AQA BUSS4 research theme for 2016 on Technological Change: e-commerce, here are some useful tips on how to tackle the first bullet point in the AQA Research brief on: The Impact of e-commerce on the competitive environment within industries.
Before undertaking any research students should have a clear understanding of key business terms, so…
What is the competitive environment?
The competitive environment concerns factors stemming from outside a business that affect a business’s ability to gain or win customers and, ultimately, the profitability of firms operating in a given industry.
What are industries?
Industries are made up of establishments and enterprises engaged in similar economic activities, ie activities that are concerned with maintaining the world’s natural resources or the production, distribution and consumption of goods and services.
A good framework to use to structure research, analysing the impact of e-commerce on the competitive environment within industries is that of Michael Porter’s ‘Five Forces’ analysis.  A copy of his original article, published in the Harvard Business Review in 1979 can be viewed here:  After reading this article students should consider the following:
How can e-commerce impact upon…

  • The threat of new entrants?
  • The bargaining power of suppliers (sellers)?
  • The bargaining power of buyers (customers)?
  • The threat of substitute products or services?
  • The degree of rivalry (among current competitors)?

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 by the 30th November 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.
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