Developing Strategies for Electronic Commerce in Small and Medium Sized Companies - Guidelines for Managers
The wide spread of the Internet has caused an extensive structural change in many industry sectors. This is due to new opportunities for direct communication with consumers through the Internet. Another important reason is the dramatic reduction of costs of searching for and communicating with business partners. This paper was written in the context of the ECOMOD project, which aims at developing a method for designing powerful and flexible infrastructures for electronic commerce, particularly from the viewpoint of small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs). With this background new options provided by the Internet on the strategic level are examined. We investigate chances and risks connected to the different ways of Internet usage. Main issues concerning the strategic use of the Internet are introduced using a decision tree and then discussed in further detail. Afterwards fundamental market and company characteristics are analysed, which indicated the appropriateness of applying the vari-ous Internet strategies.
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