Ecommerce Concepts   «Prev  Next»

Lesson 4 An introduction to basic e-Commerce concepts
Objective What to expect in the rest of the course

Explain how each of the remaining modules is organized

Based on the information we have covered in this module, we can now move forward into the heart of the e-Commerce course. The rest of this course will be spent examining the seven categories of e-Commerce tools.
Each of the following modules will be organized in a very similar fashion. The first lesson of each module will provide a basic definition of the overall tools category, and discuss the basic roles, functions and/or services that the tools play in e-Commerce.

Lessons will contain several distinct sections, including:
  1. A Definitionof the technology group
  2. A listing and discussion of applicable Subgroups(if applicable). For example, in hardware, the subgroups include PC client hardware, server hardware, and handheld/embedded hardware
  3. A discussion of the Considerationsan architect should be aware of when designing solutions or making architectural decisions in regards to the particular technology group
  4. A list of commercial Vendors and Toolsthat may be used in an e-Commerce architecture or solution
  5. A listing and discussion of the Standardsthat are relevant to the technology group

What are the Seven Types of eCommerce Business and which are you?

  1. Online: Only the only way to see the products is online. Example:
  2. Mail Order: A transactional website plus a printed catalogue, and possibly one or two physical stores. Example: House of Bath
  3. Big Bricks and Clicks: Lots of physical stores and an eCommerce website
  4. Boutique Bricks and Clicks: Just one or two physical locations plus the eCommerce websiteExample:
  5. Mainstream PiggyBack: Using the techniques of Amazon or eBay to market the products, with no website of their own. Example: Amazon, eBay
  6. Niche PiggyBack: Where sellers of similar products come together to market more easily, usually retaining their own blog or eCommerce site elsewhere too. Example: The craft world, Hotels (,, jewellery, and Books ( are good examples.
  7. Full Multichannel: Using multiple shops, catalogues, and eCommerce: By far the most complex and most difficult to achieve and run. You have got to keep products in stock for longer, and you are very likely to have to deal with backorders. Bricks and Clicks are different to other types because you've got all the overheads of stores to deal with, but also the opportunity to use those stores to drive traffic to your website.

Ecommerce Business Model