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Unit 008 – e-Commerce – level 3 – 10 credits[A/601/7313]

Aim and purpose

The aim of this unit is to ensure that learners know the technologies involved in e-commerce, understand the impact of e-commerce on organisations and on society, and that they are able to plan e-commerce strategies.

Unit introduction

One of the most important developments in business in recent times has been the increasing use of e-commerce. It has revolutionised many marketplaces and opened up opportunities never before imagined. Businesses that are not exploring the use of e-commerce are in danger of finding themselves being overtaken by those who are utilising this technology. E-commerce uses the internet to build and enhance relationships with customers, partners and other businesses. This can involve processing orders electronically, handling customer service and cooperating with business partners.

E-commerce can be conducted using the internet, intranets, extranets, or a combination of these.

The unit starts by looking at the technologies needed to operate e-commerce, ie the hardware, software and networking required for an e-commerce system to be implemented. Different categories of e-commerce such as e-tailers (those operating only online) and financial services, and the benefits and drawbacks for organisations of using e-commerce are considered. Attention is given to issues such as legislation and promotion. How do you get your company to the top of search lists? Security is a big issue as it affects customer trust. The unit considers the payment systems available and how they compare.

The social implications are considered. For example, the introduction of online shopping has changed our shopping habits and has benefited the housebound and those living a long way from shopping centres.

Finally, after assessing commercial sites, learners will bring all their learning together to develop an e-commerce strategy for a new business.

Learning outcomes
On completion of this unit a learner should:

  1. Know the technologies required for an e-commerce system
  2. Understand the impact of e-commerce on organisations
  3. Understand the effects of e-commerce on society
  4. Be able to plan e-commerce strategies


Recommended Resources


Chaffey D – E-business and E-Commerce Management, Second Edition (FT Prentice Hall, 2003) ISBN-10 0273683780, ISBN-13 978-0273683780
Malmsten E, Leander K, Portanger E and Drazin C – Boo Hoo: A Dot.com Story (Random House Business Books, 2002) ISBN-10 0099418371, ISBN-13 978-0099418375
Vise D – The Google Story (Pan, 2008) ISBN-10 0330508121, ISBN-13 978-0330508124



www.ico.gov.uk International Commissioner’s Office
www.w3.org World Wide Web Consortium


This unit links to the following related units:

  • Unit

Links to the following Level 3 Nationals in IT Courses

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