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Case Study – Betty’s Treasures
Betty Shriver is the owner of Betty’s Treasures, a small shop that sells collectible porcelain figurines and collectible pottery. Betty’s shop carries many items that she purchased from estate sales and regional auctions, but the shop also sells handcrafted items made by local artisans, including greeting cards, stuffed toy animals, small pottery items, and knitted sweaters. The shop is located in Metamora, Indiana, which is a popular tourist destination for weekend travelers in the Midwest. The town of Old Metamora is a small historic area in a rural setting that is less than a day’s drive from seven major metropolitan areas: Chicago, Cincinnati, Columbus, Detroit, Indianapolis, Louisville, and St. Louis.
The shop is very busy on weekends and during the spring and summer months when tourists flock to Old Metamora. In the early fall, the tourist traffic slows considerably, and in the winter months, the town becomes almost deserted. Several years ago, Betty began to pick up extra business during the offseason by auctioning items on eBay. The auctions helped keep inventory moving during the slow months and Betty found that she could afford to carry a wider selection of items in the store. In the past, she would avoid buying unusual items at estate sales and auctions because they might not sell quickly in the shop. Now Betty knows that any item that does not sell in the shop can be auctioned online quite easily. Another unexpected benefit of participating in online auctions is that Betty developed relationships with regular buyers of figurines and with people who run collectibles stores in other parts of the country through their transactions on eBay.
Betty’s online auction experiences prompted her to consider expanding the online portion of her business. She has heard from other shop owners that eBay allows people to create online stores within the eBay site and that Amazon.com offers a similar service that lists seller’s items on Amazon.com’s regular product pages. She is also interested in creating a Web site that contains photos and descriptions of popular figurines with additional information about how they are made. Betty is thinking that including a list of figurines that are no longer manufactured (which makes them more valuable) and a guide to buying collectible figurines that could help her customers and bidders on her auctions make more informed decisions as they add to their collections. She believes that such a site could attract a large number of people interested in figurines. She wants to find ways to direct these site visitors to her auctions and her proposed Web store.
Betty has hired you as a consultant to build on her ideas and to help her develop an expansion strategy for her online business activities. Your assignment this week is to use your favorite Web search engine or your library to search for information about selling on Amazon Marketplace, eBay Stores, and an additional platform, Etsy.com. Based on your research, compare these three options for Betty’s online sales of figurines. Include relevant facts, including specific costs of operating each type of store and specific benefits provided by each option. Summarize your recommendation and supporting facts in a report to Betty. Include in your report an outline a general social networking strategy that Betty could use to increase online sales of figurines that would work for all three platform (the Amazon Marketplace, eBay Stores, Etsy) options. Be sure to consider including a Web site in your strategy that would be separate from the Betty’s Treasures Amazon Marketplace, eBay Store or Etsy presence.
The following requirements must be met:
·  Write between 1,000 – 1,500 words using Microsoft Word in APA style.
·  Use an appropriate number of references to support your position, and defend your arguments. The following are examples of primary and secondary sources that may be used, and non-credible and opinion based sources that may not be used.
o  Primary sources such as government websites (United States Department of Labor – Bureau of Labor Statistics, United States Census Bureau, The World Bank), peer reviewed and scholarly journals in EBSCOhost (Grantham University Online Library) and Google Scholar.
o  Secondary and credible sources such as CNN Money, The Wall Street Journal, trade journals, and publications in EBSCOhost (Grantham University Online Library).
o  Non-credible and opinion based sources such as, Wikis, Yahoo Answers, eHow, blogs, etc. should not be used.
·  Cite all reference material (data, dates, graphs, quotes, paraphrased statements, information, etc.) in the paper and list each source on a reference page using APA style. APA resources, including a template, are provided in the Supplemental Materials folder.

Required Text
Schneider, G. P. (2015). Electronic Commerce (11th ed.).
Stamford, CT: Cengage Learning.
Boston, MA. ISBN: 9781285742298
BUS615 Ecommerce

Purchasing, logistics and business processes include many steps and sequences to complete the business flow from identification of needs to completing transactions.

Figure 5-1 of Schneider, 2015 illustrated the typical business process.

Information systems and the Internet have improved the efficiency of the business process through enhancing information systems and Internet based processes through the implementation of Electronic Data Interchange (EDI).

EDI invokes a set of standards for common business transactions to make the business process more efficient.

See figure 5-5 Schneider, 2015 (p. 219) for an example of common EDI transactions. Compare the information flow in a paper process as illustrated in Schneider, 2015 (Figure 5-6 p. 220) with the Information flow in an EDI process as illustrated in figure 5-7 Schneider, 2015.

Business to Business Activities; Improving efficiency and reducing cost.
Chapter 5

Electronic marketplaces and portals started in the 1990s with industry and market specific hub or portals.

The specific nature of these hubs limits the business of the hubs to certain markets. In the 2000s Internet business grew and so did the need for more diverse hubs that would align to more than one specific market (Schneider, 2015).

While these portals are also available in the private sector, Business-to-Business (B2B) portals provide for an industry consortium market place.

Figure 5-13 (Schneider, 2015) provides an illustration of the characteristics of the B2B market.

Business –to- Business Activities; Improving efficiency and reducing cost.
Chapter 5

The prominence of Social Networking is such that it has become a dominant market venue for an online mobile social society.

The development of Social networking sites, as illustrated in figure 6-1, Schneider, 2015, underscores the demand for social media and the response from the technological community to support.

Figure 6-2 Schneider, 2015, illustrates, essentially, the market available through social media in that nearly the entire northern hemisphere is connected via some form of social media.

Chapter 6
Social networking, mobile commerce and online auctions

Smart phones have changed the marketing scheme by providing a device that connects consumers to the Internet remotely providing for a mobile social market.

The operating systems that power these devices have evolved as the need for getting and staying connected to a global social market increases.

Figure 6-5 Schneider, 2015, illustrated the changes in Smart Phone operating systems market share.

Note the decline of the Black Berry operating system share from 2006 to 2011 as Black Berry remained more of a business application as did windows while Android and Apple focused more on the social connectivity aspect of the market.

The social mobile market has many aspects including Social Networking web sites for shoppers, Idea-based Social Networking and virtual learning networks (Schneider, 2015,. These mobile devices, networks and markets represent the third wave in Ecommerce.

Chapter 6
Social networking, mobile commerce and online auctions

Ecommerce has been placed in the consumer’s hands through the implementation of auction web sites.

Web sites such as eBay solve the most basic of business problems, “How do I get to market?”

Auction websites provide the means to open a global market to anyone with Internet access.

Chapter 6
Social networking, mobile commerce and online auctions

Chapter 5

Chapter 6