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Table of contents
Accepting online payments
Introduction Online payment jargon Selecting the best online payment option Setting up an internet merchant account Checklist: applying for an internet merchant account Using a payment-processing company Selling through an online shopping mall for my website Related guides on businesslink.gov.uk Related web sites you might find useful Here's how I set up an online payment system
6 6 7 8
Find a bank to process your online payments 8 9 9 10 11 12 12
Create an online shop
Introduction Benefits of selling online A basic online shop An intermediate online shop A sophisticated online shop Planning your online shop The law and selling online Helping customers find your website Avoid online pitfalls Here's how an online shop helped my business
Created by Business Link on 26 January 2010 09:50 You can personalise content from the Business Link website and download it in PDF format. This is a free service
14 14 15 15 16 16 17 18 19 20
e-Commerce | Created by Business Link on 26 January 2010 09:50 Ã#Â¨ Crown copyright 2007
Helplines Related guides on businesslink.gov.uk Related web sites you might find useful
21 21 22
Develop an e-marketing plan
Introduction The benefits of e-marketing Stages in developing your e-marketing plan The importance of brand and image Building relationships with your customers Getting the technology right Implementing e-marketing campaign Legal considerations in e-marketing Here's how I developed and implemented an e-marketing plan Related guides on businesslink.gov.uk Related web sites you might find useful
38 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 44 45 47 47
Planning for e-commerce
Introduction Identifying e-commerce opportunities Making an e-commerce site easy to use Trading partner relationships Implementing e-commerce Recognising the ongoing commitment Who is involved in an e-commerce project? How planning helped us create a profitable website Related guides on businesslink.gov.uk Related web sites you might find useful
23 23 24 25 26 27 28 28 30 30
Monitoring the effectiveness of your e-marketing
E-commerce and the law
Introduction E-commerce Regulations Tips for complying with the E-commerce Regulations Regulations applying to telephone and fax marketing Privacy and Electronic Communications Regulations Tips for complying with the Privacy and Electronic Communications Regulations Distance Selling Regulations Provision of Services Regulations Related guides on businesslink.gov.uk Related web sites you might find useful
31 31 32 33 34 34 35 36 36 36
Securing your e-commerce systems
Introduction E-commerce security issues Identifying e-commerce threats and vulnerabilities The value of implementing a security policy Areas covered by ISO/IEC 27001 Common e-commerce security controls Risks from viruses, Trojans, worms and botnets worms Related guides on businesslink.gov.uk Related web sites you might find useful
48 48 49 50 51 52 53 55 56 56
Preventing problems from viruses, Trojans and
Managing risk in e-commerce
Created by Business Link on 26 January 2010 09:50 You can personalise content from the Business Link website and download it in PDF format. This is a free service
e-Commerce | Created by Business Link on 26 January 2010 09:50 Ã#Â¨ Crown copyright 2007
Introduction Identifying risks in e-commerce Assessing the risks Developing a risk-management framework Risk avoidance and transfer Reduction of threats and vulnerabilities Related guides on businesslink.gov.uk Related web sites you might find useful
58 58 59 61 62 63 64 64
Deciding if an e-marketplace is for you The implications for e-purchasing Related guides on businesslink.gov.uk Related web sites you might find useful
78 79 80 80
Fulfilling customer orders
Introduction Automated order processing Physical delivery of goods Outsourcing the delivery of your goods Delivering digital products Digital rights management Meeting customer expectations Helplines Related guides on businesslink.gov.uk Related web sites you might find useful
81 81 82 83 84 85 86 86 87 87
A ten-point plan for effective risk management63
Benefits of intranets and extranets
Introduction What is an intranet? Benefits of an intranet What is an extranet? Benefits of an extranet Planning for extranets Maintaining intranets and extranets using content management systems and improved customer service Related guides on businesslink.gov.uk Related web sites you might find useful
66 66 67 68 69 69 70 71 72 72
Common e-commerce pitfalls
Introduction Lack of planning Design and usability concerns Content problems Marketing considerations Shopping cart problems Order fulfilment issues Security weaknesses Related guides on businesslink.gov.uk Related web sites you might find useful
88 88 89 90 91 92 93 93 94 94
Here's how an extranet for clients freed up time
E-marketplaces, online auctions and exchanges
Introduction Types of e-marketplace Online auctions Catalogues and directory listings Online exchanges and trading hubs Benefits of e-marketplaces
74 74 75 76 77 78
Generate business from your e-marketing plan 96
Introduction Email marketing 96 96
Created by Business Link on 26 January 2010 09:50 You can personalise content from the Business Link website and download it in PDF format. This is a free service
e-Commerce | Created by Business Link on 26 January 2010 09:50 Ã#Â¨ Crown copyright 2007
0 can be used for business 133 133 133 134 135 136 Pay per click advertising Introduction 115 115 Legal implications and best practice when using Created by Business Link on 26 January 2010 09:50 You can personalise content from the Business Link website and download it in PDF format.gov.0? Web 2.uk Related web sites you might find useful 97 98 99 100 101 102 103 104 105 The different methods of pay per click advertising Researching keywords Campaign creation Setting campaign budgets Complying with advertising standards Choosing a pay per click agency Related guides on businesslink.gov.uk Related web sites you might find useful 124 124 124 125 126 127 128 129 130 131 131 131 Using keywords to improve your search engine Submitting new websites to search engines 109 Web 2.gov.e-Commerce SMS marketing Promoting your website Getting the most out of search engines Advertising and sponsorship Sales promotions Community building and social media on the web Related guides on businesslink.0: a guide for business Introduction How the web is changing What is Web 2.uk Related web sites you might find useful 106 106 106 107 108 110 111 111 112 113 113 Online networking Introduction How online networks work Business benefits of online networking How to choose and join online networks How to use online networks for marketing Etiquette and online networks Security and online networking Checklist: online networking Helplines Related guides on businesslink.gov.0 tools How Web 2.uk Related web sites you might find useful 115 117 118 118 120 121 122 122 Writing effective copy for pay per click adverts119 Here's how I marketed my products and services Tracking your pay per click campaign results121 Search engine optimisation Introduction What is a search engine and how do they work? Design your site for search engine optimisation optimisation Search engine optimisation tactics Working with a search engine optimisation agency Choosing a search engine optimisation agency Tracking your search engine optimisation results Related guides on businesslink. This is a free service e-Commerce | Created by Business Link on 26 January 2010 09:50 Ã#Â¨ Crown copyright 2007 Page 4 .
uk Related web sites you might find useful 137 138 139 140 140 The future of the web and how it may affect your Here's how Web 2.e-Commerce social media business business (Flash video) Related guides on businesslink.gov.0 technology benefited my Created by Business Link on 26 January 2010 09:50 You can personalise content from the Business Link website and download it in PDF format. This is a free service e-Commerce | Created by Business Link on 26 January 2010 09:50 Ã#Â¨ Crown copyright 2007 Page 5 .
For many small businesses. To accept cards online.uk Related web sites you might find useful Online payments using cards are 'card-not-present' or CNP transactions. processes the transaction and credits your account. accepting payments online provides some major benefits. An acquirer can be a high street bank or other financial institution that offers credit and debit card accepting/processing services. It's easy to accept cheques or invoices for your online sales and to process payments in the traditional way. It acquires the money from the customer. However. Customers increasingly expect this facility and it can improve your cashflow significantly. There are higher risks of fraud with this type of payment and banks require you to operate within a well-defined set of rules and accept a higher level of commercial risk than a conventional swiped card transaction in a shop. This guide will help you to understand these requirements and look at the options available for taking advantage of online payments. You can find this guide on http://www. because buyers often use the internet for a speedy service. you will have to make special banking arrangements.uk/northeast by navigating to: Home > Sales and marketing > Online Selling > Accepting online payments Online payment jargon Debit and credit card payments and their application online involve some key concepts and jargon. most sales are paid for with credit and debit cards.businesslink. You need to apply for e-Commerce | Created by Business Link on 26 January 2010 09:50 Ã#Â¨ Crown copyright 2007 Page 6 .gov.gov.Accepting online payments Subjects covered in this guide Introduction Introduction Online payment jargon Selecting the best online payment option Setting up an internet merchant account Find a bank to process your online payments Checklist: applying for an internet merchant account Using a payment-processing company Selling through an online shopping mall Here's how I set up an online payment system for my website Related guides on businesslink.
with the possibility of moving to a less costly option later • see the page in this guide on using a payment-processing company Online shopping mall Page 7 Selecting the best online payment option e-Commerce | Created by Business Link on 26 January 2010 09:50 Ã#Â¨ Crown copyright 2007 . If this sounds like your business. starting as low as 5 pence per transaction. the higher your transaction volume the lower the rate you will be charged. Some acquiring banks offer PSP services as part of their product and there are other less expensive options available. You value the ability to attract online sales more highly than the ability to collect sales income quickly.Accepting online payments a merchant service agreement if you want a bank to handle your electronic payments. especially if the risk to your business does not change. MasterCard's is called 'MasterCard SecureCode' and Visa's is 'Verified by Visa'. A fixed monthly fee starts at around £10. You expect a fairly high number of online transactions. A payment service provider (PSP) will provide you with a 'virtual' till or terminal that collects the card details over the internet and passes them to the acquiring bank. Your choice of PSP will depend on its cost and compatibility with your chosen e-commerce software solution. so you should: • consider the facilities that a payment-processing company could offer. Usually. then you should: • apply directly for an internet merchant account and discuss your requirements with the acquiring bank • see the page in this guide on setting up an internet merchant account Payment-processing company Your business will not have a large number of online transactions and you do not currently accept debit or credit card transactions so have no merchant account. Obtaining an IMA from an acquirer may be quicker and easier if you already have 'offline' card-processing facilities set up. To take electronic payments over the web. Internet merchant account Your business already accepts debit and credit card payments for face-to-face transactions. In this case. you will need a PSP. Your business will need some flexibility in the way in which it designs and operates its website. most of which will be simple and low risk. You need the greatest amount of flexibility in operating your business and cashflow is very important. but there are some cheaper options available. You have not been trading long and cannot provide a well-documented operations history. To help protect merchants and cardholders from fraud. You can use the following scenarios to help you choose the best option for your business. the card schemes have developed a service that allows cardholders to authenticate themselves when shopping online. This process is normally quick. just ask your acquirer for an additional IMA ID for use exclusively with internet transactions. For web-based online transactions you need an internet merchant account (IMA).
they will charge you for their service. Beware of fraud Online card payments are classed as 'card-not-present' transactions. you can consider using an online payment-processing company or an online shopping mall to handle card payments for you . There are several banks and processors that currently offer IMAs.this is known as a chargeback. Card users will visit your internet shop to order your goods or services and make payments. Even if a cardholder-not-present transaction is authorised by the cardholder's bank. If this applies to your business. and day-to-day charges may be a fixed fee in the case of debit card transactions or a percentage of each transaction for credit cards. where you are using a payment service provider. The costs Acquiring banks will charge for their services. You do not think that your website needs any unusual features. If you don't meet the requirements for an IMA. If a transaction proves to be fraudulent. Your products are fairly standardised and easily understood. There may be a sign-up fee of around £200. the money will be reclaimed from your bank account . you will still need one specifically to accept online payments. this doesn't necessarily guarantee payment. check to see if your online payment card processor can offer the card scheme's authentication service MasterCard SecureCode and Verified by Visa. and the funds will usually be in your bank account after three or four working days. where a cardholder claims that they did not authorise a payment. because you Find a bank to process your online payments Online payments are processed by Page 8 e-Commerce | Created by Business Link on 26 January 2010 09:50 Ã#Â¨ Crown copyright 2007 .see the page in this guide on how to find a bank to process your online payments. you do not currently offer debit or credit card sales and you have very limited IT skills. you'll have to set up an internet merchant account (IMA).Accepting online payments Your business is small.see the pages in this guide on using a payment-processing company and selling through an online shopping mall. You are prepared to pay higher transaction and fixed costs just to establish a web presence. To help guard against fraud. or it's not cost-effective for your business. These are referred to as merchant acquirers or acquiring banks . Setting up an internet merchant account To accept credit or debit card payments directly online. you should: • look at the facilities that an online shopping mall could offer • see the page in this guide on selling through an online shopping mall can't physically check the card or the cardholder. In addition. Even if you already have a merchant account for face-to-face transactions.
They offer a useful alternative for businesses who have a Page 9 Checklist: applying for an internet merchant account e-Commerce | Created by Business Link on 26 January 2010 09:50 Ã#Â¨ Crown copyright 2007 . therefore. Currently businesses can open an internet merchant account (IMA) with the following acquiring banks to receive payments from credit and debit cards: • • • • • • • Alliance and Leicester Bank of Scotland Barclaycard Business HSBC Lloyds TSB NatWest/Royal Bank of Scotland Ulster Bank Banks that offer internet merchant accounts (IMAs) for accepting card payments have strict requirements. The acquiring banks have strict requirements and it's possible that even the bank you use for your business current account may refuse you .including details of your cashflow and how you'll promote your online activities • supply your website address • explain the details of your product or service • give your suppliers' details • describe how you will deliver your product or service • set out your terms and conditions for online trading • work out your expected average online transaction values. there are other IMA providers that you can investigate on the internet.checklist: applying for a merchant account. Using a payment-processing company Payment-processing companies obtain payment from your customers' credit and debit cards on your behalf and forward the money to you. your estimated turnover from online sales and number of credit and debit card transactions • provide details of the secure server you'll use • make your audited business accounts available • supply your bank details and authority to carry out a check with credit reference agencies • detail your trading history • provide details of the directors or partners in the business .Accepting online payments acquiring banks. ensure that any web-hosting solution you are considering can support the SSL protocol. When you apply for an IMA the bank will want to know certain details about you and your business. Alternatively. You need to: • outline your business plan . You should.including full contact details The following charge-card companies also act as acquiring banks: • American Express • Diners Club American Express and Diners Club will only acquire their own cards. secure socket layer (SSL) technology is used to encrypt transaction data and to send the necessary customer and card details to the acquiring bank in order to authorise the purchase. Once the IMA has been set up.see the page in this guide .
Advantages • Payment-processing companies relieve you of the administrative burden of managing customers' card details and running an IMA. Selling through an online shopping mall An online shopping mall can be a good alternative if: • you're looking for an online route to customers as an optional extra to your normal sales channels • you want to extend the number of online outlets your customers can use An online mall brings together a number of online shops on the same website. so it's worth shopping around . You maintain and update your own shop within the mall. you may be able to get insurance to cover this risk. • Sector-specific malls can provide an effective route to your target market. • Payment-processing companies hold payments for a settlement period of 30-60 days before they reach your account. Malls will often provide software to help you set up your shop and receive card payments on your behalf. you will not usually be required to supply the same level of detailed information about your business plan. • They have less strict application procedures than an IMA requires. • They're easy to set up for people Page 10 e-Commerce | Created by Business Link on 26 January 2010 09:50 Ã#Â¨ Crown copyright 2007 .Accepting online payments smaller turnover from card transactions or who can't open an internet merchant account (IMA) with an acquiring bank. the relevant trade association may be able to put you in touch with a dedicated mall .Opens in a new window. the value of the transaction will be reclaimed from your business. If you sell to a particular trade or industry. • They save you from having to set up secure payment systems. For example. but most of the administration is done for you.see details of payment-processing companies on the Electronic Payments website . • Charges are generally higher than for an IMA. It hosts your online shop and processes payments for you. as do specialist companies.see a list of trade associations on the Trade Association Forum (TAF) website . Disadvantages • Customers can see that the payment is not going directly to you even though they may be conducting the transaction through your website. If a card is used fraudulently. costs are falling and the market for these services is competitive. It's a competitive sector and costs vary. However. Advantages • Online shopping malls give an immediate online presence. However. often from the same sector. Many internet service providers (ISPs) offer online mall facilities. trading history and suppliers.Opens in a new window. • Your application can be processed much more quickly than for an IMA.
com . • You don't need to go through the process of setting up an internet merchant account. but keep records and review them regularly. • Your shop is often tied into a standard format. • Generally you'll have to pay a joining fee and a percentage of each transaction made through the mall . What I did Get a merchant account "When we set up the website we wanted to accept online payments from day one. the process was quite simple. Established two years ago as a e-Commerce | Created by Business Link on 26 January 2010 09:50 Ã#Â¨ Crown copyright 2007 . "They helped us install a system comprising an e-commerce shop window. so it made sense to extend that to the website. although our consultant ensured they were both compatible with each other and with ePDQ. get a specialist in to set the system up." • "Accept that fraud will occasionally happen. use the best of what's already available. so we used a specialist to do this. This had the added benefit of allowing us to brand the site more effectively and make it more customer-friendly. "We got a separate account with our existing credit card service provider who created an account for us with their online payment processing service called ePDQ.charges vary substantially. • You may also have to pay a monthly or annual fee . Because we'd already undergone the relevant checks. We already had a merchant account for accepting cards in our high street outlets. Director Tony Yerby describes how foska.com enabled its website to accept online payments from customers. which needs to be linked to your website via encryption software. the company employs 30 people.com is an online retailer of cycle clothing.charges per transaction can be higher than processing payments yourself. subsidiary of a chain of high street retail outlets. rather than outsourcing the whole process to a payment processing company. The integration looked complicated. linked to ePDQ via secure-form hosting software." Page 11 Here's how I set up an online payment system for my website Tony Yerby Foska. The two software packages we bought were off-the-shelf." Foska.Accepting online payments with moderate IT skills. Disadvantages • Online shopping malls are often the most expensive way to sell online. • You often get help and support in getting your store operational." Integrate the system "When a customer pays by card the money ends up in a merchant account." • "Don't re-invent the wheel with a bespoke system.Opens in a new window Tony's top tips: • "Unless you've got the time and the interest to do it yourself.
we had started to build an online store by hiring a company to design a bespoke solution.uk Use our interactive tool to investigate what kind of website is best for your business | Manage your personal list of starting-up tasks with our Business start-up organiser | Use our interactive tool to investigate what kind of website is e-Commerce | Created by Business Link on 26 January 2010 09:50 Ã#Â¨ Crown copyright 2007 Page 12 .Accepting online payments best for your business | Choose and run a business account | Create an online shop | Securing your e-commerce systems | Accepting debit and credit cards | Choose and run a business account | Outsourcing | Securing your e-commerce systems | Accepting debit and credit cards | Create an online shop | Develop an e-marketing plan | Prepare a business plan | Cashflow management: the basics | Create an online shop | Accepting debit and credit cards | Use our interactive tool to investigate what kind of website is best for your business | Choosing the right internet service provider | Securing your e-commerce systems | Here's how an online shop helped my business | Here's how I marketed my products and services on the web | Address security issues "Using trusted providers helps minimise the risks of fraud. Because online transactions are cardholder not present. we should have gone for existing software from the start.Opens in a new window Online transaction basics on the Electronic Payments website . Our software also provides detailed reporting.gov. We monitor the figures regularly to identify any particular areas for concern. It's important not to let the technology take over from common-sense.where the customer gets their postcode wrong. including losses incurred through fraud. for example.Opens in a new window IMA set-up resources on the Retailers and Cards website . the missing cash is deducted from your account by your card service provider. if a payment proves to be fraudulent.Opens in a new window Cardholder-not-present fraud prevention on the Card Watch website . It's tempting to go for the highest level of checking. With the benefit of hindsight. but it doesn't eliminate them." What I'd do differently Start with an off-the-shelf package "Before we brought in an IT consultant. but we soon realised that this rejects many valid orders ." Related web sites you might find useful Online payment guide on the Electronic Payments website . because it was difficult to integrate. We ended up scrapping it. "Our system has various security checks and controls that we can turn on and off.Opens in a new window Related guides on businesslink.Opens in a new window See details of payment-processing companies on the Electronic Payments website .
Opens in a new window e-Commerce | Created by Business Link on 26 January 2010 09:50 Ã#Â¨ Crown copyright 2007 Page 13 .Accepting online payments Trade association directory on the TAF website .
You don't need to pay shop assistants. • Reducing order-processing costs customer orders can automatically come straight into your orders database from the website. leading to increased profitability and lower costs. or answer a lot of pre-sales queries.gov. rent high-street premises. • Competing with larger businesses by being able to open 24 hours a day. Benefits of selling online Selling online has a number of advantages over selling by conventional methods. Selling products and services online can have major advantages for businesses. thereby increasing sales opportunities. as well as how to make sure that customers can find your shop on the web. seven days a week. If you choose to work with a third party to build your online shop.businesslink. including: • Making savings in set-up and operational costs. This guide tells you about the advantages of selling online. • Being able to receive payment more Page 14 You can find this guide on http://www.uk Related web sites you might find useful The guide also explains some legal requirements and the pitfalls that you should be aware of. this guide will help ensure you ask them the right questions. what you need to consider when creating an online shop and the consequences of getting it wrong. • Reaching a global audience.gov.Create an online shop Subjects covered in this guide Introduction Introduction Benefits of selling online A basic online shop An intermediate online shop A sophisticated online shop Planning your online shop The law and selling online Helping customers find your website Avoid online pitfalls Here's how an online shop helped my business Helplines Related guides on businesslink.uk/northeast by navigating to: Home > Sales and marketing > Online Selling > Create an online shop e-Commerce | Created by Business Link on 26 January 2010 09:50 Ã#Â¨ Crown copyright 2007 .
on the condition that they receive a cut of future transactions. There are many e-commerce web-hosting specialists and it's worth shopping around for the best deal. you tend to get what you pay for. a website and hosting services. be aware that the design and functionality may be restricted and it may be less secure than other more sophisticated options. Some companies offer this free. Whatever form of online shop you choose. the 'always-on' connection means you may be susceptible to unauthorised access. You will also need a hosting package for your shop. • Using your online shop as a catalogue for existing customers. take a strategic view. See our guide on IT security: the basics. Using a broadband connection as opposed to dial-up will ensure fast connection to the internet. However. A basic site is low cost and easy to create for a limited product range. using one of the various web authoring software packages on the market. you risk damaging your reputation and losing sales. However. A simple setup allows you to sell a small range of products. You should be looking for round-the-clock support. If you launch a website that disappoints your customers or is overwhelmed by traffic. An intermediate online shop To create an intermediate-level online Page 15 e-Commerce | Created by Business Link on 26 January 2010 09:50 Ã#Â¨ Crown copyright 2007 . email. However. internet access.Create an online shop quickly from online transactions. You can create electronic mail-order forms. A basic online shop The requirements for building a basic online shop are fairly straightforward. While this service is not necessarily expensive. A firewall is sometimes included as part of your operating system. providing photos. a fully automated online shop tailored to meet your precise requirements could be expensive. descriptions and prices as well as accept orders online. software can add e-commerce functionality. If you already have a website. • Improving your offerings using the data gathered by tracking customer purchases. Having a firewall will prevent this occurring. These order forms let customers email their orders to be processed offline. • Attracting customers who would not normally have investigated your type of high-street outlet. The equipment and facilities you will need include a computer. It's important to study the service level guarantee and the type of technical support on offer. Online selling will work best for you if you have: • well-defined products or services that can be sold without human intervention in the sales process • fixed prices for all types of potential customers • products or services that can be delivered within a predictable lead time Many businesses can run pilot e-commerce sites without significant investment. Most customers shopping online will want to pay by debit or credit card.
you will encourage customers to come back to you rather than switch to a competitor. enhanced order processing and a broader range of design templates. personalised pages and product news. customer references and customer alerts. Be aware that some internet service providers offer combined web hosting and software packages. they will shop elsewhere. Using Secure Socket Layer technology to collect card details (denoted by the 'golden padlock' symbol in your browser's status bar) is key to encouraging online sales. Planning your online shop Before building your website. If they do not find it quick and easy to buy your products and services. eg account information. interactive shopping experience. you should be aware that it may not suit you if you wish to offer more complex products and services. Software can be integrated to trigger order confirmations and automatically dispatch goods and replenish stocks. ie they connect to your product database and accounts systems. As such. it can provide your customers with a rich. you can also receive orders in real time and update your website automatically. Having a sophisticated online shop can also make the running of the business smoother. You need to work out how to: • deliver your products or services to e-Commerce | Created by Business Link on 26 January 2010 09:50 Ã#Â¨ Crown copyright 2007 Page 16 . but broadly you can expect catalogue management. This could take longer to create. Some e-commerce packages offer a degree of back-end systems integration. A sophisticated online shop A sophisticated online shop offers a huge range of options. streamlining the order process and keeping the website up to date. If you use a broadband connection. you must create the right processes and procedures to support it and put in place the resources to deal with orders.Create an online shop shop you will need an e-commerce package. An intermediate-level site can provide you with a professional looking design. Facilities vary. you should be aware that you may need the help of a design and development company to define your technical requirements and integrate the website with your existing systems. so it's worth doing some research. including cutting-edge design and functionality. However. However. Crucially. full e-commerce and payment functionality and value-added features. Don't ask for personal details too soon. Making sure checkout procedures are secure and user friendly are essential if customers are going to feel confident about ordering a product or service. However. customers should not have to navigate their way past distracting graphics and animations. Most customers will not be prepared to fill in forms until they are ready to buy. Many people will abandon purchases at the checkout stage if the process is not quick and easy. If you update your site content regularly. you can also expect encryption for secure ordering. lock you into one service provider and be very expensive.
Test your website and processes thoroughly. This can prevent late payment problems and helps to safeguard your cashflow. emails and queries about delivery . As well as online payments. goods and services meet quality and suitability standards and online contracts are legally binding. address. It's important to create confidence in your shop. A The law and selling online If you are selling online there are a number of pieces of legislation that you need to be familiar with. With the use of encryption technology. Customers may be wary of paying online. These are in place to ensure that any personal data that customers provide is kept secure. e-commerce transactions can be as secure as offline ones. particularly if you're selling to businesses. Start with a soft launch perhaps just to existing customers . However. ideally the next day. virus-scanning software and a 'firewall'.see our guide on fulfilling customer orders collect payments maintain security and demonstrate this to the customer let customers contact you comply with regulations • • • • professional-looking website with an explanation of your security precautions will help. Customers will want to know that they can speak to a person if something goes wrong. Consider how to: • handle debit and credit card details safely • ensure that key information on your website cannot be defaced or altered fraudulently • preserve the confidentiality of customer data such as telephone numbers. The Data Protection Act 1998 regulates how you deal with personal information held about living people. Page 17 e-Commerce | Created by Business Link on 26 January 2010 09:50 Ã#Â¨ Crown copyright 2007 . or paying by debit or credit card over the telephone. eg in customer records. you may wish to offer other payment methods to customers. phone and fax numbers • an email address for enquiries or orders • the name of the person to contact in the first instance See our guide on trading online understanding e-commerce contracts. you can encourage them by providing a secure area on your website for placing orders and giving debit and credit card details.before giving it stronger marketing support. You need to ensure that you can deliver goods or services in a reasonable time.Create an online shop fulfil customer orders .you may need extra staff. addresses etc See our guide on securing your e-commerce systems. Your business should be ready to deal with calls. Your website will therefore need a contacts page including: • your business name. Find delivery methods that keep charges low. See our guide on how to manage your customer care. such as invoicing. See our guides on accepting online payments and cashflow management: the basics.
eg your full company name and address and a description of the goods or services. • Publicising your site through related websites . If you set up a contract online. such as newspapers or the television • Adding your website address to all emails. See our guide on search engine optimisation. You are also required to send the buyer an order confirmation and give them a 'cooling off period' in which they can cancel their purchase if they wish. customers must be able to find it easily. any commercial communications sent to customers must be clearly identifiable as such. In practice. See our guide on e-commerce and the law.Create an online shop The Act affects information that you have on computer as well as some paper-based records. See our guide on distance selling and online trading. The Consumer Protection (Distance Selling) Regulations 2000 require you to give your customers specified information before they place an order. under the terms of the Companies Act 2006 your website must show: • the full name of the company or LLP • the registered office address of the company or LLP • the registered number of the company or LLP • the place of registration of the company or LLP • if the company is being wound up • the VAT number (if VAT registered) • membership details of any trade or professional association Helping customers find your website For your online shop to be effective. The Electronic Commerce Regulations 2002 specify what information about your business you must share with online customers and how you should go about advertising and promoting your goods or services. an advertisement or a mention on another site • Negotiating joint ventures with other sites • Word of mouth • Advertising in traditional media. See our guide on how to comply with data protection legislation. 46K) . If your business is a limited company or limited liability partnership (LLP). Furthermore.many individuals go to sites after seeing a link. See our guide on pay per click advertising. including: • Improving your website listing in search engine results.Opens in a new window. letterheads and other stationery and to your business vehicles • Mailing or emailing your customers with a newsletter • Getting into local online business Page 18 e-Commerce | Created by Business Link on 26 January 2010 09:50 Ã#Â¨ Crown copyright 2007 . it means that you need to be open about how you use information and follow the eight data protection principles. you must make sure that the customer can print and keep a copy of the terms and conditions. There are a number of things you can do to steer customers towards your website. • Getting your website listed prominently in web directories or through internet advertising. You can download information on how to comply with the Data Protection Act 1998 from the Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) website (PDF.
• Writing a description of your site and the services it offers and placing it prominently on your home page. emails can be responded to quickly and helplines are manned by the appropriate staff at reasonable times.when selling through an online shop. Ask friends and family to get involved with this for some objective feedback. see our guide on search engine optimisation. • Have your website professionally designed. However. An alternative is to use an SEO agency there are many to choose from.pick key words and make sure they are in your page title and repeated further down the page. If you want to build your audience it is essential that you are listed in web directories and search engines. is up to date. • Monitor the information you provide on a regular basis.Create an online shop directories. there are risks involved with this. Find information about search engine optimisation (SEO) on the Search Engine Watch website . • Resubmitting your site details regularly to the main search engines. you don't normally have any personal Page 19 e-Commerce | Created by Business Link on 26 January 2010 09:50 Ã#Â¨ Crown copyright 2007 . You can find an SEO agency on the SEMPO website. Customers will be put off by: • out-of-date or incorrect information • difficult site navigation and purchasing processes • poor customer fulfilment and late delivery • lack of customer support • lack of business information • poor visual design So it is essential to: • Make sure all information on your website. This can be a difficult and time-consuming process but you can get your website listed or improve your search ranking by: • Thinking about how people are going to find your site . especially on prices.Opens in a new window and see our guide on search engine optimisation. This will ensure that orders can be processed promptly. . • Make it easy to find and purchase products. such as those produced by local Chambers of Commerce find Chambers of Commerce in your area on the Chamber Online website . • Get other websites to link to your site .Opens in a new window Avoid online pitfalls Many e-commerce websites fail because of basic mistakes that are easily rectified. Remember . try to make it simple and easy to remember so that customers will be more likely to go to your site rather than those of your competitors.many search engines rank sites according to how many other websites link to them. • Make sure that resources and procedures are in place to support your website.Opens in a new window • Adding an email this to a friend button on your site When you choose your internet address (URL) or domain name.
We found that we were losing out as we did not have an automated process to capture these potential customers. But we also wanted the website to help us convert more enquiries into sales.Opens in a new window David's top tips: • "Contact your local Technology Means Business adviser on Tel 01784 473005 ." Integrate business processes contact with your customers. "Having identified these areas the online shop has really helped us to refocus our business plan. These include: • making your site easy to navigate and user friendly • giving a 100 per cent no-quibble money-back guarantee if they don't like or want the product • making sure photographic images on your site are accurate and show products in their best light • hiring a customer service representative who can give advice on the phone to customers on more complex or expensive products • making ordering procedures straightforward and quick • confirming orders immediately by email • being honest .we got a £70. We got so many enquiries by phone and email. "We decided that raising turnover and opening up new sales channels were the key objectives. an Exeter-based supplier of light bulbs.eg. lighting and fittings. Turnover is up by several hundred thousand pounds a year and we've opened up new sales channels . but owner-manager David Madams wanted to raise sales without embarking on an expensive marketing push. so you need to try harder to find and keep them. which took up a lot of our time to process. In order to get the most out of our new sales channel we drew up a brief covering what we wanted to achieve.Create an online shop implement the right e-commerce solution for your business." Commercial Lamp Supplies. There are further steps you can take to increase the chances of visitors placing an order and to make them feel more secure about buying from your site.000 order from South Korea just a week after the site's launch. was enjoying modest success.they can help you e-Commerce | Created by Business Link on 26 January 2010 09:50 Ã#Â¨ Crown copyright 2007 Page 20 . telling the customer if you can't deliver on time • providing a way for customers to track down the progress and availability of their order Here's how an online shop helped my business David Madams Commercial Lamp Supplies . What I did Define how the business will develop "Before setting up our online shop we used to sell our products direct to other businesses through catalogues and sales representatives. Since launching its online shop the business has started exporting and boosted turnover by 20 per cent.
co. This meant we couldn't fulfil all the order requests we were getting on some lines. while the others on the website weren't selling in comparable quantities." Read more case studies that describe first hand how people tackle real-life challenges and opportunities Helplines Business Link Helpline 0845 600 9 006 Related guides on businesslink. if you don't update it people don't come back. So we've worked hard to ensure the website has a fresh look." Use the website to raise the business' profile "No matter how good your online shop is. I now know that they can offer practical help with the whole process of setting up and managing an online presence for my business. By doing this and by using our company name as the URL." What I'd do differently Get full product listing on the website from day one "When we launched the website we didn't put our full product range on the website - we didn't appreciate how big demand would be. giving us the ability to increase sales. By automating our processes we can track buying habits and use this data to improve our offerings. More importantly the website has improved our cashflow." Make the most of the help available "Perhaps if I'd known more about the help available from Technology Means Business I could have used my resources even better. Since we've started accepting payments online we've been receiving them far sooner than before. "We now sell across the UK and into parts of Europe and Asia. And because our business is effectively open 24 hours a day. In order to maintain this performance we've registered the website on several search engines. we've been able to reach a much wider audience. seven days a week we can compete with much larger businesses. which in turn is generating lots of enquiries. reducing our processing costs.gov.uk Use our interactive tool to investigate what kind of website is best for your business | Search our Grants and Support Directory of grants.uk. We've also overhauled our buying patterns. Customer orders now come straight into our database from the website.saving us money. increased our warehousing capability and improved our delivery activities . subsidies and advice | Planning for e-commerce | Protecting intellectual property | Securing your e-commerce systems | Maintaining your web content and technology | Search engine optimisation | Pay per click advertising | IT security: the basics | Website hosting options | Choose the right internet service provider | Options for connecting to the internet | Customer relationship Page 21 e-Commerce | Created by Business Link on 26 January 2010 09:50 Ã#Â¨ Crown copyright 2007 .Create an online shop "Launching the website forced us to review and change how the business operates.commercial-lamps. www. Overall this has benefited the business enormously.
Opens in a new window Chamber of Commerce Office search on the British Chambers of Commerce website .Opens in a new window Download Electronic Commerce Regulations guidance from the Department for Business. 246K) .Opens in a new window Download Data Protection Act compliance guidance from the ICO website (PDF.Create an online shop management | Web 2.Opens in a new window Download card-not-present fraud prevention guidance from the Card Watch website (PDF.0: a guide for business | Trading online understanding e-commerce contracts | Fulfilling customer orders | Accepting online payments | Comply with data protection legislation | Distance selling and online trading | E-commerce and the law | Develop an e-marketing plan | Generate business from your e-marketing plan | Common e-commerce pitfalls | Here's how I marketed my products and services on the web | Here's how I used email marketing effectively | SEO advice on the Search Engine Watch website .Opens in a new window Related web sites you might find useful Search engine information on the Search Engine Watch website . Innovation & Skills website (PDF.67MB) . 1. 46K) . 99K) .Opens in a new window SEO agency search on the SEMPO website .Opens in a new window e-Commerce | Created by Business Link on 26 January 2010 09:50 Ã#Â¨ Crown copyright 2007 Page 22 .Opens in a new window Download Distance Selling Regulations guidance from the Office of Fair Trading website (PDF.
gov. It provides advice on how best to identify the opportunities for e-commerce within your business and the solutions available. the actual sale and delivery of goods can be made online. If you plan to sell online. It also emphasises the need to plan for the ongoing development and maintenance of any e-commerce system at the outset.uk Related web sites you might find useful E-commerce systems such as your website can be used to market and sell to customers. However.Planning for e-commerce Subjects covered in this guide Introduction Introduction Identifying e-commerce opportunities Making an e-commerce site easy to use Trading partner relationships Implementing e-commerce Recognising the ongoing commitment Who is involved in an e-commerce project? How planning helped us create a profitable website Related guides on businesslink. For some businesses such as those selling software or music. e-Commerce | Created by Business Link on 26 January 2010 09:50 Ã#Â¨ Crown copyright 2007 Page 23 . E-commerce can also be an important part of strengthening relationships and improving the efficiency of your dealings with suppliers and other key trading partners. for most the supply of goods will continue to require a physical delivery.businesslink. Direct sales Many businesses use e-commerce for the direct selling of goods or services online. you may need to rethink many of your business activities.gov.uk/northeast by navigating to: Home > IT & e-commerce > E-commerce > Planning for e-commerce Identifying e-commerce opportunities There are several different ways you might use e-commerce in your business. E-commerce plays an increasingly important role in the way in which products and services are purchased. This guide looks at the key issues to consider when planning for the introduction of e-commerce. You can find this guide on http://www. and to provide after-sales support.
Pre-sales You can use your website for pre-sales activities .for example. Shop front The shop front is the interface presented to the customer. Post-sales support You can also use the internet to automate aspects of your customer support to reduce the number of routine customer service calls. The design of the shop front should make shopping intuitive. shopping cart and payment software. At its most basic this can be through the use of 'brochureware' . You will also need to work out how every aspect of a transaction is handled . There are three elements of the shopping process that influence how easy and enjoyable the customer finds it to shop on an e-commerce site . What level of sales are you hoping to make? How many sales leads are you looking to generate? What percentage reduction in customer telephone calls are you expecting to achieve? Ensure that targets are put in place so that you can measure the success. of your e-commerce facility. and deliveries and returns. or by putting technical information online.if customers are unable to find the product within that time.the shop front. or otherwise. so that they can proceed to pay for the goods. Making an e-commerce site easy to use e-Commerce | Created by Business Link on 26 January 2010 09:50 Ã#Â¨ Crown copyright 2007 Page 24 . However you decide to use e-commerce. if customers place orders online instead of talking to a salesperson. with the customer knowing at all times what stage of the buying process they are at.having an online version of your promotional materials on your site.exploiting the widespread use of the internet to generate sales leads. Always give the end user the ability to search your site to locate the product. The ease with which a customer is able to use an e-commerce site is an important part of its success. invoicing and payment. This can be achieved by using your site to answer the most frequently asked questions. Once the goods have been selected. It's also an important part of your online brand image. This often incorporates an online catalogue that enables them to browse for products and identify those they wish to purchase. the customer should find the checkout clearly signposted. they are likely to go to an alternative site. Other options include email campaigns or online advertising to attract visitors to your own website where you can promote your products. it is important to define your expectations from the outset. Customers should be able to find the product they are looking for quickly.including order confirmation. Shopping cart This is the software that facilitates easy selection and payment for products purchased by a customer from an e-commerce website. An eight-second guideline is frequently cited .Planning for e-commerce This is because you will fundamentally change the way in which you interact with your customers .
e-commerce also provides new ways of building closer links and improving business relationships with key trading partners. It should also generate a printable receipt and allow you to send a confirmation email to the customer. Trading partner relationships As well as offering new ways of doing business with customers. suppliers and key customers • be used for exchanging data and applications. Extranets can: • be made available to selected external partners. at the right time. There are three options for accepting such payments .you can: • open a merchant account • use a payment processing company • set up an online shop within a virtual shopping mall See our guide on accepting online payments. Payment software Most customers will wish to pay for their purchases with credit or debit cards. Supply chain management The concept of supply chain management revolves around having the right product in the right place.Planning for e-commerce • improve efficiency by enabling employees to search the business' knowledge and information store from their own desktop. Intranets These are private internal company networks that use the same browser-based technology and network protocols as the internet. including any packing and shipping requirements. and in the right condition. regardless of location Extranets This is a shared intranet that allows users to share key trading data such as inventory levels and sales trends. contractors. Intranets: • are protected from unauthorised use by a firewall E-marketplaces e-Commerce | Created by Business Link on 26 January 2010 09:50 Ã#Â¨ Crown copyright 2007 Page 25 . such as vendors. Some of the key technologies are listed below. These internet-based technologies and processes also allow you to improve your own business efficiency. and sharing specific business information • improve supply chain management See our guide on the benefits of intranets and extranets. The key aspects of supply chain management include the ability of businesses to: • • • • • exchange information on stock levels fulfil orders more quickly minimise excess inventory improve customer service use a networking infrastructure to ensure good response times and speed The system should process the order speedily and provide you with a summary.
Buyers and sellers work interactively with bids and offers. Specification The website specification should clearly identify what the site is trying to achieve and how its various components will contribute to this. See our guide on how to create an Implementing e-commerce The key tool for delivering e-commerce services is the business website. Check if the domain name you are planning to use has already been taken at the Nominet website . However. Software options An important early decision to consider is whether to use a 'shop' package or build the software from scratch. with the lowest bid winning. An understanding of the intended user audience is required for both technical and marketing purposes. Buyers post details of the goods they want to buy and suppliers compete to provide them. Alternatively you can get a third party to build the software for you. ISP hosting is relatively cheap and straightforward and is the most preferred option for most businesses. volume and delivery costs. it is a match between the buyer and seller on variables such as price. a suitable server and the provision of technical support. online auctions and exchanges. However. Website hosting If you purchase a domain name you can either host your own website or have an internet service provider (ISP) host it on your behalf. buyers and intermediaries to come together and offer products or services to each other. Most businesses choose some form of broadband connection. Domain name Domain names are an enormous help in the branding of a business. irrespective of which hosting solution is selected. according to set criteria. When a deal is made. Reverse auctions are buyer-controlled events and are used to attract bids. This must be specified. you will require a fast internet connection. See our guide on website hosting options. Shop packages allow you to configure product information and the look and feel of the shop. If not.Opens in a new window. See our guide on e-marketplaces.Planning for e-commerce There are many online exchanges that enable suppliers. If you choose to host the website yourself. then potential customers will surf elsewhere and possibly find your competition. hosted and maintained. Your domain name should be easy to remember and spell. See our guide on the options for connecting to the internet. they can provide limited opportunities for tailoring them to your back office processes. or develop it yourself. designed. and should show what your business is all about. e-Commerce | Created by Business Link on 26 January 2010 09:50 Ã#Â¨ Crown copyright 2007 Page 26 . The type of internet connectivity and the available bandwidth will be an important consideration.
• Digital coupons offering discounts. product ranges.such as Google. There are also various marketing and security issues that need to be taken into account. Use the web tools provided by the search engines to help you optimise your search engine performance and improve your website's ranking. but isn't visible on the pages) when designing and building your website. up-to-date advertisements and sales information will all need to be maintained throughout the life of the site. The majority of search engines place little value on the 'meta' keywords . This will improve organic search engine listings. you should consider redesigning the site on a periodic basis in order to improve the features offered to customers and keep the site looking fresh. Customer feedback It is important that the site evolves to meet the needs of your customers. Marketing No matter how well designed your e-commerce site is and how competitive your products and prices are. e-Commerce | Created by Business Link on 26 January 2010 09:50 Ã#Â¨ Crown copyright 2007 . special offers. Whatever your business. Don't forget to take full advantage of search engines by ensuring that they pick up all of the key terms that you think your customers will use to find your site. Security considerations Popular methods of promoting a website include: • Email advertising campaigns. See our guide on search engine optimisation. See our guide on pay per click advertising.Planning for e-commerce online shop. • Web adverts . Find out about online marketing on the National B2B Centre website Opens in a new window. if the customers are unaware of its existence then you will fail to exploit its potential. • Online directories.ensure that the keyword phrases you chose appear in your webpage title and the page body text. links where you 'pay per click'. Your website designer can help you include the key phrases and metadata (information that describes a webpage. including carrying out surveys and putting feedback forms on the site. Access the Google Webmaster tools on the Google website . Each product will have its own key words and descriptions.including sponsored Using the internet for business purposes is fraught with risks to security. Site maintenance Changes in product details. banner adverts and reciprocal links. In addition.Opens in a new window. Many of the main search engines .provide tips. There are a number of actions you can take to encourage customer feedback. it is important to understand how the website will be maintained on a day-to-day basis. there's a real risk that your system Page 27 Recognising the ongoing commitment Even in the planning stages of an e-commerce project. Hackers can attack systems at any time. advice and tools to help you improve your website's searchability. Yahoo! and MSN .
web designers and consultants used on an 'as required' basis • internet service providers • domain name registrar • telecommunication providers • major suppliers • major customers • advertising/marketing design agencies • specialist business media • accountants/auditors • solicitors • training companies The range of specialist IT skills required will be dependent upon the scale and complexity of the proposed e-commerce system. See our guide on managing risk in e-commerce. See our guide on securing your e-commerce systems. Linux etc firewalls and security graphic design and production HTML and XML coding programming languages database technologies Who is involved in an e-commerce project? E-commerce impacts upon almost every function within a business. a variety of suppliers will also need to be involved within an e-commerce project including: • existing hardware and software suppliers • specialist internet hardware and software suppliers • programmers. However.Microsoft.Planning for e-commerce may become the target of an attack that could affect your organisation. The interested parties within a business include: • • • • • • • • • • • • • board-level management purchasing inventory management manufacturing service provision direct sales sales channel management fulfilment post-sales support marketing and PR accounting training legal How planning helped us create a profitable website Debbie Pierce The Bury Black Pudding Company Opens in a new window e-Commerce | Created by Business Link on 26 January 2010 09:50 Ã#Â¨ Crown copyright 2007 Page 28 . the more reliant you will become upon it. these skills are likely to include experience of: • • • • • • servers . You should consider what risks and threats your e-commerce site might be open to and have contingency plans to ensure that you can continue trading should anything go wrong. Contingency planning The more successful your e-commerce service becomes. Externally. You should recognise the need for effective security controls to prevent your site from falling victim to hackers or fraudsters. Sun.
Now probably about 10 per cent of our sales are online and half of that is repeat business.Planning for e-commerce Debbie's top tips: • "Make sure your website is quick and easy to use and pictures load instantly. Since then the business has expanded and it now employs 40 people and supplies major supermarkets. I also wanted to get as much information as possible about the product in and some nice pictures that uploaded instantly. We also get trade enquiries through the website because there is a page where they are able to email enquiries to us. I think all of these things have helped us make online sales." Keep it simple and easy "Some of our customers are of an older generation and." • "Think about the colours and the presentation. give any delivery instructions and then pay . Company director Debbie Pierce explains how online sales are a key part of the business. Only say what you need to say. "Then users fill in their details. you click on what you want and the pack size.five or six steps and they're done. You literally click on the front page. What I did "We have a stall at Bury market and people come from miles around to buy our black pudding. You've got to cover every angle. Page 29 e-Commerce | Created by Business Link on 26 January 2010 09:50 Ã#Â¨ Crown copyright 2007 ." Emphasise product and brand "E-commerce was a big part of the business at the beginning. We sat down and thought about what we needed on it. "There is also a retail page on the website that says which supermarkets you'll find us in. I felt it was important the site was simple to use. Some websites you have to look around for instructions so I made sure everything was clear and there wasn't too much on each page." "The website was the first thing we set up and I am due to give it a bit of a revamp soon. and then you can carry on shopping or go to the checkout. because I still want it to be easy to use. Technically I'm not going to do much." Promote positive developments Lancashire-based food manufacturer and retailer The Bury Black Pudding Company started trading from a market stall and website in 2002. though. If you don't get it right it won't look professional. You need a bit of history about the business and we wanted to advertise that the stall was there for people to visit." • "Keep it simple. there are pictures of what is available. but then we got into the major supermarkets. We set up the website so we could deliver to people's doors and reach those who couldn't make the journey to Bury. as I am not that computer literate myself." What I'd do differently Update web content "A local website design business helped us put the site together. I know if I click on a site and the pictures take ages to load then I click straight off. so users can tell if they are near a store stocking our products. We also put the secure-payment logo on the home page because I think people want to know the site is secure.
" Related guides on businesslink.understanding e-commerce contracts | Benefits of intranets and extranets | E-marketplaces. online auctions and exchanges | Manage overseas suppliers | Website hosting options | Choose the right internet service provider | Options for connecting to the internet | Open source software | Maintaining your web content and technology | Develop an e-marketing plan | Generate business from your e-marketing plan | Securing your e-commerce systems | Managing risk in e-commerce | Pay per click advertising | Search engine optimisation | Related web sites you might find useful e-commerce information on the Interactive Advertising Bureau website Opens in a new window Domain name checker on the Nominet website . I've not really kept up with it but it is down to finances and time really.Planning for e-commerce "We could have put more information on as we developed as a business.gov.uk Manage your personal list of starting-up tasks with our Business start-up organiser | Use our interactive tool to investigate what kind of website is best for your business | Create an online shop | E-commerce and the law | Accepting online payments | Best practice in web design | Trading online .Opens in a new window e-Commerce | Created by Business Link on 26 January 2010 09:50 Ã#Â¨ Crown copyright 2007 Page 30 .
As far as e-commerce transactions are concerned. it is not a substitute for professional legal advice. This guide introduces you to the various regulations and provides practical advice on how to ensure that you comply with your legal requirements.E-commerce and the law Subjects covered in this guide Introduction Introduction E-commerce Regulations Tips for complying with the E-commerce Regulations Regulations applying to telephone and fax marketing Privacy and Electronic Communications Regulations Tips for complying with the Privacy and Electronic Communications Regulations Distance Selling Regulations Provision of Services Regulations Related guides on businesslink. E-commerce is all about selling goods and services via the internet.uk/northeast by navigating to: Home > IT & e-commerce > E-commerce > E-commerce and the law E-commerce Regulations The E-commerce Regulations came into force in August 2002. The trader and customer are not face to face at any point.gov.businesslink. The Regulations apply to businesses that: • sell goods or services to businesses or consumers on the internet. They implement the European E-Commerce Directive into UK law and one of their main aims is to ensure that electronic contracts are legally binding and enforceable throughout Europe. or by e-Commerce | Created by Business Link on 26 January 2010 09:50 Ã#Â¨ Crown copyright 2007 Page 31 .they can be complex and change regularly.uk Related web sites you might find useful The ways in which electronic marketing can be undertaken to promote the services of e-commerce providers are also regulated. the legislation is primarily intended to ensure that online contracts are legally binding. regardless of location. with business conducted remotely. This can pose a number of challenges to the formation and enforcement of contracts.gov. You can find this guide on http://www. A number of legislative initiatives affect business conducted online . However.
such as emails. registered office address and. SMS messages are not covered for these purposes. or provide access to a communications network They do not cover direct marketing by phone or fax. these must be clear and indicate whether they include tax and delivery costs. geographic address and other contact details including your email address • details of any publicly available register in which you are entered. or by email or SMS. that fact. the Regulations stipulate that "commercial communications" must be clearly recognisable as such. They must clearly identify the person on whose behalf the marketing communication is sent.it does not have to appear on every page. commonly referred to as spam. Tips for complying with the E-commerce Regulations To comply with the general information requirements of the E-commerce Regulations 2002 you must give recipients of your online services: • your business' name. or by email or SMS • convey or store electronic content for customers. Advertising If you intend to advertise on the internet. To find out about what information you must give the customer and other practical advice on how to comply.E-commerce and the law email or Standard Messaging Service (SMS) ie text messages • advertise on the internet. and set down guidelines regarding advertising and promotions. The Regulations also cover "unsolicited commercial communications". From 1 January 2007 all companies in the UK must clearly state the company registration number. A common place to put this information is in the 'About us' or 'Legal info' page of the site . together with any promotional offer. your customer should be able to print and store a copy of the terms and conditions. They require that these communications are identifiable from the subject line of the email. place of registration. without the need to You must also ensure your website complies with part of the Companies Act 2006. read the rest of the message. Contracting online If you form a contract online by electronic means. Information requirements The E-commerce Regulations identify specific information about your business that you must provide to recipients of online services. see the page in this guide on tips for complying with the E-commerce Regulations. e-Commerce | Created by Business Link on 26 January 2010 09:50 Ã#Â¨ Crown copyright 2007 Page 32 . if the company is being wound up. This rule also applies to any electronic communications sent out by your company. on all of their websites. together with your registration number or equivalent • the particulars of the supervisory body if the service is subject to an authorisation scheme • details of any professional body with which you are registered • your VAT registration number If your website refers to prices.
public limited companies and other public bodies. However. or planning to undertake direct marketing via phone or fax then you must make regular checks with the TPS. Regulations applying to telephone and fax marketing Businesses frequently promote their services via telephone and fax. or any partnership in Scotland. in June 2004 the Corporate Telephone Preference Service (CTPS) was launched. These regulations were superseded by the Privacy and Electronic Communications Regulations 2003 in December 2003. CTPS and FPS. So. This will ensure that you are acting legally if you undertake a marketing campaign using these media. or risk How to comply when contracting online If your business forms contracts online you must provide your customers with information about: • all technical steps required to conclude the contract. and information on how these can be consulted electronically You must make sure that your website allows customers to go back and correct any mistakes made in their order before the order is placed. government departments and agencies. Wales and Northern Ireland. TPS and CTPS Initially the regulations only gave individuals the right to opt out of direct marketing by registering with the TPS. if you are already engaged in. see the page in this guide on the Privacy and Electronic Communications Regulations. a limited liability partnership in England. eg 'click this box' • whether the concluded contract will be filed by you and whether it will be accessible • the languages offered for the conclusion of the contract • any relevant codes of conduct to which you subscribe. It also offers an 'opt-out' for corporate bodies who register with the FPS. Once a customer has placed an order electronically. you must acknowledge receipt without undue delay.E-commerce and the law the Fax Preference Service (FPS) were established as a result of these regulations and are monitored by the Information Commissioner. It also includes schools. hospitals. This is the central opt-out register that enables corporate subscribers to register their wishes not to receive unsolicited sales and marketing telephone calls to any of their organisation's telephone numbers. There are a number of regulations that apply to this area and it is important that your business is aware of them. A corporate subscriber includes corporate bodies such as a limited company in the UK. For more information. The Telecommunications (Data Protection and Privacy) Regulations regulated direct marketing by telephone and fax. Both the Telephone Preference Service (TPS) and e-Commerce | Created by Business Link on 26 January 2010 09:50 Ã#Â¨ Crown copyright 2007 Page 33 . FPS The FPS includes a requirement to obtain individual consent prior to direct marketing by fax.
E-commerce and the law committing an offence. A fine may be imposed for breach of an Enforcement Notice. Privacy and Electronic Communications Regulations E-marketing activities are regulated by the Privacy and Electronic Communications Regulations that came into force in December 2003. The new regulations include additional rules which legislate against unsolicited emails or Standard Messaging Service (SMS) ie text messages. Page 34 e-Commerce | Created by Business Link on 26 January 2010 09:50 Ã#Â¨ Crown copyright 2007 . Addressing the problem of spam The Privacy and Electronic Communications Regulations require that an individual's consent is obtained prior to sending them unsolicited advertising by email unless they have already 'opted-in' or expressly consented to the receipt of such emails. In practice this is likely to involve providing them with information about cookies. The aim of the regulations is to allow the visitor to choose whether they want cookies on their computer. It is important to remember that it is also a requirement of the Regulations that unsolicited advertising emails must contain both the identity and the contact details of the sender. They can provide the owner of the website with personal details about the visitor such as what purchases were made from the site. what files were downloaded and the information viewed. and how to disable them should they wish to do so. on the condition that the direct marketing relates to products and services similar to those they have already purchased. Existing customers can be sent unsolicited advertising. Under the Privacy and Electronic Tips for complying with the Privacy and Electronic Communications Regulations The Privacy and Electronic Communications Regulations are enforced by the Information Commissioner's Office (ICO). corporate bodies may also opt-out of receiving such emails. The Privacy and Electronic Communications Regulations superseded the Telecommunications (Data Protection and Privacy) Regulations. They prohibit sending direct marketing communications by email where the identity of the person who sent it is disguised or concealed. commonly referred to as spam. However. Communications Regulations. Cookies The Privacy and Electronic Communications Regulations also cover the use of 'cookies'. Criminal sanctions may also be imposed. but there is no 'opt-in' requirement. These are files downloaded from a web server to the website visitor's computer. the recipient should also be given the option to 'opt-out' of receiving such emails. They also prohibit marketing emails that do not provide the recipient with a valid address they can use to request such communications cease. or an Enforcement Notice will be issued. If the Information Commissioner finds a business to be in breach of the Regulations an Information Notice requesting further information.
or the services have been provided. including: • contracts for the provision of accommodation. consumers have the right to: • details in writing about the supplier and the terms of the transaction • written confirmation of their orders • further information. including a notice of cancellation rights. if you use electronic communications as a marketing tool. They cover purchases made via email and the internet. The right to withdraw can be exercised by the consumer even after the goods have been delivered. where these services are supplied on a specific date or for a specific period • the sale of customised goods or perishable goods Page 35 Distance Selling Regulations The Distance Selling Regulations 2000 are designed to protect customers who are not physically present with the seller at the time of purchase. catering or leisure services. The consumer is entitled to receive a full refund for a cancelled contract within 30 days. They only apply to transactions between businesses and consumers (individuals acting outside the course of their business) and do not include business-to-business contracts and auctions. If no details of the cooling-off period have been given by the supplier to the consumer. So. Electronic communications as a marketing tool should also: • identify the person on whose behalf it is sent • clearly identify any promotional offer . without having to give a reason.and any conditions that must be met to qualify for it (these must be easily accessible. transport. after-sales services and guarantees • delivery within 30 days unless otherwise agreed Consumers have a cooling-off period of seven working days in which to cancel the contract. e-Commerce | Created by Business Link on 26 January 2010 09:50 Ã#Â¨ Crown copyright 2007 . Under the Regulations. the complaints procedure. though there are some limited exceptions for existing customers.other required information can then be set out in the main body of the communication.E-commerce and the law All of these actions can damage the reputation of your business and adversely affect the goodwill of your customers. starting from when the goods are received. together with telephone and mail order. premium or gift . clear and unambiguous) • provide the recipient with 'opt-out' rights You should obtain prior individual consent from your customer through them 'opting in'. it is extended to three months. you should ensure that each communication is clearly identifiable as relating to the advertising or marketing of a product. There are some exceptions to these rights of cancellation. This means that any commercial communication sent by email or text message should be clearly identifiable as such through its header .including any discount.
For detailed information on the provisions. or the carrying out of. or from. increased costs due to the extra distance involved when providing a service internationally. or software.gov. legal status and form • your business and email address • details of any UK or EEA authorisation schemes or professional and regulatory bodies you are regulated by or must belong to (if applicable) • details of any trade or other similar public registration (if applicable) • your VAT number. you may be required to provide further information such as information on your complaints and dispute resolutions procedures. Provision of Services Regulations The Provision of Services Regulations 2009 removed many of the barriers to the international trade in services with the aim of making it easier for individuals and businesses to provide services to. anywhere in the European Economic Area (EEA). you must provide: • your business name. UK and EEA authorities can no longer make the access to.uk Manage your personal list of starting-up tasks with our Business start-up organiser | Planning for e-commerce | Trading online . conditions and Related guides on businesslink. if the service is subject to VAT • details of any terms.understanding e-commerce contracts | Create an online shop | Privacy and data protection in direct marketing | Develop an e-marketing plan | Generate business from your e-marketing plan | Manage your personal list of starting-up tasks with our Business start-up organiser | Related web sites you might find useful Page 36 e-Commerce | Created by Business Link on 26 January 2010 09:50 Ã#Â¨ Crown copyright 2007 . Under the regulations almost all service providers offering services in the UK (including those from other EEA countries) are required to provide certain information to the recipients of their services. For example. 814K) Opens in a new window.E-commerce and the law • sealed audio or video recordings. which has been opened • sales by auction after-sales guarantees • the price (where it is pre-determined) and details of the service to be provided • details of any professional indemnity insurance and contact details for the insurance company (if applicable) If requested. download a guide to the Provision of Services Regulations from the Department for Business. a service subject to an authorisation scheme or requirement unless it can be objectively justified. You must also make sure you do not discriminate on the grounds of nationality or location when providing services. Innovation & Skills (BIS) website (PDF. unless it can be justified by 'objective criteria'. For example. Businesses can also access a 'Point of Single Contact' in each EEA country where they can securely apply for any authorisations they require in order to trade in that country.
814K) .E-commerce and the law Online selling regulations guidance on the Office of Fair Trading website Opens in a new window TPS and FPS contact information on the Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) website .Opens in a new window e-Commerce | Created by Business Link on 26 January 2010 09:50 Ã#Â¨ Crown copyright 2007 Page 37 .Opens in a new window Download a guide to the Provision of Services Regulations from the BIS website (PDF.Opens in a new window Privacy and Electronic Communications Regulations guidance on the ICO website .Opens in a new window Premium rate scams information on the Office of Fair Trading website .
These technologies are a valuable complement to traditional marketing methods whatever the size of your company or your business model. This allows you to find new markets and compete globally for only a small investment.uk Related web sites you might find useful E-marketing means using digital technologies to help sell your goods or services. it allows truly personalised marketing. Specific benefits of e-marketing include: • Global reach . e-marketing adds a whole new element to the marketing mix. Though businesses will continue to make use of traditional marketing methods. Many businesses are producing great results with e-marketing and its flexible and cost-effective nature makes it particularly suitable for small businesses. You can find this guide on http://www.businesslink. This guide describes how to develop an e-marketing plan and provides guidance on implementing that plan and monitoring its effectiveness. unlike TV or print advertising.uk/northeast by navigating to: Home > IT & e-commerce > E-commerce > Develop an e-marketing plan The benefits of e-marketing E-marketing gives businesses of any size access to the mass market at an affordable price and.a properly planned and effectively targeted e-marketing e-Commerce | Created by Business Link on 26 January 2010 09:50 Ã#Â¨ Crown copyright 2007 Page 38 . such as advertising. • Lower cost . What has changed is the number of options you have.gov.gov. direct mail and PR. The basics of marketing remain the same creating a strategy to deliver the right messages to the right people.a website can reach anyone in the world who has internet access.Develop an e-marketing plan Subjects covered in this guide Introduction Introduction The benefits of e-marketing Stages in developing your e-marketing plan The importance of brand and image Building relationships with your customers Getting the technology right Implementing e-marketing Monitoring the effectiveness of your e-marketing campaign Legal considerations in e-marketing Here's how I developed and implemented an e-marketing plan Related guides on businesslink.
Unlike other media which require people to get up and make a phone call. Better conversion rate . The main components of an e-marketing plan will typically include the following stages: • Identify your target audience . You could send your customers a game or a quiz whatever you think will interest them. or improving customer retention rates). then your customers are only ever a few clicks away from completing a purchase. focusing on sales (building internet sales of a product or increasing the frequency of sales from regular customers). Personalisation . e-marketing is seamless. More interesting campaigns e-marketing lets you create interactive campaigns using music. reducing order-taking and fulfilment costs.possible objectives could include awareness raising (of your business or disseminating information about your products or services). entering new markets. For example. One-to-one marketing . post a letter or go to a shop. Together. or internal efficiency (decreasing marketing costs.with a website your customers can find out about your products even if your office is closed. launching a new product. 24-hour marketing . the more you can refine your customer profile and market effectively to them. many people take mobile phones and PDAs wherever they go. rank them in order of importance so that you can allocate resources accordingly. • Decide upon the marketing mix Page 39 • • • • • e-Commerce | Created by Business Link on 26 January 2010 09:50 Ã#Â¨ Crown copyright 2007 . • Set your objectives . all of these aspects of e-marketing have the potential to add up to more sales. Combine this with the personalised aspect of e-marketing. Trackable. Profile each target group and understand their requirements and expectations so that you can pitch your costs and benefits at the correct level. measurable results marketing by email or banner advertising makes it easier to establish how effective your campaign has been.if your customer database is linked to your website. targeted campaigns.if you identify multiple targets.Develop an e-marketing plan campaign can reach the right customers at a much lower cost than traditional marketing methods. • Stages in developing your e-marketing plan It is important to recognise that planning for e-marketing does not mean starting from scratch. then whenever someone visits the site. The more they buy from you.e-marketing lets you reach people who want to know about your products and services instantly. You can obtain detailed information about customers' responses to your advertising. you can greet them with targeted offers. graphics and videos. Any online e-communication must be consistent with the overall marketing goals and current marketing efforts of your business. and you can create very powerful.if you have a website.
You could use an existing brand name.build in feedback mechanisms and regular reviews to enable you to assess the success of your e-marketing activities. If the domain name you'd like has already been taken you could offer to buy the domain name from the registered user. • Action planning . By identifying the returns you expect to make from your investment in e-marketing activities you can compare these with the costs in order to develop a cost/benefit analysis.Develop an e-marketing plan you should choose a mix of e-marketing activities that will help you achieve your objectives and fit with any existing traditional marketing activities you already have planned. it is essential that the domain name is available to support this. Creating a new brand If you want to create a new e-commerce brand then a good name is extremely important. particularly as e-commerce is such a dynamic and fast-changing area. • Agree a budget . Some factors to consider when selecting a new brand name are that it should: • • • • • suggest something about the product be short and memorable be easy to spell translate well into other languages have an available domain name Co-branding Co-branding occurs when two businesses put their brand name on the same product. see our guide to website hosting options. This practice is quite common on the internet and has proved to be a good way to build brand recognition. Strong brands can generate customer trust. Using existing brand names Using an existing brand name can make sense if the brand is well known and has a strong reputation. • Measure your success . There are several branding options. which is particularly important in e-commerce where there are often concerns over privacy and security. The plan should also cover other non-internet marketing activities that are being undertaken.careful budgeting allows you to prevent costs spiralling out of control. Domain names Whatever e-commerce brand name you choose. see our guide on how to generate business from your e-marketing plan. Closely linked to these decisions is the choice of domain name for e-Commerce | Created by Business Link on 26 January 2010 09:50 Ã#Â¨ Crown copyright 2007 . you risk jeopardising your brand's good name if your new venture is not successful. A strong domain name can help customers to find your site. However. your website. create a new internet brand name or co-brand with another business. For an outline of the range of e-marketing options. If Page 40 The importance of brand and image The brand and image of a business are vital to its success.identify the tactics for implementing the selected e-marketing activities. For more information on choosing a domain name.
Opens in a new window. But asking people to register straight away may put them off. It is now possible for businesses based in the European Union to register for . Most people will not sign up unless there is an incentive for doing so. Customer relationship management Many businesses invest in a customer relationship management (CRM) system to improve their customer services. special offer or access to further information that is not available to non-subscribers. Provide engaging content Make the information that you provide about you and your business as engaging as possible. Think about what you can add to your website that will benefit your customers. The CRM system brings information like customer Page 41 e-Commerce | Created by Business Link on 26 January 2010 09:50 Ã#Â¨ Crown copyright 2007 . for people in need of an immediate answer or they may look elsewhere. Answering common queries Answering the common queries customers Many businesses ask first-time visitors to their site to register. This can be useful for gathering statistics and email addresses for direct mailings. Make sure they've got far enough into your site to want to find out more and tell them how they can benefit by registering.0: a guide for business.but ensure someone checks them regularly. If you intend to collect personal data. See our guide Web 2. This process can be automated. See the page in this guide on the legal considerations in e-marketing. Provide full contact details. such as an e-newsletter. Read about domain name dispute resolution on the Nominet website Opens in a new window or find out about domain name dispute resolution policies on the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) website Opens in a new window. It may also save you time and money by reducing the number of basic phone queries. Find out about . there are a number of legal requirements.eu domain names.eu domain names on the EURid website . Ask for the minimum details possible. Increasing the interest and value of your website will improve your brand and encourage visitors to come back. Respond to queries promptly and let people know their comments are appreciated. eg online discounts to the products or services that you provide or perhaps a blog about your business that they can contribute to. Provide an email facility for queries and customer feedback . Asking visitors to register Building relationships with your customers A website provides an ongoing point of contact with your customers and can be a useful way of collecting information about them for e-marketing purposes and for building successful relationships with them.perhaps in the form of FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions) demonstrates you're ready to help.Develop an e-marketing plan this is not possible and the registration appears to be an infringement of your trade mark then you should seek legal advice. ask on your website . particularly phone numbers.
eg search engine optimisation (SEO). SMS messaging or setting up a website. Getting the technology right There are several elements that you could include in your e-marketing mix including email. See our guide on how to create an online shop. The vast majority of those using search engines will not go beyond the first page of results. You are also likely to require the expertise of a website designer if you don't have the expertise in-house. or offering personalised services and deals. sales patterns. see our guide on how to manage your customer database.Develop an e-marketing plan blocked by email filters.different programs will display emails differently. online advertising (such as banner adverts and sponsored links). it is important to ensure that your website performs well with search engines. Some may like e-mails with whistles and bells. There are a number of techniques you can use to help potential customers find your site.these often limit the size of file that can be received. • Compatibility . others might just like a plain text email. or an internet service provider to host the site for you.including pay per click. some computers don't have soundcards. Be careful in your use of images since these will increase download times and may be e-Commerce | Created by Business Link on 26 January 2010 09:50 Ã#Â¨ Crown copyright 2007 . In addition to improving sales and profitability. If you are planning to use email as part of your e-marketing plan. Create plain text versions as well as HTML versions to ensure cross-platform compatibility. marketing data and future trends together with the aim of identifying new sales opportunities. sponsored links and banner adverts • brochureware website To establish even the simplest of websites you will need fast internet access and a server to host your website. The solution is to profile your customers and understand what the best format for them is. making music or video files pointless. For example. For more information on types of solutions and key implementation issues. See our guide on email marketing. inserting the keywords into the right places in your Page 42 data. • Firewalls . delivering improved customer service. the CRM system is very effective in handling customer complaints and can have a tremendous effect on your reputation. SEO techniques include identifying the keywords and phrases that customers use to search for your products and services. If you want your website to have an e-commerce facility you will also need an e-commerce software package. When deciding what technology to use you should consider: • Computer set-up and performance this can vary widely. If you decide to establish a web presence there are several options you can consider: • e-commerce website • online advertising . make sure the technology you choose is right not only for the message but for your customers. If you are expecting your website to generate significant commercial returns. The technology you will require to deliver your e-marketing messages will depend on which elements you decide to employ.
perhaps just to existing customers to see how the website beds down before you begin to give it stronger marketing support. the personal relationships people have with their phones means marketing needs to be carefully considered. For more information. • Do you need to review your customer contacts database? Before beginning a new marketing campaign it can be a good time to reorganise your data. This doesn't mean you should use it carelessly though. with so many other websites. However.great for building relationships and keeping your customers up to date with offers. See our guides on how to generate business from your e-marketing plan and search engine optimisation. • If you're building a website. see the page in this guide on legal considerations in e-marketing. Evaluate the marketing options • Email . • Websites . • Consider setting up a cross-departmental taskforce to Page 43 website when it is being built.a hugely flexible option to meet any marketing need. so marketing via text messaging is a viable option. This will help to smooth implementation. However. Implementing e-marketing There are three stages to implementing an e-marketing campaign. especially of building and running a website and think about the costs involved. as staff buy-in can make or break a technology project. Data privacy Technology gives you the opportunity to collect lots of information on your customers. how are you going to promote it? Will you submit it to search engines? Which directories should you promote it in? Are you using blogs and online PR? Is it worth paying an agency to boost your rating? It might be wise to start with a soft launch .Develop an e-marketing plan phone. and in line with the principles of the Data Protection Act. and trying to obtain links back to your website from other sites that perform well. • Decide which staff will require training and allow time for them to adjust to the new system. you need a strategy for getting yours noticed and used. You must also keep it up to date and not needlessly reveal information about customers. It is very important to ensure that any data you collect about your customers is handled carefully. • SMS (short messaging service) almost everyone has a mobile e-Commerce | Created by Business Link on 26 January 2010 09:50 Ã#Â¨ Crown copyright 2007 . However. growing concerns about spam mean you need to make sure you adhere to government regulations. See information on the Data Protection Act on the Information Commissioner's Office website . and is less intrusive than telephone marketing.Opens in a new window. Plan the rollout phase • Look at training implications. Implement e-marketing • Roll out any necessary training. submitting your site to search engines and directories once it is built. • Encourage staff involvement and feedback.
and which parts of the site they are making The only other way of checking how visitors reach you and whether you're providing what they want is to ask them.a recorded history of all requests for pages on your site. particular use of. This involves getting a group of customers and non-customers together to review your website and to provide feedback on how easy it is to use and how effective it is in promoting your business or selling your products. the number of new and returning visitors. Ideally.it will help with staff buy-in and ensure that implementation works business-wide. the time and source of the request. whether it is their first visit and why they're visiting. Some website analysis tools. you need to know how they found the site. A website analysis tool is a piece of software that you can use to measure the usage patterns of your site.but users may simply ignore them. such as Analog. If you search the internet you might come across a free trial . • Continually review your practices against e-marketing regulations. Other popular packages include Wusage and WebTrends. you won't know which marketing campaigns have been successful or where to invest more money. You .or whoever has access to the server hosting your website . Google Analytics is a free of charge tool that provides an extremely detailed view of how visitors have found your site and what they do when they get there. It includes details of the page requested.will also be able to access a log file . what they do while on your site and where they go when they leave. are available free from the web.but bear in mind that you'll need a large amount of data for the results to be significant. Legal considerations in e-marketing e-Commerce | Created by Business Link on 26 January 2010 09:50 Ã#Â¨ Crown copyright 2007 Page 44 . This can be done informally by yourself or you can use a specialist agency to do this for you. Tracking and site analysis tools A number of suppliers sell tracking tools that can tell you where visitors come from. It does this using statistics such as the total number of visitors. Pop-up surveys (new pages containing surveys that open in separate windows) are a good way of gathering this type of information . You can also use webmaster tools provided by the various search engines to gain a better understanding of how search engines have ranked your website.Develop an e-marketing plan manage the implementation process . Usability testing is another way to collect valuable feedback from users. which search engines they are finding the site through. particularly if you ask too many questions. User surveys and usability testing Monitoring the effectiveness of your e-marketing campaign Unless you can find out why people visit your website. The problem with monitoring a log file is that it grows so quickly that you need software to glean anything useful from it.
"Data capture and building customer relationships are essential. We encourage visitors to sign up for our regular email newsletters. planning in meticulous detail. We're careful to abide by Data Protection laws when collecting customer details and always gain opt-in rather than automatically adding someone to our list. However. I wanted to start with a great brand around which the marketing could be built and which would immediately inspire customer confidence. "Utilising my research and comparisons with other successful food brands. but it wasn't up to the mark. I also use the tool to analyse the performance of our competitors. Branding was particularly important because we were the first company to specifically target fruit for offices and because the product itself is quite hard to differentiate from what future competitors could offer. In addition. We already had a static one-page site to publicise the fruit stalls. so that we can refine and develop them and segment the e-marketing further to reach specific customer groups. an overall design blueprint and key marketing messages. Working with our design agency. It gives crucial information about how people are using the website and responding to our marketing messages. our family business of fruit stalls in prime London locations was suffering from changing consumer shopping habits and the rise of the supermarkets. details of food festivals and other information that's of interest to our target market.Develop an e-marketing plan based company into a thriving nationwide delivery business. review and update "I use the Google Analytics tool every day to help monitor our e-marketing. the results of which are fed back e-Commerce | Created by Business Link on 26 January 2010 09:50 Ã#Â¨ Crown copyright 2007 Page 46 ." Put the online infrastructure in place "E-marketing has to start with a good website. we started again from scratch. testing pages for usability and search engine optimisation and ensuring we would be able to easily add content in future. "The website also includes a blog with feedback facilities. which reflects the brand personality and includes fun and informative fruit-related features plus company news such as our regular charity fund-raising efforts. I worked on the brand image with a trusted design company to formulate a company name and logo. simply because of the huge growth in internet commerce. by including special offers. "I realised that e-marketing was going to play a key role. we conduct an annual e-mail survey to gain customer feedback. I did some market research and financial forecasts to quantify the market potential and refine the target audience and became convinced that we could re-focus the business on this area." Monitor. What I did Get the branding right "Four years ago. I had noticed that more and more companies were sending staff out to purchase quantities of fruit for general consumption in the office. but it paid for itself within weeks of going live. offering quality produce and an efficient delivery service direct to the customer's premises. I also felt that there was no point in jumping hastily on the bandwagon. We invested a lot of money in the website and a launch campaign.
Opens in a new window .gov.Opens in a new window Domain name scams information on the Office of Fair Trading website . "We're constantly reviewing and updating our e-marketing plan to keep us ahead of the competition.the pages that potential customers are directed to when they type a particular keyword into a search engine. For example." Related web sites you might find useful Online advertising information on the Internet Advertising Bureau website Opens in a new window Dispute resolution service information on the Nominet website . This should provide a major expansion of our own database for future e-marketing campaigns.Opens in a new window e-marketing glossary on the Marketing Online website .eu domain names overview on the EURid website .Opens in a new window Related guides on businesslink.0 technology benefited my business (Flash video) | Here's how I marketed my products and services on the web | Here's how I used email marketing effectively | e-Commerce | Created by Business Link on 26 January 2010 09:50 Ã#Â¨ Crown copyright 2007 Page 47 ." What I'd do differently Build in more landing pages "The website has proved a highly successful e-marketing tool from day one.Opens in a new window Domain name dispute resolution guidance on the ICANN website .Develop an e-marketing plan to all staff. we're about to implement a huge data capture exercise using a bought-in database and offering fruit-related prizes as incentives to register with us. However I wish we'd originally built in more "landing pages" .uk Manage your personal list of starting-up tasks with our Business start-up organiser | Planning for e-commerce | Generate business from your e-marketing plan | Branding: the basics | Website hosting options | Choose the right internet service provider | Manage your customer database | Customer relationship management | Best practice in web design | Web 2.0: a guide for business | Common e-commerce pitfalls | Search engine optimisation | E-commerce and the law | Here's how Web 2.
Trojans. It provides advice on how best to address these threats.gov. fraud and denial-of-service attacks. websites are assuming greater importance as the public face of business. viruses. The use of the internet means that your internal IT and e-commerce systems are e-Commerce | Created by Business Link on 26 January 2010 09:50 Ã#Â¨ Crown copyright 2007 Page 48 . which provides open and easy communications on a global basis. With this high level of dependency upon the services provided by e-commerce systems. it is essential that they are protected from the threats posed by hackers. However. worms and botnets Preventing problems from viruses. although smaller businesses may choose to work with third party specialists to implement some of the more sophisticated security controls.businesslink.uk Related web sites you might find useful As the use of the internet continues to grow. because the internet is unregulated. unmanaged and uncontrolled. the revenues generated by e-commerce systems mean that organisations are becoming increasingly reliant on them as core elements of their business. Every business should take steps to secure their e-commerce systems.gov. by identifying the risks that they pose and implementing the appropriate level of security controls to counter them. This guide looks at the security threats posed to e-commerce systems and the damage they can potentially cause to your business.uk/northeast by navigating to: Home > IT & e-commerce > E-commerce > Securing your e-commerce systems E-commerce security issues E-commerce systems are based upon internet use. You can find this guide on http://www. it poses a wide range of risks and threats to the systems operating on it. Furthermore. Trojans and worms Related guides on businesslink.Securing your e-commerce systems Subjects covered in this guide Introduction Introduction E-commerce security issues Identifying e-commerce threats and vulnerabilities The value of implementing a security policy Areas covered by ISO/IEC 27001 Common e-commerce security controls Risks from viruses.
it can have a significant impact upon a business running an e-commerce service. Malicious threats could include: • hackers attempting to penetrate a system to read or alter sensitive data • burglars stealing a server or laptop that has unprotected sensitive data on its disk • imposters posing as legitimate users and even creating a website similar to yours • authorised users downloading a webpage or receiving an email with hidden active content that attacks your systems or sends sensitive information to unauthorised people You should consider potential threats to Page 49 e-Commerce | Created by Business Link on 26 January 2010 09:50 Ã#Â¨ Crown copyright 2007 . irrespective of their location. thereby damaging your image or directing your customers to another site • gaining access to financial information about your business or your customers. The procedures and controls you put in place to protect your site should help minimise both. in some cases. and the potential impact of any security incident. What are the threats? Threats to e-commerce systems can be either malicious or accidental. ceases operation completely • gaining access to sensitive data such as price lists. are valuable assets. and altering. or other regulation on e-commerce • loss of market share if customer confidence is affected by a DoS attack The image presented by your business. destroying or copying it • altering your website. potentially accessible by anyone.Securing your e-commerce systems or Computer Misuse Acts. so that the site is forced to offer a reduced level of service or. together with the brands under which you trade. It is important to recognise that the use of e-commerce creates new ways for both image and brands to be attacked. Threats from hackers and the risks to business Some of the more common threats that hackers pose to e-commerce systems include: • carrying out denial-of-service (DoS) attacks that stop access to authorised users of a website. The potential business implications of a security incident include the following: • direct financial loss as a consequence of fraud or litigation • subsequent loss as a result of unwelcome publicity • criminal charges if you are found to be in breach of the Data Protection Identifying e-commerce threats and vulnerabilities It is important that you understand the risks facing your e-commerce system. catalogues and valuable intellectual property. with a view to perpetrating fraud • using viruses to corrupt your business data Impact of a security incident on the business If your website is hacked into.
For details of the main areas covered by ISO/IEC 27001. auditors. an acceptable use policy is a description of how the business plans to educate its employees about protecting their Page 50 The value of implementing a security policy e-Commerce | Created by Business Link on 26 January 2010 09:50 Ã#Â¨ Crown copyright 2007 . This is a British standard for managing the risk to information assets. This will cover the rules of access for different groups of users. and the potential impact if a security incident arises. For example. It should be endorsed by senior management and continually updated as technology and employee requirements change. Acceptable use policy Frequently included as part of a business' security policy. The main benefit of an organisation's adoption of ISO/IEC 27001 is the acceptance of the need to protect the business' information assets and a statement of the measures necessary to satisfy that need. customers. ISO/IEC 27001 ISO/IEC 27001 provides a sound basis for the development of a security policy. suppliers. This should state in writing how a business plans to protect its IT assets in general. A key part of a risk assessment is defining the business' information access requirements. This should form part of your business' contingency plans. consultants. If the controls specified in the standard are properly applied and followed. who can sign them and how can it be proved which is the signed version? The key to effective e-commerce security is a good security policy. including its e-commerce systems. different rules may apply for employees. then the risk to your information will be greatly reduced. The security policy should also specify the recovery plans for an e-commerce system in the event of a system attack or physical disaster. managed service providers.Securing your e-commerce systems sensitive information from three angles: • Where (or who) are the potential sources of threats? • What level of expertise is the hacker likely to possess? How much effort are they likely to expend in attempting to breach your security? • What facilities and tools are available to them? The real threat may not be the most obvious one. government agencies and so on. Any analysis should also take account of how electronic transactions are verified. E-commerce systems risk assessment A risk assessment can be carried out to provide an organisation with a clear understanding of the risks facing its e-commerce system and associated business processes. see the page in this guide: areas covered by ISO/IEC 27001. See our guide on business continuity planning in IT. It was subsequently adopted by the International Standards Organisation as ISO 17799. Attacks from authorised users (such as a disaffected employee or partner) are far more common than attacks by hackers. How do you know that an order has actually come from a known customer? Where contracts are exchanged electronically.
• Includes controls for system planning Page 51 Areas covered by ISO/IEC 27001 The following areas are covered by ISO/IEC 27001: Security policy • Establishes if a security policy exists. • Details of ownership. Communications and operations management • Seeks to establish if network security controls are in place. • Gives a brief description of security policies. location and importance also to be included. • States management commitment to the policy. Personnel security • Specifies the proper screening and checking of employee details at the time of hiring. • Requires 'clean desk policy' for locking away of sensitive information. The policy should be detailed enough to include practices such as 'blogging' and the use of instant messaging. • Concerns information systems' relationships with outside parties such as contractors. webmail and community sites such as Facebook. such as the challenges posed by an increasingly mobile or home-based workforce. • Places importance on user training in security matters. • Deals with need for specialist security knowledge. • Emphasises importance of reporting security incidents. standards and compliance requirements. • Controls included to protect equipment from environmental hazards. audit trails and alarms need to be continually monitored and regularly maintained. Physical and environmental security • Seeks to establish what physical access controls are in place. users and business systems • changes in trading partners • employees leaving the company Equally. • Controls specifying allocation of individual security responsibilities. • Requires software licences for all operating system and application software to be current. security controls. partners and outsourcing companies. Reviewing the security policy Factors that mean a security policy should be reviewed include: • system changes • the introduction of new equipment. It also incorporates an explanation of how security measures will be carried out and enforced.Securing your e-commerce systems assets. It should be regularly updated to keep pace with technological advances and with changing work practices. Asset classification and control • Requires the compilation of an inventory of all information systems' assets. principles. Security organisation e-Commerce | Created by Business Link on 26 January 2010 09:50 Ã#Â¨ Crown copyright 2007 .
Access control • Requirement for a general-access control policy. • Reviews how systems access is monitored. These include: • A user name and password combination. • Requirement for change control is addressed. Business continuity management • Describes processes for ensuring business continuity. • A digital certificate that enables authentication through the use of an individual's unique signing key. • Seeks to establish if there is a security testing programme in place. • Provides a framework for the formation of these plans. through to retina or facial-feature recognition. However these controls should not be so restrictive that they damage the employees' performance. • Details plans to be developed to maintain or restore business operations. where the password can vary in length and include numbers and characters. • "Two-factor" authentication requiring something the user has (eg an authentication token) and something the user knows (eg a personal identification number). • Incorporates procedures for handling of media. Remember to include a system that prompts employees to change their passwords at regular intervals. • Establishes if back-ups are carried out effectively and if they are tested. Access control This restricts different classes of users to subsets of information and ensures that they can only access data and services for which they have been authorised. • Seeks to establish how access authorisation is granted. User authentication There are several techniques that can identify and verify someone seeking to access an e-commerce system.Securing your e-commerce systems and acceptance. • Controls included on use of cryptography. This can range from a fingerprint or iris scan. • A person's unique physical attribute. Compliance • Comprises controls specifying the need to comply with legal standards. referred to as a biometric. These include using: Common e-commerce security controls e-Commerce | Created by Business Link on 26 January 2010 09:50 Ã#Â¨ Crown copyright 2007 Page 52 . Systems development and maintenance • Details controls that can help build security into systems developed in-house. You should introduce sufficient security controls to reduce risk to e-commerce systems. Some of the common security controls are listed below.
preventing outside parties from gaining access to systems and information on the internal network. destructive code. such as an email alert. the person who sent the Trojan can run programs on the infected computer. Risks from viruses. Viruses and worms spread across computers and networks by making copies of themselves. Trojans can be used to infect a computer with a virus. Data encryption Encryption scrambles data. based upon the type of activity it has identified.Opens in a new window. Trojans. Intrusion detection These products monitor system and network activity to spot any attempt being made to gain access. they are only as good as the people who use them. Trojan horses. Typically a virus is used to place the back-door Trojan onto a computer. or at the personal level where it is installed on an individual PC. worms and botnets are all computer programs that can infect computers. memory sticks or CDs/DVDs • limits on the sending and receiving of certain types of email attachments Changes to access privileges must be controlled to prevent users retaining them if they transfer between departments or leave the business. It uses technologies such as virtual private networks (VPNs) and secure socket layers. and is used to protect information that is being held on a computer. usually without the knowledge of the computer user. A firewall can be applied at the network level. and once the computer is online. access personal files. Despite the sophistication of these controls. disguised and hidden in a block of desirable code. A continual awareness programme is a vital component of any security policy. Find a list of frequently asked questions on firewall technology on the Microsoft website . It controls access to the internet by internal users. If a detection system suspects an attack. A back-door Trojan is a program that allows a remote user or hacker to bypass the normal access controls of a computer and gain unauthorised control over it. copied onto CDs or DVDs or transmitted over a network.Securing your e-commerce systems • network restrictions to prevent access to other computer systems and networks • application controls to ensure individuals are limited in the data or service they can access • restrictions on what can be copied from the system and stored on pen drives. worms and botnets Viruses. Firewall This is a hardware or software security device that filters information passing between internal and external networks. and modify and Page 53 e-Commerce | Created by Business Link on 26 January 2010 09:50 Ã#Â¨ Crown copyright 2007 . it can generate an alarm. A Trojan horse is a program that appears to be legitimate but actually contains another program or block of undesired malicious. to provide protection for multiple workstations or internal networks.
Trojans or viruses can strike. to prevent malicious code from exploiting security holes in software and making your system vulnerable. Trojan or worm to ordinary computers. See our guide on how to introduce an internet and email policy. it is important that users follow best practice guidance with regards to emails and website usage. others can have extremely harmful effects. Trojan or worm gains access to the computer. distribute spam emails and commit click fraud. Some of the threats that they pose to e-commerce systems include: • corrupting or deleting data on the hard disk of your server • stealing confidential data by enabling hackers to record user keystrokes • enabling hackers to hijack your system and use it for their own purposes. Risks can also come from popular social networking sites. or other high traffic content. remotely-controlled computers. These include: • CDs and other forms of removable media containing infected documents • emails containing infected attachments • internet worms that exploit holes in your system's operating system when you are connected to the internet Find out about antivirus software on the Microsoft website . Risks to e-commerce systems While some viruses are merely irritants. identity theft and thefts of log-in details and credit card numbers. Be aware of messages containing links to current events. usually through some malicious application that they are carrying. A botnet is a group of infected. How do viruses spread? Viruses are able to infect computers via a number of different routes.Opens in a new window. These computers can then be used to launch denial-of-service attacks.Securing your e-commerce systems upload files. worms and Trojans on the Microsoft website . It is important that you ensure that all software and anti-virus tools are up-to-date. The hacker sends out a virus. Find out about viruses. which may include adding it to a larger group of botnets • using your computer for malicious purposes. such as carrying out a denial-of-service attack on another website.Opens in a new window. alone or as part of a botnet • harming customer and trading partner relationships by forwarding viruses to them from your own system See our guide on managing risk in e-commerce. Botnets are very difficult to prevent by the use of software tools alone. Spyware Spyware is software that is placed on your e-Commerce | Created by Business Link on 26 January 2010 09:50 Ã#Â¨ Crown copyright 2007 Page 54 . entertainment. It has been reported that these links take the user to phishing websites where personal user details can be stolen or worms. This in turn allows the hacker to gain full control of the now-infected computers. The virus.
Virus alert services Consider subscribing to a service or supplier who will provide virus alerts for you. Preventing problems from viruses. It is used to secretly gather information about your usage and sends it back to advertisers or other interested parties. It can detect viruses. Page 55 e-Commerce | Created by Business Link on 26 January 2010 09:50 Ã#Â¨ Crown copyright 2007 . Make regular back-ups of your data and software so that you can replace infected files with clean copies. in order to recognise new viruses. The threat of virus infection can be minimised by: • using a virus checker on your internet connection to trap viruses both entering and leaving the business' IT systems • running virus checkers on servers to • installing software patches provided by the supplier of your operating system to close security loopholes that could be exploited by viruses • using a firewall to prevent unauthorised access to your network • avoiding the download of unauthorised programs and documents from the internet and ensuring your staff adhere to this policy Your systems may still become infected even if you follow the above guidelines. prevent access to infected files and quarantine any infected files. In addition to tracking your system use. this software can be prone to giving false alarms. Anti-spyware software There is software available that scans your systems and detects known spyware programs. it can also slow down or crash your computer.detects viruses by applying general rules about what viruses look like. While it does not require frequent updates. Anti-virus software There are different types of anti-virus software: • Virus scanners . Trojans and worms Anti-virus software should be used to protect against viruses. while others are provided by suppliers of anti-virus software to their customers. Spyware can then be removed or quarantined.Securing your e-commerce systems trap any viruses that have managed to evade the above check • running individual virus checkers on users' PCs to ensure that they have not downloaded a virus directly. Some are available on a paid-for basis. • Heuristics software . As with anti-virus software. usually by connecting to the supplier's website.Opens in a new window. it is important to keep this software up-to-date.must be updated regularly. or inadvertently introduced one via a CD or other forms of removable media Other methods of preventing viruses Other ways of preventing of viruses include: computer when you visit certain websites. Read tips on how to stop spyware on the Microsoft website .
worms and trojans information on the Microsoft website .Opens in a new window Latest virus threats information on the McAfee Threat Centre website .Opens in a new window Fraud types and information on the Metropolitan Police website .gov.Opens in e-Commerce | Created by Business Link on 26 January 2010 09:50 Ã#Â¨ Crown copyright 2007 Page 56 .Opens in a new window Download security best practice advice from the Department for Business.47MB) .Opens in a new window British Standards ISO/IEC 27001 information and benefits on the British Standards Institution website .Opens in a new window Spam combatting advice on the National Computing Centre website . Innovation & Skills website (PDF.Opens in a new window Spyware combatting advice on the Microsoft website .Opens in a new window Viruses.Opens in a new window Top 20 internet security vulnerabilities listed on the SANS Institute website Opens in a new window Latest security alerts and incidents on the Microsoft website .Opens in a new window Securing client VPNs explained on the Techworld website . 1.Opens in a new window IT security guidance for employees on the Microsoft Small Business Centre website .Opens in a new window Anti-virus software advice on the Microsoft website .uk Assess and minimise the IT risks facing your business with our IT risk assessment tool | Planning for e-commerce | Managing risk in e-commerce | Information security best practice | Keeping your systems and data secure | Managing risk in e-commerce | Common e-commerce pitfalls | Keeping your systems and data secure | Business continuity planning in IT | Choose the right internet service provider | Maintaining your web content and technology | Accepting online payments | Planning for e-commerce | Create an online shop | a new window IT security guidance for employees on the Microsoft Small Business Centre website .Securing your e-commerce systems Related guides on businesslink.Opens in a new window Related web sites you might find useful E-commerce website and data safety advice on the E-commerce Digest website .
gov.businesslink.gov.uk Related web sites you might find useful You can find this guide on http://www.Managing risk in e-commerce Subjects covered in this guide Introduction Identifying risks in e-commerce Assessing the risks Developing a risk-management framework Risk avoidance and transfer Reduction of threats and vulnerabilities A ten-point plan for effective risk management Related guides on businesslink.uk/northeast by navigating to: Home > IT & e-commerce > E-commerce > Managing risk in e-commerce e-Commerce | Created by Business Link on 26 January 2010 09:50 Ã#Â¨ Crown copyright 2007 Page 57 .
remote-controlled computers known as a botnet. technical implementation or e-Commerce | Created by Business Link on 26 January 2010 09:50 Ã#Â¨ Crown copyright 2007 Page 58 . Every business can benefit from conducting a risk assessment of their e-commerce systems. for example. • Technical failure. Read the page on risks from viruses. Trojans. Typical threats to e-commerce systems • Risk to corporate information and intellectual property from internal staff and trading partners. Few organisations have systems in place to ensure common standards in vetting staff and provide security mechanisms between trading partners. • Malicious attacks from inside or outside your business. • Credit card and payment fraud. • Errors by people. • Hacker exploitation of errors in software application design. • Data threats . etc by viruses. Risk management means prioritising these risks and formulating policies and practices to balance and mitigate them. For more information on data threats and how to avoid them. worms and botnets in our guide on securing your e-commerce systems. • Hacker threats should your computers become part of a larger group of infected.threats posed to software. databases. It is difficult to control how sensitive information will be handled by third parties or contract workers. It also explains how risk assessment and management can help in recognising and quantifying the risks and how to balance them against the potential gains. Identifying risks in e-commerce Today's threats to e-commerce systems include: • Physical threats . eg employees clicking on links within messages received on social networking websites that are found to be malicious or the accidental deletion of data by an employee. • Infrastructure failures.threats posed to the IT infrastructure by.Managing risk in e-commerce Introduction Barriers to entering e-commerce are comparatively low. see our guide on securing your e-commerce systems. but new opportunities can be accompanied by new risks. files. although smaller businesses may not need to implement some of the more sophisticated techniques described in this guide. Trojans and so forth. Risk assessment means listing all of the risks a business might face and assigning varying degrees of importance to them. eg server crashes. eg software bugs. This guide explains the risks that you need to be aware of or ask your e-commerce developer about. fire or flood.
Hackers are increasingly using botnets . They are also operating the attacks in such a manner so that servers aren't crashing but slowing down considerably. with the anonymity afforded by the internet meaning that there is a correspondingly lower risk of traceability. Potential impact Unless swift action is taken. • Denial-of-service attacks .where the corporate image or messages on the website are changed . Given the prospect of this almost instant loss of revenue.which use a flood of false messages to crash a business' systems . The growth of the internet means that there are wider opportunities to mount such an attack. Assessing the risks Risk assessment involves determining: • how likely a risk is to occur • its impact should it occur Risk assessment can be either qualitative or quantitative.Managing risk in e-commerce systems operation. vulnerabilities in technical security mechanisms and operating systems are now widely published for anyone to read or experiment with.to cause these attacks. medium or low. so if your website is unavailable they will simply move on to one of your competitors. especially if it is dependent on its e-commerce system. Qualitative risk assessment This involves identifying: • the threats • where your systems are vulnerable • the controls you can put in place to counter the threats or make your systems less vulnerable Once these have been identified. e-Commerce | Created by Business Link on 26 January 2010 09:50 Ã#Â¨ Crown copyright 2007 Page 59 . not only on your customers but also on key trading partners. In addition. you should be able to assess whether the risk is high. • Website defacement . taking steps to prevent problems is much more cost-effective than trying to fix them once they have occurred. In addition.can have a devastating impact upon a business. E-commerce customers typically have very little loyalty.a group of computers infected with malicious software and controlled remotely . technical failure can have a significant impact. any problems with your e-commerce site will be immediately obvious to the world.and virus attacks can lead to commercial embarrassment and damage to the way the business is viewed by its trading partners and the public.
5 4 3 High e-Commerce | Created by Business Link on 26 January 2010 09:50 Ã#Â¨ Crown copyright 2007 Page 60 . such as websites and forums. If you know the probability of an event occurring and can place a value on any potential loss that may occur as a result.L) use the matrix below to quantify all risks from 1 to 5 Probability High Medium Low 3 2 1 Low 4 3 2 Medium Impact The most important risks are indicated as 5. How to quantify the risks The e-commerce environment relies on customer-facing technology. All risks can be quantified against the probability of occurrence and its potential impact on a high. as well as more traditional technology to provide the supporting networks. A simple four-step approach to quantifying risks: • • • • brainstorm all risks with relevant internal people and external experts if necessary agree a probability rating (H. with the lesser ones rated as 1. It is important that your security management system is flexible and reactive enough to deal with these risks. Probability can be used to measure the likelihood of such a security incident occurring. while a new virus can have a widespread impact on businesses.M.Managing risk in e-commerce Quantitative risk assessment Quantitative assessment assumes that a value can be placed on any loss that you might suffer as a result of a security violation.L) for each risk agree an impact rating for each risk (H. you can assess how much time and money you should spend implementing the appropriate security controls where necessary. Keep yourself informed about the threats posed to your systems since they can change very quickly in e-commerce. If a new vulnerability is identified it can be exploited very quickly.M. medium or low risk basis.
Managing risk in e-commerce
For example, if a particular event is unlikely to occur and, even if it does, would have little impact on your business, it is not worth using too many - if any - resources to try and prevent it happening. On the other hand you should concentrate resources on developing security controls for events that are likely to occur and, if they do, would have a big impact on your business.
Developing a risk-management framework
It is not possible to reduce all the potential risks in your business to zero. This may be because: • there is no practical way of removing the threat posed by some risks • eliminating some risks is simply not financially worthwhile Therefore the risk management framework you design should: • reflect where the greatest potential risks lie • set out practical measures to reduce risks to their lowest possible level • reflect the costs and benefits of taking action to reduce or eliminate risks Having technical controls in place is an essential part of any risk management framework but these must be supported by policies, standards and information security management systems. Policies It is important to have policies in place to manage activities that could potentially pose security threats. Consider implementing an internet usage policy, so that staff are clear about what activities they are allowed to carry out when using the internet and those they are not. See our sample internet acceptable use policy (DOC, 29K) - Opens in a new window. You should also create an email usage policy, since the risk of viruses being introduced into your business through attachments to emails is very serious. Software can also be installed to block any attachments that the system is unsure about. See our sample email acceptable use policy (DOC, 25K) - Opens in a new window. Standards Standards are important when developing a secure e-commerce environment. For example, agreed standards for the procurement of PCs, servers and firewalls will help to provide consistency and will assist in increasing confidence in the technical environment. Technical control procedures
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Managing risk in e-commerce
Procedures to support technical controls are crucial, particularly those that assign and remove access rights. Failure to revoke access rights of staff that have left a business, or individuals within a third-party trading partner, is a major security failing of many organisations. Information security management system A fully functional information security management system will provide a framework within which the technical controls, policies, standards and procedures can be developed, operated and reviewed. ISO/IEC 27001 is an international standard that provides a framework for information security good practice. For more information, see our guide on securing your e-commerce systems.
Risk avoidance and transfer
If you have identified risks to your business information systems that can't be countered by any technical controls that you can put in place, then there are other options. Risk avoidance Risk avoidance is the most effective way of managing risk. It means making a decision not to enter into a new way of working because of the inherent risks this would introduce. While this may be a valid decision, it can be hard to take as the business drivers for changing working practices can be extremely strong, especially if there is pressure from your competitors. Risk avoidance may not always be a practical option for your business, but it can form an important part of your overall consideration of risk. Even if you decide against using it, at least you will be making the decision based on informed judgement. Risk transfer Risk can be transferred in two ways. The first is through insurance. This can be problematic in e-commerce as it is often difficult to quantify the business loss following a security incident. It is even more difficult if the impact was due to a security violation within a trading partner's business. The second option is to contract aspects of your e-commerce function out to a third party. This could involve another business hosting your systems or running them on your behalf. The attraction is that many third-party hosting services operate in a more secure technical environment. However, while contractual arrangements can describe the service agreements and any penalties that may be inflicted, the primary impact of any incident will always be on your business. It could also potentially cost you more money.
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Managing risk in e-commerce
Reduction of threats and vulnerabilities
You cannot completely eliminate the risks to your business so you need to plan how you will reduce the various threats and vulnerabilities. Reduction of threats You can reduce the threats to your e-commerce system and services by: • making your business less of a target - consider what needs to be on public or shared systems and, where possible, remove sensitive business information • increasing the perception of your business as secure - ensure that all aspects of security appear to be installed and well managed • ensuring that warning signs on your website are clearly displayed to any user who attempts to access secure parts of it • not providing any publicly available information regarding the security systems or operating systems in use • making certain that your employees are well-trained in proper email and internet usage, eg not opening unfamiliar attachments or clicking on suspicious links Reduction of vulnerability Reduced vulnerability measures are designed to reduce or remove known weaknesses in the e-commerce environment. Typical measures include: • Installing firewalls to filter out illegitimate access attempts. Such systems should be configured correctly and the rules on which they are based should reflect the needs of the business. • Installing strong authentication processes. These guarantee the identity of users and are more secure than simple password systems. There are increasing numbers of biometric and smart-card solutions available, but you should at least consider a two-stage approach based upon something you have, eg a card known to the system, as well as something you know, eg a private personal identification number. • Using digital certificates to provide trust between individuals, systems and trading partners. These provide secure communications by authenticating individuals, systems or organisations and protect individual transactions through the creation of digital signatures. • Deploying virtual private networks (VPNs) to provide a private channel over the internet that trading partners can use to exchange business information securely. • Applying all available operating system and security product patches to ensure that hackers are not able to exploit known vulnerabilities.
A ten-point plan for effective risk management
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• Develop integrated business continuity plans for all critical e-commerce solutions. • Carry out regular risk analysis reviews to check the controls you have implemented are still effective. • Support all technical controls with appropriate policies. • Do not rely on just one technical control.Managing risk in e-commerce Detailed below is a ten-point plan for the development and implementation of an effective risk strategy for your e-commerce systems. 156K) . Establish an effective incident recording and management system that encompasses all elements of the e-commerce environment. • Implement standard configurations for PCs.gov. This plan is based on the framework of ISO/IEC 27001: • Group risks in an e-commerce context. • Consider certification to ISO/IEC 27001 for your business and your trading partners. • Consider the opportunity.Opens in a new window Download a risk-management frameworks case study from the Insight Consulting website (PDF. • Place your e-commerce system within an effective information security framework.uk Planning for e-commerce | Common e-commerce pitfalls | Securing your e-commerce systems | Information security best practice | Keeping your systems and data secure | Introduce an internet and email policy | Choose and manage your IT supplier | Get the most from your network | Business continuity planning in IT | Related web sites you might find useful Risk management information on the Institute of Risk Management website . Related guides on businesslink. 40K) .Opens in a new window Security challenges advice on the National Computing Centre website . • Conduct regular risk analysis reviews. servers. procedures and awareness. identifying changes to traditional IT system risks and the introduction of new threats specific to e-commerce. Most security experts recommend a minimum of 'two factor' authentication to guarantee user identity.Opens in a new window Download a risk management and business continuity glossary from the Business Contunuity Institute website (PDF. firewalls and other technical elements of the system. for example something you have (such as an ID card) and something you know (a PIN number or password).Opens in a new window e-Commerce | Created by Business Link on 26 January 2010 09:50 Ã#Â¨ Crown copyright 2007 Page 64 . See our guide on business continuity planning in IT. capability and motivation behind potential attacks.
Managing risk in e-commerce Information security management systems advice on the British Standards Institution Management Systems website .Opens in a new window e-Commerce | Created by Business Link on 26 January 2010 09:50 Ã#Â¨ Crown copyright 2007 Page 65 .
You can find this guide on http://www. A key requirement in today's business environment is the ability to communicate more effectively. e-Commerce | Created by Business Link on 26 January 2010 09:50 Ã#Â¨ Crown copyright 2007 Page 66 .gov. and provide a common knowledge base and storage area for everyone in your business. both internally with your employees and externally with your trading partners and customers. collaborate.internal . They also provide users with easy access to company data.business network that enables your employees to share information. suppliers and customers.uk Related web sites you might find useful An intranet is a private . Intranets enhance existing communication between employees. and improve communications. An extranet enables your business to communicate and collaborate more effectively with selected business partners. It is a private business network that uses the same underlying structure and network protocols as the internet and is protected from unauthorised users by a firewall.Benefits of intranets and extranets Subjects covered in this guide Introduction Introduction What is an intranet? Benefits of an intranet What is an extranet? Benefits of an extranet Planning for extranets Maintaining intranets and extranets using content management systems Here's how an extranet for clients freed up time and improved customer service Related guides on businesslink.gov. systems and email from their desktops. an intranet is a business' own private website.businesslink. This guide will explain the benefits that intranets and extranets can bring to your business and review some of the key issues you need to consider when planning to introduce them. An extranet can play an important role in enhancing business relationships and improving supply chain management.uk/northeast by navigating to: Home > IT & e-commerce > E-commerce > Benefits of intranets and extranets What is an intranet? In essence.
branding guidelines.automating a range of administrative processes • front-end to corporate systems providing a common interface to corporate databases and business information systems • email . emergency procedures. client/customer lists. policies on corporate use of email and internet access and a list of online training courses and support • marketing . research sites and search engines Because intranets are secure and easily accessible via the internet. document templates. project documents. project management information. including their home and customer sites. Other types of intranet are available that merge the regular features of intranets with those often found in software such as Microsoft Office. employee policies.delivering information and business news as directories and web documents • document management . These are known as online offices or web offices. with links to competitor websites. press releases.appraisal procedures and schedules.Benefits of intranets and extranets • human resources . presentations Benefits of an intranet Your business' efficiency can be improved by using your intranet for: • publishing . latest marketing initiatives.competitive intelligence. corporate brochures.viewing.virus alerts. industry organisations. new vacancies • individual projects .calendars. expenses forms and annual leave requests. they enable staff to do work from any location simply by using a web browser. tips on dealing with problems with hardware. which is accessible from anywhere in the world. printing and working collaboratively on office documents such as spreadsheets • training . This can help small businesses to be flexible and control office overheads by allowing employees to work from almost any location. software and networks.integrating intranet content with email services so that information can be distributed effectively The main benefits of an intranet are: • better internal communications Page 67 e-Commerce | Created by Business Link on 26 January 2010 09:50 Ã#Â¨ Crown copyright 2007 . team contact information. procedure manuals and membership of internal committees and groups • corporate . time and expense reporting • external information resources route planning and mapping sites. Creating a web office will allow you to organise and manage information and share documents and calendars using a familiar web browser function.annual reports and organisational performance • IT . meeting room bookings.accessing and delivering various types of e-learning to the user's desktop • workflow .current project details. staff discount schemes. mission statements. Types of content found on intranets: • administrative .business plans. press coverage and staff newsletters • financial .
Benefits of intranets and extranets corporate information can be stored centrally and accessed at any time • sharing of resources and best practice . As with an intranet.forms can be accessed and completed on the desktop. without ever having to be printed out. It also means that your business partners and suppliers can access the information they need 24 hours a day. and with the benefit of an audit trail It is a good idea to give your intranet a different image and structure from your customer-facing website. Why would you use an extranet? Businesses of all sizes are under increasing pressure to use online ordering. adopting new technologies and enabling the exchange of business information and transactions. an extranet can also provide remote access to corporate systems for staff who spend lots of time out of the office. See the page in this guide on maintaining intranets and extranets What is an extranet? An extranet is similar to an intranet but it is made accessible to selected external partners such as business partners. electronic order tracking and inventory management. for instance those in sales or customer support. suppliers. for exchanging data and applications and sharing information. The ability of the extranet to automate the trading tasks between you and your trading partners can lead to enhanced business relationships and help to integrate your business firmly within their supply chain. they will expect it to be available. Key issues to consider Bear in mind that once you make parts of your business data available to trading partners. This will help to give your internal communications their own identity and prevent employees confusing internal and external information. Is your business prepared to work collaboratively? Are you willing to share production and sales information with partners? Significant resources may be required to keep the content of the extranet accurate and up to date. e-Commerce | Created by Business Link on 26 January 2010 09:50 Ã#Â¨ Crown copyright 2007 Page 68 . This might involve the use of content management software and training for staff to use it. up to date and secure at all times. Extranets offer a cheap and efficient way for businesses to connect with their trading partners. key customers etc. Availability and security are key factors in the success of an extranet. or home workers.a virtual community can be created to facilitate information sharing and collaborative working • improved customer service . and then forwarded as appropriate for approval.better access to accurate and consistent information by your staff leads to enhanced levels of customer service • reduction in paperwork . At the same time small businesses are keen to meet the demands of larger companies in terms of working flexibly. Extranet users should be a well-defined group and access must be protected by rigorous identification routines and security features.
Identify your objectives Make sure your objectives are clear.perhaps members of a project team . or will discrete sub-sections be sufficient? Which technical solution? For your site. forms and corporate branding. you will need: e-Commerce | Created by Business Link on 26 January 2010 09:50 Ã#Â¨ Crown copyright 2007 Page 69 . eg company policies. However. since exchanges can take place under a controlled and secure environment • shared news of product development exclusively with partner Planning for extranets If you are considering introducing an intranet or extranet into your business. news. Will you restrict access to your site. as an extranet allows remote and mobile staff to access core business information 24 hours a day. or will you allow all of your customers to use it? Do you want to promote flexible working in your business by catering for your remote workforce? How will you measure the success of your investment? What information will it contain? Identify the information that will need to be made available in order to meet your objectives: • What kind of company information do you need on your intranet. irrespective of location Benefits of an extranet An extranet can offer a range of benefits to your business from lowering costs. order tracking and inventory management • reduced costs by making manuals and technical documentation available online to trading partners and customers • more effective collaboration between business partners .Benefits of intranets and extranets using content management systems. • Do you need to make all of your production and sales information available to your partners via your extranet. Benefits can depend to a large degree on your reasons for introducing the extranet in the first place. you should ensure that it is flexible enough to meet not only your immediate requirements.by enabling them to work online on common documentation • improved business relationships with key trading partners because of the close collaborative working that extranets support • improved customer service by giving customers direct access to information and enabling them to resolve their own queries • a single user interface between you and your business partners • improving the security of communications between you and your business partners. the types of benefit that organisations using extranets typically experience include: • more integrated supply chains through the use of online ordering. companies • flexible working for your own staff. but also your needs as your business grows. to producing faster results and improving the quality of service to customers.
extranet or a website. Security Remember that security is paramount. This helps with subsequent information retrieval. maintain and 'host' your intranet for a monthly fee .you can develop your own intranet once your business has grown and you have more funds available. The key elements of a CMS application are that you can: • Create content through templates see below. This might be a good arrangement if your business is just starting up . managing and publishing content to an intranet. e-Commerce | Created by Business Link on 26 January 2010 09:50 Ã#Â¨ Crown copyright 2007 Page 70 .Benefits of intranets and extranets • Web server hardware and software. Alternatively you could commission an external provider to design. Whatever the sophistication of the CMS technology. it is important that you have someone in charge of managing the content and adequate maintenance procedures. Once you have your intranet up and running. Tailor content for specific audiences. Will you require technical support . You should establish what levels of security are provided when choosing a technology solution. you can create your extranet by giving partners access to the necessary company data via a log-in page. • Tag content with metadata .a closed. Using templates requires little or no technical expertise. • Closely manage version control. A CMS is a set of procedures for adding. • Computers connected via a local area network .see below. Any non-technical user can edit and publish content using templates and a simple web-browser interface.if so at what level? Consider also how the content will be managed. private network. This is much more efficient than sending web content to a webmaster to be published.users log on to the intranet via the provider's website. Support costs Identify the support costs that will be required to run the site on a day-to-day basis. The size of the server will depend on the number of potential users and whether or not you will need a lot of bandwidth to support audiovisual content. • A content management system to add and update intranet content. Maintaining intranets and extranets using content management systems Any information on an intranet or extranet must be up-to-date and accurate. since any security incident will directly affect not only you but also your key business partners. eg video feeds. • Firewall software and hardware. This has meant a growth in the use of content management systems (CMS) for managing and updating information. which will prevent unauthorised access from outside your organisation. • Review content using a set workflow.
" • "Get external advice if you don't have e-Commerce | Created by Business Link on 26 January 2010 09:50 Ã#Â¨ Crown copyright 2007 . For an electronic document. and instead use it to deliver results. Account Manager Tom Cheesewright explains how an extranet has increased client satisfaction and boosted overall efficiency.keywords that describe its content. Adding the 'right' keywords helps users to achieve more accurate search results. It's basically an online information store. if you add keywords such as 'email'. Noiseworks is a specialist IT public relations company providing media relations. the solution Page 71 Here's how an extranet for clients freed up time and improved customer service Tom Cheesewright Noiseworks . "As well as being easy to use. or it could end up costing time instead of saving it. with user-friendly screens that can be accessed from anywhere with an internet connection. Metadata is simply data about data. The system also needed to make it easier for us to work with overseas partners. For example. training and research to technology businesses. "We also had a desire to become more open and effective in our communications with clients.among other things .Benefits of intranets and extranets the expertise in-house. and wanted to offer them 24-hour access to information in a self-service format. this would help a user searching for your organisation's policy on using the internet at work.Opens in a new window Tom's Top Tips: • "Be crystal clear about your objectives or you'll waste your money." • "Review the extranet regularly." Templates and metadata Templates are documents that display information in a set way and allow you to: • input data easily • produce content that is displayed consistently • maintain existing content more effectively Templates also ensure that metadata is added correctly." Select a solution "We chose an extranet system that various members of our team had either seen or used before. ISBN number and year of publication. 'mobile phone' and 'internet' to a webpage entitled 'Policy on electronic communications at work'. What I did Pinpoint objectives "All our clients had different reporting requirements and we found we were spending large amounts of time compiling and presenting information in different ways. author. eg the metadata of a book includes its title. metadata often consists of . By introducing an extranet we hoped to cut that time. the business employs 21 people. Founded in 1990 and based in Maidenhead.
speeds up their document approval processes and gives them instant access to information. It took us a while to instigate regular housekeeping sessions. which freed people to work on client projects and business development activity. consider a reputable IT service provider who can help with set-up. This is a mistake because it makes it difficult for users to find what they really want. online auctions and exchanges | Get the most from IT in your business | An overview of IT and e-commerce | Open source software | Related web sites you might find useful Intranet and extranet advice on the National Computing Centre website Opens in a new window e-Commerce | Created by Business Link on 26 January 2010 09:50 Ã#Â¨ Crown copyright 2007 Page 72 . "Client feedback has been excellent. In the early days. such as press releases and photography. where unnecessary content is deleted. we wasted time trying to force it to fit everyone.uk Inform and consult your employees | Planning for e-commerce | Computer networks: the basics | IT security: the basics | Maintaining your web content and technology | Introduce an internet and email policy | Use our interactive tool to investigate what kind of website is best for your business | Best practice in web design | Securing your e-commerce systems | Generate business from your e-marketing plan | Managing risk in e-commerce | Get the most from your network | Flexible working .Benefits of intranets and extranets you pick should also reflect the amount of information you want to store and exchange and the level of access you and your clients require. If you don't have IT skills in-house. thus enabling our staff to work from home.the law and best practice | Keeping your systems and data secure | IT support for your staff | Website hosting options | Options for connecting to the internet | E-marketplaces. In addition. The results showed an overall 25 per cent saving in our time. but there are some whose internal processes aren't suited to it. They found that the extranet reduces their own workloads.gov." What I'd do differently Know when to call it quits "The majority of clients love the extranet." Don't put everything in "When you start. If they're not getting value out of it. we explore alternative methods. the extranet has delivered the benefits of flexible working. hosting and on-going support. These days we review a client's extranet usage after six months. it's tempting to throw in every bit of information you've got." Monitor and review "After a few months." Related guides on businesslink. Potential clients recognise the benefits and it sets us apart from competitors. we undertook a formal review to see how much time the system had saved us. "The system has also proved useful during new business pitches.
Opens in a new window Intranet content management advice on the National Computing Centre website Opens in a new window Extranet customer service benefits on the NCC website .Opens in a new window Web office information on the Intranet Journal website .Benefits of intranets and extranets Intranet basics on the Intranet Journal website .Opens in a new window Content management glossary on the Cimtech website .Opens in a new window e-Commerce | Created by Business Link on 26 January 2010 09:50 Ã#Â¨ Crown copyright 2007 Page 73 .Opens in a new window CMS performances compared on the CMS Matrix website .Opens in a new window Project schedules for CMS selection and implementation on the Intranet Focus website .
uk Related web sites you might find useful An e-marketplace is a virtual online market where organisations register as buyers or sellers to conduct business-to-business e-commerce over the internet. Independent e-marketplace An independent e-marketplace is usually a business-to-business online platform operated by a third party which is open to buyers or sellers in a particular industry. or be run by some form of industry consortium that has been set up to serve a particular sector or marketplace. list the main benefits that can be delivered and discuss the issues to consider prior to participating in an e-marketplace. online auctions and exchanges Subjects covered in this guide Introduction Introduction Types of e-marketplace Online auctions Catalogues and directory listings Online exchanges and trading hubs Benefits of e-marketplaces Deciding if an e-marketplace is for you The implications for e-purchasing Related guides on businesslink. You can find this guide on http://www.gov. There will typically be e-Commerce | Created by Business Link on 26 January 2010 09:50 Ã#Â¨ Crown copyright 2007 Page 74 .uk/northeast by navigating to: Home > IT & e-commerce > E-commerce > E-marketplaces. you can access classified ads or requests for quotations or bids in your industry sector. They can be broadly divided into categories based on the way in which they are operated.E-marketplaces. By registering on an independent e-marketplace. There are many types of e-marketplace based on a range of business models. Services offered by e-marketplaces include electronic catalogues for online purchasing of goods and services.gov.businesslink. business directory listings and online auctions. online auctions and exchanges Types of e-marketplace There are many different types of e-marketplace based on a range of business models. They can be operated by an independent third party. This guide will describe the main components of an e-marketplace.
where lots are sold to the highest bidder • reverse auctions . Buyer-oriented e-marketplace A buyer-oriented e-marketplace is normally run by a consortium of buyers in order to establish an efficient purchasing environment. You can price your goods according to demand and stock levels. See our guide on how to create an online shop. with internet technology. vast numbers of businesses or individuals can bid . Online auctions Online auctions are computerised versions of traditional auctions where prices are set by buyers bidding against each other. Vertical and horizontal e-marketplaces Vertical e-marketplaces provide online access to businesses vertically up and down every segment of a particular industry sector such as automotive. test new products or establish pricing points. this marketplace is set up and operated by a number of suppliers who are seeking to establish an efficient sales channel via the internet to a large number of buyers. As a supplier you can use a buyer-oriented e-marketplace to advertise your catalogue to a pool of relevant customers who are looking to buy. Supplier-oriented e-marketplace Also known as a supplier directory. inventories and cycle time. Excess inventory can be disposed of quickly and sales costs are reduced because of the minimal amount spent on marketing. Sellers can use these types of marketplace to increase their visibility to potential buyers and to get leads. A horizontal e-marketplace connects buyers and sellers across different industries or regions. Conversely. participating in this sort of e-marketplace can help you lower your administrative costs and achieve the best price from suppliers. online auctions and exchanges some form of payment required to participate. the speed. The two main types of auction are: • forward auctions . They are usually searchable by the product or service being offered. construction or textiles. You can use a horizontal e-marketplace to purchase indirect products such as office equipment or stationery. Some businesses trade solely online using forward auctions on websites such as eBay. What makes online auctions so powerful is that. Buying or selling using a vertical e-marketplace for your industry sector can increase your operating efficiency and help to decrease supply chain costs. simplicity and variety of auctions mean that shrewd buyers can cut the time and cost of procurement.allowing sellers to get the best price. e-Commerce | Created by Business Link on 26 January 2010 09:50 Ã#Â¨ Crown copyright 2007 Page 75 . Supplier directories benefit buyers by providing information about suppliers for markets and regions they may not be familiar with.where suppliers compete on price and the lowest bid for a tender wins the business Forward auctions Selling using a forward auction can be a cost-effective way for your business to acquire new customers. chemical. If you are looking to purchase.E-marketplaces.
while others contain a significant amount of detail. By setting up automated searches and bid alerts you can reduce the time spent on procurement. second-hand equipment at a more competitive rate. without having to launch a sales campaign. Others are used primarily for promotional purposes.E-marketplaces. make sure you check: • accreditation . Reverse auctions can also help buyers manage more complex procurement contracts and you may see a reduction in your overall costs . Before bidding on an item make sure you understand exactly what is on offer by reading the description carefully.monitor feedback from previous bidders • the bidding system . Businesses that supply their goods through reverse auctions benefit by being able to compete for business globally. online auctions and exchanges • how payment is managed sometimes this is between the parties. eg stationery and office furniture. buying for your business using a reverse auction can reduce time and administrative costs and you may attract a larger pool of suppliers. The prices published in catalogues tend to be fixed and are often not disclosed to the customer until they register with the e-marketplace. Reverse auctions are a good way to offload stock or build market share.how the bidding works and how to withdraw bids during the auction period It is worth spending some time browsing what is on offer so you can get a feel for the pricing of items you are interested in. however. e-Commerce | Created by Business Link on 26 January 2010 09:50 Ã#Â¨ Crown copyright 2007 Page 76 . Catalogues There are various different types of catalogue . you may be asked to compete for their business in a reverse auction.some auctions have qualifying criteria • fee structures . Some are intended to be very informative. This is commonly through the use of catalogues or directories.there may be a registration fee Catalogues and directory listings Many e-marketplaces provide information about products and services offered by their supplier members. It is unusual for smaller businesses to make purchases using reverse auctions. You may be able to source non-critical supplies. sometimes through the auction site itself • supplier reputation .some list general product information. If the description is vague. Reverse auctions If you are a supplier to larger companies. they are normally by invitation only. They can also make savings by gaining access to customers who are ready to buy. or acquire specialist.some large companies have reported cost reductions of 10 per cent or more. When bidding. set yourself a maximum price you are willing to pay for an item and stick to it. Best practice in auctions If you are considering entering an online auction. Forward auctions can also bring benefits when buying for your business. However. Narrow your search down by specifying a category or using the advanced search criteria. contact the seller to get more information.
Types of online exchange There are different types of online exchange. online exchanges allow participants to trade straightforwardly with a wide variety of buyers and sellers. Online exchanges vary according to the size and number of companies using them and the type of commodity traded. Directory listings A simpler alternative to the catalogue is a basic directory listing service. online auctions and exchanges Some e-marketplaces provide a single electronic catalogue containing all the products that are available from all supplier members.an ongoing process where the price of a standardised commodity such as energy or telecoms bandwidth continuously changes as a result of changes in supply and demand Online exchange considerations If you are considering entering an online Page 77 Online exchanges and trading e-Commerce | Created by Business Link on 26 January 2010 09:50 Ã#Â¨ Crown copyright 2007 . They can also then make their purchases from a single site in a single transaction. also known as trading hubs. with the option to purchase goods from each catalogue either directly from the central site or from the suppliers' sites. This can also help improve your website's search engine rankings.an invitation to buyers to bid for a specific product or service that you are able to provide • commodity exchange . If your company website is listed on a directory. The customer can follow this link in order to access further information about the individual suppliers and the products or services that they offer. Like online auctions. Others offer a link to several catalogues.E-marketplaces. Some e-marketplaces also offer both the buyers and the sellers the opportunity to integrate the order process with their own in-house enterprise resource planning systems. The attraction to the customer is that e-marketplace catalogues enable them to search an industry sector that has a wide range of products and suppliers from a single.an invitation to suppliers to provide a quote for a specific product or service • request for bid . This has the significant advantage of streamlining the overall e-purchasing activity. There are already successful exchanges in markets as diverse as energy. each catering for a specific aspect of trading: • request for quotation . Two of the biggest factors driving the growth of exchanges are that large businesses can use them to reduce stock holdings while small businesses can bid collectively to earn volume discounts or to jointly deliver a large contract. hubs Online exchanges. textiles and logistics. make sure it is in the most relevant industry sector so customers can find you easily. E-marketplaces offering this facility list suppliers under the appropriate product or service category and include a link to each supplier website. central point. are websites where buyers and sellers trade goods and services online.
make sure you check the following issues: • Choice . can view it? • Fees . • It provides an additional sales channel to market and sell products. • The use of international e-marketplaces can provide opportunities for overseas sales that you would not otherwise be aware of. Benefits for the buyer • Updated information on price and availability makes it easier to secure the best deal. and indeed between buyers and sellers.are all your major suppliers involved? Does the exchange have a comprehensive list of products and services so you can compare like with like? • Business relationships .how do these compare to any savings in sales and marketing costs? Benefits of e-marketplaces The potential advantages to be gained by joining an e-marketplace will vary between industries and businesses. • E-marketplaces can provide greater transparency in the purchasing process since availability. exchange.could using an exchange undermine your status as a favoured customer? • Administration .are you comfortable with publicising information on prices and stock levels where your competitors. • E-marketplaces can offer reduced marketing costs when compared with other sales channels. Benefits for the seller • Regular requests for quotations from both new and current customers are possible. prices and stock levels are all accessible in an Deciding if an e-marketplace is for you The following issues need to be considered when assessing how appropriate it is for your business to participate in an e-marketplace.do you have adequate systems in place for order fulfilment? Are your internal business processes suitable for active online trading? • Disclosure . either within their supply chain or across supply chains. • E-marketplaces offer a convenient way to compare prices and products from a single source rather than spending time contacting each individual supplier. • Established e-marketplaces provide a level of trust for the buyer as they are dealing exclusively with suppliers who are members. • Time constraints and problems with different office hours for international trade are removed as it is possible to operate on a round-the-clock basis. as well as potential customers. General business benefits • There are greater opportunities for suppliers and buyers to establish new trading partnerships. Some of the potential benefits are summarised below. online auctions and exchanges open environment.E-marketplaces. Industry fit Page 78 e-Commerce | Created by Business Link on 26 January 2010 09:50 Ã#Â¨ Crown copyright 2007 .
The implications for e-purchasing Online auctions and exchanges have played an important role in the growth of e-purchasing within businesses of all sizes and types. online auctions and exchanges What is the purpose of the e-marketplace and is it compatible with your business strategy? Ensure that you understand who buys from the e-marketplace and that your business is likely to fit the profile of the sellers and/or buyers on there. Management of the e-marketplace It is important to establish the ownership of the e-marketplace. authorising.the more established of which is e-procurement. E-procurement covers the following areas of Page 79 e-Commerce | Created by Business Link on 26 January 2010 09:50 Ã#Â¨ Crown copyright 2007 . Will your logo and brand image be clearly displayed? Technical issues Is the e-marketplace adequately staffed to ensure that services are maintained on a round-the-clock basis. Costs What does it cost to participate in the e-marketplace? Possible charges include commissions for completed transactions. A number of e-marketplaces offer transaction services that automate many aspects of the procurement cycle for both the buyer and the seller. E-procurement is the use of the internet to operate the transactional aspects of requisitioning. how aggressively will the marketplace be promoted and is it likely to attract the attention of the right types of customer for your own business? E-marketplace design Does the overall design and functionality of the e-marketplace make it easy for would-be purchasers to locate and buy products? Does it take account of good website design principles? You should also establish how your presence will be displayed on the site. receipting and payment processes for the required products or services. you need to know who shares the profits and the risks. Marketing Does the e-marketplace have a strong brand or image that will assist in marketing activities? What are the marketing plans. E-procurement There are two parts to the e-purchasing cycle . since any down time will impact directly upon your own business? Also. establish if there are any costs associated with making your own IT systems compatible with the systems used by the e-marketplace. ordering.E-marketplaces. You should also establish if there are any costs associated with changing to another e-marketplace should your original choice not live up to expectations. So. This has been developed in recent years to deal with the process element of electronic purchasing. Successful e-marketplaces require a sound financial backing to ensure their success and longevity. you do not want to be involved in a marketplace if your competitor is the major owner. Equally. membership fees and listing fees.
online auctions and exchanges the buying process: • • • • • requisition against order authorisation order receipt payment businesslink.E-marketplaces. Related web sites you might find useful e-marketplace financing information on the eMarket Services website . E-marketplaces can play an important role in this activity.gov.Opens in a new window Purchasing and supply management advice on the Chartered Institute of Purchasing & Supply website .Opens in a new window Business directory and advertising scams information on the Office of Fair Trading website . since the price and availability of products from multiple suppliers can be checked from a single point.com website . including: • knowledge specification • request for quotation/e-tender/e-auction • evaluation and negotiation • agreeing contractual terms One of the attractions of e-marketplaces in terms of product sourcing is that not only do they provide detailed product information from existing suppliers. they also give access to many new potential partners and suppliers. Furthermore. E-sourcing covers the elements of the buying process which are at the discretion of specialist buyers.Opens in a new window Related guides on e-Commerce | Created by Business Link on 26 January 2010 09:50 Ã#Â¨ Crown copyright 2007 Page 80 . E-sourcing is the use of the internet to make decisions and form strategies regarding how and where services or products are obtained.uk Planning for e-commerce | Create an online shop | Benefits of email and the internet | Best practice in web design | E-sourcing The other element of the e-purchasing cycle is e-sourcing.Opens in a new window e-marketplaces directory on the eMarket Services website .Opens in a new window Online auction advice on the vnunet. the use of reverse auctions and online exchanges enables procurement officers to obtain better prices as they encourage competitive bidding between suppliers.
uk/northeast by navigating to: Home > IT & e-commerce > E-commerce > Fulfilling customer orders Automated order processing The first stage of the fulfilment cycle is the way in which your business processes a customer's order. fully automated order-fulfilment e-Commerce | Created by Business Link on 26 January 2010 09:50 Ã#Â¨ Crown copyright 2007 Page 81 .businesslink. However. While several factors price. there is also a need for delivery to the customer's doorstep. For products requiring physical delivery.Fulfilling customer orders Subjects covered in this guide Introduction Introduction Automated order processing Physical delivery of goods Outsourcing the delivery of your goods Delivering digital products Digital rights management Meeting customer expectations Helplines Related guides on businesslink. quality of product or service. as more businesses look to sell physical products via the web. a responsive. a large portion of the cost of selling online can be attributed to fulfilling the customer's order. stock availability . You can find this guide on http://www. you need to ensure delivery in a timely and efficient manner. How your business handles orders has a major impact on customer service. The solution is an effective fulfilment service capable of handling all of the stages from processing the order to delivery.gov.are vital to achieving sales in the first place. from encouraging initial interest to prompting repeat business. This guide describes the various options for delivering both physical and digital products to your customers and provides guidance on how to ensure that you meet their expectations.uk Related web sites you might find useful Once a customer purchases a product from your website. customers can download the product directly to their computer.gov. range of goods. For some items such as music and software. The effectiveness of your fulfilment process can therefore have a major impact on the profitability of your operation.
such as planning. with invoices sent and processed automatically. This is so that they can benefit from more timely. accurate order information. Find out what systems they use and determine if yours are compatible. Tools such as flow charts and activity diagrams can help you map out your processes and highlight the links. Delivering what you promised relies on seamless interaction between your business processes and the actual fulfilment service that you use. • Considering linking your systems to those of your customers if you operate in a business-to-business environment. or whether it is worth investing in a bespoke system Physical delivery of goods Ensuring that customer orders are delivered quickly and efficiently is integral to any e-commerce service. planning. You should evaluate how orders are processed by: • Identifying the connections between sales. but remember that some customers may still prefer personal interaction to maintain the customer service experience. Integrate your system with your website. purchasing. For those products requiring a physical delivery. Automating your internal systems can help achieve the speed and efficiency you need from order processing. There are simple software tools available to help you do this.Fulfilling customer orders tailored to your particular industry and supply chain. then customer orders that arrive in your system can be transformed into orders to your suppliers.they may be able to help you identify problems and solutions. • Asking staff for their input . Distribution channels The distribution channels available for the delivery of these goods include sending the goods directly from: e-Commerce | Created by Business Link on 26 January 2010 09:50 Ã#Â¨ Crown copyright 2007 Page 82 . • Encouraging customers to give you feedback on how their orders were handled. You need to know exactly how well your business deals with order handling before you can make improvements. etc. More basic order and stock management software that is cheaper and easier to implement is also available and this might suit some smaller businesses. manufacturing and distribution. It brings together all departments that handle the order. Decide whether an off-the-shelf package will be sufficient. procedure plays a key part in overall customer satisfaction. You can do this by: • Considering using enterprise resource planning software which can tie in your website with other facets of your business. • Connecting your suppliers and customers to the system. the issues associated with conventional logistics need to be addressed alongside the technology needed to manage the process. from website or sales reps to warehouse staff. Automating your internal systems may speed up order processing.
using the post or couriers is likely to provide a satisfactory solution. If your business runs a customer relationship management system then this is the best place to do it. many logistics companies now offer delivery tracking as part of their service. maintaining inventories and tracking orders into one system. such as optimising productivity. at a range of up to 90 feet. parts purchasing. It is important that your business records the reasons and frequency with which individuals or companies return goods. If you outsource your delivery requirements. increasing revenue and controlling costs. Outsourcing the delivery of your goods If delivery is central to your business then you might want to consider the use of a third-party logistics and distribution service. See our guide on customer protection. This can be achieved through a single. This will enable you to focus on your core competencies. which involves tagging objects so that they can be tracked. which integrates product planning. which you can use to advise customers. packing and despatch of goods. Agreed procedures should be in place to facilitate either option. so you can keep customers updated on where their goods are and improve your service. This should include giving the customer the option to have a replacement item supplied or their money refunded. Handling customer returns Not all customers will be happy with the quality of products purchased via the internet and there will undoubtedly be a certain percentage of defective or damaged products.Fulfilling customer orders • your own business to your customer • a local warehouse to your customer • national distribution centres to your customers • digital distribution For businesses selling small numbers of small items. stock control and the storage. See the page in this guide on outsourcing the delivery of your goods. More sophisticated techniques for doing this include: • Enterprise resource planning software. The fulfilment process must therefore include the capability for handling the returns. while exploiting the third party's logistic expertise. irrespective of the quality or type of product being sold. • Radio frequency identification (RFID). outsourcing your distribution may also provide your business with an affordable alternative. RFID tags can be read by equipment that is out of line of sight. If you run an e-commerce business outsourcing can also include the development and management of your Page 83 e-Commerce | Created by Business Link on 26 January 2010 09:50 Ã#Â¨ Crown copyright 2007 . However. Outsourcing can incorporate not only the delivery of goods but also order handling. shared database as long as your staff are trained to keep it up-to-date at all stages of the process. Linking processes and tracking goods Linking processes and tracking orders are important in allowing you to predict delivery times earlier on.
Fulfilling customer orders
• understands e-commerce market opportunities and offers reliable back-end technology to support the fulfilment activities • has experience in inventory management, logistics, information systems and customer service • is able to move goods effectively and efficiently in order to meet customer needs, both now and as your business grows
website, providing complete support to order fulfilment. Why outsource? The demand for order-fulfilment solutions is growing with the requirement of e-commerce providers to serve the small-package, individual-oriented needs of their customers. As online sales increase, several factors combine to put new pressures on order-fulfilment systems. These include: • an expanded selection of products sold online • the need to move a large volume of small parcels • rising customer expectation Outsourcers have the ability to share warehouse space and resources among other online merchants. Choose the right outsourcing partner Businesses find that it's relatively easy to distribute products in bulk through traditional distribution channels such as wholesalers and retailers. However, if you are a smaller web-based business selling a wide range of products that need sending to customers' homes, distribution can be more difficult, particularly if you also have to deal with the associated inventory control and customer support. If you are considering outsourcing your fulfilment services, then you should look for a partner who: • is dedicated to ensuring that your brand name is properly represented
Delivering digital products
Using the internet to buy digital goods means that your customers can have the products delivered directly to their computers. Examples of such products include software, music, e-books, reports and training materials. There is a variety of approaches that can be taken for delivering digital products. Email Smaller files such as e-books can be delivered directly to the customer via email, with the customer receiving their book after purchasing the product from the e-commerce site. The advantage of this method is that it is very simple to set up. However, it is time consuming to manually send each product via email and the file can easily be shared with others. Autoresponder Once a customer has confirmed their purchase you can connect the order form to an autoresponder, which will send them an automatic email. This will contain a link which they can click to download the digital product. This is obviously a more automated option, though there is the potential for the
e-Commerce | Created by Business Link on 26 January 2010 09:50 Ã#Â¨ Crown copyright 2007
Fulfilling customer orders
product to be subsequently copied and distributed by the customer. This issue is addressed by digital rights management software. See the page in this guide on digital rights management. Download page It is possible to set up a simple payment system on your site using a facility such as PayPal. Once payment has been approved, customers can be automatically directed to a download page where the file can be downloaded, possibly as a compressed zip file. Shopping-cart software A number of e-commerce providers offer software that delivers downloadable product files and protects against unauthorised digital product downloads. This type of software can be a fully integrated function of the shopping-cart product. After payment is processed, a password and link to download product files is sent to the customer as part of the receipt. You will also need to think about how to protect the copyright of your data and prevent illegal distribution of your digital products. In its most common form, digital rights management (DRM) protects intellectual property by either encrypting the data so that it can only be accessed by authorised users, or marking the content with a digital watermark, so that the content can't be freely distributed. Increasingly, DRM also provides tracking capabilities to identify who is using what content, where and when. See the page in this guide on digital rights management.
Major problems associated with distributing digital products via the internet include protecting the copyright of data and preventing illegal distribution of this data. Both of these issues are addressed by digital rights management (DRM) technologies. In its most common form, DRM protects intellectual property by either encrypting the data so that it can only be accessed by authorised users, or marking the content with a digital watermark, so that the content can't be freely distributed. Increasingly, DRM also provides tracking capabilities to identify who is using what content, where and when. DRM can allow the release of multiple versions of a single document - each group of users is permitted to view only the version appropriate to them. In some contexts this can be used simply to restrict disclosure on a need-to-know basis. However, where the content is itself a saleable product, it can help create new business. This could be by offering the recipients of a free summary version of a research report the chance to upgrade, for a fee, to the full report. DRM systems can protect against the following threats to your digital rights: • Render rights cover simple acts such as displaying content on a screen or playing it through an audio system. These are fairly easily protected by relatively simple encryption-based systems allowing only the appropriate users to render the content. • Transport rights relate to the ability to move or copy the data. Again, this involves simple forms of DRM.
Digital rights management
e-Commerce | Created by Business Link on 26 January 2010 09:50 Ã#Â¨ Crown copyright 2007
Fulfilling customer orders
However, in this area it can be difficult to balance the rights owner's interests with the user's legitimate expectations, eg to make backups. • Derivative work rights cover the ability of users to modify or extract the content and use it in another way. Here, there will need to be flexible ways of identifying separate parts of the content, tracking the different ways in which they are used and, where necessary, collecting payment for them. Used creatively, DRM can do much more than protect intellectual property and commercially sensitive material - it can also protect and even enhance revenue. identified and remedied. • Communicate the order status to the customer to ensure that they are kept fully informed of progress. Many carriers now use email to notify a customer that an order has been dispatched. Others have implemented online tracking systems enabling the customer to log on to their website in order to check progress. • Turn the order around quickly, preferably within 24 hours. The customer will be keen to have their order delivered as soon as possible, so any delay in actually dispatching it will have a negative impact. • Consider your packaging not only in terms of ensuring safe delivery, but also in relation to branding on the outside and what you can put inside the package that might increase the likelihood of additional sales, eg brochures and special offers. • Be practical about delivery and ensure that you set realistic customer expectations in terms of the likely delivery date. • Manage the differing scales of business by ensuring that you have sufficient resources to handle the peaks and troughs of demand. • Choose the right carrier if you decide to outsource your distribution activity, especially if your product requires special handling. • Handle returns efficiently and effectively and ensure that any customer dissatisfaction is professionally resolved.
Meeting customer expectations
Successful fulfilment of a customer's order is about meeting their expectations in terms of delivering the product on time and keeping them informed of any unforeseen delays. Here are some tips to help ensure that your fulfilment process provides a satisfactory conclusion to the whole purchasing cycle: • Process all orders at a line-item level, so that each individual item ordered is clearly identified. This is particularly important where a multi-item order is placed and one or two of these items are out of stock. • Personalise orders so that the customer feels that full account has been taken of their individual needs. • Track the status of the order so that any customer enquiry can be resolved promptly and efficiently. Formal tracking of progress ensures that any problems arising out of non-delivery of the order are quickly
Intellectual Property Office Central Enquiry Unit
e-Commerce | Created by Business Link on 26 January 2010 09:50 Ã#Â¨ Crown copyright 2007
uk Planning for e-commerce | Accounting software | Customer relationship management | Supply chain software | Open source software | Manage your customer care | Customer protection | Returns and refunds.Opens in a new window IP advice on the Intellectual Property Office website .Opens in a new window e-Commerce | Created by Business Link on 26 January 2010 09:50 Ã#Â¨ Crown copyright 2007 Page 87 .Opens in a new window Software suppliers for the fulfilment marketplace on the Fulfilment Guide website . warranties and complaints | Transporting goods and materials | Outsourcing | Transport logistics for business | Trading online understanding e-commerce contracts | Protecting intellectual property | Protecting intellectual property | Related web sites you might find useful Enterprise resource planning software guidance on the Evaluation Centre Website (registration required) .Fulfilling customer orders 08459 500 505 Related guides on businesslink.Opens in a new window Software suppliers for the fulfilment marketplace on the Fulfilment Guide website .gov.
such as a percentage increase in sales or new customers.uk Related web sites you might find useful Despite the rapid growth in the use of e-commerce by both consumers and businesses. but it will provide you with some useful pointers in terms of what not to do. • Ensure that any targets you set are realistic and achievable. not all e-commerce developments are a success. Set realistic targets • Set clear goals . It obviously cannot cover all potential problem areas.businesslink. • Agree specific.Common e-commerce pitfalls Subjects covered in this guide Introduction Introduction Lack of planning Design and usability concerns Content problems Marketing considerations Shopping cart problems Order fulfilment issues Security weaknesses Related guides on businesslink. as you develop your own e-commerce offerings. The reasons for this vary and are often dependent upon a particular set of circumstances or issues. Have a clear business focus e-Commerce | Created by Business Link on 26 January 2010 09:50 Ã#Â¨ Crown copyright 2007 Page 88 . measurable objectives for what you want to achieve. This guide will give an overview of some of the more common e-commerce pitfalls. Nevertheless there is some commonality between many of the problems and pitfalls experienced by e-commerce systems. and things to take account of. Here are some of the key issues you need to consider from the outset when planning for the introduction of an e-commerce system. Lack of planning You can find this guide on http://www.for example.gov. to bring in new business or cut the cost of each sale.gov.uk/northeast by navigating to: Home > IT & e-commerce > E-commerce > Common e-commerce pitfalls Mistakes at the planning stage of an e-commerce project can mean lower chances of success.
So make sure that you consider these important issues. graphics or animation from key pages like the homepage. maintenance and support. and administration. If your site is running slowly you may have to upgrade it. re-examine your goals and rethink how e-commerce can best fit into your business.users expect pages to load in less than five seconds. This can be achieved without the need for spectacular graphics. e-Commerce | Created by Business Link on 26 January 2010 09:50 Ã#Â¨ Crown copyright 2007 Page 89 . • Make sure your website is straight-forward to update so you can add content quickly and easily. • Build reliability and scalability into the solution from the start to ensure that your site can grow in line with your business. Ensure that you take account of the need to integrate it with your main corporate systems and overall IT strategy. including training. • Understand how e-commerce will integrate with your overall business objectives.identify the geographical locations you will ship to and where you won't. • Remove large images. • Keep the screen uncluttered . Look at the total cost of ownership. Consider the site specification • Draw up a site specification that clearly identifies what you are trying to achieve and how the various components of the site will contribute to this.make good use of space. • Don't view your e-commerce solution in isolation. Consider download speeds • Download times are key . Design and usability concerns One of the key factors of the success of your e-commerce site will be how easy or difficult customers find it to use. but don't lose your focus on what your business is actually about. graphics and page layouts. software. • Be realistic about the likely costs from the start and ensure that you keep your budget under control. fonts. and hosting services.Common e-commerce pitfalls • Pursue possibilities offered by e-commerce. Don't over-design the site • Aim to create a common theme of colours. but only to certain locations. for example to advertise new products or special offers.how are you going to process and dispatch orders? Will you have the capacity if sales take off? • Understand the issues around postage and shipping costs . upgrades. • If you find that e-commerce is creating conflicts within your operation. if download speeds are slow. services. Don't overlook the hidden costs • Don't just add up the costs of hardware. Will it increase sales or improve margins? Have a clear view on where it will add value. marketing and communications. • Understand the effect of increased sales . Have a clear pricing policy for shipping 'Free postage' is great. Ensure your web designer only uses effects that will add value for the user.
• Make sure that all images on your site are accurate and show products in their best light. The quality of the content on your site can help create an immediate impression and also ensure that customers keep returning. there is little incentive for users to revisit it Page 90 e-Commerce | Created by Business Link on 26 January 2010 09:50 Ã#Â¨ Crown copyright 2007 . Make the content easy to read • Ensure text is easy to read . • Include a site map and a search facility to help the user locate the required information. • Test your web pages in as many browsers as possible during the development process to ensure that they will display properly. or a prominent link to them. concise and relevant to the information they are leading to. Ensure that you get feedback before the full launch of the site. Consider getting some sort of outside perspective . Ensure information is accurate • Your customers will be put off by out-of-date or incorrect information.employees not involved in the design. or your spouses or friends. Keep content fresh and interesting • People expect sites on the web to be constantly changing. should be on the home page of the site. Opera and Safari. including phone numbers. Ensure they have enough information to make an informed decision. so write more simply than you would in printed publications. The more common browsers include Microsoft Internet Explorer. This can be crucial to the site's development and performance. • Take account of the 'three-click rule' that enables users starting at your home page to get to the information they require in three mouse clicks. email and postal addresses. especially when it comes to prices. Once it is launched any problems will be highly visible to both your customers and competitors. Get feedback on usability Many e-commerce operators don't get usability feedback from anyone beyond those on their development team. • Break text up with headings and bullet points. Don't underestimate the importance of usability • Ensure that navigation buttons are clearly presented and the words or images behind these links are clear. Remember also that English is a second language for millions of potential customers. • Make sure you provide accurate information. • Provide users with a clear description of the product.Common e-commerce pitfalls Support multiple browsers • Design web pages that can be displayed by different browsers. a focus group. who are often too close to the process and biased toward the chosen design and infrastructure. If the content of your website remains static. Content problems First impressions are important.web users rarely read whole pages. Mozilla Firefox. Google Chrome. and monitor the information you provide on a regular basis. • Your contact details.
You need to draw the attention of potential customers to your products and services in order to convince them to purchase and to turn first-time purchasers into repeat e-Commerce | Created by Business Link on 26 January 2010 09:50 Ã#Â¨ Crown copyright 2007 . Use the most appropriate marketing techniques • There are various online and offline marketing techniques you can use select the most appropriate ones for your particular needs. Think about how you can engage with your customers using new technology. if there are too many links. • Ensure that the marketing approach you use does not annoy or antagonise the customer . and display them automatically on your homepage. However.Common e-commerce pitfalls and any opportunity to promote new products or services may be lost. Develop a marketing plan • Whether it is advertising on the web. No matter how good your site is. purchasers. it reflects very poorly on your site. If you have a news section or announcements about new products then they should reflect the current situation. • Remember to change the notice on your website stating when the site was last updated. you risk sending customers away from your website. See our guide on how to develop an e-marketing plan. Check the links on your site • Regularly check internal links on your site. product launches or promotions. New content will also help your website perform well in the natural listings of search engines. • Your marketing plan should identify the target markets you plan to address and profile each target group so that you can pitch your costs and benefits at the correct level. if people don't know about it they will not visit it. or they appear too soon. See our guide on search engine optimisation. direct mail or other forms of offline promotion. you need to consider various marketing strategies. • Users like links to other sites. such as news. • Keep the content as up to date as possible.excessive spam following on from a purchase is a common complaint among Page 91 Marketing considerations Marketing is all about promoting your goods and services and trying to sell them. so you should consider providing them. • Ask your web designer to incorporate a tool that will recognise newly added products and most popular products. So. If they don't work. • Equally. or a page has been removed. • Make sure that your marketing budget is realistic and is capable of funding all of the activities you plan to undertake. See our guide: Web 2.0: a guide for business. the cost of your plan should be justified by the levels of sales you expect to generate. • Give people a reason to return to your site. if you want to attract new and existing customers to your site you must have a solid marketing plan.
• Make it straightforward to change quantities or delete an item from the shopping cart. Indicate customer progress • Ensure that the customer always knows at exactly what stage they are in the checkout process by including an indicator. or otherwise.where they came from. Measure the effectiveness of your marketing efforts • You must measure the success. explaining how long it will take and how many stages there are. • If a product comes in multiple sizes or colours. so customers can easily jump back to make sure they have selected the right item. for example 'You are in step 3 of 4'. • If information is missing or filled out incorrectly during checkout. Shopping cart problems Your checkout procedure must be as quick and simple as possible. This can help show what works well and where resources have been wasted.Common e-commerce pitfalls e-commerce shoppers. of any marketing initiative you undertake. so that customers do not have to wait until checkout to find out that a product is actually out of stock. make sure that a meaningful error message is displayed that clearly describes what needs to be corrected. so customers are not surprised during final checkout. e-Commerce | Created by Business Link on 26 January 2010 09:50 Ã#Â¨ Crown copyright 2007 Page 92 . • Make sure that customers don't get lost by including a prominent 'Next Step' or 'Continue with Checkout' navigation button on each checkout page. Make it easy to select and amend orders • When an item is placed in the shopping cart. See our guide on how to generate business from your e-marketing plan. • Include some text about the buying process. include a box that customers can tick to automatically fill in the same information. • Show stock availability on the product page. • Use tracking and site analysis tools that can help to tell you more about your site visitors . Show clear information • Keep all information on a single screen on each checkout page. what they did while they were on your site (for example whether they purchased anything and what keywords they used to locate products). since industry research shows that 60 to 75 per cent of shopping carts are actually abandoned because of slow or unclear checkout processes. Ensure there are no surprises • Provide details of delivery costs early in the process. and where they went when they left. Here are some of the techniques that you can employ. so customers do not have to frequently scroll down. include a link back to the product page. make it easy for the customer to select or change values in the shopping cart. • If the billing information is the same as the shipping information.
This practice rarely works and is more likely to cause problems in customer relations. whilst charging a relatively high delivery rate. especially when demand is high. The importance attached to on-time delivery by customers means that you must select your outsourced service very carefully. so e-commerce providers must be realistic about the delivery promises they make to customers. They can be generated automatically via email and are expected by most customers. Product delivery problems • Late delivery of products is a frequently cited complaint. There are a variety of ways in which misuse of information and hacker attacks could jeopardise your business. the delivery of products purchased via e-commerce sites is contracted out to third-party distribution services. Failing to keep the customer updated on progress • Successful e-commerce sites make a point of confirming orders immediately by email. • Some e-commerce providers believe that they can lure customers by offering a product at low cost. Many carriers now use email to notify a customer that an order has been dispatched. • The customer should be provided with a way to track down the progress and availability of their order. Customers are entitled to written confirmation of their order under the Distance Selling Security weaknesses Regardless of the size of your business. The threats posed by the lack of adequate security measures range from losing the confidence of your customers to the non-availability of your e-commerce site. you should put in place measures to protect your data against people attempting to steal or hacking into your systems. Order fulfilment issues Recent research indicates that a large proportion of the complaints made by e-commerce customers relate to fulfilment issues. • This is commonly achieved by giving a 100 per cent no-quibble money-back guarantee if they don't like or want the product. e-Commerce | Created by Business Link on 26 January 2010 09:50 Ã#Â¨ Crown copyright 2007 Page 93 . you need to ensure that your packaging is robust enough to ensure safe delivery. Having an acceptable returns policy • You should aim to put in place an acceptable means of handling customer returns and ensuring that any customer dissatisfaction is professionally resolved. so security must be at the forefront of your e-commerce plans. See our guide on e-commerce and the law. • Increasingly. In order to tackle such problems you need to address various issues. whilst others have implemented online tracking systems that enable the customer to log on to their website in order to check on progress.Common e-commerce pitfalls Regulations 2000. • Depending upon the nature of the product you are supplying.
Hackers gaining access to privileged information • Inadequate security controls can enable hackers to gain access to your sensitive business data such as price lists. both malicious and natural. such as virus software. therefore. Consider the most likely risks and take steps to minimise them. with a view to committing fraud. • Hackers may also gain access to the financial information of your business or your customers.Common e-commerce pitfalls If you already have a merchant account set up with your bank. • Contingency planning is intended to put measures in place to enable your systems to continue operating. catalogues and valuable intellectual property. Related guides on businesslink. • A lack of customer confidence is potentially fatal to the success of your online venture. No contingency measures in place • There are many possible threats to the operation of your e-commerce system. ensure that any web hosting solution you are considering is capable of supporting the SSL protocol.uk Planning for e-commerce | Best practice in web design | Maintaining your web content and technology | Search engine optimisation | Web 2. secure socket layer (SSL) technology is used to encrypt transaction data and to send the necessary customer and card details to the acquiring bank in order for purchases to be authorised. Some businesses never recover from such attacks. Loss of customer confidence • Security breaches can damage the confidence that your customers have in the e-commerce service you provide. Denial-of-service attacks • Denial-of-service attacks deny access to authorised users of a website.0: a guide for business | Develop an e-marketing plan | Generate business from your e-marketing plan | E-commerce and the law | Pay per click advertising | Create an online shop | Accepting online payments | Fulfilling customer orders | Assess and minimise the IT risks facing your business with our IT risk assessment tool | Securing your e-commerce systems | Managing risk in e-commerce | Related web sites you might find useful e-Commerce | Created by Business Link on 26 January 2010 09:50 Ã#Â¨ Crown copyright 2007 Page 94 . so that the site is forced to offer a reduced level of service or cease operation completely. The motives may be malicious or to gain competitive knowledge.gov. perhaps through locating to a back-up site. • Some e-commerce providers have no such contingency plans in place you need to consider how your own systems would continue to operate in such circumstances and the likely effect that this would have on your business. You should. password protection and firewalls.
Opens in a new window Broadband provider comparison on the Broadband checker website .Opens in a new window Website validation guidance on the World Wide Web Consortium website Opens in a new window e-commerce information on the Interactive Advertising Bureau website Opens in a new window Software suppliers list on the Fulfilment & E-Logistics website .Common e-commerce pitfalls Website specification guide on the Web Style Guide website .Opens in a new window e-Commerce | Created by Business Link on 26 January 2010 09:50 Ã#Â¨ Crown copyright 2007 Page 95 .Opens in a new window Risk management advice on the Institute of Risk Management website .Opens in a new window High-value fraud guidance on the Metropolitan Police website .
Some of these will be innovative.gov. and your e-marketing plan will usually include a mix of different strategies that are best suited to help you meet your overall objectives.uk Related web sites you might find useful There are a variety of different approaches that you can take. It is a fast. time-sensitive interaction .uk/northeast by navigating to: Home > IT & e-commerce > E-commerce > Generate business from your e-marketing plan Your e-marketing plan needs to consider which techniques to adopt in order to attract potential customers to your e-commerce website and keep them coming back.businesslink. e-Commerce | Created by Business Link on 26 January 2010 09:50 Ã#Â¨ Crown copyright 2007 Page 96 .gov. Used successfully.without the time lag and costs associated with printing and postage. flexible and effective way of getting marketing messages through .can also irritate people if it is irrelevant or unwanted. You can find this guide on http://www. This guide provides an introduction to the e-marketing techniques most commonly used by small businesses. while others will be automated versions of traditional marketing techniques. The overall objective of any marketing initiative is to help sell your goods or services.Generate business from your e-marketing plan Subjects covered in this guide Introduction Introduction Email marketing SMS marketing Promoting your website Getting the most out of search engines Advertising and sponsorship Sales promotions Community building and social media Here's how I marketed my products and services on the web Related guides on businesslink. e-marketing can enhance customer relationships and increase your business' profitability. What makes it so effective .the personal.such as newsletters or special offers . It's essential not to overuse email marketing. Email marketing More and more people have an email address that allows them to receive documents or other files electronically.
building your reputation by word of mouth or viral marketing. One of the primary reasons behind this growth is that text messaging has become increasingly used as a business tool. Advantages of email marketing • Flexible . Potential problems with email marketing • Files need to be small enough to download quickly.which means you can only target people who have agreed to be contacted.meaning they can be effective for time sensitive messages. See our guide on e-commerce and the law. You need to make sure that your email marketing complies with privacy and data protection rules.whichever suits your message best. • Poorly designed emails may not get delivered to the customer. are likely to be filtered out by email software and internet service providers. You should also consider compatibility since different programs will display email differently.Generate business from your e-marketing plan • Unsolicited commercial email or 'spam' irritates consumers. • People can click on links and follow your call to action immediately. Emails that use certain spam keywords in the subject heading or content of the email.you can send plain text. Advantages of SMS marketing • The personal nature of mobile phones make SMS marketing a very powerful tool. new rules came into force covering marketing emails to individuals. • People tend to read virtually every Page 97 e-Commerce | Created by Business Link on 26 January 2010 09:50 Ã#Â¨ Crown copyright 2007 . • Easy for people to forward on to others. and that it is properly targeted at people who want to receive it. The Privacy and Electronic Communications Regulations introduced an opt-in consent procedure for commercial emails . The solution is to profile your customers and understand what the best format is for them. Create plain text versions as well as HTML versions to ensure cross-platform compatibility. Text messaging is growing at an enormous rate. • Less intrusive than telephone marketing. making it an increasing popular e-marketing channel. You should be careful in your use of images since these will increase download times and may be blocked by email filters. Some may like high-tech e-marketing. others might prefer a plain text email. See our guide on email marketing. The 'click through rate' for untargeted or cold emails is likely to be very low ie between 1 to 3 per cent. graphics or attach files . Email marketing rules In December 2003. SMS marketing Text messages or short messaging service (SMS) messages are the messages that people send from their mobile phones. Text messaging enables information to be sent to groups of people quickly and conveniently in much the same way as email. • Most people take their mobile phones everywhere .
unlike junk mail. you are required to make it clear who the message is from and commercial communications must be clearly recognisable as such. For more information on the E-commerce Regulations. see our guide on website hosting options. flyers. Potential disadvantages of SMS marketing • Your message has to be short . The development of 3G (third generation) and smartphones. A good way of generating web traffic is to make sure you include your web address on all printed material . If the offer is interesting.eu address as well. For more information on choosing a domain name. Web referrals Web referrals are an important means of attracting visitors to your site.co. choose a . These work out at about ten pence per text. video and photo sharing sites. You can set up your own communities or join in the discussions on other sites. • Social media sites .business cards. • Online advertising . see our guide on e-commerce and the law.the use of social media such as blogs. letters.you do not have much space to get your message across. consider a . social networking sites. which have larger screens and can play music and video clips. it is easy for people to pass the email on. Under the E-commerce Regulations. web referrals and search engines. referring people to your website when appropriate. • Include your web address in all email footers. etc can help you build a community around your brand. Make sure you have their permission to send them texts and that your SMS marketing complies with privacy and data protection rules. If you trade abroad. There are a number of ways you can generate these. • People respond negatively to unwanted texts. spam or adverts which can be ignored.targeted electronic newsletters and offers to customers can be very effective. See the page in Page 98 Promoting your website There are three main ways that people arrive at websites . etc. Costs You will need to employ a mobile phone agency to send out the texts for you. If you operate exclusively in the UK. Choose a simple web address (URL) which avoids hyphens or other punctuation as it will be easier for people to remember. See the page in this guide on advertising and sponsorship.direct navigation. • Email marketing . • People are wary of responding to SMS messages due to an increase in fraudulent messages. Direct navigation e-Commerce | Created by Business Link on 26 January 2010 09:50 Ã#Â¨ Crown copyright 2007 .Generate business from your e-marketing plan text they get . has also made multimedia messaging service (MMS) possible.the use of banner adverts on other websites to drive people to your website or the use of pay per click advertising on search engines.com or .uk address.
Few web users will look past the first page of results on a search engine. • Include the right keywords in your content or metadata (information that describes a webpage. visitors to your website are coming through search engine referrals rather than direct navigation. there are lots of things you can do to improve your ranking. If you are expecting your website to generate significant commercial returns. as well as their own PPC schemes to help you improve your website's search engine placement. • Social media such as blogs. Search engine optimisation e-Commerce | Created by Business Link on 26 January 2010 09:50 Ã#Â¨ Crown copyright 2007 . Page 99 Getting the most out of search engines When working on your search marketing strategy. Use web analytics software such as Google Analytics to help understand what keywords visitors are using to find your website and help inform your future keyword strategy. See the page in this guide on getting the most out of search engines. ie a free listing. Many directories are free but it is also worth considering paying for highly relevant directories. See our guide on search engine optimisation. etc can also help you improve your search engine ranking. it will be well worth spending the time and effort to ensure you get the most out of your search engine placement. • Register with online directories. Use the most relevant keywords from your website and the words that people are likely to use when searching for your products or services. with pay per click (PPC) or sponsored advertising. you are unlikely to pick up passing trade.finding sites with complementary content and agreeing to have links or banners to each other's sites. Update your keywords regularly using the tools provided by search engines to help you identify the words that are generating the most hits and those which are not performing. Yahoo and Bing offer search engine optimisation tips. The vast majority of those using search engines will not go beyond the first page of results. social networking sites. Search engines Increasingly. Read our guides on pay per click advertising and search engine optimisation. Your website designer can help you include the key phrases when designing and building your website. While this can sound daunting. Search engines combine natural listings. is a cost-effective way of increasing search engine referrals to your website. • Reciprocal marketing . but isn't visible on the pages) when you build your website. This means that if your website isn't rated as one of the ten best matches for someone's search. video and photo sharing sites. eg pay per click. This will generate links to your site from highly ranked sites which will boost your page rank. The major search engines like Google.Generate business from your e-marketing plan this guide on community building and social media. look at how you can improve your ranking in the natural listings and whether paid advertising. both general (eg Applegate and Kelly) and those specific to your industry and the markets you serve.
including graphics. Many of the main search engines such as Google. Webmaster resources such as Google's Adwords Keyword Tool.0: a guide for business. They are similar to the print advertising model used by newspapers and magazines. Search engines like new content. See our guide on Web 2. there are various techniques that can be used for advertising on websites. though if you are a small business with a limited budget. • Exchange reciprocal links with related trade associations. and most involve the use of multimedia content. what budget you have. Access the Google Webmaster tools on the Google website . In-house or agency? You can engage the services of a professional search marketing agency. Most of the search engines provide advice on how you can improve your rankings if you are doing the work yourself. You can set your own daily budget to help you control costs and once your daily budget is spent your ad is turned off until the next day. consumer forums and sites selling related (but not competing) goods or services. Sponsored links appear at the top or on the right-hand side of the search results. you may be better off saving resources. except they can include video. For any campaign that you run you will need to look at what your campaign objectives are. To become a sponsored link you bid for particular keywords or phrases.Opens in a new window.Generate business from your e-marketing plan as well as build interest around your brand. and your website is just one of several channels to market. sound and animation. Banner adverts Banner adverts occupy designated space for rent on web pages.Opens in a new window. advice and tools to help you improve your website's usability. Your ranking is determined by how much you pay each time your link is clicked known as 'cost-per-click' pricing. including suggestions for improvements Advertising and sponsorship In addition to the paid search as part of your search marketing strategy. will help you identify relevant keywords for your campaign and the levels of search activity that they are generating. If you do decide to go for an agency. Yahoo and Bing . Pay per click advertising Paid advertising or pay per click involves paying search engines to include your website as a sponsored link. and the user-generated nature of social media will ensure that your website remains visible to the search engines.provide tips. Ask. ask for: • proof of its success with previous customers • the cost-per-click of the extra traffic it can generate • an analysis of your website's search engine optimisation. • Use the webmaster tools provided by the search engines to help you improve your website's ranking. the keywords that are most relevant to the campaign and the creation of an effective advert and campaign landing page. These are all intended to grab your attention and then guide you through to the relevant website. Find out about sponsored search pricing on the Yahoo website . audio and interactive Page 100 e-Commerce | Created by Business Link on 26 January 2010 09:50 Ã#Â¨ Crown copyright 2007 .
Most online sales promotions are targeted at consumers and are used in combination with advertising.Generate business from your e-marketing plan capabilities in just a few square inches of space. A variation is the pop-up. E-Marketing. A later development is known as a superstitial. with the Page 101 e-Commerce | Created by Business Link on 26 January 2010 09:50 Ã#Â¨ Crown copyright 2007 . Interstitials Interstitials are Java-based adverts that appear when content is loading to a webpage. E-Marketing. published by Prentice Hall. or where the website is recognised as a good independent source of information. but response rates tend to be very low. Such videos load behind the scenes and do not appear on the user screen until they are fully loaded. indicates that marketers have found online promotions achieve three to five times higher response rates than direct mail. Banners can be useful for brand awareness. Most banners work on the basis of click-throughs. Here. Sponsorship Many businesses are developing partnerships with website owners to combine useful content with advertising. superstitials can create very high levels of click-through. where adverts appear in a separate window that overlays the current browser window. the user clicks on the banner and is linked through to the website that is paying for the advert. E-coupons E-coupons offer your online business the opportunity to increase sales in much the same way as conventional coupons do for traditional businesses. They can be used creatively in a number of different ways: • frequent shoppers can be rewarded when they reach a certain level of value or purchases • shoppers can be encouraged to return with an e-coupon towards future purchases • incentives can be used to encourage customers to purchase immediately rather than waiting for a better deal or shopping elsewhere • first time customers can be offered special deals in order to help turn them from browsers into purchasers • subscriber-only e-coupons can be used to encourage customers to sign up for e-newsletters. the advert comes in the form of a mini video that uses Flash technology and Java. published by Prentice Hall. The sponsorship approach can work particularly well where the quality of the editorial content is high. the advertorial approach of blatantly plugging your own business can quickly put readers off. This content may contain references to their own products or services. Done well. reports that a British Airways advert using this approach achieved a 20 per cent click-through rate. As with traditional magazines. Alternatively the webpage itself can include advertising links through to their own website. Sales promotions Sales promotion activities are widely used on the web.
Contests and sweepstakes Some websites hold contests and sweepstakes to attract visitors and keep them returning. user forum or online community for other people with similar interests. This change is altering the way that businesses build customer relationships online. for example. The term 'Web 2. you may look at setting up a group on a social networking site such as Facebook or LinkedIn. Sampling Some e-commerce sites allow users to sample digital products prior to purchase. customers expect to engage with a business online in a variety of ways. The business that Page 102 Community building and social media Online content has become richer. • If you operate in a specialist field. Whereas the 'old' internet was about static content and online information. Marketing opportunities There are different ways in which you can seek to utilise online communities for your own marketing purposes. Some website owners try to build up a community through the development of blogs. e-Commerce | Created by Business Link on 26 January 2010 09:50 Ã#Â¨ Crown copyright 2007 . the user can then choose to purchase the full product if they wish. At that time. See our guide on search engine optimisation. With all social media. Users generally value both the information and the social bonding they receive from such a community.0' is commonly used to describe this 'second generation' of the internet. Such groups encourage users to feel part of the site by posting their own information and responding to other users. it is important to maintain brand honesty with your customers. the 'new' internet is about dynamic. From an e-marketing perspective. Contests generally require some level of skill. while sweepstakes involve a pure chance draw for the winner. while also protecting your business' reputation. such communities will provide you with a highly targeted group of customers to which you can market your product or service. Customers will feel more involved with your brand and will be more likely to return to your site. then you could consider setting up your own blog. Social media content will also keep your site fresh with new content and impact positively on your website's search engine optimisation.0: a guide for business. provide free downloads of demo software that normally expire after 30 to 60 days. online chat rooms. discussion groups and online events. user-generated content or 'social media'. Alternatively. Such sales promotions can be a useful way of creating excitement about your brand and enticing customers to return to your site. Many software companies. Increasingly. more collaborative and social. Social media such as blogs and social networking sites will help you engage with your customers and create a community around your brand. See our guide on Web 2.Generate business from your e-marketing plan newsletter helping to increase sales and build your customer database Coupons usually include a code that the customer is required to enter before they finalise their order to receive the discount.
www. Instead. they were also in tune with our business. so I went on a Business Link course to learn more about it. Somerset.Opens in a new window Michael's top tips: • "Shop around for web designers and don't get carried away with pricey gimmicks. While consumer communities are the most visible.smokedeel. "The people we chose not only had the technical expertise. forging relationships with the individual members in the process. However marketing on the social web should be handled with care." • "Keep website content customer-focused and refresh it often. reach more customers and open up a new sales channel. The course made me realise that building and maintaining a good e-commerce website needed more time than I had to spare. Brown and Forrest . See our guide on online networking. Communities can. For example. Michael explains how they set about it. you should note that business professionals also subscribe to discussion forums and online networking sites with groups that focus upon their own particular field." Brown and Forrest has been producing its traditional range of hand-smoked fish and meats for over 20 years near Langport. be used to enhance relationships with customers and prospects in both the business-to-consumer and business-to-business marketplaces. four years ago to complement their existing shop." Here's how I marketed my products and services on the web Michael Brown e-Commerce | Created by Business Link on 26 January 2010 09:50 Ã#Â¨ Crown copyright 2007 Page 103 . then you might wish to consider joining it and using it as a means of making other users aware of the products or services that you offer.uk.Generate business from your e-marketing plan builds the community can present products and messages that are customised to the group's interests. I began looking for a designer and an IT specialist to work with us. you may wish to contribute to an existing blog or join a group on Facebook or LinkedIn rather than creating your own online communities. Owners Michael and Utta Brown started their website and online shop. restaurant and mail order service. therefore.co.0: a guide for business. What I did Get professional help "I knew a website could raise our profile. tailor your campaign so that it will sit comfortably with both the site and its users. • If there is already a well established user community in your area of business. See our page on legal implications and best practice when using social media in our guide Web 2. Some web developers were more concerned with trying to sell us expensive extras. Avoid simply placing the same messages you use in other marketing channels into a social web context. We wanted the website to reflect our company culture and values." • "Use the website to market all aspects of your business.
" Promote the website and keep it fresh "When the website went live. "The site is interactive and we encourage customers to develop a relationship with us." What I'd do differently Segment the marketing "The database we've built up is invaluable but I wish we'd segmented it sooner by product sales. "The website complements rather than replaces existing marketing activities. Changing photos and text design are simple ways to update the look. all existing customers were notified via our regular newsletter.Generate business from your e-marketing plan Make content customer-focused "Once we'd decided on the basic look and feel and sorted out online ordering and payment systems. Our typical customer has a natural interest in traditionally produced food so we included sections on the origins of smoked food.uk Manage your personal list of starting-up tasks with our Business start-up organiser | Email marketing | Planning for e-commerce | E-commerce and the law | Privacy and data protection in direct marketing | Develop an e-marketing plan | The essentials of mobile commerce | Pay per click advertising | Website hosting options | Choose the right internet service provider | Search engine optimisation | Search engine optimisation | Pay per click advertising | E-commerce and the law | Comply with advertising standards | Develop an e-marketing plan | E-commerce and the law | Develop an e-marketing plan | Web 2. We also post the latest version of our newsletter on the site so there's something new to read. the methods used and our company history. Out of our six sales channels. In future." Related guides on businesslink. We're now looking at software to help us refine our online marketing to different sets of customers.gov. in accordance with the Data Protection Act 1998. the website has risen from sixth to third in terms of orders generated. As well as email requests for information and catalogues. we'll review it more often. It's boosted overall sales as well. location of customers. but it's becoming more important every year. We store all customer data we collect. such as our weekly market stall. whereas we left it for three. "We also use the website to market other aspects of the business that customers might not be aware of. we invite visitors to contribute recipes and send us suggestions. we developed the website content. "To keep customers coming back the website has to be kept fresh." Redesign sooner "In retrospect the site was ready for a complete redesign after two years.0: a guide for business | Online Page 104 e-Commerce | Created by Business Link on 26 January 2010 09:50 Ã#Â¨ Crown copyright 2007 . and value of purchases.she spends as much time on it as she does maintaining the website itself. Managing the database is a key responsibility for our IT manager . The website address was included in all our merchandising and marketing material too.
Opens in a new window Search engine technology trends on the Search Engine Watch website .Opens in a new window e-Commerce | Created by Business Link on 26 January 2010 09:50 Ã#Â¨ Crown copyright 2007 Page 105 .Opens in a new window Website advertising advice on the Internet Advertising Bureau UK website Opens in a new window Social media information on the Internet Advertising Bureau website .Opens in a new window Mobile data usage information on the Mobile Data Association website .Opens in a new window e-marketing glossary on the Marketing Online website .Opens in a new window Domain name information on the EURid website .Opens in a new window Google Webmaster tools on the Google website .Generate business from your e-marketing plan networking | Here's how I used email marketing effectively | Here's how an online shop helped my business | Here's how Web 2.it website .0 technology benefited my business (Flash video) | Related web sites you might find useful Text messaging business applications explained on the text.
To ensure that your website is appearing prominently in the natural listings. You can find this guide on http://www.gov. The higher you rank in a search engine's index. Although dominated by a few. How this ranking is done differs across search engines. ie the free listing on a results page.uk Related web sites you might find useful Search engine visibility is the key to online success. This guide will show you how search engines work and provide practical advice on how to improve your SEO. Search queries bring interested users directly to a website or service. Increasingly customers are searching online to find products and services they require. How do search engines work? e-Commerce | Created by Business Link on 26 January 2010 09:50 Ã#Â¨ Crown copyright 2007 Page 106 . ranking the found pages in order of their 'relevance'. It also advises on unacceptable techniques that can damage page ranking. When a user enters a keyword or key phrase into a search engine.gov. a results page is returned. It is now more commonplace for users to access websites via search engines rather than the web address.businesslink. who can be turned into customers.uk/northeast by navigating to: Home > Sales and marketing > Online marketing > Search engine optimisation What is a search engine and how do they work? Search engines allow users to search the internet for content using keywords.Search engine optimisation Subjects covered in this guide Introduction Introduction What is a search engine and how do they work? Design your site for search engine optimisation Using keywords to improve your search engine optimisation Submitting new websites to search engines Search engine optimisation tactics Working with a search engine optimisation agency Choosing a search engine optimisation agency Tracking your search engine optimisation results Related guides on businesslink. Search engine optimisation (SEO) helps tune website content to improve visibility. you can do certain things. This means more visitors. there are a number of search engines that people can use. the vast majority of those using search engines will not go beyond the first page of results. the more visible you will be. However.
with interesting information and well-designed e-commerce systems . Votes cast by pages that are themselves seen as important by Google weigh more heavily and increase the ranking of the linked pages. For more detailed information on how to best optimise your website for a particular search engine. often referred to as spiders.Microsoft's Bing search engine ranks websites based on the webpage content. high quality content. Design your site for search engine optimisation Some of the best search engine optimisation (SEO) results can be achieved by optimising site design and content to work well with the tools and techniques used by search engines to index web pages. However. although most search engines will provide tips on how to improve your page ranking. All the leading search engines provide information and tools to help you improve your SEO. But by following a few well accepted search engine optimisation (SEO) techniques you can ensure that your website is well indexed and remains high in the rankings. robots or crawlers. will all help in giving your website a higher ranking in the search engine results pages. These programs are used by search engines to build an index of the internet. and the relevance of your website's content to keywords. easy-to-navigate pages . Basic SEO techniques such as site accessibility. and the use of relevant keywords in your content. Search engines also change these rules regularly. Understanding these methods will help you understand the SEO strategies outlined in this guide. It now uses link analysis tools to determine page relevancy.Google's PageRank assesses the value of a webpage based on the number of backlinks ie links back to your website. and increases your chances of a higher ranking in the results pages. in an attempt to avoid misuse the applied rules are a well-guarded secret. though content is also important in deciding search relevance. which also ensures visitors stay to browse and buy. Google also analyses the content on the page that makes the link. Search engines use programs. the number and quality of websites that link to your pages. Page 107 e-Commerce | Created by Business Link on 26 January 2010 09:50 Ã#Â¨ Crown copyright 2007 . Make your site accessible The most important part of making a website search-engine friendly is designing it well. Each link is counted as a vote.will get repeat visitors as well as satisfied customers. The three main search engines are: • Google . refer to their webmaster pages. • Yahoo! .Search engine optimisation • Bing .Yahoo! began as a manually edited directory. to search the internet. from one page to another. See our guide on best practice in web design. Good site design makes it easier for search engines to index your site. Other factors that are important include backlinks and a good site design. Well-written. Different search engine methods Each of the three main search engines use different methods to rank websites. links to and from other websites.
Search engine optimisation
When building a website consider the technologies to be used and whether they lend themselves to SEO. Although SEO can always be improved, it is harder to do so once the technology is in place and the website has already been built. If you use a content management system, does it produce SEO-friendly pages? More technical considerations include the use of friendly URLs, standards-compliant code and dynamically created XML sitemaps that can be used by search engines to index your website. Find out about standards-compliant code on the World Wide Web Consortium website Opens in a new window. Some technologies, such as Adobe Flash, do not currently support SEO very well. These technologies should be evaluated on a usability, customer experience and SEO basis, before being added to your website. Have high quality content Regularly updated, well-written and relevant content will improve your SEO and provide other websites with a good reason to link to you. The use of social media such as blogs provides an excellent way of keeping your content fresh and is well received by search engines. See our guide: Web 2.0: a guide for business. Search engines will also index specific terms or keywords that have been used in your content. Your content needs to describe your products and services clearly, in order both to sell them to your visitors and to help search engines index your site. If necessary, pay to have content written professionally. Improve links to your site
A site's position in a search engine results page depends heavily on the quality, not the quantity, of links to your website. Use search engines to find other websites that have good search rankings for the key terms and phrases that are relevant to your site's products and services. Contact them to ask if they'll provide reciprocal links, ie will they include a link to your website if you will include a link to theirs. Strong content may also generate social media links to your website, providing you with potential customers as well as valuable backlinks. Google's approach to assessing the value of a webpage, ie PageRank, counts the number and quality of backlinks to your website. See the page in this guide on how search engines work. Use of keywords in your content It's important to define keywords or key phrases - recurring terms that are used in the body of your text - that describe exactly what your site offers. Choose keywords that are unique to your product or service, so that your site gets qualified leads rather than general visitors. Be as specific as possible; eg pick an appropriate two- to three-keyword phrase for one of your products. If you're selling tropical fish, appropriate keywords might be 'tropical aquariums', for a computer shop, 'custom-built PCs'. Once you have chosen these keywords target their use in your content.
Using keywords to improve your search engine optimisation
Keywords are essential to ensuring that your site will be visible on search engines. Think about the terms and keywords that customers will use to search for your
e-Commerce | Created by Business Link on 26 January 2010 09:50 Ã#Â¨ Crown copyright 2007
Search engine optimisation
website and which keywords and key phrases best describe your products or services. Using keywords Choosing keywords is the most important step in building a search engine-friendly site. These keywords need to be specific to your product or service. The density of these keywords in your website will also impact on search engine results. Look at your competitor's website and see how they use keywords in their websites. The choice of keywords and the optimal keyword density are difficult to define, although there are tools available that can help you analyse this. Use keywords in your content, page titles, page headings, subheadings and in any metadata that is included in your page code. Plain English works best It's important to use real sentences rather than just keywords in your content, and never sacrifice the quality of your page to fit in more keywords. If you are found to be keyword stuffing ie using keywords indiscriminately in an attempt to improve page ranking, search engines will penalise you. See the page in this guide on search engine optimisation tactics. Keep up to date on how your keywords are performing In addition to doing the obvious searches on keywords to see where your site comes in the listings, most search engines allow sites to check their status in their indexes. You can use these to monitor your search position to see how changes affect your search rank, and to determine what keywords to add in future.
Submitting new websites to search engines
When setting up a new website for your business, you will need to let search engines know about it. This allows them to start including it in the search results they give to their users. Registering new sites You will only need to inform search engines of new sites with newly registered internet domain names. You can do this by filling in search engine forms with the address of the home page for your site. The webmaster programmes run by some search engines, eg Google's, allow you to submit maps of an entire site. This tells the search engine to start using programs called spiders, robots or crawlers, to index your website. See the page in this guide: what is a search engine and how do they work? This can take time - especially if you are including niche engines in addition to the main, more popular, services. Some, like Yahoo!, offer paid directory submissions, which can increase your visibility in their index. While this can get you into the index quickly, it can affect your reputation with certain users, who prefer to trust the natural or organic search engine rankings over paid index inclusion. You will probably not need to do this for websites that have been up and running for a long time, because existing links from other sites will have already led search engine crawlers to your site. Submit sites manually
e-Commerce | Created by Business Link on 26 January 2010 09:50 Ã#Â¨ Crown copyright 2007
Search engine optimisation
Where possible you should submit your website manually, rather than use an automated tool. Use of automated submission engines can lead to sites being banned by search engines. Manual submission can take longer but usually only involves completing an online form and is only necessary when registering a new site for the first time. It can take up to a month for a site to appear in an index after it has been submitted to a search engine. In practice the quickest way to appear in a search engine index is to be linked to from a site that is already regularly crawled by the major search engines. Use the Open Directory Project An alternative to submitting sites to search engines is to apply to have your site included in the Open Directory Project, often known by its old name of DMOZ. This is a manually edited site, which categorises websites and lists them for users to find. DMOZ is used by many search engine crawlers as a source of sites, and an entry here will mean that your site will be indexed by the major search engines. Find information on the Open Directory Project website - Opens in a new window.
with search engines. 1. Start by picking your target keywords. Use descriptive phrases rather than generic terms. Search engines are more likely to give sites offering 'organic Shropshire apples' a higher rank than one offering just 'apples'. 2. Keyword Placement. Place keywords on your pages - generally the higher in the page, the better. Put keywords in the page title and introductory paragraphs. Keywords should also be used as part of sentences, but avoid 'keyword stuffing' - the practice of using keywords indiscriminately. 3. Simplify page layout. Complex layouts don't work well with search engine crawlers. If it's easy for a human to read, it'll be easy for a search engine to work with. 4. Make sure your content attracts incoming links. Good quality, relevant content brings in links from other sites. You can increase the quality of incoming links by offering services and useful applications related to your site subject. Avoid attempts to manipulate search engine indexes It's important to avoid certain activities often referred to as 'black-hat' search engine optimisation techniques, which search engine operators consider to be attempts to manipulate their indexes. Attempting to use any of these techniques will make a website look bad, and may lead to sites being banned by major search engines. The best way to avoid this is to remember that websites are for visitors rather than for
Search engine optimisation tactics
Optimising sites for search isn't hard, but doing it well can be a challenge, especially if you're making changes to a website that is already built, rather than creating a new one. The following steps will help you turn an existing website into one that works well
e-Commerce | Created by Business Link on 26 January 2010 09:50 Ã#Â¨ Crown copyright 2007
helping you manage your site effectively. You need to ensure that they are right for your business. as choosing the right or wrong partner can have a significant effect on your business. and draw up a shortlist.either due to the actions of your competitors.6 billion business worldwide by 2010 (source: Forrester) . Choosing a search engine optimisation agency Once you have decided to work with a search engine optimisation (SEO) agency. Google and the other search engines change algorithms frequently to prevent SEO agencies from doing this. Search engine rank changes regularly. Ask around before engaging an agency. from writing content for your pages to advising on site architecture and suggesting directories to submit your website to.Search engine optimisation search engines. Get references from previous customers. Search marketing and optimisation will be an $11. Any agency you engage will need to work with you as a partner. including knowledge of the service business model and the target audience. so make sure that your chosen partner will deliver. You should expect any relationship to be long term. Engaging an SEO specialist can be expensive. you need to choose one that is appropriate for your business. and a site that was on top today could be further down the page tomorrow. Things to avoid include: • websites that automatically redirect visitors to pages • hidden text on pages • pages with nothing but keywords and links to other websites • content intended only for search engines • links from websites that replicate content belonging to other sites whether it is IT consultants or accountants. if you don't want to handle your site's SEO yourself. Make sure that you communicate regularly. A good consultancy should want to know as much about you as you do about them.that means there's a lot of competition. Make sure that any contract you sign with an agency includes enforceable service level agreements. This is an important decision. Effective SEO requires a deep understanding of the site that is being optimised. The following checklist should help you make this decision: • Do they claim to guarantee high ranking? Any service offering this is to be avoided. Working with a search engine optimisation agency Search engine optimisation (SEO) agencies can provide useful services. and that your SEO partner will provide you with regular and auditable reports. or with changes in how search engines index pages. Engaging a search engine consultancy is like working with any other business service provider. • Are they a personal Page 111 e-Commerce | Created by Business Link on 26 January 2010 09:50 Ã#Â¨ Crown copyright 2007 . to help understand how a prospective partner works. as search engine rankings can change dramatically .
These techniques go against search-engine rules and a good agency will provide back links from real. and to improve the search rank of pages that are being bypassed by users. • Tracking your search engine optimisation results Search engine optimisation (SEO) should be treated like any marketing campaign. as well as showing the pages that are accessed the most. It's also a good idea to see if the agency is part of any professional bodies. or which site elements attract the most traffic. You can then use these to determine the correct choice of keywords. helping to keep your site competitive.as do those that have a negative reputation. it will be unclear what search terms are being used to find your site. Use your web server logs Analysing the contents of your web servers' log files will show how a visitor got to your site. relevant sites. • Will they work with you for more than just one SEO campaign? Site SEO is an ongoing process and any SEO partner should be willing to work with you over a long period. then search on them to see how well ranked the agency is. The results of log-file analysis can be used to refine the keywords used. including any search terms used. You should be able to see the site's keywords. One that doesn't make the rankings is unlikely to be a suitable partner. ie a group of websites that all link to each other in an attempt to improve their page ranking on search engines. It's also worth looking at recommendations in online forums. Do they attempt to break search engine rules? It's important to find out if a prospective SEO agency uses unapproved or 'black-hat' techniques to list sites on search engines. Is their site optimised? Explore the agency's own site and look to see just how well optimised it is. Popular services generate a lot of online comment . and keeping track of the results of an SEO campaign is a key part of the process. Do they have references? It's important to hear about an agency from its customers. Avoid sites that use automated submissions or run their own link farms. along with positive and negative comments about an agency. • • • • e-Commerce | Created by Business Link on 26 January 2010 09:50 Ã#Â¨ Crown copyright 2007 Page 112 .Search engine optimisation recommendation? Services recommended by friends and colleagues are worth considering. Do they get links from real sites? Some agencies run their own sites full of links as a way of delivering the back links search engines look for. especially if an agency is happy for you to contact customers directly. Monitoring your site's search engine traffic will show the aspects of your SEO programme that are effective and which need to be changed in order to direct traffic to appropriate areas of your site. Customer references are important. What do others say about the company? Online sentiment can help you evaluate prospective partners. Without feedback. as word-of-mouth recommendations are a valuable source of information about a company.
Search engine optimisation Make sure that your hosting provider gives you access to your web server log files. You can download log-file analysis tools from many sources: • find out about the free tool on the Webalizer website . This can then be analysed with a free tool like Google Analytics which uses these codes to give you access to clear reports about how users are interacting with your site.understanding e-commerce contracts | Pay per click advertising | Website hosting options | Related web sites you might find useful Search engine information on the Search Engine Watch website . You can use web-log analysis tools to analyse this log data. Use browser tools for quick information You can quickly see the effects of SEO on your pages using browser tools. you can use web analytics also known as page tagging or tracking. Google's Toolbar for Firefox and Internet Explorer gives a basic view of the Google Page Rank of any page. Related guides on businesslink.Opens in a new window SEO toolbox on the National B2B Centre website (registration required) .uk Develop an e-marketing plan | Generate business from your e-marketing plan | Pay per click advertising | Best practice in web design | Web 2.Opens in a new window Web standards guidance on the World e-Commerce | Created by Business Link on 26 January 2010 09:50 Ã#Â¨ Crown copyright 2007 Page 113 .Opens in a new window • get a free log file analysis tool on the AWStats website . it should provide regular reports showing how their optimisations are working.gov. while tools like SEO for Firefox and SeoQuake for Internet Explorer and Firefox can be used to analyse the search engine rankings of your site and your competitors' sites.Opens in a new window Using web analytics If you can't get access to your web servers' log files. along with any plans to improve current search engine ranking.Opens in a new window SEO information on the Search Engine Marketing Professional Organisation website . Get reports from SEO partners If you use an SEO agency.0: a guide for business | Planning for e-commerce | Maintaining your web content and technology | Open source software | Choose and manage your IT supplier | Choose and manage your IT supplier | Trading online .Opens in a new window. You can find out about Analytics on the Google website . It's also important that any reports include output from SEO analysis tools and from the site analytic services run by the major search engines. A tracking code is added to each page of your website which collects user data.Opens in a new window • find out about the free tool on the WebLogExpert website .
Opens in a new window Firefox SEO tool on the SEO Book website .Opens in a new window Analytics information on the Google website .Opens in a new window Google browser toolbar information on the Google website .Opens in a new window Open Directory Project information on the Open Directory Project website Opens in a new window Submit your site to Google on the Google website .Opens in a new window Keyword generator tool on the Google website .Opens in a new window Search engine marketing guidance on the SEMPO website .Opens in a new window SEO partner finder on the SEMPO website .Opens in a new window SeoQuake tool information on the SeoQuake website .Opens in a new window SEO tips on the Google website .Opens in a new window Search engine optimisation guidance on the Search Engine Watch website Opens in a new window Webmaster services information on the Google website .Opens in a new window e-Commerce | Created by Business Link on 26 January 2010 09:50 Ã#Â¨ Crown copyright 2007 Page 114 .Search engine optimisation Wide Web Consortium website .Opens in a new window Site design guidelines on the Google website .
drive more targeted traffic to your website and turn users' interest into a sale. This guide describes how PPC works and how to use it to get your adverts a stronger rating. Such adverts are called sponsored links or sponsored adverts.gov. on-going management.known as keywords . You only pay for 'click throughs'. Pay per click (PPC) advertising lets you target potential customers actively searching the web for the products or services you offer. so it can be a highly cost-effective form of advertising when implemented correctly. To be successful PPC advertising requires strategic thinking. offers great flexibility in targeting and scope. and provides a great deal of information to measure campaign performance. PPC advertising can be set up very quickly.businesslink. the words they use .uk Related web sites you might find useful It's a form of internet advertising where advertisers only pay when users actually click on an advert to visit their website. When users search the internet for products or services via a search engine.Pay per click advertising Subjects covered in this guide Introduction Introduction The different methods of pay per click advertising Researching keywords Campaign creation Setting campaign budgets Writing effective copy for pay per click adverts Complying with advertising standards Choosing a pay per click agency Tracking your pay per click campaign results Related guides on businesslink.gov. You can find this guide on http://www.uk/northeast by navigating to: Home > Sales and marketing > Online marketing > Pay per click advertising The different methods of pay per click advertising With pay per click (PPC). cutting-edge analysis and careful. They appear in a column to the right of or above the 'natural' or organic results on search engine results pages. you want people e-Commerce | Created by Business Link on 26 January 2010 09:50 Ã#Â¨ Crown copyright 2007 Page 115 .set both the natural or organic search and PPC results processes in motion.
Users click through on the offers of interest and buy directly from the partner merchant or from the price comparison portal itself. e-Commerce | Created by Business Link on 26 January 2010 09:50 Ã#Â¨ Crown copyright 2007 Page 116 . Other adverts from higher ranking websites may top the list and/or be more compelling or relevant than yours. the search engine they use returns one or more search engine response pages (SERPS). • Create small adverts to specification and submit these to your PPC provider.see the page in this guide on researching keywords • use search engine optimisation technology and tactics to boost the visibility of your website in search engines . searching for the item described by your keyword. adverts about travel and hotel options in Paris will probably be displayed. With PPC.normally appear to the right of the natural or organic listings.this is known as the cost per click or simply CPC.ie customers actively looking for a product or service like yours that they intend to buy if the price is right. a price comparison or content website. if you're reading about Paris on a national newspaper website partnered with a search engine. A few are sometimes displayed above and/or below them. from websites with a different user base to that of the search engine itself. clicks through on your advert and lands on your website.ie business adverts placed via PPC that match the search term . Content matching could bring you qualified leads . For example.see our guide on search engine optimisation • use well written and effective copy for both your adverts and website see the page in this guide on effective advert copy Content matching Content matching is where search engines distribute your keyword adverts to their partner sites with whom they have distribution agreements. Sponsored match When users search for information. its position is not guaranteed. • Define keywords that best describe your product or service. Even if the search engine displays your advert.Pay per click advertising searching for your product or service to find you. SERPS present the most relevant generic and sponsored links to the queried keywords. nor will it be the only one. Price comparison websites Price comparison websites bring together and display prices and special offers for products and services from their own and partner merchant websites. • Bid an amount per click on each keyword that you feel will give your advert an advantage over your competitors . click through to your website and buy. This is known as the click-through rate or CTR. To help your website get a higher search engine ranking you should: • have one of the high bids on your keywords . you: • Choose one or more PPC providers according to your business model eg a global or local search engine. Sponsored links . • Pay your PPC provider your bid price for that keyword when an internet user.
you'll need to make the right bid but also: • Get a good click-through rate (CTR) for your adverts.eg 'hotel' for 'bed and breakfast'. Price comparison websites offer different pay per click propositions and should you use these channels to market.Pay per click advertising • Include your keywords throughout your website. Researching keywords Keyword research is central to any pay per click (PPC) campaign. However.and to generally get the leading search engines to list your website in organic search results . Millions of internet searches are made every day so it is important to find the best keywords for your business. Keep your keywords up to date by adding variations to match changing search terms. including those of your competitors • thinking about negative keywords the words you need to disallow to prevent your advert appearing in unrelated searches • making sure your keyword research is an ongoing process Page 117 In terms of targeted use of your PPC budget. However there are things you can do yourself. Some of these sites tend to be very 'busy' and the sheer volume of like products from several resellers jostling with other content such as expert and user reviews and rating scores can distract potential customers before they complete the purchase process. you are advised to regularly check your conversion rate against the click-through rate.Opens in a new window. In order to succeed at PPC . • Enter your website address into the free search engine tools to have them analyse whether your content includes keywords you haven't previously identified and add them to your lists. • Add value to your website through appealing content. price comparison websites offer you access to qualified leads . To reach a good ranking. co-branding and advertising links with complementary businesses.ie customers who are actively looking for a product or service like yours that they intend to buy if the price is right. including: • running searches on all major search engines for the same keyword to see what they return • using free keyword checking and synonym suggestion tools from the major search engines • researching keywords being used on other websites. search engines evaluate keyword bids and website rankings. Consider whether or not to allow synonyms .you need to find out which words and phrases your potential customers use when they search online for products or services like yours. e-Commerce | Created by Business Link on 26 January 2010 09:50 Ã#Â¨ Crown copyright 2007 . This is the percentage of people who click through on your adverts against the number of times the search engine displays them. You can buy software or use providers who will analyse keywords for you. See our guide on search engine optimisation. • Use search engine optimisation technology and tactics so your website benefits from the way in which search engines work. You can find a partial list of price comparison websites on the Paler website .
Pay per click advertising • Prepare your adverts. Setting campaign budgets When setting a budget for a pay per click Page 118 e-Commerce | Created by Business Link on 26 January 2010 09:50 Ã#Â¨ Crown copyright 2007 . Setting budgets for PPC campaigns is a little different to traditional campaigns. You'll need to define: • which visitors you want to attract . Remove the weak and form the best ones into advert groups. for instance. a group of products or a particular geographic area. • Set up distinct landing pages so that the destination URL in your advert will take users directly to the product they want to buy. See the page in this guide on setting campaign budgets. See our guide on search engine optimisation.which most often means you want to convert your website's visitors into buyers. • Check the advice the major search engines offer on setting up campaigns and in particular any extra tools they offer to add value.ie the percentage of people who actually buy the product out of all of those who click through. Landing pages are those you specifically design to match the offer in your advert . paid reviews and many other types of paid advertising .a broad match. Search engine optimisation (SEO) is the other half of the equation.ie your target audience • whether you want to target local or regional. Bear in mind that PPC is one aspect of an online marketing campaign.ie one or more adverts targeting the same group of people . SEO promotes websites in the major search engines so that users can find them when they search for some chosen keywords or expressions. Campaign creation You need to start your pay per click (PPC) campaign by considering your business objectives .collectively known as search engine marketing .check the ones you're using are still popular in search engines' ratings and delivering good results. • Choose the right keyword matching option . will trigger your ad more frequently than an exact match and could mean that your ad is shown inappropriately. Banner advertising.and how you want them to be rotated • whether you want to create and manage the campaign in-house or use a specialist PPC agency With PPC tools. age group or particular-interest customers • when you want the adverts to be activated and for how long • how many unique adverts you want to create for each advert group . Aside from budget considerations.with the aim of closing a sale of the product on offer. You might want to form campaigns around a group of keywords relating to a single product. you should: • Re-analyse your keywords .may also be relevant to your business. you can be very specific. so you can test which adverts and bids are working best. Make sure the landing pages are appealing and match the content of the advert to maximise your conversion rate . taking into account that each advert group can link to several adverts.
but you'll never pay more than the maximum you set.the percentage of clicks out of the total number of times your advert is displayed. Common terms used in setting budgets include: • Daily budget . your adverts will have fewer displays. the higher CTR you can expect and the lower your advertising cost will be.or night . at different times of the day . All of them offer tools to help you calculate and set your budget. the most important of which is the web address from which potential customers will click through to the landing page on your website. you can prepare several adverts and test which works best. The more compelling your advert. • Click-through rate (CTR) . Because of the immediacy of the internet. it will include an advert's CTR. but if you set the budget significantly below your PPC provider's recommendation. (PPC) campaign. There's no minimum. PPC gives you the flexibility to run different adverts in different regions. • Cost per click (CPC) bid . which may in turn increase your CTR. • Conversion rate .the total amount you're willing to spend per day on a specific campaign.Pay per click advertising landing page and the website's quality. If your budget allows. which counts towards your quality score. As a high score improves your ranking. You'll need to constantly monitor your bids in light of your advert's performance.the percentage of people who buy out of those who click through and visit your website. You may pay less than your CPC bid as your ranking will determine the actual cost.assigned by search engines according to their own calculation.the maximum amount you're willing to pay for each click. Adverts have four short lines. • Quality score .and target your copy to specific audiences. See the page in this guide on choosing a pay per click agency.ie those who want your product or service. changing them every day if necessary. Your copy needs to be compelling and you must attract the right buyers . You need to attract targeted leads and you have barely 100 characters to do this. the relevance of the Writing effective copy for pay per click adverts Writing the advert is a critical point in your pay per click (PPC) campaign. This is because each of the market-leading providers offers a slightly different proposition. Key points to consider when writing your adverts are to: e-Commerce | Created by Business Link on 26 January 2010 09:50 Ã#Â¨ Crown copyright 2007 Page 119 . you're in control of the cost of your keyword-targeted adverts. The quality of your landing page and how targeted your advert is will both play a role in whether or not you close a sale. Typically. you may prefer to invest in automated bidding tools or use the services of a PPC agency to carry out these tasks for you. but how you set your budget will depend on the PPC provider you choose. you could benefit from a CPC that is below your maximum bid and/or a better position on the search page.
you're less likely to convert the hit into a sale. how it works and how to order it. standards When you advertise. trade marks and anti-discrimination law when you use their services.the CAP Code. If either the quality of your page or how well you have targeted your advert lets you down. You can view the CAP Code at the Committee of Advertising Practice website . PPC terms and conditions will typically set out that it is your responsibility as the advertiser to: • check your right to use any copyright or copyrighted content . Page 120 Complying with advertising e-Commerce | Created by Business Link on 26 January 2010 09:50 Ã#Â¨ Crown copyright 2007 . which should be tailored to match the advert .then re-bid and monitor results until you reach your desired conversion rate. say so • your URL is part of the advert .Opens in a new window. but is not made by that brand) • avoid using words that could be considered discriminatory or offensive to any protected group Internet advertising is subject to the Non-broadcast Code of Practice . Your provider will give you the tools to monitor and evaluate your results.if you have a time-limited offer. but you're not getting the sales.if you only serve a particular city.ie effective enough to close the sale.ie a high percentage of people who click through to stay on your landing page long enough to buy your product or service. They must also comply with regulations protecting: • the intellectual property rights of copyright holders • registered trade marks • all groups protected by discrimination law The major pay per click (PPC) providers will ask that you comply with copyright. Using your keywords. Aim for a high conversion rate . If your adverts are getting good click-through rates. You need to keep the user's attention so they don't follow any links away from the page.Pay per click advertising • include your keywords • use phrases that relate to your keywords • be specific . you can quickly cancel the bid for that advert and set up a new landing page or revamp the existing one .make your keywords part of it • keep your copy simple Link to a relevant landing page Each advert should lead to its own landing page. the claims you make for your product or service must comply with a number of standards to ensure fair trade. include it • offer benefits . clearly explain on the landing page what the product is.ie you must not promote copyrighted content without the permission of the copyright holder • not advertise products that are replicas or imitations of designer goods (a replica item contains the trademarked name or logo of a designer brand. Using your home page or a busy page with lots of distractions may lose the buyer and mean you have paid for a wasted click.
See the page in this guide on choosing a pay per click agency. They need to be able to show: • an understanding of the pros and Tracking your pay per click campaign results The major search engines offer online analytical tools so you can track the progress of your pay per click (PPC) campaigns. If you find a name in the top ten generic results and again in the top three sponsored links.eg banner adverts. such tools will allow you to see: • how visitors find your website • how they navigate through it • how they become customers When you analyse these statistics. you could click through and see whether the landing page matches your expectations. Before contacting an agency. which you can view as graphs. manage. A good agency should have proven experience in the particular complexities of a stand-alone PPC campaign and internet marketing campaigns that include PPC and other online marketing strands . However. Typically. You can also take on a PPC agency to carry out these critical tasks on your behalf and provide you with real-time reports. consider the skills and competencies you expect of an agency and your marketing goals and objectives. website optimisation and advert writing • excellent strategic analysis and web analytic abilities • how they set and achieve agreed targets • how they plan to report to you and how often • how they intend to maximise and measure your return on investment • how they intend to charge you (eg a flat fee. summaries and Page 121 e-Commerce | Created by Business Link on 26 January 2010 09:50 Ã#Â¨ Crown copyright 2007 . a percentage of the campaign expenditure or on the basis of campaign performance) Choosing a pay per click agency Pay per click (PPC) advertising agencies can help you start your PPC campaign and attract quality sales traffic to your website. Ask prospective agencies whether they're accredited as a Google AdWords Qualified Company. PPC agencies must have different skills and a different mind set.keyword research.eg you'll want prospective PPC agencies to provide testimonials and customer references or case studies. There are certain similarities with traditional advertising agencies . A good place to start your search for an agency is to open your favourite search engine and search for one in your area. daily budget.Pay per click advertising cons of the top PPC providers • a good grasp of your market sector and competition • proven experience and the necessary technology to set up. track and analyse PPC campaigns • a creative approach to PPC essentials . a Yahoo! Search Marketing Ambassador and/or a Microsoft adExcellence member. bid management. See our guide on how to choose and manage an advertising agency.
if you find a heavy density in a particular region. online auctions and exchanges | Generate business from your e-marketing plan | Advertising: the basics | Maintaining your web content and technology | Choose and manage an e-Commerce | Created by Business Link on 26 January 2010 09:50 Ã#Â¨ Crown copyright 2007 .gov.you can then make an informed decision as to whether to improve their design or pare them down until they match the proposition described in your keyword adverts • count how many steps there are from landing to conversion .uk Search engine optimisation | E-marketplaces.establish whether you could reduce this number if you are losing visitors along the way • establish where drop-out visitors are going when they leave your site .if it's to a competitor.Opens in a new window Campaign research and search marketing advice on the Internet Advertising Bureau website . For example. landing page and number of steps to conversion compare with theirs Related web sites you might find useful Website advertising information on the Internet Advertising Bureau website Opens in a new window PPC information on the Internet Advertising Bureau website . you could then target a campaign to draw them back as return customers • analyse and optimise your landing pages .Pay per click advertising advertising agency | Develop an e-marketing plan | Choose and manage an advertising agency | Develop an e-marketing plan | Generate business from your e-marketing plan | Comply with advertising standards | Customer protection | Choose and manage an advertising agency | Develop an e-marketing plan | Generate business from your e-marketing plan | other data. you will be able to improve your online results.the conversion rate is the number of visitors to your site that actually become customers during their visit • find out where your customers live . In some cases. the Google Analytics tool will allow you to: • assess whether your conversion rate differs between regions .Opens in a new window Internet marketing terms glossary on the Internet Advertising Bureau website Opens in a new window AdWords guidance on the Google website . check how your copy.Opens in a new window PPC topics on the Yahoo! website Opens in a new window Partial list of price comparison websites on the Paler website .Opens in a new window MSN adCenter information on the Microsoft website . the tools are more sophisticated.Opens in a Page 122 Related guides on businesslink.
Opens in a new window Open source analytics information on the Open Web Analytics website .Opens in a new window Download trade marks guidance from the Intellectual Property Office website Opens in a new window Copyright information on the Intellectual Property Office website .Opens in a new window Online selling legal information on the Office of Fair Trading website .Opens in a new window Choosing keywords advice on the Microsoft website .Pay per click advertising new window Google keyword tool information on the Google website .Opens in a new window Copy writing for search marketing advice on the Internet Advertising Bureau (IAB) website .Opens in a new window Budgeting information on the Internet Advertising Bureau website .Opens in a new window Analytics information on the Google website .Opens in a new window CAP Code on the Committee of Advertising Practice website .Opens in a new window Internet advertising regulation guidance on the IAB website .Opens in a new window e-Commerce | Created by Business Link on 26 January 2010 09:50 Ã#Â¨ Crown copyright 2007 Page 123 .
Text. It will also provide advice on the types of events you can 'attend'. identify some of the risks involved and outline what is considered good online etiquette. the internet is becoming a meeting place in its own right. You can find this guide on http://www. audio and video have come together to offer online networking as a practical proposition for even the smallest enterprise.gov.uk Related web sites you might find useful Traditional networking events are increasingly giving way to online alternatives. Today. With advanced communications technology now available. Developing strategic relationships via networking events has been the traditional means of making new business contacts. The second is the continued development of computers that can handle full-motion video and graphics.uk/northeast by navigating to: Home > Sales and marketing > Online marketing > Online networking How online networks work Online networking has become a reality because of two key technologies.businesslink. The first is the availability of fast broadband access to the internet.gov.Online networking Subjects covered in this guide Introduction Introduction How online networks work Business benefits of online networking How to choose and join online networks How to use online networks for marketing Etiquette and online networks Security and online networking Checklist: online networking Helplines Related guides on businesslink. Word of mouse e-Commerce | Created by Business Link on 26 January 2010 09:50 Ã#Â¨ Crown copyright 2007 Page 124 . as business leaders realise that cost and efficiency gains can be made by avoiding a physical networking event. This guide will give you a better understanding of how online networking has evolved and how your business can use online networking to gain a commercial advantage. The connections you and your business make are of paramount importance today. face-to-face meetings can be just as rewarding and productive when conducted online.
Don't underestimate the savings in cost. Business benefits Online networks can offer an enterprise the chance to improve their businesses in a number of key areas: • • • • • recruitment marketing brand building customer interaction locating strategic commercial partners • gathering business intelligence It is important that you understand your business' motivation for joining one or more online networks. This will guide you to the networking format that is right for your business.Online networking As an owner/manager you understand that the connections you make in business are essential for the long-term profits of your enterprise. including: • • • • email lists chat rooms and forums video conferencing virtual world online networks networking Online networks give your business an opportunity to gain new contacts from the comfort of your office. Physical networking events often only take place once a month. There are a number of different online networks that your business can participate in. The commercial aspect being that a business looking to buy goods or services will instinctively look for partners that they already know via the online networks they are members of. The internet has provided yet another way for businesses to communicate with each other. If you focus your needs the type of online network that is ideal for you will become clear. This close connection fosters a much more intimate working relationship that you can build on over time. Building business relationships Online networks enable you and your business to maintain close relationships with other enterprises over long geographical distances. You can communicate with other businesses via online networks on a daily basis. time and other resources such as travel that not having to attend a physical networking event can bring to your enterprise. Businesses have been quick to realise that the captive audience of online networks are ideal for focused marketing messages for goods or services. Think about what you want to gain from building a relationship with other businesses. Targeted advertising Online networks are now becoming a hotbed for advertising space. It is vital that you think through what you want to achieve by taking part in an online network. With nothing more than your computer and an internet connection you can be networking with hundreds of other businesses in minutes. Networking events had long been the way that business relationships have been built. Each of the different types of online network has its pros and cons. Business benefits of online e-Commerce | Created by Business Link on 26 January 2010 09:50 Ã#Â¨ Crown copyright 2007 Page 125 .
MySpace. Find out about internet advertising on the Internet Advertising Bureau (IAB) website . This will ensure a good return on your investment. Network 2012 • social information exchange Facebook. Ask yourself the following questions to help you identify the right kind of online network that will deliver the benefits you are looking for: • What is your key reason for joining the network? • What level of return do you expect? • What kind of businesses are already members of the network? • Do you have the time and resources to commit to your network membership? The internet is now awash with networking websites that cover just about every conceivable business sector. pay per view. . Some sites have tools that can be used for research giving your business valuable customer profile information. from simple email lists to complete virtual worlds. marital status. Flash ads and classified notices. Advertising can be targeted against a variety of demographic criteria (eg age. Page 126 How to choose and join online networks With so many different online networks available. Find practical information about advertising on the Advertising Association website. they do fall into distinct categories that include: • profile/market building networks . carefully consider which online networks to use and the marketing message you want to get across. Online networks explained There are many different types of online network your business could join.Digg. However. location) relating to network members. This will allow you to make informed decisions about whether a particular social networking site is appropriate to your marketing strategy.Opens in a new window Social networking sites such as Facebook and MySpace offer a number of different advertising options including pay per click. Joining several networks is an option. but it is still important to spend your time and resources with online networks that actually deliver real benefits to your business. Plaxo. banner ads. You may already be aware of the high profile business networks like LinkedIn. As with your business' other marketing spend.Online networking Placing advertising within online networks is gathering pace. bebo • microblogging . Ecademy • book marking and reviewing . e-Commerce | Created by Business Link on 26 January 2010 09:50 Ã#Â¨ Crown copyright 2007 .Opens in a new window. How to choose the right network The criteria you use to make a decision about which online network(s) are ideal for your business will ultimately depend on what motivates you to join the network initially. This is especially true if your business operates in a niche market. but there are a great number of smaller networks that may be a better fit with your business.Twitter • referral and connection building LinkedIn. it can be difficult to choose the right network for your business.BT Tradespace.
sending targeted emails to selected customers or potential new customers. though.online 'word-of-mouth' or 'tell a friend' campaigns that encourage users to spread the message to their social networks. There are risks involved in using online networking as a marketing channel and it is important to approach this type of advertising with care. See our guide on search engine optimisation. Networking and marketing strategies The types of advertising you can use within the online networks you join are similar to e-Commerce | Created by Business Link on 26 January 2010 09:50 Ã#Â¨ Crown copyright 2007 . These include: • Banner advertising . Posting inappropriate messages. Remember that networks are collections of people and businesses that have chosen to join that network to gain business contacts and not necessarily to see advertising messages. audio and interactive capabilities. Spend some time researching the networks you think are ideal for your business. Understanding online network users You may already be using each of the above types of advertising to promote your business online. and can include video. It is.banners occupy a designated area for rent on web pages. and will deliver the results you are looking for. A viral ad campaign may be wholly inappropriate within a network of company directors for Page 127 How to use online networks for marketing Making connection with other businesses via online networks ultimately means marketing your goods or services. sometimes containing special offers.flickr.users click on the banner and are linked to the website that is paying for the advert. or worse still placing advertising that is not welcome by the members will damage your business' brand and reputation. • Email campaigns .some social networking sites provide profile pages. This is time well spent. those that you may already be using across the web. Usually work on 'click-through' . Special attention has to be paid to the network members themselves and what level of advertising they are prepared to tolerate on their network. it is vitally important that you understand the profile of the other people and businesses already using the network. iStockphoto Before you become active on any of these networks. blogs or other editable spaces that allow keyword rich links to be added. discounts and other promotions. You must evaluate the level of advertising and promotional material you can push to these members. • Link building . This can contribute to your search engine optimisation strategy. MSN Groups • self perpetuating groups . • Viral marketing . important to realise that online networking isn't just another sales channel that you can approach in just the same way as your other online marketing.Yahoo! Groups.Online networking Stumbleupon • email connection and network building . Also. the kind of advertising you use is also important.
• Don't post inappropriate or off-topic questions or comments. Some email lists are read by thousands of people.which means that you become the moderator of the network . Understand the audience you are marketing to. Marketing messages that are effective need to be highly focused. See also our guide on e-commerce and the law.you must ensure you abide by the etiquette that has been developed since online networks first appeared. Don't: • Make assumptions about the people and businesses on the network you are targeting. • Spam your fellow network users with messages. Blatant self-promotion is usually frowned upon by other network users. Network marketing dos and don'ts If you intend to use online networking as part of your marketing mix. just like face-to-face networking events. If in doubt contact the network's moderator. If you want a private conversation with someone you have met via a Page 128 e-Commerce | Created by Business Link on 26 January 2010 09:50 Ã#Â¨ Crown copyright 2007 . In the most serious cases.Online networking personal details about the people or businesses on your target network without their permission. • Never make personal criticisms of other network users or their businesses. and what marketing messages they are open to. there are a number of dos and don'ts you should comply with: Do: • Ensure you are aware of and comply with all the regulations and legislation that now applies to online marketing. • Develop metrics to enable you to track and analyse the return you are getting from your marketing spend. When using online networks. try to apply the following principles: • Don't make each of your posts on a network an advertisement for your business' services or products. • Always read the network's guidelines before you make any posts. With online network marketing quality is much more favourable than quantity. • Think about privacy. to ensure that any marketing activity that you do is acceptable. This is very bad etiquette and could result in your business being thrown off the network entirely. Understand who the participants are. eg for libel or defamation. • Thoroughly research the network(s) you want to advertise on. it could even lead to legal action against you. and their likely response to the advertising approach you intend to use. • Ever sell or otherwise pass on any Etiquette and online networks Online networks have their own rules that should be followed. instance. You should also check the terms and conditions of any online network that you intend to use. This will ensure you don't make any beginner's mistakes. Whether you are joining a network as a member or starting your own .
Find out about using the Protected Online Filing Scheme (PROOF) on the Companies House website . If you access online networks via wireless internet access ensure you have adequate security to protect your wireless network from eavesdropping and hacker attack.or if known eg from a fellow employee. Security in a Web 2. Avoid clicking on links added to messages in any social networking websites that you use. These links can take you to phishing websites and have the potential to infect your computer.scr' which is the file extension used for Windows screensavers. Avoid opening email attachments from unknown sources . eg a bank. This could be a phishing attack. However.Online networking network.0 world Each time you login to use an online network you expose yourself and your business to a level of attack from hackers and other malicious groups. Don't open attachments such as those ending with '. • Be suspicious of anyone who contacts you out of the blue claiming to be part of one of the networks you are a member of. security should be at the top of your agenda. Follow the guidelines below to ensure you use online networks safely: • Keep your login details secure and regularly change your password. you are not powerless in the face of what may seem like an unstoppable wave of identity theft and threats to your security.exe' (an executable file) or those with the '. are used with the aim of obtaining personal details. ensuring you are using online networks safely is essential. Never reveal any sensitive information about yourself or your business without first checking the credentials of the enquirer. in order to ensure you are where you believe you should be. These include links to current events. • Watch out for corporate identity theft. entertainment news or other links to high traffic sites. With the rise of identity theft. If you use email-based online networks. • on Tel 0303 1234 500 for more information about this type of security threat.Opens in a new window. Contact Companies House Contact Centre • • • • • e-Commerce | Created by Business Link on 26 January 2010 09:50 Ã#Â¨ Crown copyright 2007 . • Carefully read the terms and conditions for any network that you participate in. exchange private email address and continue the conversation through that channel. If clicking on a link always check the website address you have been taken to. Phishing is where legitimate looking emails seemingly from a reliable source. use filtering software to reduce the instances of spam and phishing attacks. fake emails and security threats to small and large companies. check with the sender first if the attachment isn't something you expected. as these can also be Trojans that can infect your computer. Avoid clicking on advertising emails and popup boxes and be cautious of any application that wants to install Page 129 Security and online networking Whether you intend to join one or a number of online networks. Your business name could be used within online networks without your knowledge or permission.
think about how much time and resources you have available. The more people and businesses know about you. The close working relationships you can build via networks is now an essential component of modern branding practice. Always check your data is being held securely. there are a lot of factors to consider. • Place advertising on carefully chosen networks. Find out how to combat corporate identity theft on the Companies House website . • Obey the network rules. ensure that you: • Choose the right network for your business goals. This will enable you to better budget your time and resources. When joining a network.Online networking itself on your computer.Opens in a new window. Every network has its own rules. What do you want to get out of this activity? • Develop your user profile. or are thinking about starting your own network. original and engaging content. • Avoid the hard sell. Identify the key contacts you want to maintain a relationship with. • Enhance your business brand. You and your business need to maintain these network connections. but don't forget the other forms of promotion your business is using. It can be difficult to maintain a large number of contacts as you join more networks. Planning is vitally important to ensure you join the right network(s) that will deliver the business benefits you are looking for. Online networks may have marketing at their heart. Networking is all about relationships. which can take more time and resources than you might initially think. Ensure you are aware of the etiquette that is in place. e-Commerce | Created by Business Link on 26 January 2010 09:50 Ã#Â¨ Crown copyright 2007 . The online Page 130 Checklist: online networking Whether you are looking for one or more online networks to join. Ask yourself why you are joining an online network. • Create new. It's easy to disproportionately assign resources to online networking. Try to avoid hard sales pitches on your networks as these are usually rejected. the closer that relationship. be careful when exposing information about yourself and your business. • Commit enough resources. Find out about responsibilities when handling personal data on the Information Commissioner's website Opens in a new window. No one wants to read boring posts on the networks you are a member of. • Include online networking within your marketing mix. Joining a network can have a great positive impact on your business' brand. Try to write relevant and engaging content each time you contribute to a network. However. Don't forget your other forms of advertising and promotion. as they are effective as well. When joining one or more online networks that support your sector. Your core motivation for joining an online network may be to sell your business' goods or products. • Maintain contacts.
Related guides on businesslink.uk Web 2.Opens in a new window Social media handbook and guidance on the Internet Advertising Bureau website Opens in a new window e-Commerce | Created by Business Link on 26 January 2010 09:50 Ã#Â¨ Crown copyright 2007 Page 131 . Careful consideration must be given to what kind of advertising is placed on these networks and what messages they contain.Online networking networks that have developed over the last few years are clearly a great location for your business' advertising.0: a guide for business | Avoiding scams | Keeping your systems and data secure | E-commerce and the law | Privacy and data protection in direct marketing | Helplines Business Link Helpline 0845 600 9 006 British Chambers of Commerce 024 7669 4484 Internet Advertising Bureau 020 7050 6969 Department for Business.0: a guide for business | Learning through networking with others | Generate business from your e-marketing plan | Create your marketing strategy | Advertising: the basics | Search engine optimisation | E-commerce and the law | Privacy and data protection in direct marketing | Web 2. Banner ads are now appearing on network websites. Innovation and Skills 020 7215 5000 Companies House Contact Centre 0303 1234 500 ICO Helpline 08456 30 60 60 Related web sites you might find useful Online marketing information on the Marketing Online website .Opens in a new window Communication skills courses on the Impact Factory website .0: a guide for business | Learning through networking with others | Generate business from your e-marketing plan | Develop an e-marketing plan | Use our interactive tool to investigate what will be the best advertising media for your business | Create your marketing strategy | Advertising: the basics | Use our interactive tool to investigate what will be the best advertising media for your business | Web 2.gov. Research the profile of network members to help you design an engaging advertising message they will positively respond to.
Opens in a new window e-Commerce | Created by Business Link on 26 January 2010 09:50 Ã#Â¨ Crown copyright 2007 Page 132 .Opens in a new window Online networks safe-use information on the Directgov website .Opens in a new window Identity theft protection information on the Identity Theft website .Online networking Practical advertising guidance on the Advertising Association website .Opens in a new window Download an information-sharing code of practice from the Information Commissioner's website (PDF) .Opens in a new window Advertising codes information on the Committee of Advertising Practice website .Opens in a new window Internet advertising information on the IAB website .Opens in a new window PROOF Scheme information on the Companies House website .Opens in a new window Business mentoring network on the Horsesmouth website (registration required) .Opens in a new window Online Advertising Networks Buyer's Guide on the e-consultancy website Opens in a new window Communication skills courses on the learndirect website .Opens in a new window Download data protection for small businesses guidance from the Information Commissioner's website (PDF) .Opens in a new window Advertising standards information on the Advertising Standards Authority website .Opens in a new window Online marketing information on the Marketing Online website .
Web 2. the internet of the 1990s was about static.0' is commonly used to describe this 'second generation' of the internet.0' actually means. The term 'Web 2. the 'new' internet is about dynamic.0 technology benefited my business (Flash video) Related guides on businesslink. This provides both new opportunities and risks for your business. information-based content and a clear separation between content provider and end user.gov. Online content has become richer.0 tools How Web 2. It will also provide advice on how to target customers more effectively to ensure your message is getting across.0? Web 2. user generated content or 'social media'. Whereas the 'old' internet was about static content and online information.0: a guide for business Subjects covered in this guide Introduction Introduction How the web is changing What is Web 2.uk/northeast by navigating to: Home > Sales and marketing > Online marketing > Web 2.gov.0 can be used for business Legal implications and best practice when using social media The future of the web and how it may affect your business Here's how Web 2. New technology and faster connection speeds have meant that more customers and businesses are connected than ever before.uk Related web sites you might find useful The web is a vital tool for any modern business. You can find this guide on http://www.0' is e-Commerce | Created by Business Link on 26 January 2010 09:50 Ã#Â¨ Crown copyright 2007 Page 133 . This change is altering the way that businesses now build customer relationships online. The 'new' internet or 'Web 2. But how customers are using the internet is changing. This guide will give you a better understanding of how the web is changing and advice on how to build your web presence using the technology and tools available.0: a guide for business How the web is changing Although widely used there is much disagreement over what the term 'Web 2. Put simply.businesslink. Increasingly customers expect to engage with a brand online in a variety of ways. more collaborative and social. Customers today search online for everything from their local plumber to a global brand.
rate products or add information. Users can easily access the web at home. Although this new web culture provides a richer customer experience. Faster connections.0? Web 2. This requires a two-way dialogue between the customer and the business. where content is regularly updated and where any comments that they make are quickly replied to.0: a guide for business all about richer content based on collaboration and information sharing.0 does not refer to a particular technology but to a general trend. social networking. etc. It may be helpful to consider integrating some of the following features into your website: • User generated content . Online networking now provides a virtual alternative that allows you to build business relationships and source new opportunities online. Increasingly customers want to build a relationship with the brand. Business-to-business (B2B) relationships are also changing.Web 2. blogs.see the page in this guide on legal implications and best practice when using social media. They expect richer content and a greater variety . There is no checklist to decide what Web 2. eg user reviews on Amazon. it also raises issues of how businesses use and manage these new technologies .0 is far more about creating a community around your brand and conversing online with your customers a 'web culture' that means greater interaction between you and your customer. This can often add real value for other customers Page 134 e-Commerce | Created by Business Link on 26 January 2010 09:50 Ã#Â¨ Crown copyright 2007 . offer new online services or build brand awareness through the use of blogs. with online networking sites such as LinkedIn increasingly helping businesses to extend their professional networks. What is Web 2. There are more choices than ever before for customers online. Developing strategic relationships via networking events has been the traditional means of making new business contacts. customers are increasingly looking to engage with a company or brand online in multiple ways. forums or social networking sites.this is the ability for your customers to interact with your business online by being able to leave comments.including audio and video podcasts. A new web culture Because of this 'new web culture'. See our guide on how to identify and sell more to your most valuable customers. online forums. It is now easier than ever for you to directly target customers with viral marketing campaigns. new devices and new online applications have all helped to change the way people work.0 is and whether you can apply it to your business but there are several features that tend to distinguish it.0 could mean new opportunities for your business. Customers expect immediacy in their online interactions. Web 2. in the office or on their phone. encouraging end users to be more interactive with the content they access and more proactive about producing their own web content. so websites need to balance accessibility with richer and more engaging customer experiences using the variety of tools that are available. The new web culture has also raised customer expectations. See our guide on online networking. Web 2. socialise and shop.
Business networking sites such as LinkedIn can be used to develop professional networks. and to be able to express and publish their own views to a community of users using different types of interactive media. In some cases you can find free or very cheap ways to add these to your site. Blogs These are websites where individuals and businesses can post opinions or news about themselves. which allows users to write and edit content collectively on your website.0 tools add value to the user experience and enhance your online brand? • What is the cost.0 tools The fast rate of new developments online has become part of what customers expect from the internet. and advertise new products or services see the page in this guide on Web 2. MySpace and Twitter. An example of this is a wiki. the ability to set your local area on a news website so you get the most relevant news or weather information.0 applications centre around some community aspect where users can share experiences and knowledge. eg social sites such as Facebook. technical. Web 2. • Collaboration .to the page you're using. • Personalisation . to contribute online using different types of technology from anywhere in the world.the facility to customise the way you view or interact with websites. 'Web apps' are growing in popularity. customers may look elsewhere. • Online networking and social media . If your business website is static and not keeping up. providing users with applications that they can add to websites or devices.nearly all Web 2. You need to think about what your customers want. legal and business implications of adding these tools to your website? Listed below are just some of the technologies you can use and how they can help your business. Other websites such as iGoogle let you add web applications or 'Web apps' programs hosted online .Web 2. • Would Web 2. Many businesses now use these to connect more informally with their customers and let them know about e-Commerce | Created by Business Link on 26 January 2010 09:50 Ã#Â¨ Crown copyright 2007 Page 135 .0: a guide for business and provide you with customer insight. to enhance career or recruitment options or simply to keep in touch with former colleagues and contacts. or the ability to modify the layout and colour scheme of a site to your preferences. Common to all of these is the ability for users to add and edit content. canvass opinion. which can really change the way your customers view your brand. making a successful site does not require huge investment. See our guide on online networking. for example.the ability for people to find others with similar interests and express themselves to a community of like-minded people. personalising their customer experience. However.0 tools. Business blogs are another example of how you can communicate directly with your customers. This can be useful for your business as it lets customers identify with your brand and makes them more likely to return.
Find blogging news. encouraging more visitors to your site. Think about ways in which you can incorporate video content on your website. there can be issues when you allow users to post content to your website.Opens in a new window Audio podcasts These allow users to listen to information on the move using an mp3 player. See our guide on search engine optimisation. See the page in this guide on the legal implications and best practice when using social media. They can be a great way to develop a community around your business. Instead of putting up generic corporate imagery. This may mean that they are more likely to return to your site.Web 2.Opens in a new window. Blogs are also a good way of gathering informal feedback from your customers. RSS feeds RSS (Really Simple Syndication) feeds are an automated way of sending updates to your customers. Remember there can also be issues when you allow users to edit your pages. By subscribing to an RSS feed. If your customers are passionate about your products that will help to draw in new customers. Find out about wikis on the wiki. When allowing users to contribute to your blog there are also legal and best practice issues to consider .see the page in this guide on legal implications and best practice when using social media.org website . Some public blogs generate a lot of traffic so it may be advantageous to have links to your website on them by adding relevant comments to blog posts.Opens in a new window. Consider recording your own podcasts or link to others that your customers might find useful. Wikis Wikis let different users edit the same page. Photo and video sharing Personal photos and videos can be a great way to engage customers as demonstrated by the popularity of websites like Flickr and YouTube. Remember that if you have content that changes regularly customers are more likely to return to your site. But remember. Either approach could help your website appear prominently in search results. Businesses can use their own blog to create keyword-rich links to their website that are highly visible in the natural listings of search engines.0: a guide for business changes in the business or provide information on new products or services. If your website includes case studies on satisfied customers.Opens in a new window. updates and figures on the Technorati website . See the page in this guide on the legal implications and best practice when using social media. Read about how you can use YouTube as part of your e-marketing strategy on the National B2B Centre website . e-Commerce | Created by Business Link on 26 January 2010 09:50 Ã#Â¨ Crown copyright 2007 Page 136 . perhaps this would be more engaging if it was presented as a video clip rather than text. encourage your customers to tell their own story by posting to your site. Find out more about RSS feeds on the BBC website Opens in a new window. Find answers to frequently asked questions about podcasts on the BBC website . customers can identify the content that is important to them so that they can stay up to date.
while customer opinion can be useful. If you do receive negative comments. Instead. Any campaigns should be designed with the social web in mind. It is also important to monitor how your business is being talked about on other websites. The mobile web The concept of mobile web access already exists to some extent. While you should try to protect your brand and your site from potential threats. Protect your brand It is important for your business to consider the monitoring of user comments. this should be balanced with maintaining brand honesty.0: a guide for business their personal details will be used • disclaimer . look into the reasons behind the comments and try to rectify them. tailor your campaign so that it will sit comfortably with both the site and its users. If you find this is the case. below we outline three existing technologies that may become more prominent in the future. two-way exchange of ideas and opinions. you don't want to have too many negative comments about your business. New devices and wireless networks with wider area coverage mean even greater opportunities to connect with your customers. It is important that site users feel that there is an open and honest. Make sure you monitor what users are saying.you may be held responsible for any user comments on your site that insult or libel someone. so that you can respond accordingly. This will build trust between you and your customers and encourage loyalty. The future of the web and how it may affect your business How will the internet change in the future and how will these changes affect business? Whilst definitions of the third generation of the internet or 'Web 3. See our guide on e-commerce and the law. respond in a professional and positive way and address the issues that have been raised. You should position your marketing strategy on the social web very carefully.Web 2. This could include: • Profane language . it would be wise to have robust text and image filtering or approval processes to reduce the risk of inappropriate or offensive material being put onto your site.lays out the limits of your legal liability • terms and conditions . Depending on your business you may find that some users post inappropriate comments.0' prove just as contentious as the earlier versions. • Damaging comments . e-Commerce | Created by Business Link on 26 January 2010 09:50 Ã#Â¨ Crown copyright 2007 Page 138 .if your customers are likely to be sensitive to certain language make sure that you use a method by which all new posts are monitored. • Libellous material .lets users know what they can expect from the site Depending on the type of user-generated content you are allowing. but it is set to develop further in the future. Avoid simply placing the same messages you use in other marketing channels into a social web context.
co.Opens in a new window. Virtual worlds The idea of virtual reality online has been around for a long time. Richer content including video. using Web 2. virtual worlds look set to increase overall. is the software required to let you access your resources online. Cloud computing builds on this model providing both cost benefits and flexibility for your business." Frugi has been producing its range of Page 139 e-Commerce | Created by Business Link on 26 January 2010 09:50 Ã#Â¨ Crown copyright 2007 . The Cloud The Cloud is the concept that all your programs and files can be held online rather than on just one computer in your office. you access your emails from any computer." • "Use search engine optimisation to improve your page ranking on the natural listings of search engines and help drive customers to your website. All you need. there will be increasing opportunities to connect with your customers. Here's how Web 2.0 technology to open up a two-way dialogue with your customers. While this is far removed from the virtual reality seen in films. Be honest in your conversations and react positively to any negative feedback you receive. since the network of computers that makes up 'the cloud' handles these for you. as a user. News and information providers are using mobile technology to push extra subscription services or targeted content. Expect to see social networking sites allowing even greater customisation.Web 2. are providing increasing opportunities for mobile and online marketing. or targeted advertising via WAP and 3G internet.email providers like Yahoo.0: a guide for business Mobile marketing techniques include sending text and multimedia messages. or sending vouchers and discount codes to mobile devices via Bluetooth.0 technology benefited my business (Flash video) Lucy and Kurt Jewson Frugi ." • "Start a blog to communicate with your customers.uk website . by logging on to your account over the internet. but has seen only limited success to date. games and animations together with more location based services. Find out about mobile marketing on the Mobile Marketing Association website Opens in a new window. Some businesses are using the technology for special offers and promotions. anywhere in the world. cloud computing eases the software and hardware demands placed on you and your business. An extension of current web services. However. it can still provide opportunities for your business to build relationships with customers using shared three-dimensional spaces.Opens in a new window Lucy and Kurt's top tips: • "Create a website that expresses 'who you are as a business'. Instead of running an email client locally on your computer. Watch a video explaining what cloud computing means for business on the computing. As users get used to customising their profile to suit their own personality and interacting with friends online. Simple examples of this are . Many hyped services have subsequently failed to attract attention. Hotmail or Google.
Web 2.co.Opens in a new window • Read transcript .uk Planning for e-commerce | Know your customers' needs | Benefits of email and the internet | Develop an e-marketing plan | Generate business from your e-marketing plan | Online networking | Learning through networking with others | Online networking | Planning for e-commerce | Develop an e-marketing plan | Generate business from your e-marketing plan | Search engine optimisation | Branding: the basics | Best practice in web design | Comply with data protection legislation | Sample internet policies and notices | E-commerce and the law | Related web sites you might find useful Web 2.Opens in a new window • Listen to audio only (mp3.gov.Opens in a new window UK small business podcasts on the SmallBizPod website .Opens in a new window Internet advertising regulation guidance on the Internet Advertising Bureau website .0 technology to build brand awareness and create an online community around their product. Here Lucy and Kurt explain how they have set about doing this and the benefits and risks involved. Social media information on the Internet Advertising Bureau website .Opens in a new window RSS feed information on the BBC website .Opens in a new window e-Commerce | Created by Business Link on 26 January 2010 09:50 Ã#Â¨ Crown copyright 2007 Page 140 .0: a guide for business organic clothes for mothers. More recently they have begun using Web 2.Opens in a new window Wikis introduction on the About. 12MB) • Help Related guides on businesslink. Owners Lucy and Kurt Jewson have had an e-commerce website since the start.Opens in a new window Mobile marketing information on the Mobile Marketing Association website Opens in a new window Cloud computing guidance for business on the computing.Opens in a new window Blog news. children and babies since 2004. updates and figures on the Technorati website .0 guidance on the O'Reilly website .uk website .com website .Opens in a new window Podcast information on the BBC website .Opens in a new window E-marketing using YouTube guidance on the National B2B Centre website .