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Lesson 4 Brokers/agents
Objective Define the role of an Internet broker and agent.

Define Role of Internet broker and Agent

In the realm of eBusiness, the terms 'Internet broker' and 'agent' refer to two different roles that are instrumental in facilitating online transactions and services. They act as intermediaries, connecting various parties in the digital marketplace.
  1. Internet Broker: An Internet broker operates as a virtual middleman, connecting buyers and sellers in the online marketplace. Here are some of their key responsibilities:
    1. Market Facilitation: They provide a platform for sellers to list their products or services and for buyers to browse, compare, and purchase these offerings. This can be within various sectors such as e-commerce, real estate, insurance, and more.
    2. Transaction Processing: Internet brokers handle various aspects of the transaction process, including order processing, payment handling, and in some cases, delivery arrangement.
    3. Price Comparison: Many Internet brokers offer price comparison features, allowing customers to compare prices from different sellers, ensuring competitive pricing and informed purchasing decisions.
    4. Trust and Security: By acting as an intermediary, brokers provide a level of trust and security for transactions. They often offer customer support and dispute resolution services, and may also provide customer reviews to aid buyers in their decision-making process.
    1. Internet Agent: Internet agents, also known as intelligent or autonomous agents, are software programs that perform tasks on behalf of users or other software systems in an online environment. Here are some of their key roles:
    2. Automated Tasks: Agents can perform a variety of automated tasks, such as web scraping, data filtering, and integration. For instance, a shopping bot might scan multiple e-commerce sites to find the best price for a particular product.
    3. Personalized Services: Some agents can learn from user behavior and preferences to provide personalized recommendations. This is commonly seen in online platforms that offer personalized shopping experiences, news feeds, or music playlists.
    4. Notification Services: Agents can monitor specific conditions or events and notify users when these occur. Examples include stock trading bots that alert users when certain market conditions are met, or travel agents that notify users when flight prices drop.
    5. Decision Support: Some agents are designed to help users make decisions by processing complex data and providing simplified insights or suggestions. This can be especially useful in fields like finance, health care, or marketing analytics.

In summary, Internet brokers and agents each play crucial roles in the eBusiness landscape. While brokers create an interface between buyers and sellers, enabling transactions to occur smoothly, agents automate and personalize a variety of tasks, enhancing user experience and decision-making processes in the digital realm. Both are central to the efficiency, personalization, and user-friendliness of eBusiness operations.

Brokers and agents

In order to increase access to the Internet economy, brokers/agents offer their services to organizations venturing into the virtual marketplace. Brokers/agents handle many of the behind-the-scenes duties associated with running an e-Commerce site for a company and offer package deals to customers. With characteristics similar to the marketplace and transactional business models, a broker acts as a middleman between the business producing an item and the consumer.

Airline, Hotel, Car Rental
Airline, Hotel, Car Rental

Some of the traditional business functions performed by a broker/agent include:
  1. Creating and maintaining a Web site
  2. Establishing an ordering/inventory database
  3. Advertising
  4. Maintaining accounts receivable
A good example of a broker is a travel agency. Travel agencies offer package deals to consumers that include airfare, hotel, and car rental services. Some popular travel brokers include:
  1. DispersedNet
  2. Travelocity
  3. http://www.interresa.ca