Electronic commerce is a part of electronic business and stands for all commercial activities taking place between market participants. Online shops can realise some these activities for the business to business (b2b) and business to consumer (b2c) market. Although on-line shops have become very popular lately, there are still some sectors of industry, such as clothing and furniture, where the on-line shop concept has not penetrated the market yet. The main reason for that is the diversity of the specific sectors, the mentality of the market players and the lack of user friendly environments, where the customer could actually “see” the products. Therefore an online shop, designed for the above sectors, has to be very flexible, user friendly and should support more sophisticated IT-technologies for e-business
This project aims to offer a more user-friendly e-commerce solution, by adopting additional technologies such as a configuration utility supported by an intelligent help desk system and 3D visualisation in a virtual reality environment. Thus the overall objective of the project is to build an electronic commerce system with virtual reality product representation, on-line configuration of product variants, an Internet on-line help desk, and corresponding integrated security and privacy mechanisms.
INCOVIS objectives are to enable the suitable representation of products including all practicable variants in electronic commerce systems to achieve the most realistic possible visualisation. The industrial partner of the project comes from the furniture sector, however the intention is that the system to be developed will be suitable for manufacturers, suppliers, and wholesalers, from other sectors, such as clothing, bicycles ect. The conception of the system will be as generalised as possible to facilitate the transfer to other industrial sectors. An additional pilot will be carried out with a distributor of networking products representing the business-to-business scope. User friendliness, simplified access to the service, trust in security and privacy of the service, high quality of information managed and represented, and the use of international standards are the key objectives. Therefore INCOVIS attaches great importance to the involvement of the end users. At the end of he project the system will be ready for after-project commercialisation