Creating an E-commerce Model for the Bank of Plenty

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You will either get ahead of emerging developments or be trampled by them. The benefits of successful e-commerce outweigh the drawbacks, necessitating greater reliance on it by businesses. These companies have created and implemented websites that promote their different e-commerce models in order to meet and even exceed their objectives. Firms should pay careful attention to the e-commerce models they choose because the latter determines the organization's efficiency. Firms must ensure that their websites offer timely and reliable content to prospective clients, follow the organization's requirements, and are legally compliant when deciding on an e-commerce model. Failure to enfold the law may lead to fines and penalties. IT experts in firms should therefore, familiarize themselves with their countries' laws. Organizations should also seek to reduce their websites’ vulnerability to cybercrimes since the contrary will lead to loss of revenue.


The growing needs of economic agents in the market has necessitated the use of electronic commerce; sellers prefer a wider market, one which is not limited by locality while buyers prefer fast delivery of branded commodities (Gangeshwer, 2013, 191). This promotes efficiency in the market hence increase job and consumer satisfaction. With relatively more organizations venturing in e-commerce, it is advisable that other competing firms do the same to create a common ground for competition. Companies have to discover the best e-commerce model; one that is most compatible with their organizational structure to maximize profits. This paper is an official business report specifying the best e-commerce model that the Bank of Plenty can adopt. It assists the bank to develop a framework from which it can design and maintain its website in accordance to the available e-commerce legislation.


Electronic commerce has facilitated the growth and dominance of firms in the market. Correct manipulation of the internet can assist firms to broaden their activities those not participating in e-commerce are imposed since they miss out on the incredible opportunities that e-commerce brings about such as reduced costs on advertisements and widened markets. E-commerce is therefore imperative and firms should try incorporating it in their activities. They should determine the best model to adopt to increase their profit margins and customer satisfaction. E-commerce is however susceptible to privacy violations and firms should take the necessary precautions against this. National governments have formulated policies and regulations to ensure that the business environment is conducive for all its participants, especially that the latter’s rights are not infringed and that it’s use is intensified (Anil, 2001, 95).


This report was compiled based on the results of various qualitative and quantitative researches done by other scholars to determine various business structures and how each operates, the compatibility of different e-commerce models with different organization structures, the advantages and disadvantages relating to each model and the measures that should be taken to ensure that the e-commerce model chosen is effective and efficient. A cost benefit analysis is done to determine the best approach to take given Bank of Plenty's structure and position in the market. Security considerations are also reviewed.

Findings and Discussion

The findings of the study will be presented in five categories

Structure and aims of business organizations

Importance and impact of e-commerce

Design and maintenance of a website

Security considerations

E-commerce legislation

Structure and aims of business organizations

The primary objectives of business enterprises are to maximize profits and minimize costs. Secondary objectives include having huge market shares, brand building and maximizing shareholders’ income. Organizations' structures are influenced by external and internal factors which consequentially, determine the two major types of business structures; centralised and decentralised structures (Tran, 2013, 229). Studies show that businesses operating in risky environmental factors characterized by unstable legal environments, for instance, strict and inflexible legislation and risky political environments characterized by political instability tend to have decentralised structures. Decentralised structures in this case, involve delegation of power and decision making duties to individuals in lower positions within an organization. According to Tran, decentralised structures are the most advantageous since they consider factors such as types of markets, competition, comparative advantage, customer satisfaction and levels of innovation (2013,232). Different market types have different consumers with varying tastes and preferences, delegating power in these different markets promotes specialization in that, each branch can produce tailor-made products basing on the markets' preferences hence achieving high consumer satisfaction. This also improves the relationship between consumers and producers since more the is devoted to serve a smaller market. Consumers can air out their views concerning the services they receive and how best these services can be rendered to increase customer satisfaction. Division of market responsibilities also enables them to take advantage of favourable conditions and pay close attention to more demanding jurisdictions so that they can avoid paying unnecessary fines and penalties. All managers delegated with power are expected to report to an overall manager. Considering the fact that Bank of Plenty has forty branches in UK and one head office, it has a decentralised structure. Its e-commerce model should therefore, work best in a decentralised structured enterprise.

Importance and impact of e-commerce

E-commerce involves the buying and selling of commodities via the internet. It facilitates product promotion through the creation of a platform within which an organization can advertise the goods and services it sells. Some websites encourage consumer interaction by enabling them to rate the services rendered and even participate in publicity whereby a satisfied customer encourages potential customers to purchase a product. Consumer interaction enables producers to produce tailor-made products hence e-commerce facilitates customization of products over a relatively short period of time since producers do not have to meet consumers directly and waste time. E-commerce promotes cost minimization through facilitating information sharing mechanisms which are less costly as compared to the dependence on telephones, postage costs and meeting face to face. It also saves a significant amount of time by encouraging fast transmission of information from the recipient to the receiver enabling both parties to get immediate feedback and act on it as soon as possible. All these advantages accruing to enterprises using e-commerce increase its competitive advantage in the market since it has relatively lower advertising costs, responds to clients at shorter periods of time and designs their products to suit the needs of the market. It also facilitates doing business with people all over the world regardless of their locations hence a wider market (Wen, 2001, 6).

E-commerce is only appropriate for products that do not require buyers and sellers to build personal relationships with each other due to unguaranteed privacy (Gangeshwer, 2013, 191). It is therefore, imposes on firms selling products such as life insurance packages to limit their use of e-commerce to product promotion purposes only. Such firms are required to encourage their clients to make personal visits to their offices for them to get efficient services. Our concern, Bank of Plenty is not imposed since it provides banking services to clients and very few cases of privacy issues may arise.

Design and maintenance of a website

There are two major types of website designs; communication orientated and transactions orientated design (Wen, 2001,7). The communication orientated design complements an organization's activities and is mostly used to create product awareness and for product promotion whereas the transactions orientated design takes over the role of the organization by facilitating trade. Both designs have various e-commerce models which can be adopted basing on the objectives and capabilities of a firm. According to Wen, the communication oriented design has four models, cost reduction, product promotion, "info-mediary, brand awareness and image building model" (2001, 9). An e-commerce model that specializes in creating brand awareness informs existing and potential customers of the products they offer and how they give back to the society for instance through environmental preservation projects and advocating for human rights programs such as reebok; its websites highlights the importance of exercising and the activities it has volunteered to improve individuals' health. A product promotion website model specializes in advertisements and uses gifts to win over potential clients to visit the website enabling them to compare prices and the qualities of available products. Kodak for instance, provides demonstrations and tutorials for customers to be able to use their products with ease. Infomediary e-commerce models enable producers to get detailed information concerning consumers' buying habits in exchange for unlimited internet connectivity. This is the most beneficial model since consumer buying habits are vital in designing the products, determining the location from which they should be sold from and the quantity to be produced. This helps firms to cut down on costs since they will not be producing excess products or have a large amount of unused capacity in terms of excess factors of production. The transactions oriented strategy on the other hand involves "brokerage, retail, mall, subscription, customization, manufacturer" and product promotion models (Wen, 2001,10). These models are mostly used by huge corporations that intend to facilitate transactions through connecting different buyers and sellers and even advertising products at a fee. Bank of plenty can adopt both website designs, specifically the infomediary design hence the product promotion and retail models since they are most applicable to small enterprises seeking to strengthen their brand name through brand awareness and convenient alternative services to the ones provided by their competitors.

Since Bank of Plenty is most likely going to have a transactions website, the staff in the IT department are required to do several follow ups to ensure that the website is performing as expected. Website publishing ensures that the information available in the website in question is up to date (Diffily, 2006, 7). This calls for assignment of duties to staff in such a way that information is reviewed for accuracy, reliability, compliance with the existing laws and its appeal to the target audience. This promotes high quality data since the staff responsible are aware that data will be reviewed preceding its release. The website should then be accessed for conformity to the firm's standards. This is done through gathering information that can be scrutinized for quality such as absence of grammatical errors, broken links and absurdly large pages. Errors are then listed in an issues log and forwarded to the editing team to make necessary corrections. The website should also be checked whether it gives accurate and prompt responses to customers hence its performance and whether the infrastructure it uses is efficient (Diffily, 2006, 22). It should be affordable and convenient.

Security considerations

According to Smith, e-commerce is highly susceptible to cybercrimes (2011, 8). Cybercrimes are hazardous to businesses since they cause loss of confidential information and even trust of clients in the business. Website assurance services enable firms to maintain and attract new customers by assuring them of safety of their personal data and even investments in the companies. Organizations are advised to register their websites with these assurance providing firms since the latter give members certificates that prove their legality and genuineness (Smith, 2011, 11). They also inform users of the personal information they have concerning clients, its use and with whom it may be revealed to, with specified conditions.

E-commerce legislation

This refers to the rules and regulations which have been put in place to promote and regulate e-commerce. They ensure that organization have virtues of honesty, integrity, obedience among others while carrying out their daily activities (Anil, 2001, 94). Contract law for instance, encourages formation of online contracts based on the same requirements as face to face contracts. The fact that contracts are made electronically does not exempt them from observing the set regulations. All organizations should adhere to the Federal Privacy Act which advocates for the maintenance of high levels of confidentiality when dealing with personal information. This act restricts businesses from collecting clients’ and employees’ personal information, disclosing this personal information and updating it. Organizations are also expected to allow clients to have access to their personal information and correct it. The spam act requires organizations to ensure that promotional electronic messages are not sent to individuals without their consent. Breaching these acts may lead to fines and penalties, termination of business licences and even imprisonment (Klimt, 2003, 35).


Bank of Plenty should adopt both the communication and transactions orientated website designs for its e-commerce model to specialize in creation of brand awareness, advertising and information mediation. These models are most efficient since Bank of Plenty is a new entrant in the market making brand awareness and product promotion imperative. The e-commerce models will enable the bank to increase its market share by specializing in product promotion activities that mostly involve creation of brand awareness and advertising. Information mediation will enable the organization to cut down on costs of producing unnecessary surplus products. The website should be safeguarded against cybercrimes and malwares by the bank entering into partnership agreements with security assurance companies such as verisign and BBBOnline which will give the bank's website a seal assuring potential clients of the website’s authenticity. The bank's IT officials should also do regular check-ups to ensure that the website maintains its relevance and conforms to e-commerce legislation.


Anil, S., 2001. Electronic commerce in Asia: The legal, regulatory and policy issues. International Journal of Law and Information Technology, 9(2), pp 93-144.

Diffily, S., 2006. The website manager's handbook., pp 1-28.

Gangeshwer, D. K., 2013. E-commerce or internet marketing: A business review from Indian context. International Journal of u- and e- Service, Science and Technology, 6(6), pp 187-194.

Klimt, S., Symthe, N., Clark, S.S and Shailer, J., 2003. Protection of personal data. The Australian perspective. Def. Counsel. J., 70, P. 106.

Smith, K. T., 2011. Consumer perceptions regarding e-commerce and related risks. Business Quest, pp 1-22.

Tran, Q., and Tian, Y., 2013. Organizational structure: Influencing factors and impact of a firm. American Journal of Industrial and Business Management, 3, pp 229-236.

Wen, H. J., Chen, H. G. and Hwang, H. G., 2001. E-commerce website design: strategies and models. Information management & computer security, 9(1), pp.5-12.

December 21, 2022



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