E-Commerce

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E-Commerce Assignment
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Introduction
You work for a successful software company that specialises in e-commerce in the retail sector. You are being considered for a promotion. Part of the application process is to demonstrate that you can undertake an analysis for a client and produce a report.
Your task
You need to select a company, which will represent your client, and two other competitors. Your task is to undertake a study for your client, which will assess your client’s online channels and look for possible improvements. Your client will want its online channels to be able to compete with its main rivals. Your client will also want to assess technology trends that they may have to cater for in the next three years, with a particular interest in issues related to mobile commerce.
You will undertake the following work:
•     Assess the current online channels of your client and two competitors using a scorecard analysis.
•     Perform a Marketplace map for your customer to understand the ecommerce environment.
•     Undertake a SWOT analysis.
•     Assess technology trends, with a particular interest in technologies for mobile commerce.
You will produce a report that discusses each of these areas, which is described on the next page.
The client
Your client is one of the three following retailers. The other two will be the competition.
•     Asda (www.asda.com)
•     Ocado (www.ocado.com)
•     Iceland (www.iceland.co.uk)
CS37420 Assignment
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The Report
The report must include the following sections.
1.     Overview.
2.     Scorecard analysis.
3.     Marketplace map.
4.     SWOT analysis.
5.     Discussion on technology trends and application to the client’s business.
6.     Conclusions and Recommendations.
7.     Self-evaluation.
8.     Webliography.
Overview
This is a short section that introduces the companies that have been analysed and the key findings of your analysis. This section should use no more than half a page, approximately 300 words1.
Scorecard analysis ( 25%)
This should contain three sub-sections:
1.     Client company
2.     Competitor company 1
3.     Competitor company 2
For each company, study publicly available information and write a report based on the criteria included in Appendix A. Justify the score for each criterion. You may add further criteria if you wish, but please justify such additions (for example criteria which are relevant to your clients). If you are unable to find information for a specific criterion say why and provide a score of 5. For each company highlight the overall score for each category and the overall score for the analysis.
Marketplace map (10%)
There should be a Marketplace Map representing the marketplace, as discussed during the lectures on marketplace analysis. The map, and associated description, should identify a set of customer segments, search intermediaries, other intermediaries and media sites and possibly some in-direct competitors. For each of the items you identify, describe it and its relevance in the map.
SWOT analysis ( 25%)
Create a SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats) analysis for your client company. This should follow the example discussed in lectures. Clearly, much of the research undertaken for the Scorecard analysis will feed into this section. Given that you only have publicly accessible information for your client’s company, you may make sensible assumptions regarding the strategies that could be employed to take advantage of opportunities or counter threats.
Discussion on technology trends (15%)
This section should review a number of technology trends that could be useful to your client over the next three years. The client has expressed a particular interest in technologies that support m-commerce. Think about some of the technologies discussed in the lectures and listed on the slides for m-commerce. If your analysis reveals that the client is already using some of the technologies, attempt to assess if it could be used more effectively. This section might be influenced be the contents of the SWOT analysis.

Conclusions and Recommendations (10%)
Summarise you findings in this final section. Present it as a set of recommendations to the client on how to change the client’s own online channels to reflect better practice by the competition and how to take advantage of new technologies. Discuss and justify any assumptions made in earlier sections.
Self evaluation ( 5%)
Your report you also include critical evaluation of your own performance. Discuss what went well, what not so well and why. State what your learned and finally state what mark you believe you should be awarded and why.
Webliography
The report should also include a “webliography” of any online reports that you used when conducting the research. For each link, it should be formatted in the following way:
<name of the resource>, <authors> (<date of publication>) Available at: <url> (Accessed on: <date>)
•     The name of the resource will typically be the title for the page that you have accessed.
•     If there is an author identified with the work, list the author(s) name(s) by Surname, Initial. If there are multiple authors for a page, list each author. If there is no author identified on the page, leave this information blank.
•     If there is a date for the article or page, include that in ( ) brackets. If there isn’t a date, include (no date) instead.
•     Include the URL for the resource.
•     Include the date (e.g. 1st August 2014) when you accessed the page.
An example reference is shown in the References section, later in this document.

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Marking Scheme
The following marking scheme will be used for this assignment.
Presentation of the report and formatting of the webliography.    10%
Scorecard analysis for the three companies.    25%
Marketplace map for the client company.    10%
SWOT analysis for the client company.    25%
Technology trends for the client company.    15%
Overview, Conclusions and Recommendations    10%
Self evaluation    5%
Total    100%
References
[1]     Computer Science Intranet Resources (no date) Available at: http://www.example.com (Accessed 3rd November 2013)
[2]     Chaffey, D. (2011) e-Business and e-Commerce Management, p283 in Chapter 5, Pearson Education Limited, England.
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Appendix A: Scorecard Criteria
For each criterion, assign a value between 1 and 10 (1 is poor and 10 is good). This is based on a scorecard in Table 5.10 in [2].
Scorecard category    Scorecard criteria
Ease of use    •    Demonstrations of functionality
•    Simplicity of account opening and transaction process
•    Consistency of design and navigation
•    Adherence to proper user interaction principles
•    Integration of data providing efficient access to information commonly accessed by consumers
Customer confidence    •    Availability, depth and breadth of customer service options, including phone, e-mail
•    Privacy policies, service guarantees, fees and explanation of fees
•    Security features employed
•    Financial strength, years in business, years online and membership of trade organisations.
On-site resources    •    Availability of specific products
•    Availability to transact in each product online
•    Ability to seek service requests online
Relationship services    •    Online help, tutorials, glossary and frequently asked questions
•    Advice
•    Personalisation of data
•    Ability to customise a site
•    Frequent-buyer incentives
Overall cost    • Added fees due to shipping and handling

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