Evolving a Strategy for Web-Based Shopping Systems

Evolving a Strategy for Web-Based Shopping Systems

Changsu Kim (Yeungnam University, Korea), Robert D. Galliers (Bentley College, USA, & London School of Economics, UK), Kyung Hoon Yang (University of Wisconsin-La Crosse, USA) and Jaekyung Kim (University of Nebraska-Lincoln, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-60566-126-1.ch007
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Abstract

The world is witnessing a continuous expansion of electronic commerce into the global digital economy. As an enabler of new businesses, Web-based shopping systems (WBSS) are at the heart of the major issues surrounding electronic commerce growth. Their wide use has profoundly altered the ways in which businesses and customers, and businesses and businesses interact on the basis of digital transactions. Despite the importance of WBSS, the theoretical study of their strategies has been sparse. This article offers a theoretical analysis of evolutionary processes in WBSS strategies. For that purpose, we propose a classification model of WBSS. Based upon the model, WBSS are classified into four types: (1) general-direct-sales (GDS); (2) general-intermediary-sales (GIS); (3) specialized-direct-sales (SDS); and (4) specialized-intermediary-sales (SIS). On the basis of these four categories of WBSS, we analyze the characteristics of WBSS and suggest five evolution strategies for WBSS, which have implications for both theory and practice. Amazon.com’s strategic movements, such as product line expansion through alliance and acquisition, provide an exemplary case of the evolution of WBSS strategy. We expect that this article will serve as a guide for Internet businesses and as a catalyst for new research agendas relevant to web-based shopping and electronic commerce.
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Web-Based Shopping Systems

Web-Based Shopping in E-Commerce

According to Arlitt et al. (2001), web-based shopping aims to personalize online shopping to provide global interactive business, customer convenience and global market efficiency, which implies that Web-based shopping belongs to the B2C e-commerce business model. As of yet, there is no agreed upon terminology for Web -based shopping (Van Slyke et al., 2002). There are, however, many terms in use, which include Internet mall, virtual mall, cyber mall, electronic mall, virtual storefront, online storefront, online store, online shopping mall, electronic shopping mall, Internet shopping mall, electronic shopping systems, cyber mall systems and WBSS. Generally, WBSS are described as Internet-based shopping systems for selling and buying products, information and services. They are classified by transactions patterns (Arlitt et al., 2001), which include e-tailers such as the virtual merchant, clicks and bricks, manufacturer direct, and the market creator. Therefore, we limit the scope of research to part of the business to consumer (B2C).

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