order to contemplate e-commerce, a business must first have a basic
level of connectivity and experience of ICT usage. The general purpose
progress path described here may help you plan the way you introduce
and develop ICT in your business. InfoShop's design services and
equipment supplies will help you build that infrastructure on which
your future e-commerce will depend.
DTI in the UK has created a six step model termed the 'adoption ladder'
in order to measure1
the progress towards e-commerce of UK companies against companies
world-wide. The sixth step is that of integrating the previous five
steps and is not shown in the figure below.
Step 1: Messaging
By messaging we mean email. This is used to
send text messages and very often files such as documents, pictures or
audio clips internally within a business and between the business and
its customers and suppliers. E-commerce focuses on the use of email
between the company, its customers and suppliers.
Step 2: Online Marketing
The establishment of a publicly accessible
website or email list by a business for the purpose of publishing
information about its products and services. The website can be used to
publish all sorts of marketing information such as data sheets, flyers,
prices, stock levels etc.
Step 3: Online Ordering
The order transaction process being done
electronically, either between a company and it's customers, its
suppliers or both.
Step 4: Online Payment
A payment transaction can be split into two
online processes, issuing and receiving an invoice and issuing payment
through the use of credit/debit cards, electronic cash / funds
transfer, or an EDI service.
Step 5: Order Progress / Online sales
The use of e-commerce to support the
relationship between a customer and supplier, for example online order
tracking, post sales support etc.
Step 6: e-Business
The integration of steps 1-5, which by
definition means that the business has integrated ICT into its