The year 2000 saw many dot-com companies created and many existing companies
going into E-commerce. However, with many companies failing, it is clear that
companies need to follow a well thought out strategy for E-commerce. The main
research aim was to assist companies towards a successful E-commerce strategy. This
research was sponsored by NSB Retail which offers software solutions to high street
Published literature on E-commerce was studied to determine success and failure
factors in establishing a viable E-commerce business and lessons that can be learned
from this. As a result of the studies of E-commerce company experiences a strategy
formulation framework was created to help companies carry out feasibility study and
form a strategy for implementing E-commerce. At the heart of this framework were
twenty key questions for managers considering entering E-commerce and twelve
critical success factors needed for sustained E-commerce success.
This strategy formulation framework was tested by applying the initial stages in a
feasibility study for an established, traditional retail company to determine whether it
should move into E-commerce. The later stages of the framework were then
retrospectively applied to successful and unsuccessful E-commerce companies. The
case studies were also used to investigate whether traditional business and marketing
theory could still be applied to an E-commerce company.
To further test the concepts behind the strategy formulation framework, a series of
papers were submitted to peer reviewed conferences and journals. Feedback from the
reviews of these papers and from the audiences at the conferences was very positive
and showed that the experiences of experts in the E-commerce field generally agreed
with the findings. Investigations from the research has also revealed there is a shortage of case study
material for training E-commerce workers. Three case studies used in this research
were published in an MBA course book to be used by Ball State and other universities.
It is concluded that this research has made a valuable contribution for companies
contemplating an investment in E-commerce, and further work is identified to continue
to assist companies to form a strategy for E-commerce implementation in the future.
Doctoral Thesis. Submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the award of Doctor of Philosophy of Loughborough University.