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Lesson 5 Ecommerce Site Course project
Objective Describe the English-collectors.com course project.

Ecommerce Site Course Project

This course was designed to give you a wide range of knowledge in this course.
This knowledge will be applicable to the many different issues you will encounter while planning and implementing your e-commerce site.
To practice applying this knowledge, you will complete several small projects for this course.

Ecommerce course project

Your task is to create a new Web site named English-collectors.com.
This company already exists and this company specializes in importing goods from England. It sells antiques (furniture, objects of interest), art, clothing, food, and so forth from England to anglophiles worldwide.
The company not only has products for sale, it also offers a finding service for items of interest.

Project Objectives

By the end of the course project, you will be able to:
  1. Consider business design goals for the site and write a story board
  2. Plan software and hardware requirements
  3. Solve a security problem
  4. Plan a payment processing solution
  5. Conduct a log analysis of the Web site

History of Amazon.com

Amazon.com is the most successful ecommerce retailer in existence today. Started in a garage by Jeff Bezos in 1995, it has since grown to become the largest Internet retailer, with the highest levels of customer satisfaction, the fastest revenue growth rate. One of the Internet Big Four companies, along with Yahoo, eBay and Google, few would have thought it possible when Amazon first opened for business that an online bookstore would become one of the premiere general retailers in the world.
But Amazon's ability to maintain operations at a sufficiently profitable level is a fact that continues to worry investors in 2005. Critics are of two minds: either Amazon will become the online Wal-Mart (and suffer from its huge size just as Wal- Mart does) or it will fail to deliver superior growth and profits because it has spread itself too thin, taken on too many product lines, and given away too much revenue to customers by offering free shipping and superior service. Supporters, and Bezos himself, counter that Amazon has become the Web's largest retailer on a revenue basis by focusing on the customer, not short-term profits, and that it will ultimately become one of the most profitable by following the same strategy.
Amazon certainly has had a roller coaster ride in its ten brief years. In December 1999, Jeff Bezos graced the cover of Time magazine as its Person of the Year. In the same month, Amazon's stock reached a peak of $113 per share. In January 2001, Amazon reported a whopping $1.411 billion as its overall loss for the year. Its stock hit a low of $6 a share. Amazon laid off 1,300 employees, constituting about 15% of its workforce.
Questions about its long-term viability abounded. Bezos promised he would make the company profitable in two years, but few believed this was possible. But, in 2003, Amazon reported soaring sales; it achieved its first annual profit ever (about $35 million), and its stock price more than doubled to $25 a share. The good news continued into 2004 when Amazon reported profits of $588 million on $6.92 billion in revenue.
How was Amazon able to turn around its business from a $1.4 billion annual loss to a $588 million profitable operation despite the dot.com stock market crash and the withdrawal of venture capital funding for e-commerce companies?
Answer: Amazon was able to become profitable by making its webservices available to developers to enhance their applications.