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Secrets of Ecommerce

The world market of Internet subscribers has reached the mark of 400 million and is increasing every day showing a growth rate of 100%. The Asia/Pacific region although comprising mostly of developing countries has reached upto 4 million subscribers. In Pakistan, the 'dot com' culture is emerging at a very fast pace and there has been a mushroom growth of Pakistani commercial web sites, information portals and specialized search engines. Electronic commerce in Pakistan is growing at a rapid pace, which has prompted the government to take a number of e-commerce development initiatives.

The field of electronic commerce is relatively new and its usages are alien to most business enterprises in developing countries. The International Trade Center (ITC) in collaboration with SMEDA (Small and Medium Enterprise Development Authority) has addressed this problem by launching a comprehensive publication highlighting issues concerning electronic commerce.

The book entitled 'Secrets of Electronic Commerce' answers commonly asked questions on various aspects of e- commerce. It addresses issues such as understanding of various technical terms, devising electronic commerce strategies, protecting consumer privacy and intellectual property, sending electronic signatures and generating traffic for small/new web sites. An attempt to answer these questions has been made in this guide, and suggested sources of additional information are provided. A template for an e-commerce business plan, the finding of research studies with practical impact, and references to web sites illustrating specific points are also given.

The guide identifies SME issues and constraints with regards to e-commerce explaining how to develop an e-commerce strategy and conduct online market research; outlining marketing and online communication techniques and answers questions on legal and financial issues. Characteristics of successful web sites have been highlighted, dealing with technical, policy and country-specific issues. It also provides information on online procurement; describes role of ITC in providing assistance in e-commerce, programs and services offered by other international bodies. Its appendices include model professional services agreement with web site designers; text of UNECE (United Nations Economic Commission for Europe) Electronic Commerce Agreement; summary of Pakistan's national e-commerce strategy. Also included are listing of Pakistan's Internet Service Providers and a questionnaire for the ITC survey of SMEs and export development organizations on e-commerce on which the guide has been based.

The book, which has already been launched in 32 countries, is a part of the 'Trade Secrets' series launched by ITC. It contains globally relevant information and has been indigenous according to various regions. In Pakistan's case all the local information required has been provided by SMEDA. Within the annexure of the book, a list of relevant government departments and private sector institutions has been included. This list also includes Internet Service Providers (ISPs) and educational institutes offering IT related education.

The information available in this publication is of immense usage for businesses that are seeking to expand to foreign markets or entrepreneurs who are doing well domestically and seek to expand their business through the electronic commerce market. The book can be used as a reference tool by small business consultants who need a credible and quick guide on basic issues of electronic commerce. Its importance as a textbook cannot be underestimated as it can be of tremendous benefit to students and instructors of electronic commerce.

Secrets of e-commerce is a new guide for small and medium sized exporters planning to expand their sales in foreign markets by using electronic commerce as a sales marketing and communication tool. Finding out what tools are available, what is suitable and how best to implement them can be an expensive and time consuming task. This publication represents a substantial research effort into technology, usage vendor and market information concerning e-commerce. It discusses and sets out everything you need to make an informed decision about the opportunities and threats that e-commerce might represent for your business.

Contact nearest SMEDA office on how to buy this book !


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