Selling Culture: Implementation of E-Commerce and WAP-Based Prototypes

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Museum stores represent integral parts of the museums that have also a lot to benefit from a successful presence on the web arena. In addition to traditional web sites, carefully designed electronic commerce (e-commerce) sites may increase the potential of museum stores offering possibilities for on-line shopping and other commercial functions. In parallel, the recent convergence of the traditionally separate technologies of the Internet and mobile telephony has brought the concept of ‘wireless Internet’ into the spotlight. Within this context, ‘mobile commerce’ (m-commerce) is a relatively new trend that represents a natural extension of e-commerce into the wireless world. M-commerce refers to electronic business transactions and differentiates from e-commerce since it involves the use of mobile devices and wireless medium rather than wired. The unique characteristics of mobile computing bring forward new challenges and opportunities for museum stores. This article presents the design and implementation of an e-commerce and an m-commerce museum shop application. The aim is to evaluate and compare the two applications in terms of several parameters, such as available technologies, strengths and limitations, design requirements, usability, interaction speed, usage cost, etc and also to identify ways for enhancing the potential of such applications and designing successful and profitable business models.
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Museum Shop; E-Commerce; M-Commerce; Wireless Internet; WAP

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