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”?
- 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.