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Internet & E-business.

Table of Contents.
Introduction.........01
Task 1: Understanding the scope of E-business
1.1 List various business transactions and the environment in which e-business is conducted.....2-3
1.2 Advantages and disadvantages of online business4-5
1.3 Security and legislation matters affecting online business organizations5-6
1.4 Models of communication available in e-business..6-7
Task 2: Understand how internet works
2.1 Concept of internet technologies and importance in successful e-business7-9
2.2 Main features of HTML for effective design of website.9-10
2.3 Distinctive differences between client-servers and browsers. Explain how search engines increase
visitors to website..11-12
2.4 Compare and contrast intranet and extranet. Evaluate the use of both...12-14
Task 3: Ability to use different e-business models
3.1 Illustrate different e-business models14-18
3.2 Analyze each model in terms of its capacity to generate income18
3.3 Future developments in e-business models and its impact19-21
Task 4: Designing a website
4.1 Key elements of good web design structure....21-24
4.2 Evaluate impact of well-designed website to an e-business...25
4.3 Issues concerning web usability and suggest suitable solutions..25-27

Conclusion.28
References29-30

Internet & E-business.

Introduction.
E-business is defined as all the customer services, business transactions and intra-business tasks
that are executed with the help of digital communication technology (Spiegel 2000). In other words, ebusiness involves the use of Information and Communication Technology to exchange services,
products and even information for commercial as well as communication purposes. It can occur
among businesses, between businesses and individuals, between government and members of the
public, even with governments etc. Internet is the main driving force of e-business. The Internet is a
generic term used to describe a global networked environment, which support such systems like
email, websites, and file transfer protocol. Its simply a network of computers scattered across the
globe. The exponential rise of internet and digital technology has made e-business to occupy a very
significant position, in the world of business.
This assignment looks into understanding the scope of E-business, understanding the working of
internet, usage of different business models and finally looks into designing a suitable website for a
company.
For the purpose of this assignment the company chosen is Point Blank Tours and Travel which is
under Point Blank Group W.L.L and was established in 2009 in Qatar.

Internet & E-business.

Task 1: Understanding the scope of E-business.


1.1

List the various business transaction types and describe the environment
in which e-business is conducted.

Generally speaking, when we think of e-business, we think of an online commercial transaction


between a supplier and a client. However, and although this idea is right, we can be more specific
and actually divide e-business into six major types, all with different characteristics.
There are 6 basic types of e-business:
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
6.

Business-to-Business (B2B)
Business-to-Consumer (B2C)
Consumer-to-Consumer (C2C)
Consumer-to-Business (C2B).
Business-to-Administration (B2A)
Consumer-to-Administration (C2A)

Business-to-Business (B2B)
Business-to-Business (B2B) e-business encompasses all electronic transactions of goods or services
conducted between companies. Producers and traditional commerce wholesalers typically operate
with this type of electronic business. Most of these transactions can take place through internet
(Nemat 2011).
Business-to-Consumer (B2C)
The Business-to-Consumer type is distinguished by the establishment of electronic business
relationships between businesses and final consumers. It corresponds to the retail section of ebusiness, where traditional retail trade normally operates. Some good examples include: Amazon,
online banking, travel services, online auctions, health information and real estate sites (Nemat,
2011).
Consumer-to-Consumer (C2C)
Consumer-to-Consumer (C2C) type encompasses all electronic transactions of goods or services
conducted between consumers. Generally, these transactions are conducted through a third party,
which provides the online platform where the transactions are actually carried out. One of the
commonest examples of this type of e-business is the online auction, where commodity for sale is
posted by a consumer and other consumers bid to purchase it. The auction site is owned by a third
party who makes his own money from the commissions that are charged for these transactions
(Nemat, 2011).

Internet & E-business.


Consumer-to-Business (C2B)
In C2B there is a complete reversal of the traditional sense of exchanging goods. This type of ebusiness is very common in crowdsourcing based projects. A large number of individuals make their
services or products available for purchase for companies seeking precisely these types of services
or products.
Examples of such practices are the sites where designers present several proposals for a company
logo and where only one of them is selected and effectively purchased
Business-to-Administration (B2A)
This includes all transactions conducted online between companies and public administration. This is
an area that involves a large amount and a variety of services, particularly in areas such as fiscal,
social security, employment, legal documents and registers, etc. These types of services have
increased considerably in recent years with investments made in e-government.
Consumer-to-Administration (C2A)
The Consumer-to-Administration model encompasses all electronic transactions conducted between
individuals and public administration.
Examples of applications include:
Education disseminating information, distance learning, etc.
Social Security through the distribution of information, making payments, etc.
Taxes filing tax returns, payments, etc.
Health appointments, information about illnesses, payment of health services, etc.
Both models involving Public Administration (B2A and C2A) are strongly associated to the idea of
efficiency and easy usability of the services provided to citizens by the government, with the support
of information and communication technologies.
As already mentioned at the beginning of this paper, e-business is defined as the use of information
and communication technologies, in executing various business operations. According to Ladan
(2010), e-business is basically conducted in three different systems, namely: systems of human
activity, systems of information, and systems of information and communication technology. These
three systems interact collectively together to form the environment in which e-business is basically
carried out.
Point Blank Tours and Travel follows a B2C form of e-business where it provides its customers with
their travel needs. The company should work in a very service and customer oriented environment as
they are in the service industry and customer satisfaction is of utmost importance.

Internet & E-business.

1.2

Explain the advantages and disadvantages for an online business.

Over the last few decades, the exponential rise of internet and the digital technology has opened a
new playing field for all categories of businesses. Business now use internet technology to provide
improved customer service, make more efficient business processes, increase sales, and reduce
wastage. Internet tools such as websites, online banking, and web based customer relationship are
used by them.
Point Blank Tours and Travel benefits immensely from e-business since they offer their customers
easy access to their products and also quick response to customer enquiries. It is easy and reliable
for both the company and customers. However, there are also disadvantages to this form of business
and many other benefits.
Advantages:
1) Worldwide Presence: The major advantage of engaging business online, to have presence
nationwide or worldwide.
Since Point Blank Tours and Travels are thoroughly established in Qatar, it is a good time to
set up internationally too.
2) Cost Effective Marketing and Promotions: Using internet to market products is a very nominal
method which guarantees the worldwide reach. Pay per click advertising is a effective
technique which ensure the business only pay for the advertisement that actually viewed.
3) Better Customer Service: E-Business has change the customer services image enormously.
Number of customers can visit or the website at same time. Some website have online chat
feature to help the customer to find out more about the product they are interested in.
Moreover orders can be placed online by processing payments securely over the internet.
This method is used by Point Blank Tours and Travel to enhance better relationship with
customers.

Disadvantages:
1) Sartorial limitation: The main disadvantage of E-Business is lack of growth in some sectors.
In case of Point Blank, sometimes customers would want to know the details of the tour
package they chose and this could be done only through face to face interaction.
2) Costly maintenance: Substantial recourses are required to setup online business which
requires computer upgrade, personnel trainings and website upgrade. This can be a
disadvantage for some organisation.

Internet & E-business.


3) Security concern: The security concerns also lead to privacy issue. There are many examples
of contact lists and personal details were hacked or exposed due to weak E-Business system
security. Internet also poses a threat of virus attacks.

1.3

Explain the security and legislation factors affecting the online business
organizations.

Even though e-business is booming, the perceived lack of security in transacting and communicating
online continues to be seen as an obstacle to the uptake of e-business. There are three main security
issues relevant to doing business online:
a.

Verifying the identity of the person you are doing business with.

b.

Ensuring that messages you send and receive have not been tampered with.

c.

Obtaining evidence of the date, time and place at which a contract was made.

These three issues are addressed by a variety of means including:


Encryption
The process of encryption underpins many information and communications technology security
arrangements. Generally, the encryption process involves encoding a message using an encryption
algorithm so that only the sender and intended recipients can access it. The encryption algorithm
uses a key that at the receiving end is used to decode the message. Traditionally, encryption used a
secret key of which both the sender and receiver were aware. However, when transacting online, it
could not be guaranteed that the secret key could be transmitted securely to the recipient. For this
reason, public key cryptography is now often used for secure internet communication.
Encryption not only protects the content of the message; the use of an encrypted digital signature
may also be used to provide evidence of the sender and of the integrity of the message.
Certification authorities
Certification authorities (CAs) are independent third parties which issue digital certificates to
individuals after verifying that a public key belongs to an individual. The process of certification varies
depending on the certification authority and the level of certification. The more rigorous the CA's
identity-checking procedures, the more reliable the certificates which it issues.
Privacy
Privacy has become a major concern for consumers with the rise of identity theft and impersonation,
and any concern for consumers must be treated as a major concern for eCommerce providers. In a
study by Lauer and Deng (2008), a model is presented linking privacy policy, through trustworthiness,
to online trust, and then to customers loyalty and their willingness to provide truthful information. The
model was tested using a sample of 269 responses. The findings suggested that consumers trust in
a company is closely linked with the perception of the companys respect for customer privacy (Lauer

Internet & E-business.


and Deng, 2007). Privacy now forms an integral part of any e-commerce strategy and investment in
privacy protection has been shown to increase consumers spend, trustworthiness and loyalty.
Integrity, Authentication & Non-Repudiation
In any e-commence system the factors of data integrity, customer & client authentication and nonrepudiation are critical to the success of any online business. Data integrity is the assurance that data
transmitted is consistent and correct, that is, it has not been tampered or altered in any way during
transmission. Authentication is a means by which both parties in an online transaction can be
confident that they are who they say they are and non-repudiation is the idea that no party can
dispute that an actual event online took place. Proof of data integrity is typically the easiest of these
factors to successfully accomplish.
Technical Attacks
Technical attacks are one of the most challenging types of security compromise an e-commerce
provider must face. Perpetrators of technical attacks, and in particular Denial-of-Service attacks,
typically target sites or services hosted on high-profile web servers such as banks, credit card
payment gateways, large online retailers and popular social networking sites.
Qatar has high levels of internet connectivity, with 96% of households now connected to the internet,
a six-point jump since last year, according to a new report from the UN Broadband Commission. This
benefits e-business enterprises such as Point Blank Tours and Travels, in the country. But at the
same time poses threats related to security and legislation as mentioned above.

1.4

State the modes of communication available to an e-business.

Basically, every e-business use mode of communications that are in tune with present digital and
electronic technology. These include: use of social media, mobile phones, SMS, email etc. Even
though they appeared to be simplified these modes of communication nevertheless, enables more
elaborate discussions and conversations between e-merchants and their clients. Even the Frequently
Asked Questions (FAQ) pages of the ecommerce can also serve as formidable modes of
communication, as it provides answers to initial questions, which clients may ask. Most e-commerce
maintains fanpage on these social sites, through which they converse with their general clients
(MacDonald and Smith, 2003)
Mobile Devices
Although communication with mobile devices may be less formal than other forms of communication,
people are increasingly turning to text messages and short emails using cell phones and personal
digital assistants (PDAs). PDAs with Internet capability have changed the way email works, often
turning it into a means of keeping in touch via short, quick messages--much like a text message but
with use of a different connection type. As a result, not only do business associates communicate with
one another via mobile devices, but many companies have begun marketing to customers through
mass text messages.

Internet & E-business.


Social Networking Media
The capability and uses of social networking media continue to evolve. Some maintain social
networking represents a new frontier in marketing and business networking. Companies promote
events, communicate with customers, offer discounts and draw attention to sales using social
networking media.
Email
One of the older forms of electronic communication remains a staple of modern business. Because of
its versatility, email can be used for asking questions and getting answers, holding mini-group
conferences, making people aware of issues, passing along documents, sharing information and
much more. Most courts now admit email as evidence and legal proof of contracts and transactions.
From a marketing standpoint, email has become a popular medium for sending messages to
customers. For many companies, email blasts supplement and replace what used to be print direct
mail. Now instead of getting a card in the mail about their favorite store's upcoming sale, customers
receive graphically enhanced emails. Not only does this reach people directly, but email blasts help
companies save on printing and mailing costs.
Point Blank uses all the above mentioned modes to communicate with their customers as well as
suppliers. It is easy, efficient and quick.

Task 2: Understand how the internet works.


2.1 Explain the concept of internet technologies and their importance in
making an e-business successful.
The Internet is a massive network of networks, a networking infrastructure. It connects millions of
computers together globally, forming a network in which any computer can communicate with any
other computer as long as they are both connected to the Internet.
The internet technology includes six components that must come together in order to produce a
Computer-Based Information system (CBIS):
Hardware: The term hardware refers to machinery. This category includes the computer itself, which
is often referred to as the central processing unit (CPU), and all of its support equipments. Among the
support equipments are input and output devices, storage devices and communications devices.
Software: The term software refers to computer programs and the manuals (if any) that support
them. Computer programs are machine-readable instructions that direct the circuitry within the
hardware parts of the CBIS to function in ways that produce useful information from data. Programs
are generally stored on some input / output medium, often a disk or tape.
Data: Data are facts that are used by programs to produce useful information. Like programs, data
are generally stored in machine-readable form on disk or tape until the computer needs them.
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Internet & E-business.

Procedures: Procedures are the policies that govern the operation of a computer system.
"Procedures are to people what software is to hardware" is a common analogy that is used to
illustrate the role of procedures in a CBIS.
People: Every CBIS needs people if it is to be useful. Often the most over-looked element of the
CBIS are the people, probably the component that most influence the success or failure of
information systems.
Protocol: The Internet Protocol (IP) is the method or protocol by which data is sent from one
computer to another on the Internet. Each computer (known as a host) on the Internet has at least
one IP address that uniquely identifies it from all other computers on the Internet.
The different types of protocols include:
1) TCP/IP: Transmission Control Protocol/Internet Protocol (TCP/IP) is the language a computer uses
to access the Internet. It consists of a suite of protocols designed to establish a network of
networks to provide a host with access to the Internet.
TCP/IP is responsible for full-fledged data connectivity and transmitting the data end-to-end by
providing other functions, including addressing, mapping and acknowledgment.
2) HTTP: it was created by Tim Berners-Lee in 1991. HTTP defines how messages are formatted and
transmitted, and what actions Web servers and browsers should take in response to various
commands. For example, when you enter a URL in your browser, this actually sends an HTTP
command to the Web server directing it to fetch and transmit the requested Web page.
3) TLS: Transport Layer Security (TLS) is a protocol that ensures privacy between communicating
applications and their users on the Internet. When a server and client communicate, TLS ensures
that no third party may eavesdrop or tamper with any message.
4) HTTPs: Technically, it is not a protocol in itself, rather is the result of simply layering the HTTP on
top of TLS protocol, thus adding the security capabilities of TLS to standard HTTP
communications.
5) IMAP: Internet Message Access Protocol is an internet protocol that allows an e-mail client to
access e-mail on a remote mail server.
6) FTP: The File Transfer Protocol (FTP) is a standard network protocol used to transfer computer
files from one host to another host over a TCP-based network, such as the Internet. FTP is built on
a client-server architecture and uses separate control and data connections between the client and
the server.
7) SMTP: Simple Mail Transfer Protocol is part of the application layer of the TCP/IP protocol. Using a
process called "store and forward," SMTP moves your email on and across networks. It works
closely with something called the Mail Transfer Agent (MTA) to send your communication to the
right computer and email inbox.
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Internet & E-business.

The use of information technologies have greatly contributed to the success of e-business. Davis
et al (2006) listed the main ways, through which internet technologies have contributed to the
success of e-business as follows:
a.
b.
c.
d.
e.

Developing and boosting relationships with clients.


Cutting down the production cost of the e-business.
Improving the rate at which the e-business adopt innovative strategies as well as its flexibility.
Boosting the productivity and profitability of the business.
Boosting the overall brand image of the business as well as the products and services that are
being offered by the business.
f. Increasing the domestic market share.
g. Increasing the international market share.
h. Boosting the level of customer services and satisfaction.
i. Increasing the speed of supplying products or services.
j. Gaining competitive advantage over rivals in the business environment.

2.2 Explain the main features of HTML for effective design of website.
Hyper Text Markup Language (HTML) was created in 1991 by Tim Berners-Lee and is the
fundamental mark-up language used to create web content. Its original intention of the designers was
to provide the structure required for web browsers to parse its content into a meaningful format. This
structure could define entire documents, complete with headings, text, lists, data tables, images, and
more. As the web flourished, it also began to incorporate style and multimedia aspects as well.
HTML uses text and a defined set of commands known as tags to create most of the content seen in
a website. These tags serve two functions:
1- They decide the design of the text (i.e. bold, italic etc.)
2- Make the text act as a command to insert a link, picture or sound to the page.
In HTML language, hypertext allows for non-linear linking to other documents and markup language
tells how the content is to be displayed. There are two types of markup:
1) Elements: are the tags that tell the browser what the enclosed text is and are fundamental
building blocks of HTML.
Example:- <h1>Heading</h1>
In this, the heading element tells the browser that this is the heading of the page. <h1> is the
beginning tag and </h1> is the closing tag.
2) Attributes: defines the characteristics of an element and is placed inside the elements opening
tag. These are made of two parts: a name and a value. The name is the property you want to set
and value is the value of the property.
Example:- <p align=center >
In this, p align (paragraph align) is the name and center is the value and should be in double
quotation marks.
Some of the main features of HTML that can be used for designing a good website include:
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Internet & E-business.


Text

Background does not interrupt the text


Text is big enough to read, but not too big
The hierarchy of information is perfectly clear
Columns of text are narrower than in a book to make reading easier on the screen

Navigation
Navigation buttons and bars are easy to understand and use
Navigation is consistent throughout web site
Navigation buttons and bars provide the visitor with a clue as to where they are, what page of
the site they are currently on
Frames, if used, are not obtrusive
A large site has an index or site map
Links
Link colors coordinate with page colors
Links are underlined so they are instantly clear to the visitor
Graphics
Buttons are not big and dorky
Every graphic has an alt label
Every graphic link has a matching text link
Graphics and backgrounds use browser-safe colors
Animated graphics turn off by themselves
General Design
Pages download quickly
First page and home page fit into 800 x 600 pixel space
All of the other pages have the immediate visual impact within 800 x 600 pixels
Good use of graphic elements (photos, subheads, pull quotes) to break up large areas of text
Every web page in the site looks like it belongs to the same site; there are repetitive elements
that carry throughout the pages

2.3 Distinguish between client servers and browsers. Explain how the role of
search engines helps increase visitors to website.
The term Client servers is used to describe a unique type of relationship between two different
computer programs, where one of the computer programs (the client) makes a service request from
another program (the server), which fulfils the request (Yongsheng et al, 2013). This great model is of

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great importance in network programs, where it offers able platform through which several computer
programs at different locations are conveniently linked up.

Figure 1: Client-Server model.

The client-server model enables the sharing of functions between individual computers (the clients)
and the server. The main functions of the server in this model are to process requests submitted from
individual computers. These requests are then processed by the server and the result sent back to
the users (Benatallah et al, 2004).
The companys website acts as a server from which its clients i.e, customers can take information or
enquire about their products
Whereas, a browser is a software application used to locate, retrieve and display content on
the World Wide Web, including Web pages, images, video and other files. As a client/server model,
the browser is the client run on a computer that contacts the Web server and requests information.
The Web server sends the information back to the Web browser which displays the results on the
computer or other Internet-enabled device that supports a browser. The browser displays the result
that has been processed by the server in a format that is comprehensible to the clients. Its also the
function of the browser to display HTML elements in an understandable format.
Nowadays, there are billions of websites being hosted on the vast internet world. Gaining access to
relevant websites has been a great challenge for many web users. This is exactly the area, where the
search engine comes. These are programs that search documents for specified keywords and
displays a list of different documents in which the key words were found.
Search engines have four functionscrawling, building an index, calculating relevancy and rankings,
and serving results. They scour the website and, for each page, index all of the text they can pick up,
as well as a great deal of other data about that page's relation to other pages, and in some cases all
or a portion of the media available on the page as well. Search engines index all of this information so
that they can run search queries efficiently.

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Internet & E-business.


Search engine optimization or SEO in short, is a set of rules that can be followed by web site (or blog)
owners to optimize their web sites for search engines and thus improve their search engine rankings.
In addition it is also a great way to increase the quality of web sites by making them user- friendly,
faster and easier to navigate.
The newest trend in search engines, and likely the future of search in general, is to move away from
keyword-based searches to concept-based personalized searches. When a person clicks on certain
search results, search engines like Google, Bing and others record this information to collect trends of
interest and then will personalize the search results based on specific interests. This is still a
developing field, but appears to have good potential in making searches more relevant.

2.4 Compare and contrast intranet and extranet. Evaluate the use of both
within the context of e-business environment.
Currently, there is an increasing need for companies to have networks, which can enable them to
share information internally and externally. Two examples of networks that can fulfill this obligation
are: intranet and extranet.
An intranet is a private, secured network designed to facilitate collaboration, where employees can
create content, communicate, get things done and develop the company culture. It is only available to
a small group of people. These are mainly used within businesses and organizations to provide
access to files and applications among networked computers and servers. Intranets may or may not
have access to the Internet. If an intranet does connect to the Internet, a firewall is used to prevent
outside access to the intranet. The purpose is to allow people within the same company to share
information over a local area network. It is sometimes referred to as a private Internet.
Businesses use intranets for a variety of reasons, because intranets can help streamline day to day
activity, help organize people and data, improve internal communications, and increase employee
engagement. They're also very effective for remote employees, as they will never lose the ability to
collaborate with each other like they could in a traditional office setting. As companies become more
and more decentralized, intranets hold more importance in the business landscape than ever before.

Benefits of intranet to e-business includes:


a)
b)
c)
d)
e)

Increased workforce productivity.


Employees can get relevant information when they need it rather than being deluged.
Act as a powerful tool for communication in an organization, both vertically and horizontally.
Is cost-effective and within the budget.
Since information is residing in only one place, the maintenance is easier.

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An extranet is similar to an intranet, but is accessible via a Web portal. An extranet may be accessed
from anywhere if the user has a valid user name and password. The purpose of this type of network
is to allow collaboration and sharing of resources not only in-house but with a select group of outside
users. For instance, businesses will use an extranet to allow customers to log in to provide input on
projects.
An extranet can be used to meet a variety of different needs. Large volumes of data can be
exchanged between parties via extranets, for example, and they can also be used to
create collaboration. The latter is especially useful for companies that need to brainstorm or work
back and forth with clients and customers, and it can save hours of time in comparison to using email
and/or telephone. Extranets are also used to help monitor and fix any potential bugs or issues that
can occur with a company's products or services almost like built-in quality control.

Benefits of extranet to e-business:


a)
b)
c)
d)
e)

Enhanced communication within the organization as well as with clients, suppliers etc.
Productivity enhancements.
Business enhancements.
Cost reduction.
Smoother and easy information delivery.

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Figure 2: Intranet and Extranet.

The major difference between the two, however, is that an intranet is typically used internally. While
an extranet allows businesses to communicate with clients and vendors, an intranet allows
employees and colleagues to work with each other in a virtual space no outside parties are
involved.

Task 3: Ability to use different e-business models currently existing in


market.
3.1 Illustrate the different e-business models to increase market share.
E-business model is very important for the development of an e-commerce system. It is actually
responsible for providing the correct design rationale for any e-commerce systems as par the type of
business to be conducted on such systems. Thus, the design of the e-business model provide very
vital information, on how the prospective business is going to be conducted (Gordijn, 2000). There
are several types of e-business models.
1. Storefront model.
This model combines transaction processing, security, online payment and information storage to
enable merchants to sell their products online. To conduct storefront e-commerce, merchants
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need to organize an online catalog of products, take online orders, accept payments, send
merchandise to customers and manage data.
In this model there are other two types:
1.1. Shopping cart technology.
A shopping cart allows to display photos and descriptions of the merchandise by category (Shoes,
Ties, Hats, etc.). The shopper picks a category, browses through the items, selects them and puts
them in his cart. When done shopping he checks out and the order is sent to the company. It may
have optional "Real Time" electronic credit card processing on the internet through a third party
for additional charges. It is supported by:
Product catalog is an important cornerstone for e-business retailers. It is a file that contains a list
of all the products you want to advertise. Each line of the product catalog contains a description of
each product, including an ID, name, category, availability, product URL, image URL and other
product attributes.
Merchant server, also known as a "commerce server," it is a server in a network that handles
online purchases and credit card transactions. The term may refer to the entire computer system
or just the software that provides this service. A merchant server implements an electronic
commerce protocol that ensures a secure transmission between the clients and cooperating
banks.
Database technology is a computer based record keeping system which is used to record,
maintain and retrieve data. It is an organized collection of interrelated (persistent) data. Data can
include the items for sale, orders etc.
1.2. Online shopping malls.
These are websites that enable a multi-vendor checkout system enabling retailers to sell in one
portal and allow the consumer to check out with one single credit card transaction. Collections of
many traders with different offers directly on the same website are also sometimes known as
online shopping malls or virtual shopping malls.
Examples include eCRATER, Shopping.com, Shopzilla, PriceGrabber, and Pikaba.com.
2. Auction model.
In this model, sellers offer products in an online auction and buyers bid on what they want to buy.
The buyer with the highest bid wins the product. Auction sites make their money by taking a
percentage of the selling price. The largest auction site is eBay. This model usually works best for
sellers who have an inventory that fluctuates, and when the seller does not need to sell at a set
price in order to make a profit. This model is also not as useful for selling services, although there
are some sites which auction freelance work services, such as translation and web design. The
sellers do not involve in payment or delivery.
3. Portal model.
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Portal business models provide entry to content or services on the Internet. Search engines are
portal business models that include many kinds of content and services. They are profitable for
advertisers because they draw a large amount of user traffic. Many offer the user ways to
customize their interface making the portal even more alluring. The main goal of a portal is to give
each user a personalized and integrated view of corporate information and applications.
Successful portal sites offer much more than just simple content, they offer many other services
including email, chat, highly customizable sorting and searching, and endless ways for
personalizing your content.
3.1 Horizontal portals are all those that offer lots of information to a broad range of visitors to sell
space to advertisers. Eg: Yahoo!, AltaVista, Google
3.2 Vertical portals specialize in a particular area and make income through specialized
advertising and through additional sources such as commission. Eg: WebMD, IMDB, FirstGov.
4. Dynamic Pricing model.
Dynamic pricing, also called real-time pricing, is an approach to setting the cost for a product or
service that is highly flexible. The goal of dynamic pricing is to allow a company that sells goods
or services over the Internet to adjust prices on the fly in response to market demands.
Models based on how companies price their product on web:
4.1 Name your price model.
This model allows the customers to choose their price for products and services. The type of
businesses that offer this forms partnerships with leaders of industries such as travel, lending
etc. if the price chosen is not reasonable, the customer will be asked to choose another price.
4.2 Comparison pricing model.
The customers are allowed to poll a variety of merchants and find a desired product at the
lowest price. These sites gain their revenues from partnerships with particular merchants.
4.3 Demand sensitive pricing model.
The concept here is that the more people who buy a product in a single purchase, the lower
cost-per-person becomes. When customers buy in bulk, this cost is shared and the profit
margin is increased.
4.4 Bartering model.
These sites allow individuals or companies exchange one item for another. Deals are usually
part barter and part cash. Items usually bartered are overstocked inventory items, factory
surplus etc. Eg: Ubarter.com, isolve.com
4.5 Rebate model.
These sites offer rebates on product at leading online retailers in return for commission or
advertising revenues. Eg: eBates
4.6 Free offering model.
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Sites offer their products for free in exchange of advertising space and vice versa. Eg:
Freemerchant, Start Sampling.
5. B2B exchange.
Business-to-Business (B2B) exchanges are electronic marketplaces in the Internet where
suppliers and buyers interact to conduct transactions. B2B marketplaces can be defined as a
World Wide Web site where goods and services can be bought from a wide range of suppliers.
Procurement and effective supply chain management can be difficult and costly.
6. B2B service provider.
These help other businesses to improve policies, procedures, customer service and general
operations.
7. Recruitment on web.
These sites help in recruiting workforce for different companies and finding jobs for job seekers
online. Employers can post jobs that can be searched by applicants and job seekers can upload
their CVs online and apply for jobs online. Eg: monstergulf.com, naukrigulf.com.
8. Online news service.
In todays world, news can also be accessed online through various sites that are dedicated in
publishing news. Eg: CNN, Gulftimes.com.
9. Online travel services.
These type of sites offer travel services just like a traditional travel agency and provide their
customers with travel and accommodations information, flight query etc.
10. Online entertainment.
The entertainment industry has largely benefited by development in technology as they can now
sell movie tickets, albums or any other entertainment related content to a large group of
customers with ease.
11. Brick & click.
Brick-and-mortar are companies that operate solely offline with traditional business practices.
They should determine the level of cooperation and integration the two entities will share when
considering to do e-business.
Click-and-mortar are companies operating with both an online and offline presence and have
brand recognition and an established customer base.

3.2 Analyze each respective model in terms of its capacity to increase profits.
The main e-business models include the storefront model, auction model and portal model. Even
though the structural design of each e-business model differs significantly from others, all models still
have the ability to generate revenue. However, the methodology through which these revenues were
generated differs from one type to another. These are briefly described below.
Storefront model: These e-business models are specifically designed for the generation of revenue
for its owner. As have already stated, its a site that is designed to enable buying and selling to take
place on the internet. Every storefront model has online payment system that enables transactions to
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be processed instantly on the internet. Thus, the bulk of revenue generated in this model is obtained
from selling of commodities on the internet. Some websites that fall under this category do have high
inflow of traffic. This prompts many website owners to monetize the site further by going into online
advertisement.
Auction Model: This type of e-business model enables sellers to post any commodities they hope to
buy and receive bids from different interest buyers. Trading in this manner benefits the seller in that it
helps to secure the highest bid possible for the good or service (Trepp, 2000). The site owners
generate revenue through the transaction fee that is charged for every single successful transaction.
Some revenues are also generated from the subscription and listing fees charged to members. Just
like in the previous example, a significant amount of revenue can be generated from online
advertisement. The auction format is especially suited for spot purchases and short-term contracting
(Trepp, 2000).
Portal Model: This type of e-business model primarily generates revenue through online
advertisement. Its actually this class of model that is the most successful group in area of online
advertisement. We also having online shopping portals, where buying and selling of different
commodities are carried out. In this case, significant revenues are generated from transaction and
subscription fees.

3.3 Future developments in e-business models and how it would impact the
business environment.
Experts predict a promising and glorious future of e-business in the coming centuries. In the
foreseeable future, e-business will further confirm itself a major tool of sale. Successful e-businesses
will become a notion absolutely inseparable from the web, because e-shopping is becoming more
and more popular and natural. At the same time severe rivalry in the sphere of e-business services
will intensify their development. Thus prevailing future trends of e-business will be the growth of
Internet sales and evolution.
Keeping in mind the growing popularity of e-businesses and the current trends, the future of ebusiness is set to go higher and more successful. New trends has already started to develop in ebusinesses around the world.
Three trends in mature markets:
1) The shift to marketplace selling. Amazons latest numbers show that their third-party sales
volumes grew by a stunning 100 percent in 2014 and now account for 40% of total e-commerce
turnover. Clearly, the marketplace segment is where the big growth story is happening right now.
For smaller sellers and manufacturers, Amazons marketplace is a boon, and does a phenomenal
job connecting them with a vast pool of consumers. For larger brands and retailers who
chose not to sell via this channel, 2015 is crunch time: do they want stay away from the
marketplace party, or do they jump in and sacrifice some of their margins and exclusivity?
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2) Human / Digital convergence. Its been on the cards for a while, but 2015 should see a
normalization of connected portable devices being used by Sales Associates. By getting access to
rich product and personal data, real-time inventory, and sophisticated order management tools,
they will be able to deliver a turbo-charged customer service experience. Not everyone will get it
right however. Nailing this competence requires more than just dishing out iPads to the sales and
store teams. High-quality data feeds, efficient user interfaces, and proper staff training and
change management are all vital too.
3) Execution is everything. Days of easy e-commerce growth are over. Retailers and businesses
are all now converging on same idea: to build an omni-channel service, powered by an enterprise
grade software suite. To emerge as a winner will require differentiation, and that will come from
awesome execution: not only by picking the right software tools for the job, but also by having a
bold and intelligent vision to change their business fundamentals, and the strong, sustained
leadership needed to see it through.
And three trends for high-growth markets:
1) Mobile, mobile, mobile. The importance of mobile internet in high growth markets like India,
Indonesia and Thailand, cannot be overstated. As the masses come online, desktop interface will
be a mere niche, while handheld tablet and mobile UIs will dominate. For e-commerce service
providers, efficient mobile page design must be the overriding priority, and they will need to
balance low page weights and fast load times against the need to deliver rich and relevant content
to information-hungry users on the move.
2) Marketplace first. The example of TMall / TaoBao in China will be highly relevant to other highgrowth regions. E-Marketplaces albeit with locally bespoke features to look set to become the
dominant seller-to-buyer e-business channel in Latin America, South Asia and the Middle East &
Africa. Expect incumbent marketplaces (like MercadoLibre in LatAm, and Snapdeal in India,
and Souq in the Middle East) to be joined by a pack of ambitious competitors, both local and
global. For foreign brands and businesses, marketplaces remain the smart way to get a local
foothold.
3) Go-it-alone fulfilment. Two major challenges for e-businesses in emerging markets are
unreliable delivery and fulfillment. In markets where this is particularly acute such as Russia and
India we can expect further significant investment from e-commerce businesses building out
their own supply-chain and last-mile fulfilment networks. An expensive bet, but one that will surely
pay off handsomely for the winner.
Overall, we can expect to see the following e-business movements in the coming years:
1) Renewed SME entrepreneurialism: Economic drivers will catalyse the resurgence
of entrepreneurialism, as disenfranchised employees look to the web for new opportunities. Small
businesses in particular will also be able to offer lower costs to their customers, so the
coming years will be an interesting time for small businesses with little capital to play with.19

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2) A social media slowdown may be witnessed as many organisations are already feeling saturated
by social media tools. Savvy businesses may look to tools to help consolidate their use of social
platforms-perhaps through one port of entry or single sign on.
3) An online advertising revolution; Downloadable widgets (tools that allow chunks of codes to be
distributed through third party sites) will continue to have far reaching possibilities-especially to
drive online sales and further marketing and PR. So instead of static banner ads, companies will
increasingly put interactive content in their place.
4) Greater customer-centricity: Leaders in e-business already allow users to choose what content
they see, and e-commerce sites in particular can target products and service to those most likely
to make a purchase . However, sites that allow customers to choose what they see (as well as
buy) will strengthen trust and increase their sales.
5) The dawn of the e-commerce price wars: As the recession persists, price wars will continue to
break out between both store and online rivals. However as retailers drop their prices further, they
risk devaluing some of the brands they represent. Therefore, many manufacturers-dependent on
their product type-may choose only to work with more established bricks & mortar outlets with an
e-commerce channel-or simply sell directly their customers online.

Task 4: Advise your client and design a suitable website.


4.1 Explain the key elements of good web design structure.
A successful web-site, evidently, is the one that is capable of attracting quality visitors and retain
them. The key factor in designing a website is Know Your Customer, in which one needs to
understand its customers and design the website accordingly. The core of this attractiveness is its
content. However, only content is not enough - just as a good product needs good packaging a
successful site needs elegant presentation and promotion.
1) Overall look of the web page.
The home page is the billboard or store front-- it creates an immediate impression on visitors.
Considering the importance of first impression, it should look clean, uncluttered, professional and
attractive.
Do not be stingy with white space, spread them as much as required. Aim to "underwhelm" rather
than overwhelm. Maintain consistency, clarity and simplicity. Too many flashing lights, animations,
colors, drop-down boxes, graphics etc. are distracting. Make sure that the visitors to the site find it
appealing and would want to visit again.
2) Content.
No matter if you have a business site or a personal page, you have to give people a reason to
stay on your site - the first question the visitor is going to ask - "what's in it for me?" That doesn't
mean you have to give away freebies - programs, books, tickets, holidays etc. etc. - it does mean
that you have to offer something. That "something" could be:
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Information
Utility (bulletin board, search engine, directory etc.)
Entertainment
Advice
Help with a problem
Links to useful sites

Remember, a successful site is a useful site. It should contain:

information that is perceived to be 'useful' by its visitors (community)


the information is unique (i.e. either not available elsewhere or is hard to find)
the information is fresh (i.e. updated regularly)

3) Speed
In this age of impatience - an average visitor will spend no more than 20 seconds to decide the
worth of your site. You can well imagine what happens if the visitor spends that precious 20
seconds looking at a blank screen slowly loading tons of images.
So, ensure that your home page at least, loads as quickly as possible. That means no big, flashy
graphics.
Keep reminding that the first page is like a billboard. When driving a car, one doesnt have time to
read detailed descriptions, or admire intricate pictures on billboards. The signs flash past and
have to make an immediate impression.
Likewise, web visitors are 'flashing past' as well, so keep the front page simple and fast.
4) Graphics and Lay-out
The graphics and lay-out of home page contribute to that first impression--think about what image
the site is trying to convey and make sure everything on it contributes something towards that
overall image.
Graphics are what eat up the loading time of a site. A rough rule of thumb to determine good
loading time for a page is to keep the entire page around 50 Kb. Images should be between 6 and
8K. Each additional 5K may add one second to loading time.
Color is also an important part of your site; colors have different effects on our emotions: Red and
orange excite the senses and increase heartbeat, blues and greens are more restful. Yellow
reminds us of sunshine and is a happy color.

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Consider the effect to be created and choose a color that is appropriate. When reading Western
texts, the eye travels from the top left of the page, across and then down to the bottom right.
Remember this when placing graphics on webpage.
Any graphic image which has a directional aspect should be placed to point towards the most
important section of the page. If a picture of a bird on the top left corner of the page, make sure it
is facing inward and that its beak is leading the eye to the centre of the page, not away from it.
The same applies to all graphics: Faces should 'look' to the centre of the page. Cars should be
'parked' facing towards the centre of the page. Roads, neck ties etc should all be placed to lead
the eye across from left to right, or down from top to bottom
This is also why navigation bars should be placed down the left side of the page - it keeps them
constantly in the visitor's field of vision.
5) Text Readability
This doesn't refer to the words used, but to the way the words look on the page. Going back to the
concept of the billboard, words need to stand out on the web page - surround them with plenty of
white space.
Dark backgrounds make one feel as if in a small space and also have a depressing effect on the
visitors mood. Certain colored backgrounds make it very difficult to read text; purples, orange
tonings and reds dazzle the eyes.
The color of text is just as important--bear in mind that different browsers read colours
differently--what looks great on the browser could well be invisible on another!
Another element that contributes to text readability is the font chosen. Plain fonts (Arial, Times
New Roman, Garamond and Courier) are the easiest to read. Fancy fonts are fine for headings,
but not for full pages (imagine trying to read a whole page in Gothic, Script, Westminster, or
Cloister).
6) Structure each page.
Make sure that the page is easy for visitors to read and this means breaking it up into little
'chunks'. There is a need for columns, (which divide the page vertically); also can divide the page
horizontally, through the use of headings and sub-headings.
7) Fonts .
Select a font for all headings and sub-headings (and stick to it). It's not necessary to have a
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different font for headings (just go up one size for headings, and then use bold on all headings
and sub-headings). This way it's easy to recognise which is a heading (large and bold) and which
is a sub-heading (same size but bold).
The purpose is to make it easy for visitors to glance at the page and make out what the key points
are. If what they see interests them, they'll stay and keep reading.
To draw attention to other important points, highlight them by putting a whole sentence in bold or a
different colour (or both). However, take care with the colours selected: some are quite difficult to
read--even against a white background.
8) Navigation
It is one of the most critical aspects of any web site - arguably the most important. No matter how
good a site looks, and no matter how much useful information it offers, without sensible navigation
scheme, it will only manage to confuse visitors and chase them away. A simple, logical,
understandable navigation scheme can increase number of page impressions, boost return visits,
and improve "conversion rate" (the number of visitors who are "converted" into customers). It's a
critical aspect of site design that has a direct effect on the bottom line.
The core of any good navigational scheme is:
1. Tell people exactly what is available on the site
2. Help them get to the parts they want quickly
3. Make it easy to request additional information
Use a well-structured navigational bar. it should run down the left side of the page.
9) Privacy Statement and Testimonials.
Credibility is an essential part of any business site, especially in the anonymous world of Internet.
One must ensure that potential customers feel confident dealing with you. Transparency and
openness are the cornerstones of lasting trust - so tell people exactly what you're doing to
safeguard their interests. In particular, how you're protecting their privacy. It's worth having a
separate page which sets out, in detail,policy towards their email addresses; how orders are
accepted; how information is gathered; who has access to this information; how you use
information gathered from children and so on.

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Visitors also like to know that real people have used the same products or services, so it's worth
asking satisfied customers if you can quote any positive comments they've made about you.
Set up a separate page for testimonials and offer to include links to customers' pages in return for
using their comments. This is one of those "win-win" situations
10) Words.
This is one of the most important elements. If this part is wrong, the rest of the efforts are largely
wasted. It reflects badly on the site owner and indicates that whoever is responsible for this page
is sloppy, careless, lazy, unprofessional or all of the above! Customers would not be impressed
and are not interested in buying anything from such sites.

4.2 Evaluate the impact of a well-designed website to an e-business.


A great website design is the initial step for starting online business or e business. A well-structured
and user friendly website with a perfect logo design can increase business opportunities more than
before.
Basically, the only interaction of an e-business with its customers is through the web site. So, a good
web design is another very important factor for the success of an e-business. Note that in online
environment the competitors of an e-business are just a few clicks away, so if our web site design is
not catchy or useful enough the visitors might not wait and immediately switch to a competitors site.
The cost of switching to competitors site is also very low in online environment. All this makes ebusiness very competitive. First impression is very important and hence it is essential that the website
has attractive design along with unique and informative substance. Other than attracting a client the
website design also plays an important role in marketing. It is important that website should be as per
search engine standards. A website having web design matching the standards of search engines is
likely to get higher ranking and wider exposure compared to a website with visually pleasing designs.
An internet marketer should particularly pay attention to the following considerations as regards web
site design:
Millions of users use Web to buy one or the other product online every day, and this will continue to
grow. There are lots of E-business websites out there, but not all do good business. Success in Ebusiness to some extent depends on good Web Design as this holds the users for the first time when
they visit the website or helps prefer over other websites but the most important would be the value
that products acquire by user reviews and comments.

4.3 Issues concerning web usability and suggest solutions.


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For this task, the chosen company website is of Quality Groups International. The website is available
from: http://www.qualitygroupintl.com/
One of the more frustrating problems in navigating websites is the amount of usability mistakes
commonly found. Usability problems can not only frustrate visitors but also make a website
inaccessible for some people. Web content that looks fine in one web browser may appear
unreadable in another web browser. Web developers can learn to avoid such problems by first being
aware of usability design and the errors that often occur.
Some of the most troublesome usability problems include poor navigational menus, poor image
implementation, poor formatting, and even a lack of readability.
Poor site navigation
A site should be easy to follow, and use appropriate navigational bars or buttons that clearly link to
each part of the site. Each page should link back to a central home page. One method that makes a
site easier to navigate is to display a brief site map with the current page in correlation to the main
page.

Poor readability
Using non contrasting colors can make text difficult to read. High contrasting colors likewise can also
be difficult to read for those with color blindness. You should keep font size and general font
readability in mind as well.

Poor image implementation


Use images in correlation to the text content. Avoid overusing images on a web page. Provide text
descriptions of all images and links. Some visitors may not see the images for different reasons.

Poor formatting
A poorly formatted web page can be rendered very differently in different web browsers. Some web
browsers may display the page correctly while others may display an unreadable mess. Some users
may use different resolutions that make some web pages formatted for a specific resolution display
incorrectly.

Lack of accessibility options


Many sites are beginning to offer accessibility options for users that need assistance. Some people
may require voice readers to read out web content aloud, while others may need special input
devices to navigate a website. A website with images that do not have text descriptors may not be
usable by such users. Using text descriptions and underlying links around images can help such
users have more accessibility options.

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Browser incompatibility
Websites should be tested in different web browsers to ensure better compatibility. Even basic
websites should be checked to display properly in the most common web browsers.

Overuse of multimedia without other viewing options


Overusing multimedia implementations such as Flash can render a site un-viewable by some. Some
sites may not work if a web browser is not Flash compatible. One example is Internet Explorer 64-bit,
which does not have a Flash plugin at this time. Web developers should think about offering an
alternative page with no Flash or multimedia content if possible.

Use too much text


Overusing text on a page can make the page appear difficult to read for some users. Some visitors
may simply find the page too taxing to read and leave the site. Break apart text into blocks and insert
page breaks if needed.

Lack of page anchors


A web page or site that lacks anchors will be more difficult to navigate or use. Using anchors allows
visitors to move to different sections of the site quickly and easily. Each anchor link should be clearly
labeled to avoid confusion.

Avoid overusing ads


While many sites use ads for revenue to cover costs, they can also detract from the web experience.
Some visitors may find too many ads to be difficult to maneuver around.

Solutions for these usability problems:


1) One should use stronger, higher contrast colors and larger fonts. Give catchy and short headings.
Logically organize ones thoughts and have an outline how to write them all. Other text should be
short and easy to digest. Essentials needed and strip out all the rest waste.

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2) Focus point to be accompanied by descriptive heading. Not to make the headings mysterious or
vague to draw people in. Avoid long paragraphs, sentences, use simple and new words. Always
understand what user wants and do understand what users needs or objectives are.
3) Tagline makes purpose of company very clear. Major headlines should make attractive, size and
colors matters. White space: clear space always makes your site easy to view and use. If no
whitespace, we will never have a clear idea what to focus on and on what not to. There is no clear
structure, everything unorganized, different colors make site inconsistent.
4) Each page should be of same length. Put very important information on the top, so that could be
focused. Next is consistency: logo and banners should be consistent on every page as you use
colors, visuals, and text. Organization: put catchy image, brand names at the top. Navigation tabs,
graphic links, simple content area, simply the goal is to get user involved. Speed: speed how
quick or fast the site loads.
5) Apply readable Fonts. The site avoids italic text but underlining is considered important in
hypertext links. Pleasant site needed. Pages are free of scroll stoppers. The site should be
designed in such a way that it should engage the users, they feel good to work on and continue to
use the site. Colors should be made use of in such a way that it gives a fine look and can be used
to structure and arrange items in an organized way.

Conclusion.
The rapid growth in e-business around the world has prompted many to look for better ways of
measuring the phenomenon. As more and more countries and international agencies become
involved, it is important to develop plans to ensure that there is no unnecessary duplication of efforts
and users have the data necessary for informed decision making at the earliest opportunity.

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Despite various potential benefits of e-business, not every corporation is ready to adopt it as a
purchasing tool or business strategy. Some serious hurdles to successful implementation of ebusiness include a host of security, legal and financial problems, all of which are significant factors in
business decisions for e-business introduction. In particular, the incoherence of the web and concerns
about security and flexibility limit the confidence of business in internet based trading systems.
Current e-business systems do not yet fully address these concerns and most concentrate on
bilateral relationships between sellers and buyers.
From the above discourse, it can be easily argued that e-business in todays world is a silver bullet
that is no doubt a very important and useful tool for many corporations and individuals that are ready
to catch up with the current trend of change in the business world.

References.
Books
Carol Carysforth (2004) et al, Business, United Kingdom, Heinemann Educational Publishers.
In Lee (2007), E-business models, services and communications, United States of America,
Information Science Reference.
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In Lee (2013), Trends in E-business, E-services and E-commerce: impact of technology on goods,
services and business transactions, United States of America, Information Science Reference.
Journals
C.V.L. Raju (2005) et al, Dynamic pricing models for electronic business, Sadhana: Academy
proceedings in engineering sciences, 30 (2), pp 231-256.
Sanjay Kumar Dubey (2014) et al, Web usability: issues, challenges and solutions, International
Journal of Advanced Engineering Research and Science (IJAERS), 1 (2), pp 26-28.

Website articles
Alex Chris (2010), What is search engine optimization and why is it important. Available from:
https://www.reliablesoft.net/what-is-search-engine-optimization-and-why-is-it-important/ [Accessed
on: 3 Jan 2016]
Amit Kumar Chatterjee (2015), 10 Elements of a successful web site. Available from:
http://www.readabilityformulas.com/articles/ten-elements-of-a-successful-website.php [Accessed on:
30 Dec 2015]
Joseph Ballard (2015), Top 6 e-commerce trends to watch in 2015. Available from: http://www.thefuture-of-commerce.com/2015/01/22/the-top-6-e-commerce-trends-to-watch-in-2015/
[Accessed on 2 Jan 2016]
Robin Williams (2012), Good design features. Available from: http://www.ratz.com/featuresgood.html
[Accessed on: 2 Jan 2016]
Tim Eisenhauer (2013), Intranets VS Extranets Whats the difference? Available from:
http://axerosolutions.com/blogs/timeisenhauer/pulse/165/intranets-vs-extranets-what-s-the-difference
[Accessed on: 28 Dec 2015]
Newspaper articles
Raed Alhout (2014), Tamimi: Cyber crime prevention law in Qatar. 16 October 2014. Available from:
http://www.tamimi.com/en/magazine/law-update/section-8/october-4/cyber-crime-prevention-law-inqatar.html
[Accessed on: 26 Dec 2015]
Other references:
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