Editor’s Introduction 6(4)

Vladimir Zwass
International Journal of Electronic Commerce,
Volume 6, Number 4, Summer 2002, pp. 5.

The exchange of goods and services plays itself out largely in the business-to-business (B2B) domain of e-commerce. Just as in a traditional marketplace, a business-to-consumer (B2C) transaction is the result of multiple B2B transactions, and the B2B segment’s volume surpasses that of the B2C by a factor of eight or nine. The business of the Internet is largely that of businesses. It is, therefore, important, to take a look at the development of this predominant segment. The Special Section on Business-to-Business Electronic Commerce that opens the issue includes four papers addressing several nodal aspects of its subject. The Guest Editors, Judith Gebauer and Michael Shaw, introduce the papers, and also survey the research domain of B2B commerce. Both the marketplace and the collaborative aspects of B2B are investigated, and multiple research methodologies are marshaled for the work.

The two papers in the general section of the issue investigate on-line auctions. Electronic auctions and the Web are made for each other. The 24/7 worldwide price discovery with a great variety of rules builds on the Web’s dual facets as a marketplace and as an interactive medium capable of presenting voluminous real-time multimedia information. E-auctions have also brought forth extensive research, grounded in theoretical as well as behavioral economics. Both contributions presented here center on consumer-to-consumer (C2C) auctions. Wonseok Oh compares the extent of the winner’s curse in C2C and B2C auctions. His results confirm once again, in a new context, the fact that the Web is not necessarily the source of low prices, as many were led to think quite a short time ago. Bidding strategies in a specific C2C marketplace are the subject of the empirical research presented by Sidne G. Ward and John M. Clark. Their work identifies subgroups of bidders willing to pay “insurance” premiums to increase their chances of a winning bid. The work has implications for sellers and auctioneers. It also appears to provide a partial explanation for the winner’s curse studied in the preceding paper.

On the editorial front, I am delighted to welcome three new members to the Editorial Board: Sulin Ba of the University of Southern California, Bob O’Keefe of Brunel University, and Yao-Hua Tan of the Free University Amsterdam.