Introduction to eCommerce: Business

Learn eCommerce by doing it!
This experiential learning course puts you in a challenging, real-world situation: Should your employer, a chain of electronics stores, sell its products online? Your job: create the business plan for launching an eCommerce venture. 

Your project team for the course will meet weekly online with a faculty mentor.


  • Format: Online collaboration

    Hours: 84 hours / 8.4 CEUs

    When: 2015 dates coming soon!

    Cost: $2,100


Scenario overview
Blackwell is a successful regional bricks-and-mortar retailer of electronics. Blackwell’s CEO wants to begin selling its products online, but he is getting resistance from some Board members who are wary of the risks involved in launching an online channel.  Before they approve the proposed investment, the Board needs to see the business case for the online business.

Your job
In this course, you will be working as if you are an employee of Blackwell.  You will produce the same deliverables a top-notch company would expect—and you will be evaluated on the work you produce. 

You have been selected as a member of the company’s newly formed eCommerce Initiative Team. Your team’s job is to develop the business case for Blackwell’s proposed eBusiness.

You and your team will:

  • Analyze the commonalities and differences between the existing store business and the proposed eBusiness
  • Develop a plan for launching and running the eCommerce site
  • Develop the projected Profit and Loss Statement for the eBusiness
  • Develop the initial marketing strategy and infrastructure recommendations
  • Recommend ePayment methods and a merchant account processing vendor
  • Create a presentation for the board and delivering it to the CEO

What you will learn

The skills you will develop and practice in this course will give you a framework for analyzing and solving business problems. You will be directly involved in business planning processes and projecting a new business’s financial results.  You will see how the resulting business decisions impact managers of all functions within the eBusiness. 

What you will do

  • Differentiate between traditional business and eCommerce environments
  • Define the focus of the new eBusiness
  • Project the new business’s revenue
  • Estimate eBusiness costs, including costs of development, services, and marketing
  • Evaluate and match ePayment processing vendors to business needs
  • Evaluate and match Merchant Account Processing vendors to business needs
  • Construct cost/benefit analysis of technical infrastructure sourcing options
  • Produce a quantitative business model
  • Develop projected profit and loss statement
  • Incorporate revenue risks into business model
  • Develop a mix of marketing methods, including attracting customers through organic search,
  • Paid search placement, and email campaigns
  • Evaluate costs and benefits of different technical sourcing models
  • Present the business case to an executive audience

Course Information

Course Date Info: 

2015 dates coming soon!

Experiential learning. Your team will meet weekly in an online environment with your faculty mentor. Mentors are seasoned professionals who facilitate group discussions and help you solve complex problems on your own. The mentors are available by phone, text and email to answer questions, point you in the right direction, and provide in-depth feedback on every deliverable you produce. Supporting materials and resources are provided online. 

Course Fee(s): 


Continuing Education Information: 

84 hours/8.4 CEU's
Visit the University of Georgia CEU policies for more details. 

  • Dr. Jaime Carbonell. Dr. Carbonell is the Director of the Language Technologies Institute and Allen Newell Professor of Computer Science at Carnegie Mellon University, where he pioneered the Ph.D. and M.S. degrees in Language Technologies.
  • Dr. Ravi Startzl. Dr. Starzl is a research scientist at Carnegie Mellon University’s Language Technologies Institute, where he conducts research into methods for computational analysis and modeling of biological systems. As a teaching assistant, Dr. Starzl helped develop, deploy, and teach courses, including eBusiness and Commerce, Distributed Systems, and Data Mining.
  1. Qin, Z., (2009). Introduction to eCommerce (1st ed.). Burlington, MA: Elsevier/Morgan Kaufmann.
  2. Meier, A., & Stormer, H., (2011). eBusiness & eCommerce (1st ed.). Berlin, Germany: Springer-Verlag.