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Roberto Vona » 4.Electronic commerce

Lesson content

Learning objectives

To provide students with insight into e-commerce and related issues, and to equip them with a framework for interpreting this kind of distribution formula.

Lesson content

  • E-commerce: definition and models.
  • Potential advantages of digital channels for consumers as well as companies.
  • Consumer-level barriers to development of e-commerce: technological barriers, psycho-cultural barriers, economic barriers, legal barriers.
  • E-commerce life cycle for companies: introduction, development, full-scale integrated use.
  • Effects of e-commerce on company-customer relationship: loyalty as competitive advantage.
  • Use of digital channels as sales channels and their interrelation with other channels used by company.
  • Role of new intermediaries in management of electronic channels.
  • Effects of new technologies on consumer shopping experience.
  • Seven Cs model.

E-commerce and its various forms.

A definition

“process of selling goods, services and information at a distance where both parties interact electronically for either part or all of the transaction, using computers, web-tvs or other devices to establish a connection between people who are physically distant” (Ottimo, 2000).

Business to Business (B2B)

Online transactions between two or more companies.

Business to Comsumer (B2C)

Online transactions between companies and consumers.

Consumer to Consumer (C2C)

Transactions between one consumer and another using sites specially created and run by businesses.

Advantages of e-commerce

Advantages for customer

  • Distance and geographical boundaries no longer a problem;.
  • Time restrictions are non-existent.
  • Reduction in asymmetry of information.
  • Word of mouth information available online.
  • Interaction with producer.

Advantages for business

  • Extends geographic market area.
  • Can implement one-to-one and e-CRM marketing policies.
  • Can see customer decisions in real time.
  • Sales system can be integrated into overall computer system.
E-commerce in Italy

E-commerce in Italy

Barriers to development of e-commerce

Barriers to development of e-commerce

Web, Marketing and web presence

Focal point

Customer loyalty linked to impossibility of “face to face” contact.


  • Sales process improvement (customer targeting).
  • Shopping experience improvement (customization).
  • User experience improvement (support).


  • Fear of being cannibalized by traditional sales’ channel.
  • Need to attract customer attention and gain their trust.
  • Site only used for “window-shopping”.
Web presence rates

Web presence rates

Basic features of commercial service

Pellegrini, 1998

Pellegrini, 1998

E-commerce potential

Web and stages of buying process

The seven Cs model

  • Contenuti protetti da Creative Commons
  • Feed RSS
  • Condividi su FriendFeed
  • Condividi su Facebook
  • Segnala su Twitter
  • Condividi su LinkedIn
Progetto "Campus Virtuale" dell'Università degli Studi di Napoli Federico II, realizzato con il cofinanziamento dell'Unione europea. Asse V - Società dell'informazione - Obiettivo Operativo 5.1 e-Government ed e-Inclusion