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Chapter 4. Business Models—Some Case Stu... > Introduction to Business Segments

Introduction to Business Segments

There are many different kinds of businesses on the Internet, and each kind has specialized requirements for an e-commerce system. For this book, we have selected the following three kinds of businesses for detailed consideration of system requirements and design options.

  1. Consumer retail

    Businesses selling physical goods directly to individual end consumers. We will further separate retail businesses into large businesses with complex requirements and small and medium-sized enterprises with more basic needs (and smaller budgets) for Internet commerce.

  2. Business-to-business cataloging

    Businesses with online catalogs selling products to other businesses. We focus on MRO (maintenance, repair, and operations) goods rather than COGS (cost of goods and services) ordering. COGS generally implies large production orders for manufacturing, and although online systems and technologies such as EDI (Electronic Data Interchange) are used for this category of commerce, by the time a product is in production, catalogs of components are not the issue. We do specifically include the use of online catalogs for designers wanting to select components for later use in products.

  3. Information commerce

    This is a broad category, but we include businesses that plan to distribute digital goods (information products and services) online with fulfillment right over the network. Publishers of online magazines and the online distribution of software, although quite different businesses, would both be included. The essential feature is online fulfillment.



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