I've been interviewed and hired to teach an "Introduction to E-Commerce" class at a college nearby. It is a night class offered by the Center For Professional Development. I am told most of the students will be adults who own businesses and want to know more about getting their businesses online. I'm excited and it's going to be a great class.
Now I'm developing the curriculum/syllabus for the class. The Director of the Center says she'd like Case Studies of succesful e-commerce companies and so I've purchased the book Striking It Rich by Jacklyn Easton.
Any other books or articles about successful e-commerce companies or strategies you can recommend?
As for topics in the class, I plan on talking about shopping carts, secure transactions, site navigation/site design for sales sites, personalization, affiliate programs, email newsletters to draw return visitors, internet advertising (pay-per-click search engines, ad banners, e-zine/newsletter ads), etc.
Any pertinent things I'm missing that you would add?
There aren't that many courses/reference materials available on e-commerce yet, so I can use your advice.
Thanks in advance and wish me luck!
Sean P. Cover
This sounds like a great opportunity both for you and the students. I’m both an e-business integrator and a college student so maybe my insight will be useful. My major has absolutely nothing to do with Computer Sciences however I have taken a few courses in similar fields to brush up on my skills and to earn extra units.
You’ve got most of the basics listed in terms of a curriculum. I’d add security, encryption, SSL certificates, and I’d also cover the differences between fortune 500 type systems and your average small business e-commerce web site.
I’ve browsed through quite a few e-commerce books at my local Barnes and Noble. I’d suggest purchasing or at least looking at “The Complete Idiots Guide to E-Commerce”. This book may work well as a text for the course as well. “Enterprise E-Commerce” is also an interesting book and may give you some insight on “high end” e-commerce application. This book covers more in depth concepts for people managing e-commerce systems (I did not buy it because it was not technical enough for my needs).
You may want to try talking with other professors with similar classes and possibility the same students - particularly ASP, PHP, C++, Perl, Java, Networking/Server Admin, and security type courses. If you can tie the courses together students taking both courses will gain more. Your course can’t obviously cover every programming language that may be used with on-line transaction systems, but it may be able to at least mention them and “tie everything together” for students majoring in the subject.
I’ve found http://www.onlineorders.net to be a helpful resource for e-commerce services. They have a fairly large index of shopping cart applications, merchant accounts, etc.
Best of luck with your course and feel free to contact me by email with any questions or comments. Unfortunately I never have enough time to visit forums that often.
you should try trade magazines like internet world, info world etc.
sites like zdnet.com have invaluable info..
cio.com is awesome as to is darwinmag.com
don´t know if personalizsation covers that, but you forgot content management.
i think this is one of the most important points in the future, especially for e-commerce businesses. you can find lots of case studies at vignette.com or interwoven.com.
the more content companies produce the better they have to manage that...content management does not only manage uploading files or things like that. it creates a complete new workflow within the business,
watch out my website, i will publish a few reports about this topic in the near future,
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I teach the same course in an Applied Technology Center (similar to a junior college). And I am writing with some advice -- know your audience.
You may be surprised at how non-technical some business owners are (no offense intended. Don't go in over their heads. I made the mistake of assuming they were coming in with some background knowledge of what they were getting into.
Many business owners know how to get on the Internet and have a belief that if they put their business online that it will miraculously make them more money or in the very least help their business in some way just by the fact that they have a site. They are there to learn how to select an Internet host, what fees to be aware of, and may not even know what FTP stands for or how to use it.
The first time I taught this course, I had some people who were really in the know, but the majority of those taking the course were doing so to learn how to put their own business online. Some were even looking for a web page design course or a course that would show them how to create their company site and the concept of e-mail marketing was more than they wanted.
I ended up breaking the class into three classes:
1. Setting up and Maintaining an Online Company (selecting and obtaining a domain name, selecting Internet and e-Commerce Host(s), the basics of file management and FTP, info about professional correspondence via e-mail, signature files, autoresponders, setting up a home or office computer to pick up e-mail from company e-mail accounts, and target audience and marketing objectives).
2. Web Site Marketing and Promotion (e-mail marketing, ezines/newsletters, search engine placement, autoresponders, gathering web site visitor information, creating fast loading graphics, writing for the web, free online marketing resources, Alt tags and how search engines and directories use them, banner ads, link swapping, and offline promotion)
3. e-Commerce: Internet Stores and Shopping Carts (Online store options: server side software, XML and Java, Internet host templates, shopping cart and order processing services. Merchant accounts, hidden fees, online customer service issues, and how to secure a site).
Hope this helps