How businesses are leveraging the internet to conduct business

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The objective of this assignment is for you to
increase your knowledge about how businesses are leveraging the internet to
conduct business. Because you will be using public websites to do your
research, the focus will be on marketing, sales, and customer service
transactions with end-consumers (B2C).

1. 
Choose an industry of interest in which several companies have
developed online e-business strategies with public B2C sites. This industry
might include traditional companies operating as bricks-and-clicks firms, as
well as dot.com companies.

2. 
Review several websites for companies in this industry, and then
select 3-4 companies that you think will provide an interesting comparison on
how companies are leveraging the internet today. Include at least
one company that is based in the Middle East. (Hint: you might want to
include one company with a website that you think is significantly inferior to
at least one other company’s site).

3. 
Analyze each of the websites in terms of the overall “look and
feel” of the site from the perspective of the targeted consumer, as well as how
well each site has addressed the “7 Cs” in the model developed by Rayport and
Jaworski (as described at the end of Chapter 7 in the textbook).

4. 
Write up your findings, including the following:

  • Introduce
    the chosen industry and the selected websites. Explain why you selected
    this industry and these particular companies, including a URL for each
    site.
  • Describe
    and compare the ways that these companies’ websites address the
    “7 Cs” and any other characteristics you wish to emphasize. For example:
    • How
      easy was it to identify the content or services available?
    • How
      easy was it to navigate between pages?
    • Did
      the site download easily?
    • Was
      the use of graphics and animation appropriate for the target audience?
    • Were
      the linking capabilities of the Web exploited?
    • Was
      there as sense of “community”?
    • Was
      a privacy policy available and easy to find?
  • Based
    on your analysis, provide some recommendations for the company whose
    website you considered to be the weakest. Be sure your ideas are
    appropriate for the industry you selected, and take into account whether
    companies in this industry traditionally have sold directly to
    end-consumers or not, and through which channels (e.g., catalog, physical
    store, or via a distributor).

Use outside resources to provide current statistics
and forecasts for the industry you selected, as well as any information about
B2B applications that the companies may be using. Be sure to provide full
citations to all third-party sources, including a “last date accessed” for all
references to a URL.

Your well-written paper should be 3-4 pages in
length. Use academic writing standards and APA style guidelines, citing
references as appropriate.

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