School Of Business 2007

BC501
E-Business Fundamentals
WEB SITE REPORT

Name: Ashley Hughes Student #: 2352463 Tutorial: Thursday 11.30-12.30

Due Date: 05.04.2007

Executive Summary
This report analyses the effects that the internet has had on businesses attempting to sell their products on a global tool, with millions more potential customers than what a local business with a physical location would be accustomed to. The approach that this report takes looks at 3 completely different companies, not only selling to different markets, but also using the internet exposure in a variety of ways to advertise and sell their products. The first company that is discussed in the report solely uses the internet for advertising their product as well as selling it, with no physical store locations. The second company uses the internet in conjunction with physical stores to sell their products, and finally the third company doesn’t actually sell anything on the internet, but advertises their products on their website and provides information about their business to their clients. The report covers how the sites appeal to clients or viewers, and whether this is effective in actually making income for the company. It discusses how easy it is for a client to navigate around the particular website, as well as how readily available help and assistance is for those in need, and finally what sort of trust the community places in not only these sites for purchasing their products, but the internet in general.

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Table of Contents
Executive Summary.............................................................................................................2 Table of Contents.................................................................................................................3 Report – Web Site Analysis.................................................................................................3 Introduction......................................................................................................................3 EBay Australia.................................................................................................................4 Flight Centre....................................................................................................................6 Figure 2 – Flight Centre’s Search Tool (www.flightcentre.com.au)............................7 Myer.................................................................................................................................8 Conclusion.......................................................................................................................8 References..........................................................................................................................10 Appendices.........................................................................................................................12 Appendix 1.2 – Flight Centre Australia’s Homepage (www.flightcentre.com.au)....13 Appendix 1.3 – Myer’s Homepage (www.myer.com.au)..........................................13

Report – Web Site Analysis
Introduction
As many businesses have now found the internet poses as a very healthy way of making their business known to a greater audience, which can also be a lot cheaper and easier than the traditional ways of advertising. It can be almost guaranteed that any of the

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larger companies in Australia will have a webpage with information about themselves, with some even selling their products on these sites. This report explores three different websites of some of the larger Australian companies. It will analyse how each of these company’s websites differ, what they actually use their site for and how user friendly these sites are for their clients. It will firstly explore the Australian branch of EBay, which solely uses the internet to sell its products. Then the report will look at Australia’s leading travel agency’s website, Flight Centre, which uses its site in conjunction with its stores across Australia to sell their travel related products to their clients. And finally the last of the three websites looks at Myer, Australia’s largest department store chain, which uses its website solely for advertising and provides information for its clients, without actually using transactions across the internet.

EBay Australia
As one of the largest companies on the internet, and now one of the world’s most recognisable logos, EBay has different branches for the different countries that it operates in. They are all set up fairly similarly, but this report will focus on EBay Australia (www.ebay.com.au). Being that EBay only operates and sells its products on the net, with no stores or physical locations, the site itself needs to be extremely good at attracting new customers, and also keeping their old. Some would probably say that EBay is so large now that it will operate itself, but as is the case when something successful comes along, others try to copy or imitate their ideas, which is why EBay need to stay ahead of their competitors. The website itself, seen in appendix 1.1, has all the information and links to direct the user to their intended location, whilst also being very simple and not over-crowded

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with information that will confuse the reader. The APIS Design website rates its top 7 most important features that make a good website, where they talk about the message that the site is trying to get across to its audience (www.apis.ca). They describe a site as having to know their target audience, which for EBay will come in all ages, shapes and sizes; therefore the creators have kept it as simple as possible. It is amazing easy to sell an item on EBay, and even easier to purchase one. All you need to do is follow the correct links (as seen below in Figure 1), register an account and start selling or buying. It is almost foolproof and is one of the main reasons that it has had such success over the years and continues to grow. A website like EBay Australia is doing an amazing job to continue to have the site functioning efficiently. At the time of this report being written EBay Australia had 1,024,768 items for sale. With a website that is so large, with hundreds of thousands of links the company would need to continually monitor the bandwidth sizes and makes sure everything is running smoothly. Although they cannot be contacted via phone, the site does have a very extensive help or support feature where their client’s can be assisted if they need be.

Figure 1 – Simple Steps to EBay

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Flight Centre
As well as the creation of companies such as EBay who rely solely on the internet for their income, there are also companies such as Flight Centre Australia who use both the internet, as well as the traditional way of selling a product such a store in which you can physically walk into. Flight Centre’s website (www.flightcentre.com.au), which the screen capture in appendix 1.2 displays, is made up in the famous red and white colours of Flight Centre which customers have become familiar with. Once again with the set up of the website, it is very simple, and has links and tabs enabling the client to be directed to their intended destination. Although many clients would prefer to visit one of the 100’s of Flight Centre’s stores around Australia to have a one on one experience with a travel agent, and hear more about their intended holiday, the website offers the chance for clients to be able to easily book flights, holidays, accommodation or even transport if they feel as though they don’t need this one on one advice from a travel agent. This allows the transaction to be very efficient, and can be done from the company’s homepage search tool (seen in figure 2). Flight times and different carriers can be then chosen, as well as room types in the accommodation section. If then the client still needs information from a consultant, they can make a call and quote a reference number that has been provided and recorded by the site. Once against like EBay, Flight Centre’s website is very easy to navigate around. The homepage displays most of the valuable information that a client would expect from a travel website, and remains the number one travel website of Australia

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(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flight_Centre) for the time being, with many predicting a decline in using travel agencies as booking directly with the airliners gathers speed. Flight Centre has a much smaller role on the internet compared to EBay. Their target audience is a lot smaller as their product is more specific than EBay who sells almost anything and everything. With this is mind, the site is still quite large, with many different areas of travel resources. The advantage with Flight Centre is that in a world where the internet is still quite a way off being the primary resource for buying products, is that they also have physical store locations. This means that if a customer isn’t sure of how to purchase over the internet, or simply doesn’t trust the internet, as many people still don’t, they can still gain income through these stores. With this being said the help feature on the Flight Centre’s website, is as simply as picking up the phone and speaking with an actual travel agent, who can assist in making a booking over the internet, or provide further information through their store.

Figure 2 – Flight Centre’s Search Tool (www.flightcentre.com.au)

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Myer
The final website in discussion of this report is Australia’s major department store, Myer. The Myer Department Store started way back in 1900 by a Russian immigrant, Sidney Myer, who was in Australia less than a year before he opened his first store (http://www.myer.com.au/about/history.asp). Even though the company has been around before the Federation of Australia, Myer does not sell or participate in any transactions over the internet like the other two companies in this report. Their website’s homepage, shown in the screen shot of appendix 1.3, is extremely basic and provides clients with links to information such as where stores are located around Australia, careers with the Myer chain and the history of the successful company. They also maintain the site so they have the latest catalogue available to download and view items in which the stores are selling, which wouldn’t actually open at the time of this report being written using Mozilla Firefox. All in all though the site does not actually sell any products, therefore it doesn’t have to be as appealing to viewers as much as the other two sites discussed in this report, however, for a leading company of Australia, some may even call it a Landmark company of our country, the site is very bland and almost to bare. It has been created professionally, however it doesn’t have the appeal of many other leading companies, and doesn’t sell the brand of Myer.

Conclusion
With this report commenting on the make-up of three of Australia’s leading companies in their respected markets, it displays where the trends are moving towards in

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society, with people becoming more and more busy, they need to be able to browse, shop and purchase products a lot more simply. With the internet and technology growing at rapid speeds the amount of users is also growing. The three websites are highly ranked in Google and Yahoo, with them all appearing at spot number one when typing in the names of the three companies, which is extremely important for selling your product as it’s the first site a viewer will see when using a search tool. However as mentioned before when reporting on Flight Centre, much of society still do not trust the internet enough to purchase goods over it. Both EBay and the Flight Centre have a high reputation of being honest and most importantly secure, with EBay actually having to be found to have the most trusted site for consumer privacy (http://www.truste.org/about/press_release/06_10_04.php). However it seems as though society still doesn’t believe there are enough sanctions on preventing the internet theft and fraudulent behaviour, which comes back to the question of who actually controls the internet? If this question has a definitive answer then these people should be placing higher restrictions and laws on these crimes to promote buying from the net, as it is a cost effective way for both buyers and sellers.

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References
EBay Australia Webpage. Retrieved between March 28th & April 2nd 2007 from the EBAY AUSTRALIA Website: (http://www.ebay.com.au) Flight Centre Webpage. Retrieved between March 28th & April 2nd 2007 from the FLIGHT CENTRE Website: (http://www.flightcentre.com.au) Flight Centre. Retrieved April 2nd 2007 from the WIKIPEDIA Website: (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flight_Centre). History of Myer Department Store. Retrieved April 2nd 2007 from the MYER Website: (http://www.myer.com.au/about/history.asp). Internet Companies, Banks and Healthcare Organizations Cited as Most Trustworthy Industry Sectors. (2004, June 10). Retrieved April 2nd 2007 from the TRUSTe Website: (http://www.truste.org/about/press_release/06_10_04.php).

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Myer Webpage. Retrieved between March 28th & April 2nd 2007 from the MYER Website: (http://www.myer.com.au) What Makes a Good Website? Retrieved April 2nd 2007 from the APIS Website: (http://www.apis.ca/Understanding_Websites/Good_Sites_Bad_Sites/What_makes_a_go od_website.htm).

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Appendices

Appendix 1.1 – EBay Australia’s Homepage (www.ebay.com.au)

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Appendix 1.2 – Flight Centre Australia’s Homepage (www.flightcentre.com.au)

Appendix 1.3 – Myer’s Homepage (www.myer.com.au)

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