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Introduction to E-Commerce, 2/e, by Rayport and Jaworksi, can be used as the principles book for e-commerce. Much like there is a Principles of Marketing that is intended to be the first course in marketing, The text covers the entire landscape of e-commerce. The key message is that faculty who want to teach an introductory class on e-commerce and focus on the strategy parts of e-commerce first and technology second, should adopt this book. Faculty who teach marketing, management, strategy and entrepreneurship as the core discipline prefer this book over technology-oriented e-commerce books. Introduction to e-Commerce gives present and future practitioners of e-Commerce a solid foundation in all aspects of conducting business in the networked economy. The text focus is on what a manager needs to know about Internet infrastructure, strategy formulation and implementation, technology concepts, public policy issues, and capital infrastructure in order to make effective business decisions. This is presented in a framework for the study and practice of e-Commerce with business strategy at the core surrounded by four infrastructures; the technology infrastructure that underlies the Internet, the media infrastructure that provides the content for businesses, public policy regulations that provide both opportunities and constraints, and the capital infrastructure that provides the money and capital to run the businesses. Within this framework, the authors provide a deep exploration of core concepts of online strategy and associated enablers enriched by a wide variety of examples, case studies, and explanations culled directly from practice.
In response to the reviewer who said that this book is more for “beginners” or those that have not had many business classes, I say “NOT!” I haven’t had any business classes at all and I found some of the concepts above my head. I am currently a junior in college, so it is not that I don’t understand anything at all, it is just that some of the terminology was at a loss on me, because I do not possess the basic fundamentals of business.
What this book did do for me was open up the world of conducting business online, teach me how to make money online and the concept of marketing my business to be successful. It also addresses the importance of “branding” your business and how to go about creating a niche for yourself in a proliferated marketplace.
Now, I understand that most business majors may already know all this stuff, but you also know all the terminology and concepts in depth that I do not, which makes this an easier read for you.
I did find that some of the sections were repetitive, but when you consider that most people learn by repetition, this is a good thing, right? Besides, the repetitiveness was looking at the same concept from different angles which puts each concept into a different light. This, too, I felt like was a good thing because it shows you how to look at things differently depending on the type of business you are planning on conducting online, ie. informational or product sales. Again, this is probably content that business majors are already familiar with, but depending on what kinds of courses you have already taken, maybe the perspective is different when looking at online opportunities. This book does define the major differences between bricks and mortar or offline and online businesses and what benefits or shortfalls each may face in reaching the mass public.
What I did not like was that it seemed like the authors were getting paid to endorse one particular company, which shall remain nameless in this review, and finished off each chapter with an overview of this company in relationship to the material taught in that section. That got real old, real quick. However, it did put some things into perspective and really made me think about how I could fit into the online world, how I’ve already fit into the online world, and gave me guidance on how I am going to approach my new endeavors in the online world. So, for that, I am glad I read the entire book!
So, I would say that the book may not be good for someone who is finishing up business courses unless you have no clue about conducting business online. I wouldn’t necessarily recommend it for beginners either though. As I said, some terminology was completely foreign to me and I found myself using a dictionary a lot! But, if you’ve taken a few classes and you feel that you understand the basics of business and want to learn more about building websites that work and do not cause customer confusion or customers to abandon their shopping carts, what attracts people to your site, how to retain those customers, and how to make money without really trying through affiliate and partnership programs, then you might want to give this book a whirl.