Evaluation of Electronic Commerce Adoption within SMEs

Evaluation of Electronic Commerce Adoption within SMEs

Marco Tagliavini (Universita Cattaneo, Italy), Aurelio Ravarini (Universita Cattaneo, Italy) and Alessandro Antonelli (Universita Cattaneo, Italy)
Copyright: © 2002 |Pages: 18
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-931777-08-7.ch020
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Abstract

The exponential growth that has recently characterized the diffusion of electronic commerce (EC) applications could lead companies of any size to plan new investments, in order to compete in an increasingly dynamic market. The first business experiences show that EC should be considered a competitive instrument not simply affecting economic transactions, but significantly influencing the business organizational structure and strategic objectives. Although this issue has recently been object of considerable attention, the research on the evaluation of EC adoption for Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) is still relatively new. This chapter aims at supporting SMEs in choosing the most suitable EC approach according to their peculiarities and strategic goals. First, it identifies five EC approaches supporting different business activities. Then, it describes the business variables involved in any EC project and identifies four SME profiles characterized by different values of these variables. Finally, a cross analysis between EC approaches and SME profiles allows developing a framework suggesting the most suitable EC solution for each business profile.

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