Tackling the fifth bullet in the AQA BUSS4 Research brief on e-commerce

More useful tips on how to tackle the fifth bullet point in the AQA Research brief on: The factors influencing if, why and how businesses respond to the growth in e-commerce.

The Relevance and Significance of Factors

Since the mid to late 1990’s there have been numerous studies (surveys, interviews and case studies) on the adoption and use of e-commerce technologies, often focusing on small and medium enterprises (SME’s).  The majority of these have examined variables that either act as:

  • barriers or constraints ie factors which inhibit adoption and use; or act as
  • drivers or incentives ie factors which promote adoption and use.

A paper on this topic, written by Scott A. Wymer and Elizabeth A Regan, published in 2005 in Electronic Markets – The International Journal on Networked Businesses (http://www.electronicmarkets.org/), examined all the literature published at this time, and came up with a consolidated list of a set of 25 ‘neutral’ factors (if we exclude the ‘other’ category which they included in subsequent primary research on the topic), which they classified into 4 categories.  This classification can be found on the fourth page of a key document relating to this research which can be accessed from here: http://aws.iwi.uni-leipzig.de/em/fileadmin/user_upload/doc/Issues/Volume_15/Issue_04/V15I4_Factors_Influencing_e-commerce_Adoption_and_Use_by_Small_and_Medium_Businesses.pdf

This is a useful starting point for student’s research into this aspect of the theme.  However, this is an extensive list of factors and it is important to highlight the following up-front:

  • Not every factor will be relevant to all businesses due to the different circumstances that they may face.
  • Some factors, whilst relevant, will be more important to some businesses than others.
  • In some cases, what may be a barrier or constraint to the adoption of e-commerce may be an incentive or ‘driver’ in others.

Numerous examples with regard to this will be included in our Complete Companion for use with the theme, which is due to be published later this term and can be pre-ordered now.  In the meantime, look out for further emails from us with advice and tips on how to approach the theme.

Our Companion has everything you and your students need to help them to get the best grades possible.

Click here for further information.  Extracts of recent customer feedback is provided below:-

“The theme materials you provided were excellent, and suited every level of teaching.” - Gareth Moran, Rye St Antony School

“My AQA business student went from a predicted Grade E to a B on her Unit 4 paper and was just short of an A.” -  Jane Wood, Tutor

“Your BUSS4 resources are proving invaluable and so much more useful than other providers. - Ian Chapman, Queen Anne’s School

This is just a small sample of the excellent customer feedback we regularly receive.

Price: £85 + VAT for email or download (+ £2.50 for CD) for unlimited use at your school or college.

 

A report by e-commerce consultancy – Salmon – into the current and future state of digital commerce in Britain

A report by e-commerce consultancy – Salmon – into the current and future state of digital commerce in Britain can be accessed from this page – https://www.salmon.com/en/digitalbritain2015/ together with some useful 2 page sector insights on digital readiness and benefits experiences within 5 sectors – non-luxury (high street) retailers, luxury retailers, wholesalers, grocery and manufacturing.  All highly relevant for the AQA BUSS4 Research Theme on E-commerce.

https://www.salmon.com/media/filer_public/5c/6b/5c6b995d-500c-4c2f-83a3-acf019801241/british_business_in_the_digital_age_final.pdf

Tackling the 4th bullet in the AQA BUSS4 Research brief on e-commerce – Opportunities & Threats

Further useful tips on how to tackle the fourth bullet point in the AQA Research brief on: The extent to which e-commerce creates opportunities and poses threats for businesses.

Before undertaking any research students should have a clear understanding of key business terms, so…

What are Opportunities?

An opportunity is defined as a favourable or advantageous circumstance (or set of circumstances).  In a business context, opportunities are circumstances that help a business to achieve its objectives, which arise from the external business environment (eg from changes in economic, political, legal, social, ethical, technological and competitive factors).  In this particular case we are concerned with favourable or advantageous circumstances arising from technological developments – in the form of EDI and Internet-based e-commerce technologies. 

What are Threats?

A threat is any external development (eg change in economic, political, legal, social, ethical, technological and competitive factors) that may hinder the business in achieving its objectives.  In this particular case we are concerned with threats arising from technological developments – in the form of EDI and Internet-based e-commerce technologies. 

So what opportunities does e-commerce create for businesses?

  • Opportunities to automate manual, paper based processes.
  • Opportunities to source low cost supplies
  • Opportunities for new online business start-ups (due to reduced barriers to entry).
  • Opportunities for existing business to increase customer reach (market penetration).
  • Opportunities for geographical expansion (market development).
  • Opportunities for producers to cut out the middleman and sell direct.
  • Opportunities to customise / personalise products and services.
  • Growth opportunities arising from the rise in m-commerce.
  • Opportunities for businesses providing products / services that support the growth in e-commerce.

So what threats does e-commerce pose for businesses?

  • The threat of new online entrants (to traditional bricks and mortar businesses).
  • The threat of new digital products (to businesses selling physical products).
  • Threats arising from disintermediation.
  • Increased customer knowledge and power.
  • The threat of intellectual property theft and cyber-attacks.

We will be including information and research on all of the above within our Complete Companion for use with the theme, which is due to be published later this term and can be pre-ordered now.  In the meantime, look out for further emails from us with advice and tips on how to approach the theme.

Our Companion has everything you and your students need to help them to get the best grades possible.

Useful article on HMV relevant to the AQA BUSS4 Research Theme on E-commerce

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/newsbysector/retailandconsumer/11549482/HMV-reclaims-position-as-Britains-biggest-music-retailer.html – useful article on HMV relevant to the AQA BUSS4 Research Theme on E-commerce, specifically to the factors influencing if, how and why businesses respond to the growth in e-commerce.  Could be used to show how consumer preferences to browse in-store and take home a physical  as opposed to digital version of a product may influence a business to keep its physical ‘bricks and mortar’ outlets in addition to running an on-line operation.

OCR A Level F292 Business Functions Case Study on Symponi Bears Ltd (SBL) 2016 – Re-Sits

We will be producing an Analysis for the F292 Business Functions Case Study on Symponi Bears Ltd (SBL).

The analysis will contain: 

  • Identification and examination of key issues / possible question areas.
  • Relevant theory relating to the business studies concepts and ideas raised in the case study.
  • In-depth analytical and evaluative discussion of improvements / solutions / options available. 
  • A highly comprehensive range of practice examination questions.
  • Guidelines on revision and examination technique.
APT are experts in case study analysis and have a proven track record  in helping to cut teachers’ workloads and boosting students’ grades.
Click here to see further information and customer testimonials.

AQA BUSS4 E-commerce – Tackling the 3rd bullet in the Research brief, Stakeholders

Some key information and advice on how to tackle the 3rd bullet point in the AQA Research brief. 

In order to consider the impact of e-commerce on different stakeholder groups students first need to have a basic understanding of: 

  • the different stakeholders groups involved in business and, more importantly…
  • the needs / expectations / objectives of these various stakeholders groups.

So…

What are Stakeholders?

Stakeholders are any individual or group of individuals who affect or are affected by a business’s activities.  They can be divided into two categories: 

  • Internal stakeholders – individuals or groups of individuals who are directly involved in running the business eg owners / shareholders, directors, managers, employees. 
  • External stakeholders – individuals or groups of individuals who are not directly involved in running the business but still have an interest in, and can influence its activities eg customers and consumers, suppliers, competitors, lenders, central and local government bodies, local residents, trade unions and other pressure groups such as animal rights activists, and environmentalists such as Greenpeace.  For businesses in rented property, external stakeholders would also include owners of that property ie landlords.  

What are the Needs / Expectations / Objectives of Stakeholders? 

Internal

Owners: Maximisation of wealth, profits, growth, reputation.

Shareholders: Sound return on investment: regular, secure, high dividends; capital gain on shares; a say in the business.

Directors: Job security, status, personal power, high rewards, organisational profitability and growth, lack of interference in decision making from owners.

Managers: Job security, high rewards, organisational profitability and growth.

Employees (Other than Managers): High / fair pay, interesting work, job security, training, safe working environment / sound working conditions, fair treatment, opportunities for promotion, a say in decisions which affect them.

External

Customers and consumers: Clear, accurate product / service information, fair prices / value for money, quality product ie fit for purpose, timely and accurate delivery of orders placed, high standards of customer service, an interest free period of credit (especially important for business customers), ethical business practices.

Suppliers: Secure, regular, profitable contracts; timely payment; good working relationships / fair terms of trade; organisational growth.

Landlords: Property looked after, well maintained, prompt payment of rent.

Lenders: Prompt payment of interest, security, (they consider collateral, profitability, liquidity, gearing, cash flow).

Local community: Minimum noise, congestion, pollution; local employment; investment in local events.

Government / Local Authority: Compliance with legislation, payment of taxes, contribution to the economy including job creation.

Trade Unions: Protection and advancement of the interests of members: good rates of pay, working conditions, job security. 

Other Pressure Groups: Protection of wildlife, the environment (eg Greenpeace) and human rights (eg Amnesty International).

After reviewing the above, students will be in a better position to consider How e-commerce might impact on stakeholder groups by considering the following: 

How might e-commerce help or hinder the achievement of different stakeholder groups’ needs / expectations / objectives? 

We will be including information and research on the above within our Complete Companion for use with the theme, which is due to be published by the 30th November and can be pre-ordered now.  In the meantime, look out for further advice and tips on how to approach the theme.

Our Companion has everything you and your students need to help them to get the best grades possible.

Click here for further information and extracts of recent customer feedback.

Fascinating article for use with the AQA BUSS4 Research Theme on E-commerce

Fascinating article for use with the AQA BUSS4 Research Theme on E-commerce – concerns the use of drones to deliver goods purchased online by Walmart and Amazon customers.  Highlights the potential barriers to their use – in the form of government restrictions.  Relevant to ‘Factors influencing if, why and how business respond to the growth in e-commerce’.

http://www.ecommercetimes.com/story/82669.html