Editor’s Introduction 12(3)

Vladimir Zwass
International Journal of Electronic Commerce,
Volume 12, Number 3, Spring 2008, pp. 5.

Consumer-oriented e-commerce is growing much faster than its off-line counterpart. Among other things, this means heightened competition. The attributes that have lasting effects on the relationships between sellers and customers, such as brand, community, reputation, commitment, and loyalty, are of particular moment. These are precisely the aspects studied by the authors whose papers appear in the Special Section on Consumer-Focused Processes in E-Commerce, guest-edited by Jerry Fjermestad and Nicholas C. Romano, Jr. Researchers and practitioners will all find that the results reported here advance the state of our field.

The guest editors introduce the papers to you at some length. The theme is continued by the first paper of the general section. Elena Delgado-Ballester and Miguel Hernández-Espallardo study how new on-line brands can gain customers. The authors show empirically that an association with well-known brands can help newcomers to begin establishing their own. The study makes an innovative contribution to our knowledge of on-line brand alliances and offers guidance to the firms that would be brands. Consumer-related commerce generates massive amounts of data that can serve to improve the quality of the existing relationships between sellers and consumers, as well as help in forming new relationships. The segment of Web analytics that processes consumer data has specific needs for the enforcement of stated privacy policies. Here, Bettina Berendt, Sören Preibusch, and Maximilian Teltzrow offer a formal model of privacy-constraints specifications and a specification for Web service that automatically adapts a firm’s Web analytics to its privacy policies. A test case shows how the proposed scheme can reliably protect consumers and foster trust-worthy relationships in B2C commerce.

It falls to me to acknowledge with sadness the passing of IJEC Editorial Board member G. Prem Premkumar, Union Pacific Professor in Information Systems at Iowa State University. An outstanding scholar, he contributed greatly to our discipline. It gives me great pleasure to thank the outgoing members of the IJEC Editorial Board, Bob O’Keefe and Peter C. Verhoef, for their contributions to the Journal. It is with at least equal pleasure that I anticipate working with the incoming members of the board: Anitesh Barua of the University of Texas at Austin, Tammo H.A. Bijmolt of the University of Groningen, Wonseok Oh of McGill University, and Paul A. Pavlou of the University of California, Riverside.