July 12, 2008

Sample Research Proposal on Online Shopping – An Economic Analysis of Amazon.com, Inc.

Online Shopping – An Economic Analysis of Amazon.com, Inc.

 

 

1.0   Introduction

Most online individuals perceived online shopping as a way to save time and a convenient way to bur products. Online shopping refers to the process that consumers undergo to purchase goods or services over the Internet. This type of electronic commerce which is used for business-to-business or business-to-consumers transactions, by and large, alters the lifestyles of the people as well as the retailing industry. Despite the rampant and ongoing technological crimes, people increasingly place their confidence on online shop, eshop, e-store, internet shop, webshop, online store or virtual store. Therefore, increasing the market share and the profitability of cyber auctions and retail companies.

            Amazon.com is one of the most prominent virtual retailing stores today. Founded in 1994 by Jeff Bezos, Amazon.com, Inc was a pioneer in selling goods by Internet. An electronic commerce company which started as an online bookstore, Amazon.com now sells diversified products that include VHS, DVD, music CDs, MP3 format, computer software, video games, electronics, apparel, furniture, foods and toys among others. Efficiency, calculability, predictability and control are central to the operation. Albeit the fact that Amazon surpassed profitability challenges, there remains controversies, objections and criticisms.    

      

2.0   Statement of the Problem

Since the dotcom bubble, online industries are closely scrutinized. Being a leading player in the online retailing industry, Amazon.com, Inc is not an exemption. Trademark infringement, patent use, the credibility of reviewers, customer service and labor relations are just some of the challenges faced by the company. The problem to be investigated in this study is the strategies to which Amazon.com implement in order to counter the growing number of legal issues and unsatisfied customers.

Conformity to legalities and web design functionality are just two of the problem causes. Since the business primarily involves books, the operation is inherently subjected to ethical practices of complying with anti-trust law, patents law and even intellectual property law. On the other hand, the failure to meet the customers expectation and requirements has profound effects on Amazon's profitability; not to mention, the growing number of small competitors, the gap in the actual purchasing pattern with the time of visit and the application of 'shopping as a multi-step process.    

 

3.0   Research Methodology

This study will adapt an interpretivist approach in research. Interpretivism is the necessary research philosophy for this study because it allows the search, of the 'details of the situation, to understand the reality or perhaps a reality working behind them. From the interpretivist perception, it is necessary to explore the subjective meanings motivating people's actions in order to understand their actions.

The research strategy to be used is the descriptive approach as it intends to present facts concerning the nature and status of a situation, as it exists at the time of the study. It is also concerned with the relationships and practices that exist, beliefs and processes that are ongoing, effects that are being felt, or trends that are developing. In addition, such approach tries to describe present conditions, events or systems based on the impressions or reactions of the respondents of the research.

The dissertation will be presented in written form with the addition of data charts which will present the project's results. Pie charts and network charts will be needed to illustrate some of the analyzed data. This cannot be confirmed, however, until the research data have been analyzed.

 

4.0   Research Aims and Objectives

This research will specifically focus on online shopping with Amazon.com, Inc. as the key player. The online retailing industry is significantly becoming an important industry to developing countries. The study primarily aims to explore the economics of Amazon.com and how the company overcomes the problems and challenges and what strategies are utilised. This study will be a significant endeavor in leveraging online retailing practices though the investigation of Amazon.com. Moreover, this study will be an important contribution to a body of research concerning online shopping, online retailing and Amazon.com research.

The following specific objectives will be addressed:

1)     To conduct a descriptive study of online shopping and online retailing

2)     To determine how Amazon.com apply strategies in overcoming problems and challenges

3)     To identify the business model Amazon.com uses

4)     To conduct a literature review on online shopping and online retailing

5)     To recommend a sound conclusion based on the findings and literature review gathered 

 

5.0   Resources – None as of now.

 

6.0   Evaluation of Project Outcome and Research Practice

The research will consider a Single Point of Responsibility approach wherein I will be responsible for the entire research. I will design a critical path method (CPM) to facilitate effective measure of schedules (i.e. schedule barchart). As the researcher, I will keep track of trends of time, cost and performance. For the evaluation of project outcome, I will be using data capture method based on reports from IT and Marketing departments. Outcome Evaluation Plan will be prepared presenting outcomes, how each outcome will be measured and timeline for evaluation.

During the project's duration, I will determine the strengths and weaknesses of the project so as to provide a basis for 'midterm' corrections of activities. The overall project effectiveness will be examined and information on improving planning for future researches will be provided through the identification of unexpected consequences at the termination of the project.


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