Chapter 4

1. What are the main factors to consider when developing an e-commerce presence?

The main factors to consider when developing an e-commerce presence are the organizational capabilities and human resources you will need to build and manage the site, the hardware, the software, the telecommunications infrastructure you will need to meet the demands of your customers, and the site design you will need to implement your business objectives.

5. Compare the costs for system development and system maintenance. Which is more expensive, and why?

The costs for system maintenance for an e-commerce Web site, can run anywhere from 50% to 100% per year of the original systems development costs. For small sites the annual maintenance cost can parallel the development costs, with larger sites achieving some economies of scale. Maintenance is more expensive because e-commerce sites are always in a process of change, improvement, and correction.

E-commerce sites are, in fact, never finished. They are always in the process of being built and rebuilt.


10. Why is Web server bandwidth an important issue for e-commerce sites?

 Web server bandwidth is another important consideration because the larger the bandwidth available, the more customers that can hit your site simultaneously. Most ISPs or other site-hosting providers are obligated to provide enough bandwidth so that your site can meet peak demands.


15. What are some of the policies e-commerce businesses must develop before launching a site and why?

Some of the policies that an e-commerce business site must develop prior to launching are a privacy policy, accessibility rules, and financial reporting policies. The privacy policy is a public statement detailing to customers how the personal information that is gathered at the site will be treated. Accessibility rules are a set of design objectives that ensure disabled users can effectively access a site.


20. How does responsive Web design differ from adaptive Web delivery?

Responsive Web design (RWD) tools and design techniques make it possible to design a Web site that automatically adjusts its layout and display according to the screen resolution of the device on which it is being viewed, whether a desktop, tablet, or smartphone. RDW uses the same HTML code and design for each device, but uses CSS (which determines the layout of the Web page) to adjust the layout and display to the screen’s form factor. One problem with RDW, particularly if not coupled with mobile first design, is that the responsive Web site still has the size and complexity of a traditional desktop site, sometimes making it slow to load and perform on a mobile device. Adaptive Web design was developed to deal with this issue. With adaptive Web design (AWD) (sometimes also referred to as adaptive delivery or responsive Web design with server-side components (RESS)), the server hosting the Web site detects the attributes of the device making the request and, using predefined templates based on device screen size along with CSS and JavaScript, loads a version of the site that is optimized for the device. AWD has a number of advantages compared to RWD, including faster load times, the ability to enhance or remove functionality on the fly, and typically a better user experience, particularly for businesses where user intent differs depending on the platform being used.