The George Washington University, USA
Copyright 2004, Idea Group Inc. Copying or distributing in print or electronic forms without written permission of Idea Group Inc. is prohibited.
E-commerce strategies are not easy to create or deploy. The environmental uncertainties and the dynamics associated with the strategic context make it all the more important for organizations to carve out a clear e-commerce strategy. Such clarity is desirable to ensure that organizations not only not lose out on new opportunities, but also that they take the requisite steps that are necessary to remain viable players in their existing value chains—that are slowly morphing into value webs or constellations. There are multiple typologies of e-commerce strategies. In the e-commerce context, strategies are closely related to the notion of "business models" (to the extent that they are used interchangeably also). In this chapter, we will seek to understand the essence of e-commerce in a strategic context. We will also develop a framework to understand e-commerce and relate that to theories and case studies. We discuss the state of knowledge in e-commerce strategies and understand how developing and deploying an e-commerce strategy is like chasing a moving and changing target.