Web Channels in E-Commerce

Document Type



Published by Association for Computing Machinery in Communications of the ACM, volume 44 issue 1, 2001. Bryant users may access this article here.


Association for Computing Machinery


n this article, authors discuss that a popular commercial use of the Web is for business advertising. The Web is fast emerging as a major player in the relationships between producers and consumers. These relationships can be described in terms of channels, or the paths that products or services take as they move from source to destination. A major trend in channel management is the recent emergence of electronic commerce. Channels can be of different types, ranging from advertising channels, order processing channels, to customer support channels. The Web is currently being used as a medium for these types of channels in the supply chain. A good experience on the Web site leads to brand awareness and increase in consumer loyalty. In this article, they use activity theory to suggest a framework that can be used to enhance the business value of a firm's Web site by maximizing its channel potential. The article also uses phenomenological insights to understand the nature of experiences needed for successful channels in the context of a virtual community.