Mobile Commerce Chapter 4

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What are the questions you must ask and answer when developing an e-commerce presence?
- What is your vision & how do you hope to accomplish it
- What is your business and revenue model?
- Who and where is the target audience?
- What are the characteristics of the market place?
- Where is the content coming from? (content is why your customers visit) important for foundation
- Develop an e-com presence map
- Develop a timeline
- Develop a detailed budget
What are the factors that must be considered when building an e-commerce site?
- Hardware
- Software
- Telecommunications capacity
- Website/Mobile platform design
- HR
- Organizational Capabilities
What are the 5 major steps involved when building an e-commerce website?
1) Identify specific business objectives for the site & develop a list of system functionalities and info requirements
2) Develop a system design specification
3) Build the site (in house or outsource all or parts to outside contractors)
4) Test the system (unit testing, system testing, acceptance testing, A/B Split testing)
5) Implement and maintain the site
What are the basic business and system functionalities an e-commerce site should contain?
Should include:
- digital catalog
- product database
- customer tracking
- shopping cart/payment system
- on site blog
- customer database
- ad server
- site tracking & reporting system
- inventory management system
What are the advantages/disadvantages of building a site in house?
Advantages:
-ability to change and adapt the site quickly as the market demands

Disadvantages:
- higher cost
- greater risk of failure
- time consuming process
- longer staff learning curve (delays time to market)
What are the limitations of using design templates to build websites?
- cuts development time, but can limit functionality
What are the limitations of outsourcing the hosting site?
- places the burden of reliability on someone
Define the systems development life cycle and discuss the various steps involved in creating an e-commerce sit
Systems development life cycle: a methodology for understanding business objectives of a stem and designing appropriate technology solution

5 steps:
1) Identify specific business objectives for the site, and develop a list of system functionalities and information requirements
2) Develop a system design specification
3) Build the site; either by in house personnel or outsourcing
4) Test the system (unit testing, system testing, split A/B testing, acceptance testing etc)
5) Implement and maintain the site
Discuss the differences between a simple logical and simple physical website design
Logical design: includes a data flow diagram that describes the flow of information at your e-commerce website.
Details about:
- the functions that will be performed
- the data bases that will be used
- security & back up procedures

Physical design: translates the logical design into physical components.

Has details about:
- the specific model or server to be purchased
- software that will be used
- size of telecommunications link
- the way the system will be backed up/protected and so on
Why is system testing important? Name the types of testing and their relation to one another
System testing: involves testing the site as a whole, in the same way a typical would use the site when it's finished.

System testing should be done whether the system is outsourced or built in house.

It is important to verify that the system has 0 defects, otherwise the customers find it as an ineffective system. Communication errors may occur if the system is not tested.

Types of testing:
Unit Testing
- tests the websites modules one at a time

System Testing
- tests the website as a whole, in a way a user would use the site

Acceptance Testing
- verifies that the business objectives of the system as originally conceived are working
- requires that company's personnel and departments works on this system and confirms that there are no defects

A/B Testing (Split Testing)
- involves using two different versions of a web page or or website to different users to see which one performs better

multivariate testing
- is a more sophisticated way of testing. involves identifying specific elements (such as headline, image, etc) on a web page and creating versions for each element then creating a unique combo of each element and version to test.

These testing processes help ensure that there are no defects for the website, and ensures that the website is implemented in the most effective way possible.
Compare the costs for system development and system maintenance. Which is more expensive and why?
Complete cost of the system development is almost parallel to the annual cost of the system maintenance.

If system development in total cost 60,000 then the annual costs for system maintenance will most likely be 60,000

Even though the system is installed and finished the operational life of the system is just beginning. Systems need continual checking, testing and repair. Maintenance is vital for a system, but it is not always budgeted for.

E-commerce sites are always in a process of change, improvement, and correction. Teams must keep up with maintenance to ensure that there won't be any breakdowns or disturbances to business operations which could incur huge loss.
Why is a website so costly to maintain? Discuss the main factors that impact loss
Websites are always in a process of change, improvement, and correction. The long term success of the website is determined by a dedicated team of employees whose job is to monitor the website, and adapt to any changing market conditions.

Main factors that impact loss:
Benchmarking
- site is compared with competitors in terms of response speed, quality of layout, and design. Team has to keep the site current on pricing and promotions as well

Tech Resources
- Thre is a huge cost for servers and updated versions as well as necessary infrasctrucutre as well as responding to emergency situations (ie. links lost and the site goes down)

Human Resources
- You will need a dedicated team of employees with skills to manage general administrations, testing, debugging, and responding to emergency situations as well as manage data files.
- Team includes: programmers, IT managers, and designers
What are the main differences between single tier, two tier and multi tier site architecture?
system architecture:
- the arrangement of software, machinary, and taks in an information system needed to achieve a specific functionality

single tier:
- website software is more simple consisting of a server computer running basic web server software

two-tier:
- web server responds to requests for webpages, and a database server provides backend data storage

multi-tier:
- web server is liked to a middle-tier layer that includes application servers that perform specific tasks, and also has a backened layer of existing corporate systems containing product, customer, and pricing info. provides the fastest performance
Name the basic functionalities a web server should provide
1) Processing HTTP Requests:
- whenever a request is received from the client for HTML pages, this must be able to be processed - aka interconnectivity of one page to another

2) Security Services
- must be provided for customer info such as log in passwords, bank details and other private info. Failure of this will cause greater damage to customer, as well as the organization

3) Search Engine
- Having an accessible search option by providing proper index and keyword search capability

4) E-mail
- email function should be able to send, receive and store customer or client messages

5) Site Management Tools
- calculate and display key site stats, such as unique visitors, page requests, origins of requests; check links on pages

6) Data Capture
- Log file of all visits, time, duration, and referral source

7) File Transfer Protocol
- allows transfer of large files from server to server
What are the main factors to consider when choosing the best hardware platform for your website?
When choosing the best hardware platform you have to understand the factors that affect the speed, capacity and scalability of your website.

- demand affects the speed of your website; # of users in peak periods, nature of requests, content etc are all factors in overall demand of a website system
- need to consider the number of simultaneous users who will likely visit your site
- Other factors to consider are user profile and the nature of the content; if users are requesting searches, registration forms, and order taking through shopping carts then the demands of the processors will increase
Why is web server bandwidth an important issue for e-commerce sites?
Web server bandwidth is important for any functioning site. If the bandwidth limit is reached, then the website will not be accessible. It's important that bandwidth should be high.
- usage should be focussed on to ensure that there aren;t any downtime errors. Any issues may bring economic loss as many transactions wouldn't be able to go through
Compare and contrast various scaling methods. Explain why scalability is a key business issue for websites.
Scalability: ability of a site to increase in size as demand warrants (as people purchase more goods)

Three methods to meet demands for services at your site include: scale hardware vertically, scare hardware horizontally, and/or improve the processing architecture of the site (using both vertical and horizontal scaling with artful design decisions)

Vertical: increasing the processing power of individual components; do this by upgrading servers from a single processor to multiple processors, can keep adding processors to a computer depending on the operating system; also upgrade to faster chip speeds

Horizontal: employing multiple computers to share the workload among servers

vertical and horizontal techniques include
- use faster computer
- create cluster of computers
- use appliance servers
- segment workload
- batch requests (put requests into groups)
- manage connections
- Aggregate user data
- Cache

- Scalability is a key issue for businesses because if it is disregarded, it may slow down access and become an inconvennience for customers. If the processing power is low, it may become slower to navigate the website and finish transactions. If it is slow, or inconvenient for customers it may create loss for the company.
What are the 8 most important factors impacting web site design, and how do they affect a site's operation?
Functionality
- pages work and load quick
Informational
- links customers can easily find and direct them to learn more about u and your products
Ease of Use
- Simple navigation
Redundant navigation
- alternative navigation that leads to same content
Ease of Purchase
- one or two click purchase
Multi-Browser Functionality
- Site works with the most popular browsers
Simple Graphics
- avoid distracting, graphics or sounds that the user cannot control
Legible Text
- avoid background that distort text or make it illegible
What are Java and Java script? What role do they play in website design?
Java
- is a programming language that allows programmers to create interactivity and active content on the client computer, thereby saving considerable load on the server
- initially developed by sun microsytems
- sources are interlinked to the browsers using java language

JavaScript
- a programming language invented by netscape that is used to control objects on an HTML page and handle interactions with the browser
- most often used on the client side to hand verification and validation for user input

They play a role in website design by making the client have a more interactive experience, and are used as an object control tool to enhance different websites that clients use. For instance, if a customer searches for a certain company or store, various websites are displayed as a result. In this way, various sources are interlinked to the browsers using java language. It can be used to display visual graphics, and create interactive environments and directly access the web server. People for instance can create a user name, and java script will be used to verify whether or not the user name has already been created.
Name and describe three methods used to treat customers individually. Why are they significant to e-commerce?
1) Customization
- ability to change the prodcut to better fit the needs of the customer
2) Placement of Cookies
- a small text file is placed on the user's client computer that can contain info about the customer; their history can be accessed from a data base
3) Personalize Web Content
- you can do this when you know the personal background of the visitor

These methods are significant to e-commerce because in order to be successful you need to know how to treat each customer on an individual basis and emulate a traditional face-to-face marketplace. By knowing the personal qualities and prior history to the website, as well as changing the product to better fit their needs can create a powerful marketplace that customers will value.
What are some of the policies e-commerce businesses must develop before launching a site, and why must they be developed?
Privacy Policy:
- A set of public statements declaring to customers how you treat their personal information that you gather on the website

Accessibility Rules:
- A set of design objects that ensure disabled users can effectively access your site

They must be developed to ensure to customers that their information is protected and they will have the ability to access their websites.
What are the advantages/disadvantages of mobile first design?
mobile first design: beginning the e-commerce development process with a mobile presence rather than a desktop website

Advantages:
- focuses on creating the best possible experience; rather than creating a full feature design for the web
- forces designers to focus on what is important; creates a clean and efficient mobile design that functions better than a design with a traditional platform that has to be stripped down

Disadvantages: HCDI
Hardware
- mobile hardware is smaller; more resource contraints
Connectivity
- constrained by slower connection speeds than desktop sites
Displays
- smaller and require simplification
Interface
- touch screen creates new interaction routines that are different from mouse and keyboard
- mobile is not the best data entry tool but is a good navigational tool
Difference between a mobile web app and a native app?
Mobile web app:
- app that is built to run on the mobile web browser built into a smart phone or tablet
-ie. safari on the iphone

Native App:
- app that is designed specifically to operate using the mobile device's hardware and operating system
-ie. you can download a book using the internet, disconnect from the internet and still be able to read the book
-ie. Spotify - you can download music on the app and continue to listen when you aren't connected to the internet
In what ways does a hybrid mobile app combine the functionality of a mobile web app and a native web app?
Hybrid app runs inside a native container on the mobile device and has access to the device's API's (allows users to interact in the web beyond what the web browser allows) which allows it to take advantage of many of the devices features that are normally not accessible by a mobile web app
What is PHP and how is it used in web development?
PHP is an open source, general purpose scripting language that is most commonly used in server-side web apps to create dynamic web page content
- used by over 80% of websites
- also popular with hackers
How does responsive web design differ from adaptive web delivery
RWD
- automatically adjust the layout of a website depending on the screen resolution of the device

AWD
-server hosting the website detects attributes of the device making theh 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 that device
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