Cloud computing does not rely on having local servers but rather using shared computing resources or personal devices. It is a type of internet-based computing where different types of services –such as servers, storage and applications are delivered through the internet to an organisations computers or devices.

There are three types of cloud computing services and the first one is private, the services from a private cloud are distributed from a business’ data centre to the internal users using the cloud service. The second type is public cloud service, a third-party provider and it delivers the service over the internet. Hybrid is the third and is a combination of the other two.

It allows e-commerce applications allows companies to respond quicker to opportunities and also evaluate these opportunities without large investment. It can also save the user money as it is a pay as you go basis and will only be charged for what they have used, but when the cost of equipment and software is compared and evaluated, it is usually cheaper than setting up an in house structure.



Amazon.com is the largest internet retailer in the USA. It is an ecommerce site that is very widely used by a large array of people. The company sells many different products, both brand new and second hand. Its headquarters are based in Seattle, Washington, USA.

Founded in 1994, originally the company started as an online book store but the companies product base quickly expanded to include DVD’s, VHS’s, CD’s, video and MP3 as well as software, video games and even food, toys and jewellery.

In 2013 amazons annual report it was stated that amazon had an overall income of $745 million and netted $245 million after taxes. Amazon currently employs roughly 33,700 people worldwide. It has been calculated that amazon makes about $1,084 per second putting it ahead of other internet based companies such as google which makes $929 per second and eBay which makes about $290 per second.

It was rumoured in 2012 that amazon were planning on opening retail stores. However such an idea would not be profitable for amazon. However amazon have manufactured several retail goods of their own, including media such as books DVD’s, music CD’s and software. The most notable product is probably the amazon kindle, which was launched in 2007. It is an e-book reader which downloads content over Whispernet.




Turnover and Employee Facts


Amazon Retail Stores


Retail Products



Visitor Statistics




Social, Ethical and Legal Issues



Internet Usage in the UK

Social, Ethical and Legal Issue

It is important for the owners of the business to consider other factors regarding e-commerce other software, hardware and equipment. Other factors such as legal, ethical and social need to be consider to ensure that relationships with the users are not damaged.

Legal Issues

Legal issues is a main issue in regards to e-commerce. It is vital that legal issues are considered when using e-commerce as violating the rules, they could run the risk of being prosecuted. When displaying images or giving details about a product, it is important that these images and details are the correct ones as customers could prosecute for false advertising. IF a customer is unhappy, this would have a negative affect on the business’ revenue.

It is also important for the website themselves to protect the information they are displaying. By using a copyright logo the business will ensure that information that is on the site is protected and other people will not be able to use this for their own use without the permission of the owner. Security measures also need to be used to protect the customer also, having a SSL certificate will help build a strong relationship with the user and build trust between the two as the customer will feel more comfortable using the website to purchase product using their sensitive information such as bank details.

Ethical Issues

Payment systems for e-commerce sites know who the user is as the user needs to submit their details to purchase products so it is key to protect this information for the user. Users will be more comfortable using the website when they know that their sensitive information is being protected.

Amazon needs to consider the products they are offering also as the internet is open to everyone and there is no restriction on who views their website, meaning young children who use the internet could easily search through the website and see explicit information or products that are intentionally targeted at adults. This could damage the relationship between the business and the user having an adverse effect on the revenue of the company.

Social Issues

It is important the website caters for all types of users. As more people use the internet, older users may be less equipped in regards with computer skills. Making the Amazon website easy to search through and navigate through will increase the use of the website for sales having a positive effect on the revenue of the company.


For your selected e-commerce site, assess the ease (or not) with which you can find the site using a search engine. Type some of the company’s branded products or key themes into a search engine. Discuss what is returned. Pay particular attention to ‘paid for’ results. Check where competitors appear, interpret the results, and make recommendations.

The chosen e-commerce site that I have used to assess is Amazon. Amazon is popular e-commerce site used by many people and is constantly expanding. When searching for the popular device on the internet, Amazon is one of the first site to show on the results page which shows that it is a popular site and frequently used by the people to purchase this product.

I searched for the kindle using the search engine google, and many sites appeared but the most frequent was Amazon showing other users preference.

Once the branded product was searched, a specific page describing the product appears to allow user to learn more about the product reiterating the fact that the product is theirs and have the most control over it.

On the results page, it is obvious that Amazon.com has a strong hold over the sales of the product as there is no other websites shown on the first page offering it to customers bar Amazon themselves. The only other pages that are not Amazon are reviews. They are not the only site to be promoting the sale of this product as many other sites such as eBay (one of amazon’s main competitors) and Argos appear but not until you search further through the results page on Google.

E-Business Strategy

Michael Porter created a five force model which visualises an industry as being influenced by five forces. This model can be used by an entrepreneur to gain better knowledge of an industry and therefore have a better chance of competing against competitors.

These five forces are as follows, Supplier Power, Threat of Substitutes, Degree of Rivalry, Buyer Power and Threat of New Entrants.

Compared to other e-commerce sites amazon has a lot of rivalry from sites such as EBAY which also allow customers to find a very wide array of different products fairly. It is also rivalled with companies such as Game and HMV when it comes to online sales of media such as video games, movies and music. Amazon has advantages over stores such as game as Amazon does not have any retail stores and therefore the products can be sold for cheaper. Another advantage is that customers may want to buy more than just media, therefore amazon is the easier option as the customer will not have to change websites and search all over the web. Overall amazon is fairly unique as a large site that sells such a wide array of products and even markets its own product.

Amazon does not suffer too greatly from the threat of substitutes. As it is an E-commerce company it does not rely heavily on raw materials as it primarily buys and sells products. If the price of CD’s or Video games rise Amazon will not be hit as hard as retail stores selling the same product as they have no costs of running a store. Therefore they will have a price advantage over the retail stores.

In some respects amazons customers have a lot of buying power. If the customer does not deem the prices or delivery times of Amazon to be adequate they can very easily use another website to purchase the product.

Amazon cannot patent the idea of selling products online therefore there is always the threat of new companies taking a portion of the market. Some of the things that will make it hard for a new company to enter the industry are the costs of storage, for any company to successfully compete with amazon they would have to store a considerable amount of product which would incur high costs.


Amazons privacy policies are standard. They can gain information on a customer in several ways these are. Information that is given to the company trough the forms that the customer must fill out to use the service such as credit card details. Automatic information. Mobile information, which is information collected when apps created by amazon are downloaded.

Amazon also uses cookies to identify the device that you are using to access the website

Amazon allows customers to post reviews and comments as long as they are not illegal, obscene, and abusive or threatening etc. this allows the site to remove comments that may offend some other customers and harm the company’s professional image.

Amazon will also not sell products to individuals under the age of eighteen. This could be adapted so that sixteen year olds can buy products that are legally allowed to be used by individuals that are aged sixteen this would increase the companies target market.


Graphs showing the numbers of unique visitors in the past year show that the highest number of unique visitors are recorded in the month of December (144,051,293) and the lowest recording of unique visitors is in February (111,399,015). This could be due to the influence of the Christmas season in which the millions of new customers will use amazon to purchase products as people become more aware of both the simplicity and safety of e-commerce. It is also shown that a larger demographic of females than males use the site.

EBay, another famous e-commerce site shows a similar trend of a rising number of unique visitors before December and then a dip which continues from the end of December till February.

Yahoo on the other hand is not an e-commerce site and therefore does not show the same trend as the previous two websites. The number of unique visitors actually dips from 169,735,880 in October to168, 785,599 in December.

The country with the highest percentage of visitors is the United States as over 54.5% of visitors are from the USA. The second is china with 5.4% and third is South Korea with 4.8%.

The total number of sites linking to Amazon as 1,107,024, with the number one site with the most links to Amazon is YouTube.