 2006). It is the establishment of electronic connections that has changed, and is changing the conduct of business (Laugero, & Globe, 2002). In the United States the Net Economy is the fastest growing sector of the economy (Mesenbourg, 2008). Despite this progress to electronic connections, there is one aspect that the ‘Net’ cannot always provide – delivery.

There is a relationship between the product, the product’s delivery, and the product’s presentation in the Net Economy (Phau, & Poon, 2000; Smith, & Brynjolfsson, 2001). Products are presented on the Web through Web portals. The portal facilitates the execution of a transaction for the product that varies according to the product type. Products may be a physical service, a physical item, or with the advent of the Net Economy, a digital service or digital item (Basu, & Muylle, 2002; Kiang, Raghu, & Shang, 2000). Services are things the provider does for the receiver without there being a residual artifact. Physical products move as a result of the exchange from the provider to the receiver and continue to exist with the receiver after the exchange. Digital products (Choi, Stahl, & Whinston, 1997) exist solely within automated systems, move from provider to receiver, but seldom leave the digital form. Importantly, digital products and digital services can be entirely exchanged in the Net Economy; whereas, products and services with a physical component require an additional mode of transfer for delivery (see Table 1).

Table 1.
Product and Delivery
Product TypeDelivery Mechanism
Physical ServiceTraditional Delivery
Physical ItemTraditional Delivery
Digital ServiceThe ‘Net’
Digital ItemThe ‘Net’

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