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An Online Bookstore Website Information Technology Essay

Paper Type: Free Essay Subject: Information Technology
Wordcount: 5441 words Published: 1st Jan 2015

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Project aims to build an online bookstore website with effective customer profiling system. In this bookstore customer will be able to purchase books online that interested in customer profiling helps to understand and make suggestions to customer according to their mental and professional interests. Our project basically consists of two parts where the first part is creating online bookstore and the second part is implementing customer profiling system to online bookstore. Our purpose is develop a such system that will help customers in choosing a book and making payment. As all E-commerce websites this website need a cart system that will help to manage their purchase to satisfy all deliverables of customers. This website can be used for business purposes to sell a book via online. Customer profiling need to interact with customer to get information about his/her preferences, habits and interests. Database will contain all information about book: author name, title, year, publisher, ISBN number, brief description of book and other attributes. There also will be database where will be all taken information about customer.

Nowadays Business Intelligent become very important and quite famous in doing E-business. In this project we will take Business Intelligence as the most important factor in making online system. We are using data mining process for to develop our project. Association rule could bring one conclusion depending on variables from the relationship of book and customer data.

1.2 Overview

Online bookstore is a shopping process where consumers directly buy goods or services from a seller in real-time, without an intermediary service, over the Internet. If an intermediary service is present the process is called electronic commerce. An online shop, e-shop, e-store, internet shop, webshop, webstore, online store, or virtual store evokes the physical analogy of buying products or services at a bricks-and-mortar retailer or in a shopping mall. The process is called Business-to-Consumer (B2C) online shopping. When a business buys from another business it is called Business-to-Business (B2B) online shopping. Both B2C and B2B online shopping are forms of e-commerce. Advantages of online bookstore is:

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Convenience includes the overall ease of finding a product, time spent on shopping, minimization of overall shoppoing effort (Schaupp & Belanger, 2005). Online shopping allows consumers to shop at the convenience of their own home, and to save traveling time to retail stores and spend their time on other important tasks and hobbies. Researchers idenfity convenience as a ‘fundamental objective’ related to online shopping (Schaupp & Belanger, 2005). This is relevant to 72% of online shoppers’ claim that they would rather surf online than go to retail store to attain information about a product (Lokken et al., 2003). According to a study, 72% of online shoppers chose convenience over privacy (Bhatnagar, Misra, & Rao, 2000). In addition to ease of finding products online and shopping time reduction, consumers can shop without time limitation with 24-hr access at their convenience because the World Wide Web never closees. Lokken mentions 24-hr access as a beneficial characteristic of online shopping (Lokken et al., 2003). Also, consumers can exchange information online through chatting and discussion forums to help them make wise consumer decisions.

No need for vendors and no pressure to buy

Online shopping benefits both the society as a whole and individuals. The society can save human resources when consumers help themselves by browsing freely online instead of asking for assistance from vendors. In addition, consumers are freed from the pressure to buy from the vendors and can spend more time to make wise purchase decisions. But it is imorpant that Web sites have good product descriptions because it is one of the significant condition that satisfy consumers (Limayem, M., Khalifa, M., & Frini, A., 2000).

“Infinite shelfspace” available

Consumers desire a variety of products because they look for the right product that will fully satisfy them. There is infinite variety of products available online because online shopping allows consumers to browse through products that are made all around the world without geographical boundaries.

Able to compare product price and features

With the online tools that enable product comparison, consumers can compare product prices and features to make a better decision with less effort. More details are included in solutions section.

1.3 Project Objectives:

– Develop a user friendly online bookstore

– Build an effective customer profiling system that could be able to analyze and give suggestion to customer in book preference.

– Reduce a customer time in searching for book based on their interests.

1.4 Project Scope:

This website specialized on E-commerce area. There are scope on this project. The website is based on online shopping where customer can order and make a payment of book via internet. Moreover it will able to save customer data and use it to determine what kind of books are in zone of interest of specified customer and display a books according to customer interest. The limit of customer profiling system that it analyzes only registered users and those who filled the survey in the process of registration. In technical side to develop a website and system that will oriented for web design and database system will be done by PHP6 and Microsoft SQL server. This two different languages will connected by WampServer and will be developed in Adobe Dreamviewer program.

1.5 Problem statement:

Regarding to Online bookstore website there problem in detection of consumer behavior, making website convenient, practicable, and useful to customer.

In the market:

There are o lot online bookstore websites, but there are only a few online bookstores where could be a customer profiling, based on behavior of consumer.

Using a friendly appearance:

The website must come with a friendly appearance that could be understandable for all users.

Save a time of customer:

Customer could see all interested books related to his behavior without using search opportunities, because profiling system must show books according to received information form customer.

Analyzing system must basically understand customer in terms of their profile, buying behavior, expectation and satisfaction.

Literature Review:

Physical Bookstore:

Bookstores are a common sight in our contemporary society–mostly large chains like Barnes & Noble, but also smaller independent booksellers tucked away in local neighborhoods. They belong to a lengthy history which has encouraged the spread of human knowledge throughout history.

Early Days

Before the invention of the printing press, books had to be transcribed by hand. Scribes and similar experts sold their services to whoever would pay; their places of business could be considered the earliest bookstores.

Crusades and Universities

The rise of universities in Italy in the 13th century, coupled with books brought back from the Crusades, created a new interest in secular writing throughout Europe. Bookstores began to spring up as a matter of course.

Printing Press

The invention of the printing press in the 15th century caused book production to explode; most printers also served as booksellers, with representatives in universities to help sell their wares.

Sellers vs. Publishers

In the 19th century, bookstores began to separate from book manufacturers. Those who owned bookshops would serve as middlemen, purchasing from publishers before passing them on to readers.


The first large organization of booksellers–the Booksellers Association of Great Britain and Ireland–first appeared in 1890. They worked to protect members from harmful practices and help them promote their wares.

Is The Physical Bookstore A Thing Of The Past?

from the may-finally-be-getting-there dept

It’s been talked about for over a decade now, but are we finally reaching the tipping point for physical bookstores? Some are pointing out that Amazon’s continued success in online sales represents an element of “creative destruction” for physical retailers, and a NY Times piece notes that plenty of bookstores are shutting down — including some of the big name brands, such as Borders and Barnes & Noble.

What may be most interesting in the NY Times article, though, is that the blame isn’t necessarily placed at online retailers directly — but on the fact that online sites have made it much easier to resell used books. Thus, the argument goes, the market is now flooded with used books that individuals are selling out of their bedrooms, meaning that it rarely makes sense for anyone to pay full price for a new book anymore. It’s an interesting argument — and it’s the type of argument we’ve seen made against used book sales in the past, and more recently that video game makers have been making concerning used video game sales.

However, it’s not clear if this is really true. Past studies have shown that an active second hand market helps to boost the sales of new goods, because it makes those goods more valuable to folks who recognize they’ll be able to resell them on the second hand market later. That may not be helpful to physical bookstore retailers, but those retailers have to learn to adjust with the times as well. Obviously, just selling books is going to make less and less sense, but we’ve seen retailers that have worked hard to turn their stores into destinations, where there were good reasons to go and buy stuff, rather than just being a physical version of what you could get online. If bookstores are unwilling to make those changes then is it really a huge loss

Online Bookstore Review:

Review and comparison method:

Why Shop at Online Bookstores?

Shopping for books online helps you find the best possible price for just about any book you want. If you’re in the market for rare, collectible or autographed books, it’s much cheaper and faster to search online than it would be to call up local used and independent bookstores that carry these types of items.

The features available on many online bookstores also allow you to compare similar titles with the click of a mouse and read reviews from professionals and customers. You can also resell your used books to get more cash in your pocket and to clear out your cluttered bookshelf. It’s never been easier to ensure you never get stuck with a crummy title again.

What to Look For in an Online Bookstore

If you’ve decided to start buying books online, it’s important to recognize what features make one store better than another. Even if you find a book you want for a great price on one site, it may still be better to pay a little extra to purchase it from a more reputable source. A quality online bookstore will have a good product selection, an easy-to-use -yet comprehensive- website, a variety of shipping options, a number of payment options, excellent customer support and a strong return policy.

Product Selection

A good product selection is critical to any online bookstore. Every store reviewed has an array of new book titles from all genres, but the thing that makes one store stand out above another is their willingness to sell other items like used books, collectible books and other merchandise like CDs and DVDs. Additionally, some of the best sites allow customers to sell their own books on the site.


An easy-to-use website is important for customers who want to get their shopping done quickly and efficiently. On the other hand, providing guests with a plethora of options and features can only be a good thing -as long as the site remains easy to navigate. Some of the most important things reviewed were the site’s search features, browsing capabilities, store locator, sales, wishlist functionalities and the ability of customers to read reviews on the books they are looking for.


When you order a book, you may want it to arrive as soon as possible or you may want to pay the least possible for shipping. Sometimes, you may want to balance these two needs against each other and end up somewhere in the middle. That’s why the online bookstores were judged on the number of shipping options offered. Some sites offer free shipping when you order enough merchandise, which is always a nice touch. On the other hand, it is also important they offer fast shipping, international shipping and ground shipping. If the store has physical locations, they may also offer local pick up. Some places will even wrap your gift books and send them with a gift receipt and note for a marginal fee. Just as important as a variety of shipping options is how the shipping is calculated and the ability for shoppers to research the cost of shipping before they place an order.

Payment Options

Because online bookstores cannot accept cash like physical bookstores, it is important that they offer a variety of payment options to suit all potential customers. Most stores took Visa, MasterCard, Discover and American Express, but when it comes to other payment options, your choices can vary greatly based on where you are shopping. Some stores will let you do bank account transfers, or use PayPal or Google Checkout, while others let you pay in store. Additionally, some places allow customers to purchase gift certificates and use promotional discounts, while others are not so generous.

Customer Support

As with any store, customer support can make or break a business. In the case of online bookstores, it is most important for them to offer an array of contact methods since you often cannot visit the company in person. Additionally, most sites offer a helpful FAQ section to let users find the answers to their most common questions without having to call or email a support representative.

Return Policy

When it comes to returning a book through the mail, the longer you have to return the item, the better. Also, it is nice when the company is willing to pay for the item’s return shipping or at least let you return the item in a physical store. Some stores choose to take full advantage of those who return their items by charging customers a small restocking fee.

When you’re considering which online bookstores to visit, it is very important to keep these factors in mind. Just because a company offers a great price on an item doesn’t mean it’s a steal once you learn about their expensive shipping rates or terrible customer service. That’s why it’s always so important to do your research before you buy. Start with our review of Amazon.com.


Amazon.com is probably the best-known name in the online bookstore industry -and with good reason, it is the largest online retailer in the world. The company is not only one of the oldest in the market, but it has consistently worked to stay one step ahead of the game. At the same time, there is still a good amount of humanity to the site that allows shoppers to buy with comfort, understanding that their customer service and return issues will be handled with exemplary care.

Product Selection: http://www.toptenreviews.com/i/rev/site/4_0.gif

Because Amazon.com is the biggest competitor in the online bookstore world, it is only logical that they have one of the most extensive product selections around. While Barnes and Noble and Borders offer a few non-book items like games, movies, music, calendars and journals, Amazon.com offers clothing, exercise equipment, toys, garden supplies and anything else you can imagine.

When it comes to books though, they still have one of the most impressive collections around. One of the biggest advantages they have is their massive seller marketplace that allows users to create listings for rare and collectable books that Amazon.com may have never sold in the first place. Autographed books, out of print books, and textbooks are all available. Practically any book that has been published in the last century is available for purchase in some form within the site’s listings.

Ebooks are also available, which can be used on the online bookstore’s Kindle reading device.

Website: http://www.toptenreviews.com/i/rev/site/4_0.gif

Amazon.com’s website is easy to navigate and simple in design. A simple search can bring you dozens of results for different versions of the same products and a few related items. Using the advanced search feature, you can go as specific as the publisher, subject, binding type or ISBN number. Browsing the site is just as easy. Simply choose the department you want to shop in and then slim down options until the items you want to purchase come up.

Search and browsing results can be organized by price, best selling, customer reviews and more. You can also filter out all results that are eligible for Free Super Saver Shipping. These features make it easy to navigate through the millions of product listings on the site without getting lost on the way.

Once on the product pages, you can read reviews, product specs, a book summary, professional reviews, any sales related to the product, and see similar books. On many items, additional pictures and pages from inside the book are available for your review. You can then choose to add the item to your wish list (the most commonly used wish list on the net), buy the book with one click, choose between booksellers, or sell your own book.

When it comes to purchasing, Amazon.com makes it easy to evaluate a third-party seller’s reputation and shipping costs along with the condition of the item they are selling. Once items are in the cart, they are easy to delete or save for a latter purchase.

After using the site for a while, you will soon start to see personalized recommendations and product suggestions based on items you previously bought and browsed.

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Amazon.com’s Free Super Saver Shipping allows you to ship anything you purchase through the company (but not through a third-party seller) free as long as you purchase over $25 of qualifying goods during your transaction.

As a member of their Amazon Prime customer loyalty program, you can even receive free two day shipping on all goods that qualify for Super Saver Shipping, regardless of how much your total purchase is. With this program, one day shipping on these items is only $3.99. While many of the other online bookstores offer free shipping on purchases over a certain price, these Prime discounts are a specialty only found on Amazon.com.

Regardless of what you order, there are plenty of shipping options available. Standard shipping usually takes around a week to two weeks. Third-party expedited shipments usually arrive within 3 days and one or two day items sold directly from Amazon.com almost always arrive within the timeframe seen on the shipping page during checkout.

International shipping is available on most items for an additional fee. Tracking is available on all items not purchased through third-party sellers.

If you are purchasing the item as a gift, items purchased through Amazon.com can be wrapped for an additional fee. You can also choose to send the gift with a special note and be comfortable knowing that the item will not arrive with a receipt with monetary values. Items purchased as gifts through the wishlist feature cannot be tracked for security reasons.

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No single online bookstore offers all possible payment options available. However, Amazon.com and Barnes & Noble offer the most options of all online book retailers. The company will accept any credit card, including JCB and Diner’s club cards. You can also pay via a direct bank transfer or an e-check. Google Checkout is also available, though PayPal, noticeably, is not.

The secure checkout process makes it easy to pay with a gift card or using a promo code as well.

Because Amazon.com is exclusively an online store, payments by phone or via money order are not accepted.

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Amazon.com offers excellent customer support, however their position as an exclusively online entity does limit them from being able to offer in-store support, which is one other area that Barnes & Noble has them beat.

The retailer not only offers phone, and email support, but also has two separate mobile phone apps (one for the iPhone and one for the Blackberry) that provide service as well.

Anyone with questions can also scour through their helpful FAQ sections on the site, which cover almost every common question about buying, selling, wishlists or any other services available on the site.

Return Policy: http://www.toptenreviews.com/i/rev/site/4_0.gif

The site’s return policy varies depending on whether you are purchasing through Amazon or through a third-party seller. In all cases, any defective, undelivered or improperly described products fall under Amazon.com’s A-to-Z Guarantee and can be returned within 30 days. If the item was not purchased through a third-party seller, Amazon.com will cover the return shipping in these cases. If Amazon.com directly sold the item and you choose to return the item for a reason of your own, you will cover the cost of shipping.

Items that were purchased through a third-party shipper and returned for a reason that is not the fault of the seller may be subject to a restocking fee and may have shipping costs deducted from the return.

If the seller refuses to cooperate with a return, Amazon.com will take action and return the full cost of the item to you, in many cases allowing you to keep the item and receive a refund. Buyers are only permitted to take advantage of this process a set number of times though, in order to help limit abuses.


Whether you’re looking to buy a textbook, sell your autographed copy of Harry Potter or simply create a wish list to help your friends or family shop better this Christmas, Amazon.com has a bevy of features to make it the leader in online bookstores and e-tailers in general.

They have a massive inventory, an easy-to-use site, wonderfully useful features, excellent shipping options, a number of payment options, superior customer support and a return policy that lets you buy without doubt or regret. Best of all, their prices are often unbeatable.

If you’re looking for an online bookstore that is backed up by brick and mortar locations though, keep reading these reviews of other online bookstores, or, if you are in the market specifically for text books, see the textbooks online review.

Barnes & Nobble:

While Amazon.com is the largest retailer on the internet, Barnes & Noble is the overall largest book retailer in the U.S. As such, it is not surprising that the company offers one of the best online bookstores around. Though they do not offer a few functions that Amazon.com does, they remain a strong competitor and are able to pair online services with those in their brick and mortar stores, which many online retailers cannot do.

Product Selection: http://www.toptenreviews.com/i/rev/site/4_0.gif

Barnes & Noble may not sell clothing and furniture like Amazon.com, but when it comes to books, their selection is equally impressive. New and used books of all types, including textbooks, are available for sale, as are collectable, out-of-print and autographed titles. Their third-party marketplace is not as full as Amazon.com’s, but there is still a wide array of books available.

If you are looking for a non-book product, they still have a number of great options, although the selection is largely built around items that would make good gift ideas. Toys, games, DVDs, CDs, reading lights, select electronics, paper products and more are available.

The store also features a number of eBooks that can be used on its Nook reading device.

Website: http://www.toptenreviews.com/i/rev/site/4_0.gif

Barnes & Noble has one of the easiest online bookstore websites to use, as the attractive site makes browsing and searching a breeze. Advanced search options are available, allowing you to search by the book’s condition, subject, price, publisher, ISBN and a number of other factors.

The top navigation bars make casually browsing the site a breeze and the home page is both attractive and useful at suggesting the items and features that users want most. Once you have selected the category you are interested in though, Barnes & Noble fails to offer the same level of browsing options as Amazon.com.

The product pages are useful, offering photos of the book and sample pages, customer reviews, a brief synopsis, editor reviews, and similar titles. From here, you can choose to buy the book new through Barnes & Noble, see your options for purchasing the item used, add the item to your wish list or order it to be reserved for you at a local store near you using the “Pick Me Up” feature.

The used section of the online bookstore is similar to Amazon.com, offering seller reviews, product condition descriptions, the item’s location, shipping items and the price of the item. One thing it is lacking is the price of shipping to help customers evaluate the total price of the item.

Shipping: http://www.toptenreviews.com/i/rev/site/4_0.gif

Like Amazon.com and Borders, Barnes & Noble offers free expedited shipping on items over $25 but, items purchased through authorized sellers on the site, and not directly through the retailer itself, are not eligible for Fast & Free Shipping.

Items purchased directly though Barnes and Noble can be shipped a variety of different ways, including overnight, expedited, and international. These items can also be tracked on the site. When it comes to authorized sellers, these options may vary and are offered at the discretion of the seller. It should also be noted that these purchases cannot be tracked.

One of the nicest features available on the website is the previously mentioned “Pick Me Up” option, which allows buyers to find their books at a local Barnes & Noble brick and mortar store within 60 minutes, and allowing them to bypass shipping costs. The books will remain on hold for you for up to three days, after which time, they will be returned to the shelf.

Gift wrapping services, gift receipts and personal messages for gift recipients are all available on items purchased through the retailer. Wrapping does cost an additional $3.99, but the other two options are free.

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Of all the online bookstores reviewed, Barnes & Noble and Amazon offer the best selection of payment options. In fact, the only two payment choices that seem lacking are bank account transfers and Google Checkout. They do accept all credit cards, including Diner’s Club and JCB, PayPal, and phone payments. You may also pay in person using check or cash.

When using the site’s secure checkout process, it is easy to apply a promotional code or gift card to your purchase.

Customer Support: http://www.toptenreviews.com/i/rev/site/4_0.gif

Barnes & Noble offers the widest array of customer service options available. The online bookstore even has four different mobile applications for customer support on your cell phone. Their extensive FAQ section is easy to navigate and if the answers there do not solve your problems, you can call, email or speak to someone in person at a physical store near you.

B&N Members receive special discounts via email and always get discounts on the website and in the physical stores. This membership does cost extra though.

Return Policy: http://www.toptenreviews.com/i/rev/site/3_5.gif

The most disappointing aspect of shopping with Barnes & Noble is their relatively short returns window and lack of free return shipping. While it is nice to be able to return to a physical store if you need to, the 14 day returns policy and mandatory receipt rule make it difficult to ensure you can return defective, broken or unwanted items when you need to. To make matters worse, items purchased using PayPal require a phone call in order to get a return authorization before you can receive a credit back on your account.

If you purchased the item through an authorized seller, the return window is extended to an acceptable 30 days, but the return will take additional time to process.


Barnes & Noble’s blending of virtual bookstores and physical shops makes the retailer a great option for those who need their items in a hurry, don’t want to pay shipping or just aren’t one-hundred percent comfortable with online shopping yet. Their online store offers a great selection of new and used books, and other items. The website is clean, attractive and easy-to-use.

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Their shipping options are plenty and the availability of Fast & Free Shipping is always a welcome feature. The wide array of payment options makes it easy to complete your transaction and if you have any questions, customer service is always easily accessible. The only downside of shopping with the site is their short return window. If you intend to only buy books for yourself that you already know you like, then even this problem isn’t a major concern.

If you want to compare more options, feel free to see the reviews of other online bookstores. Or, if you’re just looking for school books, you may consider the textbooks online review.

Powell’s Books is not as well known as the top-rated online bookstores we reviewed, but they still offer a lot of options and have a great website. If you live in Portland, Oregon, the store offers even more flexibility to you, as it has locations throughout the area. If Powell’s continues to improve its services, it is likely to become a household name like Amazon.com.

Product Selection: http://www.toptenreviews.com/i/rev/site/4_0.gif

Powell’s Books offers an extensive selection of titles and a limited selection of non-book goods like calendars and gifts. You can purchase new or used books, including textbooks, through the site and special autographed copies are also available. Selling your books to the company is easy and can even be done in the physical store.

Website: http://www.toptenreviews.com/i/rev/site/4_0.gif

The website looks great and is easy to use. It is well organized with handy drop-down menus that allow users to narrow down what they are looking for, without looking cluttered and jumbled. When you browse by subject, you can also select sub-categories to really slim down your results. The basic search permits queries for title, author, ISBN number and keywords, while the advanced search includes binding types, condition, date released and more. You can also search for titles in your local store.

The individual book pages offer Google previews of the titles to allow you to see more and many title pages feature interviews with the authors. These pages also offer a publisher’s synopsis, customer reviews and expert reviews on the title to help you make an informed decision. You can also see similar titles and specific product information about the book, such as the edition number and copyright date. From this page you can choose to add the item to your


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