Question #1: Why is E-Commerce not a fad?


Respondent 1:  Taken as a separate subject, E-Commerce will be recognized as a fad. What is not a fad the trend towards ubiquitous computing, including wire and wireless connections between any and every possible person and device.


Respondent 2:  It is a fad. It will(is) migrateing into IP-based information systems (or web-based business processes).


Respondent 3:  The notion of applying a universal GUI interface on platform independent clients has been a long-time goal of IS. The combination of the TCP/IP protocol, the WWW and cheap hardware/software has allowed entrepreneurs to create software applications that we not possible 10 years ago.


Respondent 4:  e-commerce is a fad. There is very little difference between e-commerce and any other kind of commerce. The difference is the transaction medium.


Respondent 5:  The economic efficiencies of ecommerce are to great for business to ignore for long. Eventually E-Commerce will become synonomous with commerce.


Respondent 6:  E-Commerce is s separate subject of enquiry today, but will eventually became embedded in many(all) subject areas as it becomes widespread.


Respondent 7:  It is/should be an integral part of an organizational strategy


Respondent 8:  Because it is part of the structure of business in all developed countries. It has true, long lasting benefits (if done properly). Of course, this also true of heroin addiction. Permanent is not always good.


More than a century aho the president of Western Union turned down the chance to take over the development of the telephone. "It's a fad", he snoffed.


Respondent 9:  To imply that it is a fad would be to imply that conducting business on the web will fade into the background in the future and that is probably a false assumption. To imply that electronic commerce is not different from traditional commerce and has no special designation is also improbable.


Respondent 10:  There are fundamental things in ecommerce.


Respondent 11:  Because it will contiue to be used after it was introduced.


Respondent 12:  1. Because it is such a broad term, like commerce, that there is nothing special about it. Everybody is involved in e-commerce. What is there about e- commmerce that people can get an ego boost from when they say they deal with e-commerce? Who doesn't?


Respondent 13:  --Doing business online (e-commerce) is becoming part of every business strategy.

--Every business is using the Internet.

--In fact, the only way it is not a fad is in the saying "soon all business will be e-business".



Respondent 14:  E-Commerce hype was a fad. The success factors are not new, so the content can be solid. Some new elements have been introduced: it's questionable whether these are now taught in traditional subjects now already


Respondent 15:  It is far from being a fad. e-Commerce and e-Business have changed their names to commerce and business. e-commerce is entirely subsumed by business and is an integral part. To suggest it is a fad is to imply that, like the hula-hoop of the 1950's, it will pass out of favor. How is that possible? As a technology it is becoming increasingly difficult to separate the business from the technology, just as it is difficult to sometimes distinguish where the analysis end and the design begins.


Respondent 16:  Its only a version of business in general - and I dont see that as a fad

May not be reversible for some organisations - investment costs etc

The opportunities have not even been explored yet - once we move beyond simplistic conversions of exisiting business paradigms to a different one and begin to understand it we may be able to build new possibilites


Respondent 17:  E-Commerce is not a fad; the financial hype surrounding it is a fad. I view E-Commerce as closely analogous to air conditioning: critically fundamental to modern business but not, in and of itself, very interesting.


Respondent 18:  I suspect that it isn't teh big thing it was made out to be a couple of years ago, but it does add some things to a relationship, e.g. speed and depth of information transfer that can provide the medium for more depth in a buyer-seller relationship.


Respondent 19:  because it is so convenient, quick and 24/7


also you can check up on things without having to wend your way through an automated phone system


Respondent 20:  Because to many have already invested too much in it.


Because it is the ultimate in automating shopping and selling.


Because consumers are so time limited in todays consumer oriented society that even routine shopping is easier done from home wia the web.


Respondent 21:  It is a fad - it will eventually be subsumed into the broader marketing concept along with other board room 'fads' It is different to 'marketing' but it is still driven by marketing strategy (or should be). To check for a fad - ask yourself are buyers different because they seek information or buy on the web? If the answer is no - then it a marketing opportunity like any other still requiring a set of skills


Respondent 22:  Because it significantly changes consumer behavior and the way that business is done. Electronic technologies will not go away and are already significantly changing behavior.


Respondent 23:  For the same reason that telemarketing is not a fad.


Respondent 24:  Fads come and go - ecommerce came and is still here, there is an issue about why its called 'e-commerce' since its really part of e-business which in turn is part of 'business'


Respondent 25:  Because there are mamy areas in which e-commerce gives extra revenue for companies or save money or/and time for customer and/or company.


Respondent 26:  A fad, in my opinion, is something that is replaced easily by the next 'big' thing. I find it a challenge to think what could replace eCommerce. It's not a new style or new fashion, it is a way of conducting business.


Respondent 27:  Principles of business and marketing are the same but the context is changed significantly


Respondent 28:  in the b2b area it is not a fad but because virtually all of our focus has been on b2c we are getting inaccurate readings


Respondent 29:  Because it is a basic retailing outlet similar to catalogs.


Respondent 30:  If you mean e-commerce as a stand alone subject, I'm sorry I believe that it is a fad. If "E-commerce" remains a seperate subject it means that it has failed to mature. When it is an inseperable part of commerce will have suceeded and you will not be able to teach it as a seperate subject.


Respondent 31:  All of these answers will be based on my experience/teaching of E-Marketing.



To some degree it is a fad within course offerings. Many schools felt that they needed to introduce an Internet course before they knew what material should be covered. I saw an initial struggle between the tech side of the topic and the business/marketing side.


I teach my Internet Marketing course (undergrad and MBA) as a special topics marketing strategy/management course. While the course must touch on some tech issues, it is a marketing course in content and design.



Because the internet is a promotional tool, a sales structure, a product delivery mechanism and a consumer information exchange medium, it is naive to believe that it will exit as quickly as it entered the business world.


Respondent 32:  The Internet is not going away and is now only in its infancy from a commerce perspective.


Respondent 33:   Direct mail is not a fad. Telephone orders are alive and well. The Internet will find its place as well. However, it is unlikely to make a major dent in retail sales.



Respondent 34:  E-commerce is to marketing as "re-engineering" is to strategic management. Because of the speed and digitalization of all forms of business information, including customer and product informaiotn, it creates possible efficiencies and supplemental channels. Of course, it is not a magic bullet. E-comm applications might be examined within Retail, Promotion, Research, or Channels courses, but their is enough overlap in the issues to package the e-comm topics review into a single course.


Respondent 35:  Largely due to the changing technological environment. In fact, the entire socio-politico-economic environment is in full gear to realize that E-Commerce certainly is not a fad. By the way why attribute such important acronym to commerce? Something that the British coined years ago and which has been subsumed by business. I believe it should be appropriately called E-Marketing. Most of my students think so too.


Respondent 36:  E commerce will continue into the future to affect the way consumers consume and the way marketers communicate with their customers, potential customers, and public.


Respondent 37:  It's part of e-business--digital support of the business process, so has it's roots in EFT, EDI as far back as the '70s. The Internet allows size of business not to be the detremining factor over access to digital processes. From a supply chain standpoint alone, the changes are significant and here to stay.


Respondent 38:  Because it's computer-to-computer with all the attendant potential benefits; all other commerce is human-to-computer or human-to-human. It allows us to take advantage of computer strengths in speed and accuracy.


Respondent 39:  It is a fad, which will disappear in the next five years as people realise that it is just commerce with an e on the front, nothing special at all


Respondent 40:  E-Commerce can be considered another name for Internet Technology and Business. Any manager and exectuive needs how to understand how the Internet and the World Wide Web changes their business and industry. Over 1 billion people has used the Inetrnet -- the failure to keep this in mind in managerial malpractice. The capital/IPO mania was just a fad; the people that created the Internet and the Web were never in it for the money. The money people ruined things.


Respondent 41:  Because it's rapidly mainstreaming; i.e., it's becoming the way business is done to (a) enhance existing revenue streams, (b) generate new revenue streams, (c) squeeze costs out of business processes. The gee-whiz factor is gone. Many organizations, profit & not-for-profit, private & apublic sector rapidly going up learning curve re how to use the technology well for connecting & building relationshps with relevant audiences.


Respondent 42:  E-Commerce has a significant impact on all aspects of marketing, especaially the Channel of Distribution, Promotion, and Pricing.


Respondent 43:  As a practitioner and educator, my opinion is that the separation of business study into "E-Commerce" and "traditional" business IS a fad. At this point, nearly ALL business has one or more of its aspects web-enabled. Even Mom and Pop shops have on-line sales. Furthermore, E-Commerce is a very narrow subject that tries to separate the sales part of the value chain from the other links which, in themselves, are often conducted using inter-networking technology.


It is not too early to put in place programs that teach business and technology as an integrated subject.


Respondent 44:  It is a business model that has changed the way many firms do business. It is increasingly being incorporated into many business strategies.


Respondent 45:  Within business infrastructure

B@B systems improve supply chain

Steady, but not spectaculat growth in consumer use


Respondent 46:  A number of e-business models seem to be successful, and for incumbent offline businesses, e-commerce also appears to be a promising area, especially with regard to marketing.


Respondent 47:  because it is a tool.


Respondent 48:  If you consider the wider use of the Internet,

not just transactions, E-commerce is a service consumers expect. They expect to find basic product information, service information, contact numbers and other types of info on the company website 24/7. They also expect investor info that's there 24/7. Many consumers use the web to supliment their serach process and then make their

final purchase at a traditional retail store. But without the initial data posted on-line, a company is at a disadvantage.


Also, B2B is Internet driven and that is a major component of e-commerce.


Respondent 49:  The rapid adoption of e-commerce in B2B and B2C demonstrates buyer/seller preference for this medium in many markets. More and more studies show that more and more users consider the internet, and e-commerce, a necessity for their lives.


Respondent 50:  Off the top of my head: convenience, consistency, and cost effectiveness. It's extremely convenient for consumers, offering even those located in small towns the ability to have virtually anything easily located and delivered to their door. For the seller it offers consistency, in that a sales force is made up of multiple personalities who may present different and even incompatible images for a company, as well as inconsistent responses to consumer questions. E-commerce, in the form of the Internet, allows similar interaction with far more consistent presentation to consumers of both image and information. And, obviously, e-commerce CAN be more cost efficient than a sales force, while offering many (or most) of the same benefits of a sales force.


Respondent 51:  the internet has become entwined with commerce in many ways. Further, there are growing applications of technology (e.g. gambling) whereby commerce can be undertaken exclusively with the net.


Respondent 52:  It is here to stay and we see it manifested in a variety of applications and inductries.


Respondent 53:  But it is a fad.


Respondent 54:  Because it is too important a change to available marketing and eBusiness techniques to be ignored.

It is not a "brave new world" but it is an important thrust towards improved communications and channels capability


Respondent 55:  It has an impact on the information-search of (potential) customers: look up product-related information, store-related information... Perhaps customers do not (yet) directly buy on the Net, there still is an (indirect) impact. I think that the e-commerce spending will grow in the future, given the demographic, sociological, ... evolutions. However, it will never be an enormous part of the retail-spending in terms of money-expenditures, though only a small percentage may represent a huge sum (and hence may be very important).


Respondent 56:  Is marketing a fad? E-commerce is a business reality; it is simply no longer held to be the answer to all business problems.


Respondent 57:  most incumbent retailers have now adopted e-commerce, and many are already proftable at it. It already accounts for over $30B in sales and the number continues to grow.


Add to this the huge number of B2B uses, and e-commerce remains a solid, growing channel for transactions.


Respondent 58:  eventually will find its way as an alternative distribution/support channel.


Respondent 59:  It is growing in volume, in budgetary allocations, and in importance to competitive strategy in many industries


Respondent 60:  e-commerce has become a way, in some cases, to gain competitive advantage -- sometimes it's not even an option when conducting business with trading partners


Respondent 61:  It is a fundamental infrastructure shift that presents real cost advantages for participating firms.


Respondent 62:  At the very least e-commerce is another means to sell to consumers. In many ways it represents a new form of catalog shopping, with consumers able to find the catalogs easily, instead of the firm having to find the consumers.


Respondent 63:  E-Commerce is not a fad - it is the single most important evolution in IT that we've seen since the PC. The 'fadishness' is in the term itself. Larry Elisson has been quoted as saying that no industry is more fashion conscious than the computer industry - not even apparel. He's correct. While some split hairs regarding the difference between IS & e-commerce (or even worse, try to introduce additional cumbersome terms like e-business, as if they were indeed meaningful), most recognize that IT is e-commerce and that slowly, e-commerce is becoming commerce. IT itself has seen a transition in terms ? data processing, MIS, IS, IT (I would maintain there remains a strong distinction between IS the systems and IT the technologies, but?.). E-Commerce is a natural evolution of these. In time there may be specialty courses in e-commerce that focus on aspects such as consumer-based EC, service-EC, web services, etc., but these are really specialty classes within the IS domain. There may also be topical classes from marketing, finance, law, but these are really extension of the "Tech in?." classes (Tech in Marketing, Tech in Law, etc.). E-Commerce 'lives' in two disciplinary bodies: strategy (how can you compete when everyone can copy your tech & the competition is a click away) and IS (the 'tech' of the discipline).


Respondent 64:  It is a new medium, it will transform, but it's similar to the advent of the telephone - we wont be resiling from it.