e-Commerce

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

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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
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e-Commerce

Helplines Related guides on businesslink.gov.uk Related web sites you might find useful

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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

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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

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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

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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

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Preventing problems from viruses, Trojans and

Managing risk in e-commerce

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e-Commerce

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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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Generate business from your e-marketing plan 96
Introduction Email marketing 96 96

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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 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.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.0? Web 2. This is a free service e-Commerce | Created by Business Link on 26 January 2010 09:50 Ã#¨ Crown copyright 2007 Page 4 .gov.gov.0: a guide for business Introduction How the web is changing What is Web 2.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.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.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.0 tools How Web 2.

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.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.gov.e-Commerce social media business business (Flash video) Related guides on businesslink. This is a free service e-Commerce | Created by Business Link on 26 January 2010 09:50 Ã#¨ Crown copyright 2007 Page 5 .

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.gov. You can find this guide on http://www.uk Related web sites you might find useful Online payments using cards are 'card-not-present' or CNP transactions.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. accepting payments online provides some major benefits. You need to apply for e-Commerce | Created by Business Link on 26 January 2010 09:50 Ã#¨ Crown copyright 2007 Page 6 . To accept cards online. However. processes the transaction and credits your account. Customers increasingly expect this facility and it can improve your cashflow significantly. you will have to make special banking arrangements. It's easy to accept cheques or invoices for your online sales and to process payments in the traditional way.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. For many small businesses. This guide will help you to understand these requirements and look at the options available for taking advantage of online payments. An acquirer can be a high street bank or other financial institution that offers credit and debit card accepting/processing services. It acquires the money from the customer. because buyers often use the internet for a speedy service.businesslink. most sales are paid for with credit and debit cards.

If this sounds like your business. In this case. You need the greatest amount of flexibility in operating your business and cashflow is very important. Your business will need some flexibility in the way in which it designs and operates its website. To help protect merchants and cardholders from fraud. Your choice of PSP will depend on its cost and compatibility with your chosen e-commerce software solution. A fixed monthly fee starts at around £10. This process is normally quick. You can use the following scenarios to help you choose the best option for your business. starting as low as 5 pence per transaction. You expect a fairly high number of online transactions. Some acquiring banks offer PSP services as part of their product and there are other less expensive options available. Obtaining an IMA from an acquirer may be quicker and easier if you already have 'offline' card-processing facilities set up. just ask your acquirer for an additional IMA ID for use exclusively with internet transactions. the higher your transaction volume the lower the rate you will be charged. Usually. For web-based online transactions you need an internet merchant account (IMA).Accepting online payments a merchant service agreement if you want a bank to handle your electronic payments. You have not been trading long and cannot provide a well-documented operations history. most of which will be simple and low risk. so you should: • consider the facilities that a payment-processing company could offer. You value the ability to attract online sales more highly than the ability to collect sales income quickly. you will need a PSP. especially if the risk to your business does not change. 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. but there are some cheaper options available. MasterCard's is called 'MasterCard SecureCode' and Visa's is 'Verified by Visa'. To take electronic payments over the web. the card schemes have developed a service that allows cardholders to authenticate themselves when shopping online. 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#¨ Crown copyright 2007 . Internet merchant account Your business already accepts debit and credit card payments for face-to-face 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.

where you are using a payment service provider. Even if a cardholder-not-present transaction is authorised by the cardholder's bank. To help guard against fraud. 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#¨ Crown copyright 2007 . they will charge you for their service. you will still need one specifically to accept online payments. you'll have to set up an internet merchant account (IMA). you do not currently offer debit or credit card sales and you have very limited IT skills. The costs Acquiring banks will charge for their services. Beware of fraud Online card payments are classed as 'card-not-present' transactions. Your products are fairly standardised and easily understood.see the page in this guide on how to find a bank to process your online payments. You do not think that your website needs any unusual features. the money will be reclaimed from your bank account .this is known as a chargeback. 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. you can consider using an online payment-processing company or an online shopping mall to handle card payments for you . There may be a sign-up fee of around £200. check to see if your online payment card processor can offer the card scheme's authentication service MasterCard SecureCode and Verified by Visa. Setting up an internet merchant account To accept credit or debit card payments directly online. 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. There are several banks and processors that currently offer IMAs. or it's not cost-effective for your business.Accepting online payments Your business is small. In addition. These are referred to as merchant acquirers or acquiring banks . and the funds will usually be in your bank account after three or four working days. You are prepared to pay higher transaction and fixed costs just to establish a web presence. If you don't meet the requirements for an IMA. Even if you already have a merchant account for face-to-face transactions. If this applies to your business. this doesn't necessarily guarantee payment. If a transaction proves to be fraudulent.see the pages in this guide on using a payment-processing company and selling through an online shopping mall. Card users will visit your internet shop to order your goods or services and make payments. where a cardholder claims that they did not authorise a payment.

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 . 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. 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. 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#¨ Crown copyright 2007 .checklist: applying for a merchant account. there are other IMA providers that you can investigate on the internet. You need to: • outline your business plan .see the page in this guide . 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. Alternatively. Once the IMA has been set up. ensure that any web-hosting solution you are considering can support the SSL protocol.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.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. The acquiring banks have strict requirements and it's possible that even the bank you use for your business current account may refuse you .Accepting online payments acquiring banks. therefore. When you apply for an IMA the bank will want to know certain details about you and your business. You should.

You maintain and update your own shop within the mall. • Sector-specific malls can provide an effective route to your target market. If you sell to a particular trade or industry. • Your application can be processed much more quickly than for an IMA.Opens in a new window. • They save you from having to set up secure payment systems. as do specialist companies. Malls will often provide software to help you set up your shop and receive card payments on your behalf. Advantages • Payment-processing companies relieve you of the administrative burden of managing customers' card details and running an IMA. Many internet service providers (ISPs) offer online mall facilities. • Charges are generally higher than for an IMA. you will not usually be required to supply the same level of detailed information about your business plan.see details of payment-processing companies on the Electronic Payments website .Accepting online payments smaller turnover from card transactions or who can't open an internet merchant account (IMA) with an acquiring bank. often from the same sector. so it's worth shopping around . costs are falling and the market for these services is competitive.Opens in a new window. It's a competitive sector and costs vary. trading history and suppliers. • 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#¨ Crown copyright 2007 . the relevant trade association may be able to put you in touch with a dedicated mall . If a card is used fraudulently.see a list of trade associations on the Trade Association Forum (TAF) website . • Payment-processing companies hold payments for a settlement period of 30-60 days before they reach your account. For example. you may be able to get insurance to cover this risk. Disadvantages • Customers can see that the payment is not going directly to you even though they may be conducting the transaction through your website. 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. However. but most of the administration is done for you. Advantages • Online shopping malls give an immediate online presence. However. It hosts your online shop and processes payments for you. the value of the transaction will be reclaimed from your business.

although our consultant ensured they were both compatible with each other and with ePDQ." Integrate the system "When a customer pays by card the money ends up in a merchant account.charges per transaction can be higher than processing payments yourself." Page 11 Here's how I set up an online payment system for my website Tony Yerby Foska." • "Accept that fraud will occasionally happen. The integration looked complicated.com is an online retailer of cycle clothing.Opens in a new window Tony's top tips: • "Unless you've got the time and the interest to do it yourself. The two software packages we bought were off-the-shelf. • You don't need to go through the process of setting up an internet merchant account." • "Don't re-invent the wheel with a bespoke system. • You often get help and support in getting your store operational. • You may also have to pay a monthly or annual fee .com enabled its website to accept online payments from customers. This had the added benefit of allowing us to brand the site more effectively and make it more customer-friendly. the process was quite simple. use the best of what's already available. Established two years ago as a e-Commerce | Created by Business Link on 26 January 2010 09:50 Ã#¨ Crown copyright 2007 . • Generally you'll have to pay a joining fee and a percentage of each transaction made through the mall . Director Tony Yerby describes how foska. linked to ePDQ via secure-form hosting software. which needs to be linked to your website via encryption software. but keep records and review them regularly. Because we'd already undergone the relevant checks. "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. the company employs 30 people. so we used a specialist to do this. • Your shop is often tied into a standard format.com .Accepting online payments with moderate IT skills. rather than outsourcing the whole process to a payment processing company. subsidiary of a chain of high street retail outlets. get a specialist in to set the system up." Foska. "They helped us install a system comprising an e-commerce shop window. What I did Get a merchant account "When we set up the website we wanted to accept online payments from day one. so it made sense to extend that to the website. We already had a merchant account for accepting cards in our high street outlets.charges vary substantially. Disadvantages • Online shopping malls are often the most expensive way to sell online.

It's important not to let the technology take over from common-sense. Because online transactions are cardholder not present. we should have gone for existing software from the start. It's tempting to go for the highest level of checking. including losses incurred through fraud." What I'd do differently Start with an off-the-shelf package "Before we brought in an IT consultant. "Our system has various security checks and controls that we can turn on and off.Opens in a new window See details of payment-processing companies on the Electronic Payments website . Our software also provides detailed reporting. because it was difficult to integrate." Related web sites you might find useful Online payment guide on the Electronic Payments website .Opens in a new window Online transaction basics on the Electronic Payments website .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.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#¨ Crown copyright 2007 Page 12 .Opens in a new window Cardholder-not-present fraud prevention on the Card Watch website . but it doesn't eliminate them. the missing cash is deducted from your account by your card service provider.gov. but we soon realised that this rejects many valid orders .Opens in a new window Related guides on businesslink. we had started to build an online store by hiring a company to design a bespoke solution. for example. if a payment proves to be fraudulent.where the customer gets their postcode wrong.Opens in a new window IMA set-up resources on the Retailers and Cards website . We monitor the figures regularly to identify any particular areas for concern. With the benefit of hindsight. We ended up scrapping it.

Opens in a new window e-Commerce | Created by Business Link on 26 January 2010 09:50 Ã#¨ Crown copyright 2007 Page 13 .Accepting online payments Trade association directory on the TAF website .

You don't need to pay shop assistants.gov.gov.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#¨ Crown copyright 2007 .businesslink. • Reducing order-processing costs customer orders can automatically come straight into your orders database from the website. thereby increasing sales opportunities. as well as how to make sure that customers can find your shop on the web. Selling products and services online can have major advantages for businesses.uk Related web sites you might find useful The guide also explains some legal requirements and the pitfalls that you should be aware of. • Competing with larger businesses by being able to open 24 hours a day. this guide will help ensure you ask them the right questions. or answer a lot of pre-sales queries. Benefits of selling online Selling online has a number of advantages over selling by conventional methods. • Reaching a global audience. This guide tells you about the advantages of selling online. including: • Making savings in set-up and operational costs. seven days a week. rent high-street premises.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. • Being able to receive payment more Page 14 You can find this guide on http://www. what you need to consider when creating an online shop and the consequences of getting it wrong. If you choose to work with a third party to build your online shop. leading to increased profitability and lower costs.

Some companies offer this free. Whatever form of online shop you choose. The equipment and facilities you will need include a computer. If you already have a website. a fully automated online shop tailored to meet your precise requirements could be expensive. a website and hosting services. You can create electronic mail-order forms. 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#¨ Crown copyright 2007 . You will also need a hosting package for your shop. You should be looking for round-the-clock support.Create an online shop quickly from online transactions. on the condition that they receive a cut of future transactions. be aware that the design and functionality may be restricted and it may be less secure than other more sophisticated options. While this service is not necessarily expensive. descriptions and prices as well as accept orders online. Using a broadband connection as opposed to dial-up will ensure fast connection to the internet. • Improving your offerings using the data gathered by tracking customer purchases. However. A basic online shop The requirements for building a basic online shop are fairly straightforward. providing photos. However. Most customers shopping online will want to pay by debit or credit card. There are many e-commerce web-hosting specialists and it's worth shopping around for the best deal. email. you tend to get what you pay for. internet access. A simple setup allows you to sell a small range of products. take a strategic view. If you launch a website that disappoints your customers or is overwhelmed by traffic. the 'always-on' connection means you may be susceptible to unauthorised access. • Using your online shop as a catalogue for existing customers. using one of the various web authoring software packages on the market. However. It's important to study the service level guarantee and the type of technical support on offer. A firewall is sometimes included as part of your operating system. A basic site is low cost and easy to create for a limited product range. you risk damaging your reputation and losing sales. • Attracting customers who would not normally have investigated your type of high-street outlet. These order forms let customers email their orders to be processed offline. 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. See our guide on IT security: the basics. software can add e-commerce functionality. Having a firewall will prevent this occurring.

including cutting-edge design and functionality. If they do not find it quick and easy to buy your products and services. Facilities vary. However. you can also receive orders in real time and update your website automatically. 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. Don't ask for personal details too soon. you will encourage customers to come back to you rather than switch to a competitor. Most customers will not be prepared to fill in forms until they are ready to buy. Having a sophisticated online shop can also make the running of the business smoother. ie they connect to your product database and accounts systems. If you update your site content regularly. 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#¨ Crown copyright 2007 Page 16 . enhanced order processing and a broader range of design templates. 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. you can also expect encryption for secure ordering. streamlining the order process and keeping the website up to date. lock you into one service provider and be very expensive. If you use a broadband connection. Software can be integrated to trigger order confirmations and automatically dispatch goods and replenish stocks. A sophisticated online shop A sophisticated online shop offers a huge range of options. customer references and customer alerts. As such. However. Many people will abandon purchases at the checkout stage if the process is not quick and easy. personalised pages and product news. This could take longer to create. Making sure checkout procedures are secure and user friendly are essential if customers are going to feel confident about ordering a product or service. they will shop elsewhere. Crucially. but broadly you can expect catalogue management. An intermediate-level site can provide you with a professional looking design. customers should not have to navigate their way past distracting graphics and animations. However. eg account information. interactive shopping experience. you must create the right processes and procedures to support it and put in place the resources to deal with orders. full e-commerce and payment functionality and value-added features. Planning your online shop Before building your website.Create an online shop shop you will need an e-commerce package. Be aware that some internet service providers offer combined web hosting and software packages. it can provide your customers with a rich. you should be aware that it may not suit you if you wish to offer more complex products and services. so it's worth doing some research. Some e-commerce packages offer a degree of back-end systems integration.

Your website will therefore need a contacts page including: • your business name. goods and services meet quality and suitability standards and online contracts are legally binding. Test your website and processes thoroughly. Customers will want to know that they can speak to a person if something goes wrong. It's important to create confidence in your shop. 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. 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. However.Create an online shop fulfil customer orders . such as invoicing. ideally the next day. You need to ensure that you can deliver goods or services in a reasonable time.you may need extra staff. Page 17 e-Commerce | Created by Business Link on 26 January 2010 09:50 Ã#¨ Crown copyright 2007 . As well as online payments. This can prevent late payment problems and helps to safeguard your cashflow. addresses etc See our guide on securing your e-commerce systems. With the use of encryption technology. Start with a soft launch perhaps just to existing customers .before giving it stronger marketing support.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. eg in customer records. you may wish to offer other payment methods to customers. These are in place to ensure that any personal data that customers provide is kept secure. particularly if you're selling to businesses. See our guides on accepting online payments and cashflow management: the basics. address. Customers may be wary of paying online. emails and queries about delivery . Find delivery methods that keep charges low. Your business should be ready to deal with calls. e-commerce transactions can be as secure as offline ones. The Data Protection Act 1998 regulates how you deal with personal information held about living people. or paying by debit or credit card over the telephone. See our guide on how to manage your customer care. 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. virus-scanning software and a 'firewall'.

See our guide on e-commerce and the law. See our guide on pay per click advertising. • Getting your website listed prominently in web directories or through internet advertising. There are a number of things you can do to steer customers towards your website.many individuals go to sites after seeing a link. See our guide on search engine optimisation. customers must be able to find it easily. You can download information on how to comply with the Data Protection Act 1998 from the Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) website (PDF. such as newspapers or the television • Adding your website address to all emails. 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. eg your full company name and address and a description of the goods or services. In practice. The Consumer Protection (Distance Selling) Regulations 2000 require you to give your customers specified information before they place an order. 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#¨ Crown copyright 2007 . Furthermore. you must make sure that the customer can print and keep a copy of the terms and conditions. any commercial communications sent to customers must be clearly identifiable as such. If you set up a contract online. See our guide on how to comply with data protection legislation. 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. an advertisement or a mention on another site • Negotiating joint ventures with other sites • Word of mouth • Advertising in traditional media. it means that you need to be open about how you use information and follow the eight data protection principles. If your business is a limited company or limited liability partnership (LLP). 46K) . • Publicising your site through related websites . including: • Improving your website listing in search engine results.Opens in a new window. 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.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.

is up to date. especially on prices. see our guide on search engine optimisation. 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.Create an online shop directories. • Writing a description of your site and the services it offers and placing it prominently on your home page. • Get other websites to link to your site .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. • Monitor the information you provide on a regular basis. • Resubmitting your site details regularly to the main search engines. • Make it easy to find and purchase products. Find information about search engine optimisation (SEO) on the Search Engine Watch website . .Opens in a new window Avoid online pitfalls Many e-commerce websites fail because of basic mistakes that are easily rectified. However. Ask friends and family to get involved with this for some objective feedback.when selling through an online shop. Remember . such as those produced by local Chambers of Commerce find Chambers of Commerce in your area on the Chamber Online website . An alternative is to use an SEO agency there are many to choose from. • Make sure that resources and procedures are in place to support your 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 . there are risks involved with this.many search engines rank sites according to how many other websites link to them.Opens in a new window and see our guide on search engine optimisation. This will ensure that orders can be processed promptly. If you want to build your audience it is essential that you are listed in web directories and search engines. You can find an SEO agency on the SEMPO website. you don't normally have any personal Page 19 e-Commerce | Created by Business Link on 26 January 2010 09:50 Ã#¨ Crown copyright 2007 .pick key words and make sure they are in your page title and repeated further down the page. • Have your website professionally designed. emails can be responded to quickly and helplines are manned by the appropriate staff at reasonable times.

" Commercial Lamp Supplies. We found that we were losing out as we did not have an automated process to capture these potential customers.Create an online shop implement the right e-commerce solution for your business. 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. an Exeter-based supplier of light bulbs. 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. "Having identified these areas the online shop has really helped us to refocus our business plan. Since launching its online shop the business has started exporting and boosted turnover by 20 per cent. In order to get the most out of our new sales channel we drew up a brief covering what we wanted to achieve. but owner-manager David Madams wanted to raise sales without embarking on an expensive marketing push.Opens in a new window David's top tips: • "Contact your local Technology Means Business adviser on Tel 01784 473005 . lighting and fittings.000 order from South Korea just a week after the site's launch. which took up a lot of our time to process.eg. Turnover is up by several hundred thousand pounds a year and we've opened up new sales channels . "We decided that raising turnover and opening up new sales channels were the key objectives. But we also wanted the website to help us convert more enquiries into sales." Integrate business processes contact with your customers. was enjoying modest success. 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 . so you need to try harder to find and keep them.we got a £70. We got so many enquiries by phone and email.they can help you e-Commerce | Created by Business Link on 26 January 2010 09:50 Ã#¨ Crown copyright 2007 Page 20 . 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 .

And because our business is effectively open 24 hours a day. We've also overhauled our buying patterns. www. we've been able to reach a much wider audience. This meant we couldn't fulfil all the order requests we were getting on some lines.uk.Create an online shop "Launching the website forced us to review and change how the business operates.co. Since we've started accepting payments online we've been receiving them far sooner than before. So we've worked hard to ensure the website has a fresh look." 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." 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. By automating our processes we can track buying habits and use this data to improve our offerings. I now know that they can offer practical help with the whole process of setting up and managing an online presence for my business. reducing our processing costs.saving us money.gov. which in turn is generating lots of enquiries. Customer orders now come straight into our database from the website. while the others on the website weren't selling in comparable quantities.uk Use our interactive tool to investigate what kind of website is best for your business | Search our Grants and Support Directory of grants." Use the website to raise the business' profile "No matter how good your online shop is. More importantly the website has improved our cashflow. In order to maintain this performance we've registered the website on several search engines. "We now sell across the UK and into parts of Europe and Asia. By doing this and by using our company name as the URL.commercial-lamps. Overall this has benefited the business enormously." 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. increased our warehousing capability and improved our delivery activities . seven days a week we can compete with much larger businesses. giving us the ability to increase sales. 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#¨ Crown copyright 2007 . if you don't update it people don't come back.

246K) .Create an online shop management | Web 2.67MB) . 46K) .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 Download card-not-present fraud prevention guidance from the Card Watch website (PDF.Opens in a new window Download Data Protection Act compliance guidance from the ICO website (PDF. 99K) . 1.Opens in a new window SEO agency search on the SEMPO website .Opens in a new window Related web sites you might find useful Search engine information on the Search Engine Watch website .Opens in a new window e-Commerce | Created by Business Link on 26 January 2010 09:50 Ã#¨ Crown copyright 2007 Page 22 .Opens in a new window Chamber of Commerce Office search on the British Chambers of Commerce website . Innovation & Skills website (PDF.Opens in a new window Download Distance Selling Regulations guidance from the Office of Fair Trading website (PDF.Opens in a new window Download Electronic Commerce Regulations guidance from the Department for Business.

If you plan to sell online. e-Commerce | Created by Business Link on 26 January 2010 09:50 Ã#¨ Crown copyright 2007 Page 23 .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. This guide looks at the key issues to consider when planning for the introduction of e-commerce. It provides advice on how best to identify the opportunities for e-commerce within your business and the solutions available. you may need to rethink many of your business activities.uk Related web sites you might find useful E-commerce systems such as your website can be used to market and sell to customers. Direct sales Many businesses use e-commerce for the direct selling of goods or services online. It also emphasises the need to plan for the ongoing development and maintenance of any e-commerce system at the outset. E-commerce plays an increasingly important role in the way in which products and services are purchased. 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. and to provide after-sales support.gov.gov. the actual sale and delivery of goods can be made online. You can find this guide on http://www.businesslink. for most the supply of goods will continue to require a physical delivery. For some businesses such as those selling software or music. 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.

Always give the end user the ability to search your site to locate the product. shopping cart and payment software. they are likely to go to an alternative site. You will also need to work out how every aspect of a transaction is handled . so that they can proceed to pay for the goods. with the customer knowing at all times what stage of the buying process they are at. the customer should find the checkout clearly signposted. The design of the shop front should make shopping intuitive. This can be achieved by using your site to answer the most frequently asked questions. 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.having an online version of your promotional materials on your site. or otherwise.Planning for e-commerce This is because you will fundamentally change the way in which you interact with your customers . However you decide to use e-commerce. Other options include email campaigns or online advertising to attract visitors to your own website where you can promote your products. Once the goods have been selected. Shop front The shop front is the interface presented to the customer. Customers should be able to find the product they are looking for quickly. invoicing and payment. 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 . This often incorporates an online catalogue that enables them to browse for products and identify those they wish to purchase. 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. An eight-second guideline is frequently cited .exploiting the widespread use of the internet to generate sales leads. or by putting technical information online. Pre-sales You can use your website for pre-sales activities .including order confirmation. it is important to define your expectations from the outset.for example. The ease with which a customer is able to use an e-commerce site is an important part of its success. of your e-commerce facility.if customers are unable to find the product within that time. if customers place orders online instead of talking to a salesperson. Making an e-commerce site easy to use e-Commerce | Created by Business Link on 26 January 2010 09:50 Ã#¨ Crown copyright 2007 Page 24 .the shop front. At its most basic this can be through the use of 'brochureware' . and deliveries and returns. It's also an important part of your online brand image. Shopping cart This is the software that facilitates easy selection and payment for products purchased by a customer from an e-commerce website.

Some of the key technologies are listed below. Trading partner relationships As well as offering new ways of doing business with customers.Planning for e-commerce • improve efficiency by enabling employees to search the business' knowledge and information store from their own desktop. and in the right condition. It should also generate a printable receipt and allow you to send a confirmation email to the customer. 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. suppliers and key customers • be used for exchanging data and applications. including any packing and shipping requirements. 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. regardless of location Extranets This is a shared intranet that allows users to share key trading data such as inventory levels and sales trends. Intranets These are private internal company networks that use the same browser-based technology and network protocols as the internet. Payment software Most customers will wish to pay for their purchases with credit or debit cards. These internet-based technologies and processes also allow you to improve your own business efficiency. Intranets: • are protected from unauthorised use by a firewall E-marketplaces e-Commerce | Created by Business Link on 26 January 2010 09:50 Ã#¨ Crown copyright 2007 Page 25 . such as vendors. e-commerce also provides new ways of building closer links and improving business relationships with key trading partners. and sharing specific business information • improve supply chain management See our guide on the benefits of intranets and extranets. contractors. Extranets can: • be made available to selected external partners. at the right time. Supply chain management The concept of supply chain management revolves around having the right product in the right place.

hosted and maintained. See our guide on website hosting options. Most businesses choose some form of broadband connection. When a deal is made. then potential customers will surf elsewhere and possibly find your competition. they can provide limited opportunities for tailoring them to your back office processes. Alternatively you can get a third party to build the software for you. e-Commerce | Created by Business Link on 26 January 2010 09:50 Ã#¨ Crown copyright 2007 Page 26 . However. See our guide on e-marketplaces.Opens in a new window. Buyers and sellers work interactively with bids and offers. See our guide on the options for connecting to the internet. This must be specified. online auctions and exchanges.Planning for e-commerce There are many online exchanges that enable suppliers. according to set criteria. Software options An important early decision to consider is whether to use a 'shop' package or build the software from scratch. a suitable server and the provision of technical support. it is a match between the buyer and seller on variables such as price. Reverse auctions are buyer-controlled events and are used to attract bids. Buyers post details of the goods they want to buy and suppliers compete to provide them. Shop packages allow you to configure product information and the look and feel of the shop. Your domain name should be easy to remember and spell. 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 . irrespective of which hosting solution is selected. The type of internet connectivity and the available bandwidth will be an important consideration. and should show what your business is all about. ISP hosting is relatively cheap and straightforward and is the most preferred option for most businesses. with the lowest bid winning. An understanding of the intended user audience is required for both technical and marketing purposes. volume and delivery costs. 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. Specification The website specification should clearly identify what the site is trying to achieve and how its various components will contribute to this. Domain name Domain names are an enormous help in the branding of a business. If not. designed. or develop it yourself. buyers and intermediaries to come together and offer products or services to each other. If you choose to host the website yourself. you will require a fast internet connection. However.

advice and tools to help you improve your website's searchability. Hackers can attack systems at any time. up-to-date advertisements and sales information will all need to be maintained throughout the life of the site. links where you 'pay per click'.Planning for e-commerce online shop. Yahoo! and MSN . There are also various marketing and security issues that need to be taken into account. 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. there's a real risk that your system Page 27 Recognising the ongoing commitment Even in the planning stages of an e-commerce project. In addition. Each product will have its own key words and descriptions. Access the Google Webmaster tools on the Google website . • Digital coupons offering discounts. product ranges. if the customers are unaware of its existence then you will fail to exploit its potential. 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. banner adverts and reciprocal links. 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.ensure that the keyword phrases you chose appear in your webpage title and the page body text. Security considerations Popular methods of promoting a website include: • Email advertising campaigns.such as Google. it is important to understand how the website will be maintained on a day-to-day basis. See our guide on search engine optimisation. See our guide on pay per click advertising. but isn't visible on the pages) when designing and building your website. Find out about online marketing on the National B2B Centre website Opens in a new window. This will improve organic search engine listings. Use the web tools provided by the search engines to help you optimise your search engine performance and improve your website's ranking. e-Commerce | Created by Business Link on 26 January 2010 09:50 Ã#¨ Crown copyright 2007 . Many of the main search engines . • Online directories. Whatever your business. including carrying out surveys and putting feedback forms on the site. special offers. The majority of search engines place little value on the 'meta' keywords . There are a number of actions you can take to encourage customer feedback. • Web adverts .Opens in a new window.provide tips. Site maintenance Changes in product details.including sponsored Using the internet for business purposes is fraught with risks to security. Your website designer can help you include the key phrases and metadata (information that describes a webpage.

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. Sun. Contingency planning The more successful your e-commerce service becomes. See our guide on securing your e-commerce systems. the more reliant you will become upon it. See our guide on managing risk in e-commerce. 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#¨ Crown copyright 2007 Page 28 . However.Planning for e-commerce may become the target of an attack that could affect your organisation. 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. You should recognise the need for effective security controls to prevent your site from falling victim to hackers or fraudsters. 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. 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. Externally.Microsoft.

"There is also a retail page on the website that says which supermarkets you'll find us in." • "Think about the colours and the presentation." Keep it simple and easy "Some of our customers are of an older generation and. as I am not that computer literate myself. Page 29 e-Commerce | Created by Business Link on 26 January 2010 09:50 Ã#¨ Crown copyright 2007 . I felt it was important the site was simple to use.five or six steps and they're done. there are pictures of what is available. Technically I'm not going to do much. You need a bit of history about the business and we wanted to advertise that the stall was there for people to visit. We also put the secure-payment logo on the home page because I think people want to know the site is secure." Promote positive developments Lancashire-based food manufacturer and retailer The Bury Black Pudding Company started trading from a market stall and website in 2002. and then you can carry on shopping or go to the checkout. give any delivery instructions and then pay ." "The website was the first thing we set up and I am due to give it a bit of a revamp soon. Only say what you need to say. I think all of these things have helped us make online sales. We sat down and thought about what we needed on it. but then we got into the major supermarkets. 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. so users can tell if they are near a store stocking our products. Since then the business has expanded and it now employs 40 people and supplies major supermarkets. "Then users fill in their details. though." • "Keep it simple. If you don't get it right it won't look professional.Planning for e-commerce Debbie's top tips: • "Make sure your website is quick and easy to use and pictures load instantly. Company director Debbie Pierce explains how online sales are a key part of the business. you click on what you want and the pack size. We set up the website so we could deliver to people's doors and reach those who couldn't make the journey to Bury." Emphasise product and brand "E-commerce was a big part of the business at the beginning. Now probably about 10 per cent of our sales are online and half of that is repeat business. We also get trade enquiries through the website because there is a page where they are able to email enquiries to us." What I'd do differently Update web content "A local website design business helped us put the site together. You literally click on the front page. You've got to cover every angle. I also wanted to get as much information as possible about the product in and some nice pictures that uploaded instantly. I know if I click on a site and the pictures take ages to load then I click straight off. What I did "We have a stall at Bury market and people come from miles around to buy our black pudding. because I still want it to be easy to use.

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 ." Related guides on businesslink.Planning for e-commerce "We could have put more information on as we developed as a business.Opens in a new window e-Commerce | Created by Business Link on 26 January 2010 09:50 Ã#¨ Crown copyright 2007 Page 30 . I've not really kept up with it but it is down to finances and time really.understanding e-commerce contracts | Benefits of intranets and extranets | E-marketplaces.gov. 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 .

However.businesslink. or by e-Commerce | Created by Business Link on 26 January 2010 09:50 Ã#¨ Crown copyright 2007 Page 31 . E-commerce is all about selling goods and services via the internet. it is not a substitute for professional legal advice. The Regulations apply to businesses that: • sell goods or services to businesses or consumers on the internet. regardless of location.gov. This guide introduces you to the various regulations and provides practical advice on how to ensure that you comply with your legal requirements.gov. As far as e-commerce transactions are concerned. You can find this guide on http://www. 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. A number of legislative initiatives affect business conducted online .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 trader and customer are not face to face at any point. the legislation is primarily intended to ensure that online contracts are legally binding. This can pose a number of challenges to the formation and enforcement of contracts.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.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. with business conducted remotely.

From 1 January 2007 all companies in the UK must clearly state the company registration number. They must clearly identify the person on whose behalf the marketing communication is sent. on all of their websites. the Regulations stipulate that "commercial communications" must be clearly recognisable as such. or by email or SMS • convey or store electronic content for customers. registered office address and. commonly referred to as spam. if the company is being wound up. these must be clear and indicate whether they include tax and delivery costs. 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.E-commerce and the law email or Standard Messaging Service (SMS) ie text messages • advertise on the internet. read the rest of the message. such as emails. and set down guidelines regarding advertising and promotions. e-Commerce | Created by Business Link on 26 January 2010 09:50 Ã#¨ Crown copyright 2007 Page 32 . that fact. Advertising If you intend to advertise on the internet. 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. place of registration. This rule also applies to any electronic communications sent out by your company. geographic address and other contact details including your email address • details of any publicly available register in which you are entered. your customer should be able to print and store a copy of the terms and conditions. together with any promotional offer. Contracting online If you form a contract online by electronic means. SMS messages are not covered for these purposes. see the page in this guide on tips for complying with the E-commerce Regulations.it does not have to appear on every page. A common place to put this information is in the 'About us' or 'Legal info' page of the site . Information requirements The E-commerce Regulations identify specific information about your business that you must provide to recipients of online services. The Regulations also cover "unsolicited commercial communications". They require that these communications are identifiable from the subject line of the email. or by email or SMS. or provide access to a communications network They do not cover direct marketing by phone or fax. without the need to You must also ensure your website complies with part of the Companies Act 2006. To find out about what information you must give the customer and other practical advice on how to comply.

public limited companies and other public bodies. Both the Telephone Preference Service (TPS) and e-Commerce | Created by Business Link on 26 January 2010 09:50 Ã#¨ Crown copyright 2007 Page 33 . hospitals. However. see the page in this guide on the Privacy and Electronic Communications Regulations. Regulations applying to telephone and fax marketing Businesses frequently promote their services via telephone and fax. in June 2004 the Corporate Telephone Preference Service (CTPS) was launched. 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. 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. FPS The FPS includes a requirement to obtain individual consent prior to direct marketing by fax. It also offers an 'opt-out' for corporate bodies who register with the FPS. or planning to undertake direct marketing via phone or fax then you must make regular checks with the TPS. This will ensure that you are acting legally if you undertake a marketing campaign using these media. These regulations were superseded by the Privacy and Electronic Communications Regulations 2003 in December 2003. a limited liability partnership in England. government departments and agencies. The Telecommunications (Data Protection and Privacy) Regulations regulated direct marketing by telephone and fax. 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. you must acknowledge receipt without undue delay. CTPS and FPS. 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. It also includes schools. Wales and Northern Ireland.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. So. or any partnership in Scotland. if you are already engaged in. There are a number of regulations that apply to this area and it is important that your business is aware of them. TPS and CTPS Initially the regulations only gave individuals the right to opt out of direct marketing by registering with the TPS. Once a customer has placed an order electronically. A corporate subscriber includes corporate bodies such as a limited company in the UK. For more information.

or an Enforcement Notice will be issued. They can provide the owner of the website with personal details about the visitor such as what purchases were made from the site. commonly referred to as spam. Criminal sanctions may also be imposed. These are files downloaded from a web server to the website visitor's computer. A fine may be imposed for breach of an Enforcement Notice. However. In practice this is likely to involve providing them with information about cookies. the recipient should also be given the option to 'opt-out' of receiving such emails. Page 34 e-Commerce | Created by Business Link on 26 January 2010 09:50 Ã#¨ Crown copyright 2007 . 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 also prohibit marketing emails that do not provide the recipient with a valid address they can use to request such communications cease. corporate bodies may also opt-out of receiving such emails. If the Information Commissioner finds a business to be in breach of the Regulations an Information Notice requesting further information. 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. on the condition that the direct marketing relates to products and services similar to those they have already purchased. The Privacy and Electronic Communications Regulations superseded the Telecommunications (Data Protection and Privacy) Regulations. 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).E-commerce and the law committing an offence. They prohibit sending direct marketing communications by email where the identity of the person who sent it is disguised or concealed. and how to disable them should they wish to do so. Communications Regulations. The aim of the regulations is to allow the visitor to choose whether they want cookies on their computer. The new regulations include additional rules which legislate against unsolicited emails or Standard Messaging Service (SMS) ie text messages. Privacy and Electronic Communications Regulations E-marketing activities are regulated by the Privacy and Electronic Communications Regulations that came into force in December 2003. but there is no 'opt-in' requirement. Existing customers can be sent unsolicited advertising. Cookies The Privacy and Electronic Communications Regulations also cover the use of 'cookies'. what files were downloaded and the information viewed.

though there are some limited exceptions for existing customers.including any discount. 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. Under the Regulations.E-commerce and the law All of these actions can damage the reputation of your business and adversely affect the goodwill of your customers. clear and unambiguous) • provide the recipient with 'opt-out' rights You should obtain prior individual consent from your customer through them 'opting in'. The right to withdraw can be exercised by the consumer even after the goods have been delivered. or the services have been provided. So. transport. including: • contracts for the provision of accommodation. it is extended to three months. This means that any commercial communication sent by email or text message should be clearly identifiable as such through its header . The consumer is entitled to receive a full refund for a cancelled contract within 30 days. without having to give a reason. together with telephone and mail order. consumers have the right to: • details in writing about the supplier and the terms of the transaction • written confirmation of their orders • further information. If no details of the cooling-off period have been given by the supplier to the consumer. catering or leisure services. They cover purchases made via email and the internet.and any conditions that must be met to qualify for it (these must be easily accessible. e-Commerce | Created by Business Link on 26 January 2010 09:50 Ã#¨ Crown copyright 2007 . if you use electronic communications as a marketing tool. 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.other required information can then be set out in the main body of the communication. Electronic communications as a marketing tool should also: • identify the person on whose behalf it is sent • clearly identify any promotional offer . 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. including a notice of cancellation rights. you should ensure that each communication is clearly identifiable as relating to the advertising or marketing of a product. the complaints procedure. premium or gift . starting from when the goods are received. There are some exceptions to these rights of cancellation.

E-commerce and the law • sealed audio or video recordings. 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. download a guide to the Provision of Services Regulations from the Department for Business. if the service is subject to VAT • details of any terms. anywhere in the European Economic Area (EEA). 814K) Opens in a new window. 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. increased costs due to the extra distance involved when providing a service internationally. or the carrying out of. or software. 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. Innovation & Skills (BIS) website (PDF. unless it can be justified by 'objective criteria'. a service subject to an authorisation scheme or requirement unless it can be objectively justified.uk Manage your personal list of starting-up tasks with our Business start-up organiser | Planning for e-commerce | Trading online . For example. you must provide: • your business name. You must also make sure you do not discriminate on the grounds of nationality or location when providing services. For detailed information on the provisions. UK and EEA authorities can no longer make the access to.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#¨ Crown copyright 2007 . or from. conditions and Related guides on businesslink. 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.gov. you may be required to provide further information such as information on your complaints and dispute resolutions procedures. For example. 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.

Opens in a new window Privacy and Electronic Communications Regulations guidance on the ICO website . 814K) .Opens in a new window Premium rate scams information on the Office of Fair Trading website .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#¨ Crown copyright 2007 Page 37 .Opens in a new window Download a guide to the Provision of Services Regulations from the BIS website (PDF.

This guide describes how to develop an e-marketing plan and provides guidance on implementing that plan and monitoring its effectiveness.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.businesslink. Though businesses will continue to make use of traditional marketing methods. You can find this guide on http://www. These technologies are a valuable complement to traditional marketing methods whatever the size of your company or your business model. such as advertising.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. What has changed is the number of options you have.uk Related web sites you might find useful E-marketing means using digital technologies to help sell your goods or services. Many businesses are producing great results with e-marketing and its flexible and cost-effective nature makes it particularly suitable for small businesses.gov. e-marketing adds a whole new element to the marketing mix. This allows you to find new markets and compete globally for only a small investment. Specific benefits of e-marketing include: • Global reach . • Lower cost .gov. direct mail and PR.a properly planned and effectively targeted e-marketing e-Commerce | Created by Business Link on 26 January 2010 09:50 Ã#¨ Crown copyright 2007 Page 38 .a website can reach anyone in the world who has internet access. it allows truly personalised marketing. unlike TV or print advertising. The basics of marketing remain the same creating a strategy to deliver the right messages to the right people.

then your customers are only ever a few clicks away from completing a purchase. The more they buy from you. For example. or internal efficiency (decreasing marketing costs. post a letter or go to a shop. then whenever someone visits the site. Any online e-communication must be consistent with the overall marketing goals and current marketing efforts of your business. Combine this with the personalised aspect of e-marketing.if you have a website. and you can create very powerful. reducing order-taking and fulfilment costs. rank them in order of importance so that you can allocate resources accordingly. • Set your objectives . all of these aspects of e-marketing have the potential to add up to more sales. Trackable.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. focusing on sales (building internet sales of a product or increasing the frequency of sales from regular customers). graphics and videos. 24-hour marketing .if you identify multiple targets. the more you can refine your customer profile and market effectively to them. Profile each target group and understand their requirements and expectations so that you can pitch your costs and benefits at the correct level. Together. entering new markets. or improving customer retention rates). The main components of an e-marketing plan will typically include the following stages: • Identify your target audience . launching a new product.possible objectives could include awareness raising (of your business or disseminating information about your products or services).if your customer database is linked to your website.Develop an e-marketing plan campaign can reach the right customers at a much lower cost than traditional marketing methods. • Decide upon the marketing mix Page 39 • • • • • e-Commerce | Created by Business Link on 26 January 2010 09:50 Ã#¨ Crown copyright 2007 . measurable results marketing by email or banner advertising makes it easier to establish how effective your campaign has been. Personalisation . Unlike other media which require people to get up and make a phone call. You could send your customers a game or a quiz whatever you think will interest them. One-to-one marketing . many people take mobile phones and PDAs wherever they go. you can greet them with targeted offers.with a website your customers can find out about your products even if your office is closed. • Stages in developing your e-marketing plan It is important to recognise that planning for e-marketing does not mean starting from scratch. targeted campaigns. e-marketing is seamless. Better conversion rate . More interesting campaigns e-marketing lets you create interactive campaigns using music.

build in feedback mechanisms and regular reviews to enable you to assess the success of your e-marketing activities. A strong domain name can help customers to find your site. You could use an existing brand name. which is particularly important in e-commerce where there are often concerns over privacy and security. see our guide to website hosting options.identify the tactics for implementing the selected e-marketing activities. For more information on choosing a domain name. particularly as e-commerce is such a dynamic and fast-changing area. • Agree a budget . you risk jeopardising your brand's good name if your new venture is not successful. your website. However. There are several branding options. see our guide on how to generate business from your e-marketing plan. 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. it is essential that the domain name is available to support this. The plan should also cover other non-internet marketing activities that are being undertaken. Creating a new brand If you want to create a new e-commerce brand then a good name is extremely important.careful budgeting allows you to prevent costs spiralling out of control. Using existing brand names Using an existing brand name can make sense if the brand is well known and has a strong reputation. This practice is quite common on the internet and has proved to be a good way to build brand recognition.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. create a new internet brand name or co-brand with another business. 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. If Page 40 The importance of brand and image The brand and image of a business are vital to its success. 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#¨ Crown copyright 2007 . For an outline of the range of e-marketing options. Domain names Whatever e-commerce brand name you choose. 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 . Strong brands can generate customer trust. • Measure your success .

Customer relationship management Many businesses invest in a customer relationship management (CRM) system to improve their customer services. Think about what you can add to your website that will benefit your customers. If you intend to collect personal data. Provide an email facility for queries and customer feedback . such as an e-newsletter.Opens in a new window.eu domain names. Respond to queries promptly and let people know their comments are appreciated. Provide full contact details.perhaps in the form of FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions) demonstrates you're ready to help. 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. Increasing the interest and value of your website will improve your brand and encourage visitors to come back. This process can be automated. there are a number of legal requirements. ask on your website . Provide engaging content Make the information that you provide about you and your business as engaging as possible. This can be useful for gathering statistics and email addresses for direct mailings. eg online discounts to the products or services that you provide or perhaps a blog about your business that they can contribute to. See our guide Web 2. But asking people to register straight away may put them off. 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. Answering common queries Answering the common queries customers Many businesses ask first-time visitors to their site to register.eu domain names on the EURid website . Find out about . It is now possible for businesses based in the European Union to register for . particularly phone numbers. 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.but ensure someone checks them regularly. special offer or access to further information that is not available to non-subscribers. See the page in this guide on the legal considerations in e-marketing. for people in need of an immediate answer or they may look elsewhere. Ask for the minimum details possible. The CRM system brings information like customer Page 41 e-Commerce | Created by Business Link on 26 January 2010 09:50 Ã#¨ Crown copyright 2007 .0: a guide for business. Most people will not sign up unless there is an incentive for doing so.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. It may also save you time and money by reducing the number of basic phone queries.

sales patterns. If you are expecting your website to generate significant commercial returns. See our guide on how to create an online shop. For example. eg search engine optimisation (SEO). See our guide on email marketing. • Firewalls . When deciding what technology to use you should consider: • Computer set-up and performance this can vary widely. 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#¨ Crown copyright 2007 .different programs will display emails differently. online advertising (such as banner adverts and sponsored links). making music or video files pointless. inserting the keywords into the right places in your Page 42 data.including pay per click. make sure the technology you choose is right not only for the message but for your customers. • Compatibility .these often limit the size of file that can be received. or offering personalised services and deals. Create plain text versions as well as HTML versions to ensure cross-platform compatibility. There are a number of techniques you can use to help potential customers find your site. If you decide to establish a web presence there are several options you can consider: • e-commerce website • online advertising . others might just like a plain text email. The vast majority of those using search engines will not go beyond the first page of results. The technology you will require to deliver your e-marketing messages will depend on which elements you decide to employ. Some may like e-mails with whistles and bells. or an internet service provider to host the site for you. some computers don't have soundcards.Develop an e-marketing plan blocked by email filters. SMS messaging or setting up a website. The solution is to profile your customers and understand what the best format for them is. the CRM system is very effective in handling customer complaints and can have a tremendous effect on your reputation. marketing data and future trends together with the aim of identifying new sales opportunities. In addition to improving sales and profitability. SEO techniques include identifying the keywords and phrases that customers use to search for your products and services. 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. it is important to ensure that your website performs well with search engines. Getting the technology right There are several elements that you could include in your e-marketing mix including email. You are also likely to require the expertise of a website designer if you don't have the expertise in-house. If you want your website to have an e-commerce facility you will also need an e-commerce software package. delivering improved customer service. see our guide on how to manage your customer database. If you are planning to use email as part of your e-marketing plan. For more information on types of solutions and key implementation issues.

• Encourage staff involvement and feedback. However. Implementing e-marketing There are three stages to implementing an e-marketing campaign. • Websites . and trying to obtain links back to your website from other sites that perform well. see the page in this guide on legal considerations in e-marketing.perhaps just to existing customers to see how the website beds down before you begin to give it stronger marketing support. It is very important to ensure that any data you collect about your customers is handled carefully. and in line with the principles of the Data Protection Act. especially of building and running a website and think about the costs involved. • 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. Evaluate the marketing options • Email . • Decide which staff will require training and allow time for them to adjust to the new system. For more information.great for building relationships and keeping your customers up to date with offers. • If you're building a website. However. • Consider setting up a cross-departmental taskforce to Page 43 website when it is being built. you need a strategy for getting yours noticed and used. Data privacy Technology gives you the opportunity to collect lots of information on your customers.Opens in a new window. This doesn't mean you should use it carelessly though. See information on the Data Protection Act on the Information Commissioner's Office website .a hugely flexible option to meet any marketing need. See our guides on how to generate business from your e-marketing plan and search engine optimisation. so marketing via text messaging is a viable option. • SMS (short messaging service) almost everyone has a mobile e-Commerce | Created by Business Link on 26 January 2010 09:50 Ã#¨ Crown copyright 2007 . the personal relationships people have with their phones means marketing needs to be carefully considered. However.Develop an e-marketing plan phone. with so many other websites. This will help to smooth implementation. You must also keep it up to date and not needlessly reveal information about 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 . submitting your site to search engines and directories once it is built. Implement e-marketing • Roll out any necessary training. Plan the rollout phase • Look at training implications. and is less intrusive than telephone marketing. growing concerns about spam mean you need to make sure you adhere to government regulations. as staff buy-in can make or break a technology project.

Ideally. the number of new and returning visitors. Tracking and site analysis tools A number of suppliers sell tracking tools that can tell you where visitors come from. Legal considerations in e-marketing e-Commerce | Created by Business Link on 26 January 2010 09:50 Ã#¨ Crown copyright 2007 Page 44 . 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.but users may simply ignore them. Other popular packages include Wusage and WebTrends. such as Analog. This can be done informally by yourself or you can use a specialist agency to do this for you.will also be able to access a log file . the time and source of the request. particular use of. Some website analysis tools. • Continually review your practices against e-marketing regulations. 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. User surveys and usability testing Monitoring the effectiveness of your e-marketing campaign Unless you can find out why people visit your website. you won't know which marketing campaigns have been successful or where to invest more money. whether it is their first visit and why they're visiting.or whoever has access to the server hosting your website . A website analysis tool is a piece of software that you can use to measure the usage patterns of your site. 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. what they do while on your site and where they go when they leave. you need to know how they found the site. are available free from the web. particularly if you ask too many questions. which search engines they are finding the site through. It includes details of the page requested. You . It does this using statistics such as the total number of visitors. Usability testing is another way to collect valuable feedback from users.Develop an e-marketing plan manage the implementation process .but bear in mind that you'll need a large amount of data for the results to be significant. If you search the internet you might come across a free trial . 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 will help with staff buy-in and ensure that implementation works business-wide. The problem with monitoring a log file is that it grows so quickly that you need software to glean anything useful from it. Pop-up surveys (new pages containing surveys that open in separate windows) are a good way of gathering this type of information .

Develop an e-marketing plan You need to be aware that there are a number of regulations that relate specifically to e-marketing. Fruit For The Office provides daily fresh fruit deliveries and gifts to offices.which means you can only target people who have agreed to be contacted. They have a very wide variety of uses." • "Don't de-value your brand by e-marketing to absolutely everyone segment and target instead. the rules apply only to new customers. and provide an opt-out facility for those who do not wish to accept them." • "Build search engine optimisation into the website design from day one. counting clicks." Operating directly out of London's Covent Garden Market.regulations There are rules covering marketing e-mails and SMS messages to individuals. hotels and restaurants. Your website All websites should carry your company's registered address and company (or charity) registration number. To save having to contact all your existing customers to get consent. You need to keep abreast of developments in this area to ensure that you are complying with the various rules.Opens in a new window Daniel's top tips: • "Devote time and resources to the planning process. shops. cookies can be a very useful marketing tool. For more information. In short. Founder Daniel Ox describes how his e-marketing plan played an important role in turning the market-stall Page 45 e-Commerce | Created by Business Link on 26 January 2010 09:50 Ã#¨ Crown copyright 2007 . Email and SMS marketing . see our guide on e-commerce and the law. You can continue marketing to your current customers provided they can opt-out of future messages and the messages cover similar products and services. Using cookies Cookies are small pieces of software that websites store on users' computers. The Internet Advertising Bureau (IAB) has set up a specialist team to develop a practical approach to the rules on cookies. Under the Privacy and Electronic Communications Regulations. You must also clearly mark your emails with your contact details and include a valid return email address. establishing how people arrived at the site and how they navigate around it. businesses have to inform their customers that they use cookies. Here's how I developed and implemented an e-marketing plan Daniel Ox Fruit For The Office . households. schools. In practice this will mean providing the user with a 'privacy' or 'cookies' statement that explains how they are being used and how they can be switched off. The Privacy and Electronic Communications Regulations introduce an opt-in consent procedure for commercial emails . but an important one is to track the movements of visitors to websites.

offering quality produce and an efficient delivery service direct to the customer's premises. by including special offers. We encourage visitors to sign up for our regular email newsletters. we started again from scratch." Put the online infrastructure in place "E-marketing has to start with a good website. "The website also includes a blog with feedback facilities. so that we can refine and develop them and segment the e-marketing further to reach specific customer groups. review and update "I use the Google Analytics tool every day to help monitor our e-marketing. our family business of fruit stalls in prime London locations was suffering from changing consumer shopping habits and the rise of the supermarkets. "Utilising my research and comparisons with other successful food brands. I had noticed that more and more companies were sending staff out to purchase quantities of fruit for general consumption in the office. 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. 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. testing pages for usability and search engine optimisation and ensuring we would be able to easily add content in future." Monitor. simply because of the huge growth in internet commerce. Working with our design agency. but it wasn't up to the mark. planning in meticulous detail. "Data capture and building customer relationships are essential. In addition. I worked on the brand image with a trusted design company to formulate a company name and logo. 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. which reflects the brand personality and includes fun and informative fruit-related features plus company news such as our regular charity fund-raising efforts. However. I also use the tool to analyse the performance of our competitors.Develop an e-marketing plan based company into a thriving nationwide delivery business. We invested a lot of money in the website and a launch campaign. an overall design blueprint and key marketing messages. We already had a static one-page site to publicise the fruit stalls. What I did Get the branding right "Four years ago. details of food festivals and other information that's of interest to our target market. the results of which are fed back e-Commerce | Created by Business Link on 26 January 2010 09:50 Ã#¨ Crown copyright 2007 Page 46 . I also felt that there was no point in jumping hastily on the bandwagon. I wanted to start with a great brand around which the marketing could be built and which would immediately inspire customer confidence. "I realised that e-marketing was going to play a key role. we conduct an annual e-mail survey to gain customer feedback. but it paid for itself within weeks of going live. It gives crucial information about how people are using the website and responding to our marketing messages.

gov." 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 . "We're constantly reviewing and updating our e-marketing plan to keep us ahead of the competition.eu domain names overview on the EURid website .0: a guide for business | Common e-commerce pitfalls | Search engine optimisation | E-commerce and the law | Here's how Web 2. For example. This should provide a major expansion of our own database for future e-marketing campaigns." 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 .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#¨ Crown copyright 2007 Page 47 .Opens in a new window Related guides on businesslink.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.Opens in a new window Domain name dispute resolution guidance on the ICANN website .Opens in a new window e-marketing glossary on the Marketing Online website .Opens in a new window Domain name scams information on the Office of Fair Trading website .the pages that potential customers are directed to when they type a particular keyword into a search engine.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. However I wish we'd originally built in more "landing pages" .

it poses a wide range of risks and threats to the systems operating on it. worms and botnets Preventing problems from viruses. This guide looks at the security threats posed to e-commerce systems and the damage they can potentially cause to your business.gov. the revenues generated by e-commerce systems mean that organisations are becoming increasingly reliant on them as core elements of their business.businesslink.uk Related web sites you might find useful As the use of the internet continues to grow.gov. websites are assuming greater importance as the public face of business. 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#¨ Crown copyright 2007 Page 48 . Trojans. by identifying the risks that they pose and implementing the appropriate level of security controls to counter them. viruses.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. unmanaged and uncontrolled. fraud and denial-of-service attacks. Every business should take steps to secure their e-commerce systems. It provides advice on how best to address these threats. However. it is essential that they are protected from the threats posed by hackers. 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. although smaller businesses may choose to work with third party specialists to implement some of the more sophisticated security controls. Furthermore. With this high level of dependency upon the services provided by e-commerce systems. which provides open and easy communications on a global basis. because the internet is unregulated. You can find this guide on http://www.

are valuable assets. It is important to recognise that the use of e-commerce creates new ways for both image and brands to be attacked. together with the brands under which you trade. ceases operation completely • gaining access to sensitive data such as price lists. potentially accessible by anyone. 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. catalogues and valuable intellectual property. so that the site is forced to offer a reduced level of service or. 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#¨ Crown copyright 2007 . destroying or copying it • altering your website. irrespective of their location. in some cases. 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. The procedures and controls you put in place to protect your site should help minimise both. 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. and the potential impact of any security incident. thereby damaging your image or directing your customers to another site • gaining access to financial information about your business or your customers. and altering.Securing your e-commerce systems or Computer Misuse Acts. 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. it can have a significant impact upon a business running an e-commerce service. What are the threats? Threats to e-commerce systems can be either malicious or accidental.

The security policy should also specify the recovery plans for an e-commerce system in the event of a system attack or physical disaster. 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. See our guide on business continuity planning in IT. government agencies and so on. Any analysis should also take account of how electronic transactions are verified. customers. see the page in this guide: areas covered by ISO/IEC 27001.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. This is a British standard for managing the risk to information assets. 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. ISO/IEC 27001 ISO/IEC 27001 provides a sound basis for the development of a security policy. consultants. It was subsequently adopted by the International Standards Organisation as ISO 17799. then the risk to your information will be greatly reduced. 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#¨ Crown copyright 2007 . Attacks from authorised users (such as a disaffected employee or partner) are far more common than attacks by hackers. It should be endorsed by senior management and continually updated as technology and employee requirements change. including its e-commerce systems. This should form part of your business' contingency plans. 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. and the potential impact if a security incident arises. How do you know that an order has actually come from a known customer? Where contracts are exchanged electronically. This will cover the rules of access for different groups of users. A key part of a risk assessment is defining the business' information access requirements. For details of the main areas covered by ISO/IEC 27001. suppliers. auditors. different rules may apply for employees. Acceptable use policy Frequently included as part of a business' security policy. For example. managed service providers. This should state in writing how a business plans to protect its IT assets in general. If the controls specified in the standard are properly applied and followed.

webmail and community sites such as Facebook. Personnel security • Specifies the proper screening and checking of employee details at the time of hiring. security controls. principles. Security organisation e-Commerce | Created by Business Link on 26 January 2010 09:50 Ã#¨ Crown copyright 2007 . • States management commitment to the policy. • Places importance on user training in security matters. users and business systems • changes in trading partners • employees leaving the company Equally. audit trails and alarms need to be continually monitored and regularly maintained. • Gives a brief description of security policies. partners and outsourcing companies. • 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. location and importance also to be included. • Deals with need for specialist security knowledge. • Requires software licences for all operating system and application software to be current. such as the challenges posed by an increasingly mobile or home-based workforce. The policy should be detailed enough to include practices such as 'blogging' and the use of instant messaging.Securing your e-commerce systems assets. It should be regularly updated to keep pace with technological advances and with changing work practices. • Controls included to protect equipment from environmental hazards. standards and compliance requirements. Communications and operations management • Seeks to establish if network security controls are in place. Asset classification and control • Requires the compilation of an inventory of all information systems' assets. • Concerns information systems' relationships with outside parties such as contractors. It also incorporates an explanation of how security measures will be carried out and enforced. • Emphasises importance of reporting security incidents. • Requires 'clean desk policy' for locking away of sensitive information. Reviewing the security policy Factors that mean a security policy should be reviewed include: • system changes • the introduction of new equipment. Physical and environmental security • Seeks to establish what physical access controls are in place. • Details of ownership. • Controls specifying allocation of individual security responsibilities.

• Controls included on use of cryptography.Securing your e-commerce systems and acceptance. Access control • Requirement for a general-access control policy. • A digital certificate that enables authentication through the use of an individual's unique signing key. referred to as a biometric. You should introduce sufficient security controls to reduce risk to e-commerce systems. through to retina or facial-feature recognition. • Provides a framework for the formation of these plans. Remember to include a system that prompts employees to change their passwords at regular intervals. where the password can vary in length and include numbers and characters. • Incorporates procedures for handling of media. These include using: Common e-commerce security controls e-Commerce | Created by Business Link on 26 January 2010 09:50 Ã#¨ Crown copyright 2007 Page 52 . • Seeks to establish if there is a security testing programme in place. Business continuity management • Describes processes for ensuring business continuity. Systems development and maintenance • Details controls that can help build security into systems developed in-house. These include: • A user name and password combination. • "Two-factor" authentication requiring something the user has (eg an authentication token) and something the user knows (eg a personal identification number). 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. • Reviews how systems access is monitored. • Seeks to establish how access authorisation is granted. • Establishes if back-ups are carried out effectively and if they are tested. User authentication There are several techniques that can identify and verify someone seeking to access an e-commerce system. This can range from a fingerprint or iris scan. However these controls should not be so restrictive that they damage the employees' performance. • Requirement for change control is addressed. Compliance • Comprises controls specifying the need to comply with legal standards. • Details plans to be developed to maintain or restore business operations. Some of the common security controls are listed below. • A person's unique physical attribute.

Despite the sophistication of these controls. It uses technologies such as virtual private networks (VPNs) and secure socket layers. and modify and Page 53 e-Commerce | Created by Business Link on 26 January 2010 09:50 Ã#¨ Crown copyright 2007 . Data encryption Encryption scrambles data. 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. Viruses and worms spread across computers and networks by making copies of themselves. worms and botnets are all computer programs that can infect computers. Risks from viruses. Typically a virus is used to place the back-door Trojan onto a computer. access personal files. preventing outside parties from gaining access to systems and information on the internal network. Find a list of frequently asked questions on firewall technology on the Microsoft website . such as an email alert. it can generate an alarm. 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. A continual awareness programme is a vital component of any security policy. based upon the type of activity it has identified. destructive code. they are only as good as the people who use them. usually without the knowledge of the computer user. Intrusion detection These products monitor system and network activity to spot any attempt being made to gain access. Firewall This is a hardware or software security device that filters information passing between internal and external networks. It controls access to the internet by internal users. to provide protection for multiple workstations or internal networks. Trojans can be used to infect a computer with a virus.Opens in a new window. Trojan horses. the person who sent the Trojan can run programs on the infected computer. or at the personal level where it is installed on an individual PC. A Trojan horse is a program that appears to be legitimate but actually contains another program or block of undesired malicious. A firewall can be applied at the network level. Trojans. and once the computer is online. and is used to protect information that is being held on a computer. If a detection system suspects an attack. disguised and hidden in a block of desirable code. 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. worms and botnets Viruses.

Trojans or viruses can strike. These computers can then be used to launch denial-of-service attacks. to prevent malicious code from exploiting security holes in software and making your system vulnerable. such as carrying out a denial-of-service attack on another website. usually through some malicious application that they are carrying. Be aware of messages containing links to current events. It is important that you ensure that all software and anti-virus tools are up-to-date. remotely-controlled computers. See our guide on how to introduce an internet and email policy. Botnets are very difficult to prevent by the use of software tools alone. Risks can also come from popular social networking sites. worms and Trojans on the Microsoft website . which may include adding it to a larger group of botnets • using your computer for malicious purposes. Spyware Spyware is software that is placed on your e-Commerce | Created by Business Link on 26 January 2010 09:50 Ã#¨ Crown copyright 2007 Page 54 . Find out about viruses. Risks to e-commerce systems While some viruses are merely irritants. This in turn allows the hacker to gain full control of the now-infected computers. A botnet is a group of infected.Opens in a new window. Trojan or worm gains access to the computer. 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 . 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. It has been reported that these links take the user to phishing websites where personal user details can be stolen or worms. others can have extremely harmful effects. Trojan or worm to ordinary computers. identity theft and thefts of log-in details and credit card numbers. distribute spam emails and commit click fraud. How do viruses spread? Viruses are able to infect computers via a number of different routes. or other high traffic content. it is important that users follow best practice guidance with regards to emails and website usage.Opens in a new window. entertainment. The hacker sends out a virus. The virus. 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.Securing your e-commerce systems upload files.

Opens in a new window. this software can be prone to giving false alarms. It can detect viruses. it is important to keep this software up-to-date. in order to recognise new viruses. As with anti-virus software. Spyware can then be removed or quarantined.detects viruses by applying general rules about what viruses look like. In addition to tracking your system use.must be updated regularly. while others are provided by suppliers of anti-virus software to their customers. Page 55 e-Commerce | Created by Business Link on 26 January 2010 09:50 Ã#¨ Crown copyright 2007 . 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. Preventing problems from 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. It is used to secretly gather information about your usage and sends it back to advertisers or other interested parties. Anti-spyware software There is software available that scans your systems and detects known spyware programs. While it does not require frequent updates. 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. prevent access to infected files and quarantine any infected files.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. Virus alert services Consider subscribing to a service or supplier who will provide virus alerts for you. it can also slow down or crash your computer. usually by connecting to the supplier's website. Some are available on a paid-for basis. • Heuristics software . Read tips on how to stop spyware on the Microsoft website . Make regular back-ups of your data and software so that you can replace infected files with clean copies.

Securing your e-commerce systems Related guides on businesslink.Opens in a new window Anti-virus software advice on the Microsoft website .Opens in a new window Fraud types and information on the Metropolitan Police website . Innovation & Skills website (PDF.47MB) .Opens in a new window British Standards ISO/IEC 27001 information and benefits on the British Standards Institution 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 Spam combatting advice on the National Computing Centre website .Opens in a new window Securing client VPNs explained on the Techworld website .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 .Opens in a new window Viruses.Opens in e-Commerce | Created by Business Link on 26 January 2010 09:50 Ã#¨ Crown copyright 2007 Page 56 .Opens in a new window Spyware combatting advice on the Microsoft website . 1.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 .Opens in a new window Download security best practice advice from the Department for Business.Opens in a new window IT security guidance for employees on the Microsoft Small Business Centre website .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 .gov.

uk Related web sites you might find useful You can find this guide on http://www.gov.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#¨ Crown copyright 2007 Page 57 .gov.businesslink.

threats posed to the IT infrastructure by. For more information on data threats and how to avoid them. • Malicious attacks from inside or outside your business. but new opportunities can be accompanied by new risks. Risk assessment means listing all of the risks a business might face and assigning varying degrees of importance to them. 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. for example. Typical threats to e-commerce systems • Risk to corporate information and intellectual property from internal staff and trading partners. remote-controlled computers known as a botnet. Risk management means prioritising these risks and formulating policies and practices to balance and mitigate them. eg software bugs. databases. although smaller businesses may not need to implement some of the more sophisticated techniques described in this guide. worms and botnets in our guide on securing your e-commerce systems. files. • Errors by people. • Technical failure. fire or flood. see our guide on securing your e-commerce systems. Read the page on risks from viruses. • Hacker exploitation of errors in software application design.Managing risk in e-commerce Introduction Barriers to entering e-commerce are comparatively low. Trojans and so forth. technical implementation or e-Commerce | Created by Business Link on 26 January 2010 09:50 Ã#¨ Crown copyright 2007 Page 58 . eg server crashes. Trojans. • Data threats . Few organisations have systems in place to ensure common standards in vetting staff and provide security mechanisms between trading partners. • Infrastructure failures.threats posed to software. etc by viruses. • Hacker threats should your computers become part of a larger group of infected. It is difficult to control how sensitive information will be handled by third parties or contract workers. Every business can benefit from conducting a risk assessment of their e-commerce systems. 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. • Credit card and payment fraud. This guide explains the risks that you need to be aware of or ask your e-commerce developer about. Identifying risks in e-commerce Today's threats to e-commerce systems include: • Physical threats .

technical failure can have a significant impact. Potential impact Unless swift action is taken. with the anonymity afforded by the internet meaning that there is a correspondingly lower risk of traceability. so if your website is unavailable they will simply move on to one of your competitors. They are also operating the attacks in such a manner so that servers aren't crashing but slowing down considerably. taking steps to prevent problems is much more cost-effective than trying to fix them once they have occurred.where the corporate image or messages on the website are changed .a group of computers infected with malicious software and controlled remotely . 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. 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. Hackers are increasingly using botnets .to cause these attacks. vulnerabilities in technical security mechanisms and operating systems are now widely published for anyone to read or experiment with. especially if it is dependent on its e-commerce system. E-commerce customers typically have very little loyalty. Given the prospect of this almost instant loss of revenue. In addition. medium or low.Managing risk in e-commerce systems operation. • Website defacement . you should be able to assess whether the risk is high. any problems with your e-commerce site will be immediately obvious to the world. not only on your customers but also on key trading partners. In addition. • Denial-of-service attacks . The growth of the internet means that there are wider opportunities to mount such an attack.which use a flood of false messages to crash a business' systems .and virus attacks can lead to commercial embarrassment and damage to the way the business is viewed by its trading partners and the public. e-Commerce | Created by Business Link on 26 January 2010 09:50 Ã#¨ Crown copyright 2007 Page 59 .can have a devastating impact upon a business.

as well as more traditional technology to provide the supporting networks.L) for each risk agree an impact rating for each risk (H. 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.M. with the lesser ones rated as 1. How to quantify the risks The e-commerce environment relies on customer-facing technology.M. 5 4 3 High e-Commerce | Created by Business Link on 26 January 2010 09:50 Ã#¨ Crown copyright 2007 Page 60 . medium or low risk basis.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. It is important that your security management system is flexible and reactive enough to deal with these risks. while a new virus can have a widespread impact on businesses. All risks can be quantified against the probability of occurrence and its potential impact on a high. Probability can be used to measure the likelihood of such a security incident occurring. you can assess how much time and money you should spend implementing the appropriate security controls where necessary. If a new vulnerability is identified it can be exploited very quickly. such as websites and forums. Keep yourself informed about the threats posed to your systems since they can change very quickly in e-commerce. 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.

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
e-Commerce | Created by Business Link on 26 January 2010 09:50 Ã#¨ Crown copyright 2007 Page 63

• Support all technical controls with appropriate policies. Establish an effective incident recording and management system that encompasses all elements of the e-commerce environment.Opens in a new window e-Commerce | Created by Business Link on 26 January 2010 09:50 Ã#¨ Crown copyright 2007 Page 64 . • Do not rely on just one technical control. • Consider the opportunity.Opens in a new window Download a risk-management frameworks case study from the Insight Consulting website (PDF. identifying changes to traditional IT system risks and the introduction of new threats specific to e-commerce. capability and motivation behind potential attacks. 156K) . • Develop integrated business continuity plans for all critical e-commerce solutions. • Conduct regular risk analysis reviews. firewalls and other technical elements of the system. • Consider certification to ISO/IEC 27001 for your business and your trading partners.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. servers. This plan is based on the framework of ISO/IEC 27001: • Group risks in an e-commerce context.gov. • 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 . Most security experts recommend a minimum of 'two factor' authentication to guarantee user identity. 40K) . for example something you have (such as an ID card) and something you know (a PIN number or password). • Implement standard configurations for PCs.Opens in a new window Security challenges advice on the National Computing Centre website . • Carry out regular risk analysis reviews to check the controls you have implemented are still effective. Related guides on businesslink. See our guide on business continuity planning in IT. procedures and awareness.Opens in a new window Download a risk management and business continuity glossary from the Business Contunuity Institute website (PDF.

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#¨ Crown copyright 2007 Page 65 .

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. An extranet enables your business to communicate and collaborate more effectively with selected business partners.business network that enables your employees to share information. An extranet can play an important role in enhancing business relationships and improving supply chain management. A key requirement in today's business environment is the ability to communicate more effectively. 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. both internally with your employees and externally with your trading partners and customers. e-Commerce | Created by Business Link on 26 January 2010 09:50 Ã#¨ Crown copyright 2007 Page 66 .uk Related web sites you might find useful An intranet is a private . suppliers and customers.businesslink. They also provide users with easy access to company data.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. collaborate. Intranets enhance existing communication between employees. and improve communications.gov.uk/northeast by navigating to: Home > IT & e-commerce > E-commerce > Benefits of intranets and extranets What is an intranet? In essence. and provide a common knowledge base and storage area for everyone in your business. systems and email from their desktops. an intranet is a business' own private website.internal .gov. You can find this guide on http://www.

document templates. new vacancies • individual projects .appraisal procedures and schedules. which is accessible from anywhere in the world. including their home and customer sites.Benefits of intranets and extranets • human resources .calendars. branding guidelines. Creating a web office will allow you to organise and manage information and share documents and calendars using a familiar web browser function. printing and working collaboratively on office documents such as spreadsheets • training .business plans.virus alerts. project management information.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#¨ Crown copyright 2007 .automating a range of administrative processes • front-end to corporate systems providing a common interface to corporate databases and business information systems • email . This can help small businesses to be flexible and control office overheads by allowing employees to work from almost any location. These are known as online offices or web offices. industry organisations.annual reports and organisational performance • IT .competitive intelligence. tips on dealing with problems with hardware. employee policies.delivering information and business news as directories and web documents • document management . presentations Benefits of an intranet Your business' efficiency can be improved by using your intranet for: • publishing . policies on corporate use of email and internet access and a list of online training courses and support • marketing . corporate brochures. expenses forms and annual leave requests. software and networks.accessing and delivering various types of e-learning to the user's desktop • workflow . press releases. team contact information.viewing. Other types of intranet are available that merge the regular features of intranets with those often found in software such as Microsoft Office. Types of content found on intranets: • administrative . procedure manuals and membership of internal committees and groups • corporate . project documents.current project details. client/customer lists. meeting room bookings. press coverage and staff newsletters • financial . staff discount schemes. they enable staff to do work from any location simply by using a web browser. time and expense reporting • external information resources route planning and mapping sites. mission statements. latest marketing initiatives. with links to competitor websites. research sites and search engines Because intranets are secure and easily accessible via the internet. emergency procedures.

key customers etc. e-Commerce | Created by Business Link on 26 January 2010 09:50 Ã#¨ Crown copyright 2007 Page 68 . for exchanging data and applications and sharing information. up to date and secure at all times. Extranet users should be a well-defined group and access must be protected by rigorous identification routines and security features.forms can be accessed and completed on the desktop. 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. electronic order tracking and inventory management. This will help to give your internal communications their own identity and prevent employees confusing internal and external information. 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. suppliers.Benefits of intranets and extranets corporate information can be stored centrally and accessed at any time • sharing of resources and best practice . 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. for instance those in sales or customer support. they will expect it to be available. At the same time small businesses are keen to meet the demands of larger companies in terms of working flexibly. Extranets offer a cheap and efficient way for businesses to connect with their trading partners. 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.better access to accurate and consistent information by your staff leads to enhanced levels of customer service • reduction in paperwork . and then forwarded as appropriate for approval. It also means that your business partners and suppliers can access the information they need 24 hours a day. an extranet can also provide remote access to corporate systems for staff who spend lots of time out of the office.a virtual community can be created to facilitate information sharing and collaborative working • improved customer service . or home workers. Availability and security are key factors in the success of an extranet. without ever having to be printed out. As with an intranet. Key issues to consider Bear in mind that once you make parts of your business data available to trading partners. This might involve the use of content management software and training for staff to use it. 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.

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. Benefits can depend to a large degree on your reasons for introducing the extranet in the first place. the types of benefit that organisations using extranets typically experience include: • more integrated supply chains through the use of online ordering. 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.perhaps members of a project team . news. irrespective of location Benefits of an extranet An extranet can offer a range of benefits to your business from lowering costs. Identify your objectives Make sure your objectives are clear. you will need: e-Commerce | Created by Business Link on 26 January 2010 09:50 Ã#¨ Crown copyright 2007 Page 69 .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. to producing faster results and improving the quality of service to customers. you should ensure that it is flexible enough to meet not only your immediate requirements. Will you restrict access to your site. companies • flexible working for your own staff. eg company policies. 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 . but also your needs as your business grows. as an extranet allows remote and mobile staff to access core business information 24 hours a day. or will discrete sub-sections be sufficient? Which technical solution? For your site. However. • Do you need to make all of your production and sales information available to your partners via your extranet. forms and corporate branding.Benefits of intranets and extranets using content management systems.

private network. eg video feeds. 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.users log on to the intranet via the provider's website. Whatever the sophistication of the CMS technology. This has meant a growth in the use of content management systems (CMS) for managing and updating information. Will you require technical support . Security Remember that security is paramount. which will prevent unauthorised access from outside your organisation. The key elements of a CMS application are that you can: • Create content through templates see below. extranet or a website. • Computers connected via a local area network . Alternatively you could commission an external provider to design.you can develop your own intranet once your business has grown and you have more funds available. maintain and 'host' your intranet for a monthly fee .if so at what level? Consider also how the content will be managed. Tailor content for specific audiences.see below. This helps with subsequent information retrieval. Support costs Identify the support costs that will be required to run the site on a day-to-day basis. e-Commerce | Created by Business Link on 26 January 2010 09:50 Ã#¨ Crown copyright 2007 Page 70 . • Review content using a set workflow. since any security incident will directly affect not only you but also your key business partners. • Closely manage version control.a closed. • Firewall software and hardware. • A content management system to add and update intranet content. • Tag content with metadata . managing and publishing content to an intranet. This is much more efficient than sending web content to a webmaster to be published. You should establish what levels of security are provided when choosing a technology solution. Any non-technical user can edit and publish content using templates and a simple web-browser interface. you can create your extranet by giving partners access to the necessary company data via a log-in page. Maintaining intranets and extranets using content management systems Any information on an intranet or extranet must be up-to-date and accurate. Using templates requires little or no technical expertise. it is important that you have someone in charge of managing the content and adequate maintenance procedures. A CMS is a set of procedures for adding.Benefits of intranets and extranets • Web server hardware and software. Once you have your intranet up and running. This might be a good arrangement if your business is just starting up .

or it could end up costing time instead of saving it. By introducing an extranet we hoped to cut that time. and instead use it to deliver results. Founded in 1990 and based in Maidenhead. the business employs 21 people. metadata often consists of . The system also needed to make it easier for us to work with overseas partners. with user-friendly screens that can be accessed from anywhere with an internet connection.keywords that describe its content. ISBN number and year of publication." 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. if you add keywords such as 'email'. For example. For an electronic document. Metadata is simply data about data.Opens in a new window Tom's Top Tips: • "Be crystal clear about your objectives or you'll waste your money. 'mobile phone' and 'internet' to a webpage entitled 'Policy on electronic communications at work'. this would help a user searching for your organisation's policy on using the internet 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. "As well as being easy to use. and wanted to offer them 24-hour access to information in a self-service format." • "Get external advice if you don't have e-Commerce | Created by Business Link on 26 January 2010 09:50 Ã#¨ Crown copyright 2007 . Adding the 'right' keywords helps users to achieve more accurate search results. author.Benefits of intranets and extranets the expertise in-house. the solution Page 71 Here's how an extranet for clients freed up time and improved customer service Tom Cheesewright Noiseworks . Noiseworks is a specialist IT public relations company providing media relations.among other things . "We also had a desire to become more open and effective in our communications with clients. It's basically an online information store. eg the metadata of a book includes its title." • "Review the extranet regularly." Select a solution "We chose an extranet system that various members of our team had either seen or used before. training and research to technology businesses. Account Manager Tom Cheesewright explains how an extranet has increased client satisfaction and boosted overall efficiency.

consider a reputable IT service provider who can help with set-up. such as press releases and photography. This is a mistake because it makes it difficult for users to find what they really want. "Client feedback has been excellent. we undertook a formal review to see how much time the system had saved us. we wasted time trying to force it to fit everyone. Potential clients recognise the benefits and it sets us apart from competitors. the extranet has delivered the benefits of flexible working. If you don't have IT skills in-house.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. hosting and on-going support.gov. It took us a while to instigate regular housekeeping sessions. speeds up their document approval processes and gives them instant access to information. we explore alternative methods. "The system has also proved useful during new business pitches." Don't put everything in "When you start." Related guides on businesslink. In addition. thus enabling our staff to work from home. If they're not getting value out of it." Monitor and review "After a few months. 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#¨ Crown copyright 2007 Page 72 . These days we review a client's extranet usage after six months. which freed people to work on client projects and business development activity. In the early days. They found that the extranet reduces their own workloads.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. but there are some whose internal processes aren't suited to it. where unnecessary content is deleted. The results showed an overall 25 per cent saving in our time. it's tempting to throw in every bit of information you've got." What I'd do differently Know when to call it quits "The majority of clients love the extranet.

Benefits of intranets and extranets Intranet basics on the Intranet Journal website .Opens in a new window Web office information on the Intranet Journal website .Opens in a new window CMS performances compared on the CMS Matrix website .Opens in a new window e-Commerce | Created by Business Link on 26 January 2010 09:50 Ã#¨ Crown copyright 2007 Page 73 .Opens in a new window Project schedules for CMS selection and implementation on the Intranet Focus website .Opens in a new window Content management glossary on the Cimtech website .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 .

you can access classified ads or requests for quotations or bids in your industry sector.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. They can be broadly divided into categories based on the way in which they are operated. This guide will describe the main components of an e-marketplace. There are many types of e-marketplace based on a range of business models.gov.uk/northeast by navigating to: Home > IT & e-commerce > E-commerce > E-marketplaces. They can be operated by an independent third party.E-marketplaces. list the main benefits that can be delivered and discuss the issues to consider prior to participating in an e-marketplace. or be run by some form of industry consortium that has been set up to serve a particular sector or marketplace. Services offered by e-marketplaces include electronic catalogues for online purchasing of goods and services. By registering on an independent e-marketplace. online auctions and exchanges Types of e-marketplace There are many different types of e-marketplace based on a range of business models. business directory listings and online auctions. 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.gov. You can find this guide on http://www. There will typically be e-Commerce | Created by Business Link on 26 January 2010 09:50 Ã#¨ Crown copyright 2007 Page 74 .businesslink. 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.

vast numbers of businesses or individuals can bid . If you are looking to purchase.allowing sellers to get the best price. Excess inventory can be disposed of quickly and sales costs are reduced because of the minimal amount spent on marketing. online auctions and exchanges some form of payment required to participate. They are usually searchable by the product or service being offered. Sellers can use these types of marketplace to increase their visibility to potential buyers and to get leads. Supplier-oriented e-marketplace Also known as a supplier directory. Supplier directories benefit buyers by providing information about suppliers for markets and regions they may not be familiar with. 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. The two main types of auction are: • forward auctions . You can use a horizontal e-marketplace to purchase indirect products such as office equipment or stationery. test new products or establish pricing points. inventories and cycle time. e-Commerce | Created by Business Link on 26 January 2010 09:50 Ã#¨ Crown copyright 2007 Page 75 . Online auctions Online auctions are computerised versions of traditional auctions where prices are set by buyers bidding against each other. What makes online auctions so powerful is that. A horizontal e-marketplace connects buyers and sellers across different industries or regions. simplicity and variety of auctions mean that shrewd buyers can cut the time and cost of procurement. Conversely. 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. construction or textiles.E-marketplaces. 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. You can price your goods according to demand and stock levels. 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. Some businesses trade solely online using forward auctions on websites such as eBay. See our guide on how to create an online shop. participating in this sort of e-marketplace can help you lower your administrative costs and achieve the best price from suppliers.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. with internet technology. the speed.where lots are sold to the highest bidder • reverse auctions . chemical. Buying or selling using a vertical e-marketplace for your industry sector can increase your operating efficiency and help to decrease supply chain costs.

You may be able to source non-critical supplies. It is unusual for smaller businesses to make purchases using reverse auctions. Before bidding on an item make sure you understand exactly what is on offer by reading the description carefully. Reverse auctions are a good way to offload stock or build market share. however.some auctions have qualifying criteria • fee structures .monitor feedback from previous bidders • the bidding system . Narrow your search down by specifying a category or using the advanced search criteria. eg stationery and office furniture. They can also make savings by gaining access to customers who are ready to buy. Catalogues There are various different types of catalogue .some large companies have reported cost reductions of 10 per cent or more. second-hand equipment at a more competitive rate.E-marketplaces. they are normally by invitation only. Some are intended to be very informative. buying for your business using a reverse auction can reduce time and administrative costs and you may attract a larger pool of suppliers. Businesses that supply their goods through reverse auctions benefit by being able to compete for business globally.there may be a registration fee Catalogues and directory listings Many e-marketplaces provide information about products and services offered by their supplier members. or acquire specialist. This is commonly through the use of catalogues or directories. make sure you check: • accreditation . e-Commerce | Created by Business Link on 26 January 2010 09:50 Ã#¨ Crown copyright 2007 Page 76 . sometimes through the auction site itself • supplier reputation . Reverse auctions can also help buyers manage more complex procurement contracts and you may see a reduction in your overall costs . Forward auctions can also bring benefits when buying for your business. If the description is vague. By setting up automated searches and bid alerts you can reduce the time spent on procurement. you may be asked to compete for their business in a reverse auction. without having to launch a sales campaign. Reverse auctions If you are a supplier to larger companies. Others are used primarily for promotional purposes. However. online auctions and exchanges • how payment is managed sometimes this is between the parties. When bidding. Best practice in auctions If you are considering entering an online auction.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. The prices published in catalogues tend to be fixed and are often not disclosed to the customer until they register with the e-marketplace. contact the seller to get more information. while others contain a significant amount of detail. set yourself a maximum price you are willing to pay for an item and stick to it.some list general product information.

E-marketplaces. make sure it is in the most relevant industry sector so customers can find you easily. central point. 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. 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. 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. also known as trading hubs. Like online auctions. This has the significant advantage of streamlining the overall e-purchasing activity.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#¨ Crown copyright 2007 .an invitation to buyers to bid for a specific product or service that you are able to provide • commodity exchange . Others offer a link to several catalogues. If your company website is listed on a directory. textiles and logistics. are websites where buyers and sellers trade goods and services online. Online exchanges vary according to the size and number of companies using them and the type of commodity traded. online exchanges allow participants to trade straightforwardly with a wide variety of buyers and sellers. This can also help improve your website's search engine rankings. There are already successful exchanges in markets as diverse as energy. Types of online exchange There are different types of online exchange.an invitation to suppliers to provide a quote for a specific product or service • request for bid . They can also then make their purchases from a single site in a single transaction. The customer can follow this link in order to access further information about the individual suppliers and the products or services that they offer. each catering for a specific aspect of trading: • request for quotation . 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. with the option to purchase goods from each catalogue either directly from the central site or from the suppliers' sites. E-marketplaces offering this facility list suppliers under the appropriate product or service category and include a link to each supplier website.

• It provides an additional sales channel to market and sell products.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. and indeed between buyers and sellers. online auctions and exchanges open environment.E-marketplaces. exchange. General business benefits • There are greater opportunities for suppliers and buyers to establish new trading partnerships. • E-marketplaces offer a convenient way to compare prices and products from a single source rather than spending time contacting each individual supplier. Industry fit Page 78 e-Commerce | Created by Business Link on 26 January 2010 09:50 Ã#¨ Crown copyright 2007 . • E-marketplaces can offer reduced marketing costs when compared with other sales channels. • E-marketplaces can provide greater transparency in the purchasing process since availability. either within their supply chain or across supply chains. can view it? • Fees . • Established e-marketplaces provide a level of trust for the buyer as they are dealing exclusively with suppliers who are members.could using an exchange undermine your status as a favoured customer? • Administration . as well as potential customers. make sure you check the following issues: • Choice . 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. Benefits for the seller • Regular requests for quotations from both new and current customers are possible. • 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.are you comfortable with publicising information on prices and stock levels where your competitors. Benefits for the buyer • Updated information on price and availability makes it easier to secure the best deal.do you have adequate systems in place for order fulfilment? Are your internal business processes suitable for active online trading? • Disclosure . • The use of international e-marketplaces can provide opportunities for overseas sales that you would not otherwise be aware of.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 . Some of the potential benefits are summarised below.

E-procurement is the use of the internet to operate the transactional aspects of requisitioning. 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. ordering. receipting and payment processes for the required products or services. since any down time will impact directly upon your own business? Also.the more established of which is e-procurement. establish if there are any costs associated with making your own IT systems compatible with the systems used by the e-marketplace. E-procurement There are two parts to the e-purchasing cycle . A number of e-marketplaces offer transaction services that automate many aspects of the procurement cycle for both the buyer and the seller. So. you need to know who shares the profits and the risks. 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. 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. 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. Management of the e-marketplace It is important to establish the ownership of the e-marketplace.E-marketplaces. membership fees and listing fees. 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. Equally. authorising. Successful e-marketplaces require a sound financial backing to ensure their success and longevity. Marketing Does the e-marketplace have a strong brand or image that will assist in marketing activities? What are the marketing plans. you do not want to be involved in a marketplace if your competitor is the major owner. This has been developed in recent years to deal with the process element of electronic purchasing. E-procurement covers the following areas of Page 79 e-Commerce | Created by Business Link on 26 January 2010 09:50 Ã#¨ Crown copyright 2007 . Costs What does it cost to participate in the e-marketplace? Possible charges include commissions for completed transactions.

Opens in a new window Related guides on e-Commerce | Created by Business Link on 26 January 2010 09:50 Ã#¨ Crown copyright 2007 Page 80 .Opens in a new window Online auction advice on the vnunet.Opens in a new window Purchasing and supply management advice on the Chartered Institute of Purchasing & Supply website . E-sourcing is the use of the internet to make decisions and form strategies regarding how and where services or products are obtained.E-marketplaces. 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. since the price and availability of products from multiple suppliers can be checked from a single point. E-marketplaces can play an important role in this activity. online auctions and exchanges the buying process: • • • • • requisition against order authorisation order receipt payment businesslink. E-sourcing covers the elements of the buying process which are at the discretion of specialist buyers.com website . Furthermore.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. Related web sites you might find useful e-marketplace financing information on the eMarket Services website .Opens in a new window Business directory and advertising scams information on the Office of Fair Trading website .Opens in a new window e-marketplaces directory on the eMarket Services website . they also give access to many new potential partners and suppliers. the use of reverse auctions and online exchanges enables procurement officers to obtain better prices as they encourage competitive bidding between suppliers.gov.

You can find this guide on http://www. range of goods. a large portion of the cost of selling online can be attributed to fulfilling the customer's order.uk Related web sites you might find useful Once a customer purchases a product from your website. fully automated order-fulfilment e-Commerce | Created by Business Link on 26 January 2010 09:50 Ã#¨ Crown copyright 2007 Page 81 .gov. as more businesses look to sell physical products via the web. there is also a need for delivery to the customer's doorstep. quality of product or service. a responsive. While several factors price.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.are vital to achieving sales in the first place. from encouraging initial interest to prompting repeat business. However. customers can download the product directly to their computer. The effectiveness of your fulfilment process can therefore have a major impact on the profitability of your operation.businesslink. 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. For some items such as music and software. stock availability .gov.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. 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. you need to ensure delivery in a timely and efficient manner. For products requiring physical delivery.

Tools such as flow charts and activity diagrams can help you map out your processes and highlight the links. the issues associated with conventional logistics need to be addressed alongside the technology needed to manage the process.they may be able to help you identify problems and solutions. such as planning. For those products requiring a physical delivery. Find out what systems they use and determine if yours are compatible. It brings together all departments that handle the order. Automating your internal systems can help achieve the speed and efficiency you need from order processing. 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. with invoices sent and processed automatically. More basic order and stock management software that is cheaper and easier to implement is also available and this might suit some smaller businesses. • Encouraging customers to give you feedback on how their orders were handled. Integrate your system with your website. etc. from website or sales reps to warehouse staff.Fulfilling customer orders tailored to your particular industry and supply chain. 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#¨ Crown copyright 2007 Page 82 . Decide whether an off-the-shelf package will be sufficient. procedure plays a key part in overall customer satisfaction. Delivering what you promised relies on seamless interaction between your business processes and the actual fulfilment service that you use. purchasing. There are simple software tools available to help you do this. This is so that they can benefit from more timely. planning. manufacturing and distribution. You can do this by: • Considering using enterprise resource planning software which can tie in your website with other facets of your business. then customer orders that arrive in your system can be transformed into orders to your suppliers. Automating your internal systems may speed up order processing. You need to know exactly how well your business deals with order handling before you can make improvements. but remember that some customers may still prefer personal interaction to maintain the customer service experience. • Considering linking your systems to those of your customers if you operate in a business-to-business environment. accurate order information. • Connecting your suppliers and customers to the system. You should evaluate how orders are processed by: • Identifying the connections between sales. • Asking staff for their input .

See our guide on customer protection. 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. outsourcing your distribution may also provide your business with an affordable alternative. If your business runs a customer relationship management system then this is the best place to do it. which involves tagging objects so that they can be tracked. See the page in this guide on outsourcing the delivery of your goods. shared database as long as your staff are trained to keep it up-to-date at all stages of the process. The fulfilment process must therefore include the capability for handling the returns. However. If you outsource your delivery requirements. many logistics companies now offer delivery tracking as part of their service. This will enable you to focus on your core competencies. increasing revenue and controlling costs. It is important that your business records the reasons and frequency with which individuals or companies return goods. This should include giving the customer the option to have a replacement item supplied or their money refunded. such as optimising productivity. RFID tags can be read by equipment that is out of line of sight. so you can keep customers updated on where their goods are and improve your service. stock control and the storage. This can be achieved through a single. which integrates product planning. Linking processes and tracking goods Linking processes and tracking orders are important in allowing you to predict delivery times earlier on. 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. parts purchasing. Agreed procedures should be in place to facilitate either option. 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#¨ Crown copyright 2007 . packing and despatch of goods. More sophisticated techniques for doing this include: • Enterprise resource planning software. using the post or couriers is likely to provide a satisfactory solution. • Radio frequency identification (RFID). which you can use to advise customers. at a range of up to 90 feet.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. maintaining inventories and tracking orders into one system. while exploiting the third party's logistic expertise. Outsourcing can incorporate not only the delivery of goods but also order handling. irrespective of the quality or type of product being sold.

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
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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.
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Digital rights management

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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

Helplines
Intellectual Property Office Central Enquiry Unit

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Opens in a new window e-Commerce | Created by Business Link on 26 January 2010 09:50 Ã#¨ Crown copyright 2007 Page 87 .Opens in a new window IP advice on the Intellectual Property Office website .gov.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. 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 .Opens in a new window Software suppliers for the fulfilment marketplace on the Fulfilment Guide website .

businesslink. Nevertheless there is some commonality between many of the problems and pitfalls experienced by e-commerce systems. It obviously cannot cover all potential problem areas.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. Lack of planning You can find this guide on http://www. Here are some of the key issues you need to consider from the outset when planning for the introduction of an e-commerce system.uk Related web sites you might find useful Despite the rapid growth in the use of e-commerce by both consumers and businesses.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. • Ensure that any targets you set are realistic and achievable. such as a percentage increase in sales or new customers. but it will provide you with some useful pointers in terms of what not to do. measurable objectives for what you want to achieve. • Agree specific. Set realistic targets • Set clear goals . The reasons for this vary and are often dependent upon a particular set of circumstances or issues. to bring in new business or cut the cost of each sale.gov. This guide will give an overview of some of the more common e-commerce pitfalls. as you develop your own e-commerce offerings. not all e-commerce developments are a success.for example.gov. Have a clear business focus e-Commerce | Created by Business Link on 26 January 2010 09:50 Ã#¨ Crown copyright 2007 Page 88 . and things to take account of.

Ensure that you take account of the need to integrate it with your main corporate systems and overall IT strategy. Don't overlook the hidden costs • Don't just add up the costs of hardware. fonts.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 . • Remove large images. graphics or animation from key pages like the homepage. Ensure your web designer only uses effects that will add value for the user. marketing and communications. • If you find that e-commerce is creating conflicts within your operation. Don't over-design the site • Aim to create a common theme of colours. 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. • Keep the screen uncluttered . and hosting services. So make sure that you consider these important issues.users expect pages to load in less than five seconds. Look at the total cost of ownership. but only to certain locations. software. including training. • Understand the effect of increased sales . Consider download speeds • Download times are key . maintenance and support. This can be achieved without the need for spectacular graphics. • Understand how e-commerce will integrate with your overall business objectives. but don't lose your focus on what your business is actually about. If your site is running slowly you may have to upgrade it.make good use of space. re-examine your goals and rethink how e-commerce can best fit into your business. • Be realistic about the likely costs from the start and ensure that you keep your budget under control. e-Commerce | Created by Business Link on 26 January 2010 09:50 Ã#¨ Crown copyright 2007 Page 89 . and administration. 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. Have a clear pricing policy for shipping 'Free postage' is great. • Don't view your e-commerce solution in isolation.identify the geographical locations you will ship to and where you won't. Will it increase sales or improve margins? Have a clear view on where it will add value. services. • Build reliability and scalability into the solution from the start to ensure that your site can grow in line with your business. if download speeds are slow.Common e-commerce pitfalls • Pursue possibilities offered by e-commerce. graphics and page layouts. upgrades. • Make sure your website is straight-forward to update so you can add content quickly and easily. for example to advertise new products or special offers.

Remember also that English is a second language for millions of potential customers. Mozilla Firefox. a focus group. • Break text up with headings and bullet points. The quality of the content on your site can help create an immediate impression and also ensure that customers keep returning. Ensure that you get feedback before the full launch of the site.employees not involved in the design. The more common browsers include Microsoft Internet Explorer. Consider getting some sort of outside perspective . If the content of your website remains static. Opera and Safari. who are often too close to the process and biased toward the chosen design and infrastructure. • Include a site map and a search facility to help the user locate the required information. or a prominent link to them. Keep content fresh and interesting • People expect sites on the web to be constantly changing. or your spouses or friends. • Provide users with a clear description of the product.web users rarely read whole pages. • 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. • Test your web pages in as many browsers as possible during the development process to ensure that they will display properly. Make the content easy to read • Ensure text is easy to read . Don't underestimate the importance of usability • Ensure that navigation buttons are clearly presented and the words or images behind these links are clear. • Make sure you provide accurate information. • Your contact details. especially when it comes to prices. Ensure they have enough information to make an informed decision. concise and relevant to the information they are leading to. Ensure information is accurate • Your customers will be put off by out-of-date or incorrect information. Once it is launched any problems will be highly visible to both your customers and competitors.Common e-commerce pitfalls Support multiple browsers • Design web pages that can be displayed by different browsers. • Make sure that all images on your site are accurate and show products in their best light. there is little incentive for users to revisit it Page 90 e-Commerce | Created by Business Link on 26 January 2010 09:50 Ã#¨ Crown copyright 2007 . including phone numbers. Content problems First impressions are important. email and postal addresses. This can be crucial to the site's development and performance. Get feedback on usability Many e-commerce operators don't get usability feedback from anyone beyond those on their development team. so write more simply than you would in printed publications. should be on the home page of the site. and monitor the information you provide on a regular basis. Google Chrome.

if you want to attract new and existing customers to your site you must have a solid marketing plan. or they appear too soon.0: a guide for business. However. • Remember to change the notice on your website stating when the site was last updated. Think about how you can engage with your customers using new technology. • Keep the content as up to date as possible. • Give people a reason to return to your site. so you should consider providing them. If you have a news section or announcements about new products then they should reflect the current situation. See our guide on search engine optimisation. See our guide on how to develop an e-marketing plan. • Equally.Common e-commerce pitfalls and any opportunity to promote new products or services may be lost. if people don't know about it they will not visit it. if there are too many links. you need to consider various marketing strategies. • Ensure that the marketing approach you use does not annoy or antagonise the customer . • 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. the cost of your plan should be justified by the levels of sales you expect to generate. No matter how good your site is. New content will also help your website perform well in the natural listings of search engines. If they don't work. direct mail or other forms of offline promotion. and display them automatically on your homepage. Develop a marketing plan • Whether it is advertising on the web. • Make sure that your marketing budget is realistic and is capable of funding all of the activities you plan to undertake. 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. • Users like links to other sites. See our guide: Web 2. • Ask your web designer to incorporate a tool that will recognise newly added products and most popular products. such as news. it reflects very poorly on your site.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. purchasers. you risk sending customers away from your website. 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#¨ Crown copyright 2007 . or a page has been removed. product launches or promotions. Check the links on your site • Regularly check internal links on your site.

explaining how long it will take and how many stages there are. Make it easy to select and amend orders • When an item is placed in the shopping cart. so customers are not surprised during final checkout. Show clear information • Keep all information on a single screen on each checkout page. • Include some text about the buying process. and where they went when they left. so that customers do not have to wait until checkout to find out that a product is actually out of stock. Shopping cart problems Your checkout procedure must be as quick and simple as possible. include a box that customers can tick to automatically fill in the same information. so customers can easily jump back to make sure they have selected the right item. since industry research shows that 60 to 75 per cent of shopping carts are actually abandoned because of slow or unclear checkout processes. e-Commerce | Created by Business Link on 26 January 2010 09:50 Ã#¨ Crown copyright 2007 Page 92 . include a link back to the product page. so customers do not have to frequently scroll down. Ensure there are no surprises • Provide details of delivery costs early in the process. make sure that a meaningful error message is displayed that clearly describes what needs to be corrected. • Make it straightforward to change quantities or delete an item from the shopping cart. • Use tracking and site analysis tools that can help to tell you more about your site visitors . • If information is missing or filled out incorrectly during checkout.Common e-commerce pitfalls e-commerce shoppers. what they did while they were on your site (for example whether they purchased anything and what keywords they used to locate products). Indicate customer progress • Ensure that the customer always knows at exactly what stage they are in the checkout process by including an indicator. This can help show what works well and where resources have been wasted. make it easy for the customer to select or change values in the shopping cart. • Make sure that customers don't get lost by including a prominent 'Next Step' or 'Continue with Checkout' navigation button on each checkout page. for example 'You are in step 3 of 4'. • If the billing information is the same as the shipping information. or otherwise. Measure the effectiveness of your marketing efforts • You must measure the success. • If a product comes in multiple sizes or colours. of any marketing initiative you undertake. Here are some of the techniques that you can employ. See our guide on how to generate business from your e-marketing plan.where they came from. • Show stock availability on the product page.

There are a variety of ways in which misuse of information and hacker attacks could jeopardise your business. The importance attached to on-time delivery by customers means that you must select your outsourced service very carefully. They can be generated automatically via email and are expected by most customers. whilst others have implemented online tracking systems that enable the customer to log on to their website in order to check on progress. the delivery of products purchased via e-commerce sites is contracted out to third-party distribution services. you need to ensure that your packaging is robust enough to ensure safe delivery. Many carriers now use email to notify a customer that an order has been dispatched. Order fulfilment issues Recent research indicates that a large proportion of the complaints made by e-commerce customers relate to fulfilment issues. This practice rarely works and is more likely to cause problems in customer relations. • The customer should be provided with a way to track down the progress and availability of their order. • Some e-commerce providers believe that they can lure customers by offering a product at low cost. • This is commonly achieved by giving a 100 per cent no-quibble money-back guarantee if they don't like or want the product. • Depending upon the nature of the product you are supplying.Common e-commerce pitfalls Regulations 2000. you should put in place measures to protect your data against people attempting to steal or hacking into your systems. so e-commerce providers must be realistic about the delivery promises they make to customers. See our guide on e-commerce and the law. whilst charging a relatively high delivery rate. 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. In order to tackle such problems you need to address various issues. Customers are entitled to written confirmation of their order under the Distance Selling Security weaknesses Regardless of the size of your business. Product delivery problems • Late delivery of products is a frequently cited complaint. 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. • Increasingly. Failing to keep the customer updated on progress • Successful e-commerce sites make a point of confirming orders immediately by email. e-Commerce | Created by Business Link on 26 January 2010 09:50 Ã#¨ Crown copyright 2007 Page 93 . especially when demand is high.

gov. with a view to committing fraud. perhaps through locating to a back-up site. The motives may be malicious or to gain competitive knowledge. Some businesses never recover from such attacks. • A lack of customer confidence is potentially fatal to the success of your online venture. therefore. both malicious and natural. • Contingency planning is intended to put measures in place to enable your systems to continue operating. Hackers gaining access to privileged information • Inadequate security controls can enable hackers to gain access to your sensitive business data such as price lists.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#¨ Crown copyright 2007 Page 94 . • 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. password protection and firewalls. Denial-of-service attacks • Denial-of-service attacks deny access to authorised users of a website. • Hackers may also gain access to the financial information of your business or your customers. ensure that any web hosting solution you are considering is capable of supporting the SSL protocol.Common e-commerce pitfalls If you already have a merchant account set up with your bank. catalogues and valuable intellectual property. Consider the most likely risks and take steps to minimise them. You should. Loss of customer confidence • Security breaches can damage the confidence that your customers have in the e-commerce service you provide. such as virus software. so that the site is forced to offer a reduced level of service or cease operation completely.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. No contingency measures in place • There are many possible threats to the operation of your e-commerce system. Related guides on businesslink.

Opens in a new window High-value fraud guidance on the Metropolitan Police website .Common e-commerce pitfalls Website specification guide on the Web Style Guide website .Opens in a new window Broadband provider comparison on the Broadband checker website .Opens in a new window Risk management advice on the Institute of Risk Management website .Opens in a new window e-Commerce | Created by Business Link on 26 January 2010 09:50 Ã#¨ Crown copyright 2007 Page 95 .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 .

while others will be automated versions of traditional marketing techniques.businesslink. Some of these will be innovative. Used successfully. e-marketing can enhance customer relationships and increase your business' profitability. What makes it so effective .gov. flexible and effective way of getting marketing messages through . e-Commerce | Created by Business Link on 26 January 2010 09:50 Ã#¨ Crown copyright 2007 Page 96 . Email marketing More and more people have an email address that allows them to receive documents or other files electronically. It's essential not to overuse email marketing. This guide provides an introduction to the e-marketing techniques most commonly used by small businesses. You can find this guide on http://www.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.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.the personal.such as newsletters or special offers .uk Related web sites you might find useful There are a variety of different approaches that you can take.can also irritate people if it is irrelevant or unwanted. and your e-marketing plan will usually include a mix of different strategies that are best suited to help you meet your overall objectives.gov.without the time lag and costs associated with printing and postage. The overall objective of any marketing initiative is to help sell your goods or services. time-sensitive interaction . It is a fast.

new rules came into force covering marketing emails to individuals. Create plain text versions as well as HTML versions to ensure cross-platform compatibility. are likely to be filtered out by email software and internet service providers. The Privacy and Electronic Communications Regulations introduced an opt-in consent procedure for commercial emails . The 'click through rate' for untargeted or cold emails is likely to be very low ie between 1 to 3 per cent. • People can click on links and follow your call to action immediately. • Easy for people to forward on to others. Advantages of email marketing • Flexible . others might prefer a plain text email. One of the primary reasons behind this growth is that text messaging has become increasingly used as a business tool. • Less intrusive than telephone marketing.whichever suits your message best. You need to make sure that your email marketing complies with privacy and data protection rules.meaning they can be effective for time sensitive messages. • Poorly designed emails may not get delivered to the customer. Advantages of SMS marketing • The personal nature of mobile phones make SMS marketing a very powerful tool. Some may like high-tech e-marketing. Potential problems with email marketing • Files need to be small enough to download quickly. The solution is to profile your customers and understand what the best format is for them.which means you can only target people who have agreed to be contacted.you can send plain text.Generate business from your e-marketing plan • Unsolicited commercial email or 'spam' irritates consumers. You should be careful in your use of images since these will increase download times and may be blocked by email filters. • Most people take their mobile phones everywhere . Text messaging enables information to be sent to groups of people quickly and conveniently in much the same way as email. making it an increasing popular e-marketing channel. Email marketing rules In December 2003. graphics or attach files . See our guide on e-commerce and the law. See our guide on email marketing. building your reputation by word of mouth or viral marketing. SMS marketing Text messages or short messaging service (SMS) messages are the messages that people send from their mobile phones. Text messaging is growing at an enormous rate. You should also consider compatibility since different programs will display email differently. Emails that use certain spam keywords in the subject heading or content of the email. • People tend to read virtually every Page 97 e-Commerce | Created by Business Link on 26 January 2010 09:50 Ã#¨ Crown copyright 2007 . and that it is properly targeted at people who want to receive it.

Generate business from your e-marketing plan text they get . flyers. video and photo sharing sites. has also made multimedia messaging service (MMS) possible. For more information on the E-commerce Regulations. Costs You will need to employ a mobile phone agency to send out the texts for you. The development of 3G (third generation) and smartphones.eu address as well. A good way of generating web traffic is to make sure you include your web address on all printed material .co. etc.direct navigation.business cards. If you operate exclusively in the UK. social networking sites. referring people to your website when appropriate. etc can help you build a community around your brand. web referrals and search engines. Direct navigation e-Commerce | Created by Business Link on 26 January 2010 09:50 Ã#¨ Crown copyright 2007 . Make sure you have their permission to send them texts and that your SMS marketing complies with privacy and data protection rules.com or . See the page in this guide on advertising and sponsorship. Choose a simple web address (URL) which avoids hyphens or other punctuation as it will be easier for people to remember. Under the E-commerce Regulations. Web referrals Web referrals are an important means of attracting visitors to your site. • Include your web address in all email footers. If the offer is interesting. For more information on choosing a domain name. letters. which have larger screens and can play music and video clips.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. • Online advertising . • Email marketing . see our guide on website hosting options.targeted electronic newsletters and offers to customers can be very effective.unlike junk mail. Potential disadvantages of SMS marketing • Your message has to be short . it is easy for people to pass the email on.uk address. see our guide on e-commerce and the law. • People respond negatively to unwanted texts. You can set up your own communities or join in the discussions on other sites. choose a .the use of social media such as blogs. These work out at about ten pence per text. If you trade abroad.you do not have much space to get your message across. spam or adverts which can be ignored. you are required to make it clear who the message is from and commercial communications must be clearly recognisable as such. There are a number of ways you can generate these. • People are wary of responding to SMS messages due to an increase in fraudulent messages. consider a . See the page in Page 98 Promoting your website There are three main ways that people arrive at websites . • Social media sites .

ie a free listing. social networking sites. video and photo sharing sites. etc can also help you improve your search engine ranking. • Reciprocal marketing . Use the most relevant keywords from your website and the words that people are likely to use when searching for your products or services. • Social media such as blogs. While this can sound daunting.finding sites with complementary content and agreeing to have links or banners to each other's sites. Many directories are free but it is also worth considering paying for highly relevant directories. See our guide on search engine optimisation. is a cost-effective way of increasing search engine referrals to your website. look at how you can improve your ranking in the natural listings and whether paid advertising. The vast majority of those using search engines will not go beyond the first page of results. eg pay per click. Few web users will look past the first page of results on a search engine.Generate business from your e-marketing plan this guide on community building and social media. you are unlikely to pick up passing trade. it will be well worth spending the time and effort to ensure you get the most out of your search engine placement. Page 99 Getting the most out of search engines When working on your search marketing strategy. there are lots of things you can do to improve your ranking. 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. Search engines combine natural listings. Yahoo and Bing offer search engine optimisation tips. The major search engines like Google. Read our guides on pay per click advertising and search engine optimisation. This means that if your website isn't rated as one of the ten best matches for someone's search. • Register with online directories. This will generate links to your site from highly ranked sites which will boost your page rank. with pay per click (PPC) or sponsored advertising. as well as their own PPC schemes to help you improve your website's search engine placement. See the page in this guide on getting the most out of search engines. Your website designer can help you include the key phrases when designing and building your website. visitors to your website are coming through search engine referrals rather than direct navigation. Search engine optimisation e-Commerce | Created by Business Link on 26 January 2010 09:50 Ã#¨ Crown copyright 2007 . If you are expecting your website to generate significant commercial returns. but isn't visible on the pages) when you build your website. Search engines Increasingly. 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. • Include the right keywords in your content or metadata (information that describes a webpage. both general (eg Applegate and Kelly) and those specific to your industry and the markets you serve.

sound and animation.Opens in a new window. Pay per click advertising Paid advertising or pay per click involves paying search engines to include your website as a sponsored link. Webmaster resources such as Google's Adwords Keyword Tool. what budget you have. advice and tools to help you improve your website's usability. In-house or agency? You can engage the services of a professional search marketing agency. Banner adverts Banner adverts occupy designated space for rent on web pages. If you do decide to go for an agency.provide tips. and most involve the use of multimedia content. there are various techniques that can be used for advertising on websites. the keywords that are most relevant to the campaign and the creation of an effective advert and campaign landing page. Ask. 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. including graphics. you may be better off saving resources. Most of the search engines provide advice on how you can improve your rankings if you are doing the work yourself. Find out about sponsored search pricing on the Yahoo website . and the user-generated nature of social media will ensure that your website remains visible to the search engines. though if you are a small business with a limited budget. and your website is just one of several channels to market. To become a sponsored link you bid for particular keywords or phrases. will help you identify relevant keywords for your campaign and the levels of search activity that they are generating. including suggestions for improvements Advertising and sponsorship In addition to the paid search as part of your search marketing strategy. For any campaign that you run you will need to look at what your campaign objectives are. • Exchange reciprocal links with related trade associations. Search engines like new content. Many of the main search engines such as Google.Opens in a new window. audio and interactive Page 100 e-Commerce | Created by Business Link on 26 January 2010 09:50 Ã#¨ Crown copyright 2007 . Access the Google Webmaster tools on the Google website . 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. Yahoo and Bing . These are all intended to grab your attention and then guide you through to the relevant website. Your ranking is determined by how much you pay each time your link is clicked known as 'cost-per-click' pricing. See our guide on Web 2.Generate business from your e-marketing plan as well as build interest around your brand. • Use the webmaster tools provided by the search engines to help you improve your website's ranking. Sponsored links appear at the top or on the right-hand side of the search results. consumer forums and sites selling related (but not competing) goods or services. except they can include video.0: a guide for business. They are similar to the print advertising model used by newspapers and magazines.

the advertorial approach of blatantly plugging your own business can quickly put readers off. The sponsorship approach can work particularly well where the quality of the editorial content is high. superstitials can create very high levels of click-through. or where the website is recognised as a good independent source of information. Most online sales promotions are targeted at consumers and are used in combination with advertising. A later development is known as a superstitial. indicates that marketers have found online promotions achieve three to five times higher response rates than direct mail. Most banners work on the basis of click-throughs. Here. Alternatively the webpage itself can include advertising links through to their own website. reports that a British Airways advert using this approach achieved a 20 per cent click-through rate. with the Page 101 e-Commerce | Created by Business Link on 26 January 2010 09:50 Ã#¨ Crown copyright 2007 . As with traditional magazines. This content may contain references to their own products or services. where adverts appear in a separate window that overlays the current browser window. published by Prentice Hall. 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. E-Marketing. published by Prentice Hall. Sales promotions Sales promotion activities are widely used on the web. Such videos load behind the scenes and do not appear on the user screen until they are fully loaded. A variation is the pop-up. Sponsorship Many businesses are developing partnerships with website owners to combine useful content with advertising. E-Marketing. but response rates tend to be very low. the user clicks on the banner and is linked through to the website that is paying for the advert. Banners can be useful for brand awareness. Done well.Generate business from your e-marketing plan capabilities in just a few square inches of space. 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. the advert comes in the form of a mini video that uses Flash technology and Java. Interstitials Interstitials are Java-based adverts that appear when content is loading to a webpage.

Contests and sweepstakes Some websites hold contests and sweepstakes to attract visitors and keep them returning. Users generally value both the information and the social bonding they receive from such a community. Sampling Some e-commerce sites allow users to sample digital products prior to purchase. Such groups encourage users to feel part of the site by posting their own information and responding to other users. Increasingly. customers expect to engage with a business online in a variety of ways. provide free downloads of demo software that normally expire after 30 to 60 days. Customers will feel more involved with your brand and will be more likely to return to your site. At that time. The term 'Web 2. for example. while also protecting your business' reputation. See our guide on search engine optimisation. Some website owners try to build up a community through the development of blogs. The business that Page 102 Community building and social media Online content has become richer. then you could consider setting up your own blog. This change is altering the way that businesses build customer relationships online.0: a guide for business. • If you operate in a specialist field. such communities will provide you with a highly targeted group of customers to which you can market your product or service. Social media content will also keep your site fresh with new content and impact positively on your website's search engine optimisation. Social media such as blogs and social networking sites will help you engage with your customers and create a community around your brand. discussion groups and online events. user-generated content or 'social media'. the user can then choose to purchase the full product if they wish. Whereas the 'old' internet was about static content and online information. e-Commerce | Created by Business Link on 26 January 2010 09:50 Ã#¨ Crown copyright 2007 . Contests generally require some level of skill. online chat rooms. you may look at setting up a group on a social networking site such as Facebook or LinkedIn.0' is commonly used to describe this 'second generation' of the internet. it is important to maintain brand honesty with your customers. while sweepstakes involve a pure chance draw for the winner. Many software companies. Such sales promotions can be a useful way of creating excitement about your brand and enticing customers to return to your site. the 'new' internet is about dynamic. From an e-marketing perspective. See our guide on Web 2. more collaborative and social.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. Alternatively. Marketing opportunities There are different ways in which you can seek to utilise online communities for your own marketing purposes. With all social media. user forum or online community for other people with similar interests.

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. While consumer communities are the most visible. so I went on a Business Link course to learn more about it. four years ago to complement their existing shop. See our page on legal implications and best practice when using social media in our guide Web 2. Brown and Forrest . Communities can.co. www. they were also in tune with our business. Michael explains how they set about it. However marketing on the social web should be handled with care. reach more customers and open up a new sales channel. you should note that business professionals also subscribe to discussion forums and online networking sites with groups that focus upon their own particular field. therefore. We wanted the website to reflect our company culture and values. you may wish to contribute to an existing blog or join a group on Facebook or LinkedIn rather than creating your own online communities.0: a guide for business. restaurant and mail order service. See our guide on online networking. "The people we chose not only had the technical expertise.Generate business from your e-marketing plan builds the community can present products and messages that are customised to the group's interests." • "Use the website to market all aspects of your business. What I did Get professional help "I knew a website could raise our profile. be used to enhance relationships with customers and prospects in both the business-to-consumer and business-to-business marketplaces. tailor your campaign so that it will sit comfortably with both the site and its users. Instead. • If there is already a well established user community in your area of business. Somerset.smokedeel.uk." • "Keep website content customer-focused and refresh it often.Opens in a new window Michael's top tips: • "Shop around for web designers and don't get carried away with pricey gimmicks. For example. The course made me realise that building and maintaining a good e-commerce website needed more time than I had to spare. forging relationships with the individual members in the process." Brown and Forrest has been producing its traditional range of hand-smoked fish and meats for over 20 years near Langport. 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. I began looking for a designer and an IT specialist to work with us. Owners Michael and Utta Brown started their website and online 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#¨ Crown copyright 2007 Page 103 .

gov.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. In future." Promote the website and keep it fresh "When the website went live. The website address was included in all our merchandising and marketing material too. Managing the database is a key responsibility for our IT manager . We're now looking at software to help us refine our online marketing to different sets of customers. "To keep customers coming back the website has to be kept fresh. we'll review it more often. "The site is interactive and we encourage customers to develop a relationship with us.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. but it's becoming more important every year. whereas we left it for three. Changing photos and text design are simple ways to update the look. "We also use the website to market other aspects of the business that customers might not be aware of. We store all customer data we collect.she spends as much time on it as she does maintaining the website itself. all existing customers were notified via our regular newsletter. location of customers. the methods used and our company history." 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. Our typical customer has a natural interest in traditionally produced food so we included sections on the origins of smoked food. As well as email requests for information and catalogues. we developed the website content. Out of our six sales channels. We also post the latest version of our newsletter on the site so there's something new to read. "The website complements rather than replaces existing marketing activities.0: a guide for business | Online Page 104 e-Commerce | Created by Business Link on 26 January 2010 09:50 Ã#¨ Crown copyright 2007 ." Related guides on businesslink. It's boosted overall sales as well. in accordance with the Data Protection Act 1998. the website has risen from sixth to third in terms of orders generated. such as our weekly market stall." Redesign sooner "In retrospect the site was ready for a complete redesign after two years. and value of purchases. we invite visitors to contribute recipes and send us suggestions.

Opens in a new window e-Commerce | Created by Business Link on 26 January 2010 09:50 Ã#¨ Crown copyright 2007 Page 105 .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.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 e-marketing glossary on the Marketing Online website .Opens in a new window Search engine technology trends on the Search Engine Watch website .0 technology benefited my business (Flash video) | Related web sites you might find useful Text messaging business applications explained on the text.Opens in a new window Mobile data usage information on the Mobile Data Association website .Opens in a new window Google Webmaster tools on the Google website .Opens in a new window Domain name information on the EURid website .it website .

gov.businesslink. To ensure that your website is appearing prominently in the natural listings. It is now more commonplace for users to access websites via search engines rather than the web address. the more visible you will be. there are a number of search engines that people can use. This means more visitors. This guide will show you how search engines work and provide practical advice on how to improve your SEO. Although dominated by a few.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 (SEO) helps tune website content to improve visibility. ie the free listing on a results page. How this ranking is done differs across search engines. you can do certain things. ranking the found pages in order of their 'relevance'.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. How do search engines work? e-Commerce | Created by Business Link on 26 January 2010 09:50 Ã#¨ Crown copyright 2007 Page 106 .gov.uk Related web sites you might find useful Search engine visibility is the key to online success. However. Search queries bring interested users directly to a website or service. The higher you rank in a search engine's index. the vast majority of those using search engines will not go beyond the first page of results. a results page is returned. It also advises on unacceptable techniques that can damage page ranking. who can be turned into customers. Increasingly customers are searching online to find products and services they require. You can find this guide on http://www. When a user enters a keyword or key phrase into a search engine.

links to and from other websites. though content is also important in deciding search relevance. refer to their webmaster pages. robots or crawlers.with interesting information and well-designed e-commerce systems . to search the internet. It now uses link analysis tools to determine page relevancy. often referred to as spiders. These programs are used by search engines to build an index of the internet. • Yahoo! . 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.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. and the relevance of your website's content to keywords. Votes cast by pages that are themselves seen as important by Google weigh more heavily and increase the ranking of the linked pages. All the leading search engines provide information and tools to help you improve your SEO. easy-to-navigate pages . For more detailed information on how to best optimise your website for a particular search engine. Google also analyses the content on the page that makes the link. 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. high quality content. which also ensures visitors stay to browse and buy. However. and the use of relevant keywords in your content. Each link is counted as a vote. Search engines use programs.Microsoft's Bing search engine ranks websites based on the webpage content. from one page to another. Page 107 e-Commerce | Created by Business Link on 26 January 2010 09:50 Ã#¨ Crown copyright 2007 . in an attempt to avoid misuse the applied rules are a well-guarded secret. Make your site accessible The most important part of making a website search-engine friendly is designing it well. The three main search engines are: • Google . Basic SEO techniques such as site accessibility. although most search engines will provide tips on how to improve your page ranking. Other factors that are important include backlinks and a good site design. Different search engine methods Each of the three main search engines use different methods to rank websites.will get repeat visitors as well as satisfied customers.Search engine optimisation • Bing . Understanding these methods will help you understand the SEO strategies outlined in this guide. Good site design makes it easier for search engines to index your site. Well-written.Yahoo! began as a manually edited directory. See our guide on best practice in web design. will all help in giving your website a higher ranking in the search engine results pages. the number and quality of websites that link to your pages. Search engines also change these rules regularly.

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
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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

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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
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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#¨ Crown copyright 2007

and draw up a shortlist. Working with a search engine optimisation agency Search engine optimisation (SEO) agencies can provide useful services. Ask around before engaging an agency. helping you manage your site effectively. if you don't want to handle your site's SEO yourself.that means there's a lot of competition. You need to ensure that they are right for your business. Make sure that you communicate regularly. and a site that was on top today could be further down the page tomorrow. to help understand how a prospective partner works. Search marketing and optimisation will be an $11. as search engine rankings can change dramatically . You should expect any relationship to be long term. Choosing a search engine optimisation agency Once you have decided to work with a search engine optimisation (SEO) agency. Any agency you engage will need to work with you as a partner. Make sure that any contract you sign with an agency includes enforceable service level agreements. so make sure that your chosen partner will deliver. This is an important decision. 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. Engaging a search engine consultancy is like working with any other business service provider. including knowledge of the service business model and the target audience. Effective SEO requires a deep understanding of the site that is being optimised. or with changes in how search engines index pages. Get references from previous customers. from writing content for your pages to advising on site architecture and suggesting directories to submit your website to. you need to choose one that is appropriate for your business. Google and the other search engines change algorithms frequently to prevent SEO agencies from doing this.Search engine optimisation search engines. Engaging an SEO specialist can be expensive.either due to the actions of your competitors. Search engine rank changes regularly. and that your SEO partner will provide you with regular and auditable reports. A good consultancy should want to know as much about you as you do about them.6 billion business worldwide by 2010 (source: Forrester) . The following checklist should help you make this decision: • Do they claim to guarantee high ranking? Any service offering this is to be avoided. • Are they a personal Page 111 e-Commerce | Created by Business Link on 26 January 2010 09:50 Ã#¨ Crown copyright 2007 . as choosing the right or wrong partner can have a significant effect on your business.

as do those that have a negative reputation. and keeping track of the results of an SEO campaign is a key part of the process. ie a group of websites that all link to each other in an attempt to improve their page ranking on search engines.Search engine optimisation recommendation? Services recommended by friends and colleagues are worth considering. relevant sites. helping to keep your site competitive. The results of log-file analysis can be used to refine the keywords used. One that doesn't make the rankings is unlikely to be a suitable partner. as word-of-mouth recommendations are a valuable source of information about a company. Do they have references? It's important to hear about an agency from its customers. You should be able to see the site's keywords. • 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. 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. Use your web server logs Analysing the contents of your web servers' log files will show how a visitor got to your site. These techniques go against search-engine rules and a good agency will provide back links from real. 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. including any search terms used. Is their site optimised? Explore the agency's own site and look to see just how well optimised it is. What do others say about the company? Online sentiment can help you evaluate prospective partners. then search on them to see how well ranked the agency is. Without feedback. as well as showing the pages that are accessed the most. Popular services generate a lot of online comment . You can then use these to determine the correct choice of keywords. • • • • e-Commerce | Created by Business Link on 26 January 2010 09:50 Ã#¨ Crown copyright 2007 Page 112 . especially if an agency is happy for you to contact customers directly. Avoid sites that use automated submissions or run their own link farms. it will be unclear what search terms are being used to find your site. or which site elements attract the most traffic. Customer references are important. 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. • Tracking your search engine optimisation results Search engine optimisation (SEO) should be treated like any marketing campaign. It's also a good idea to see if the agency is part of any professional bodies. and to improve the search rank of pages that are being bypassed by users. It's also worth looking at recommendations in online forums. along with positive and negative comments about an agency.

You can download log-file analysis tools from many sources: • find out about the free tool on the Webalizer website .Opens in a new window SEO toolbox on the National B2B Centre website (registration required) .Search engine optimisation Make sure that your hosting provider gives you access to your web server log files. 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. Get reports from SEO partners If you use an SEO agency. Google's Toolbar for Firefox and Internet Explorer gives a basic view of the Google Page Rank of any page. 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. Use browser tools for quick information You can quickly see the effects of SEO on your pages using browser tools. You can use web-log analysis tools to analyse this log data.Opens in a new window SEO information on the Search Engine Marketing Professional Organisation website . it should provide regular reports showing how their optimisations are working. A tracking code is added to each page of your website which collects user data.Opens in a new window. you can use web analytics also known as page tagging or tracking.Opens in a new window Using web analytics If you can't get access to your web servers' log files.Opens in a new window Web standards guidance on the World e-Commerce | Created by Business Link on 26 January 2010 09:50 Ã#¨ Crown copyright 2007 Page 113 .Opens in a new window • get a free log file analysis tool on the AWStats website .uk Develop an e-marketing plan | Generate business from your e-marketing plan | Pay per click advertising | Best practice in web design | Web 2.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 . Related guides on businesslink.Opens in a new window • find out about the free tool on the WebLogExpert 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. along with any plans to improve current search engine ranking.gov.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 . You can find out about Analytics on the Google website .

Opens in a new window Analytics information on the Google website .Opens in a new window SEO tips 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 SeoQuake tool information on the SeoQuake website .Opens in a new window SEO partner finder on the SEMPO website .Opens in a new window Site design guidelines on the Google website .Opens in a new window Keyword generator tool 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 Google browser toolbar information on the Google website .Opens in a new window Search engine marketing guidance on the SEMPO website .Opens in a new window e-Commerce | Created by Business Link on 26 January 2010 09:50 Ã#¨ Crown copyright 2007 Page 114 .Search engine optimisation Wide Web Consortium website .Opens in a new window Firefox SEO tool on the SEO Book website .

gov. This guide describes how PPC works and how to use it to get your adverts a stronger rating. the words they use .known as keywords . and provides a great deal of information to measure campaign performance.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). You can find this guide on http://www. PPC advertising can be set up very quickly. cutting-edge analysis and careful. offers great flexibility in targeting and scope.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. To be successful PPC advertising requires strategic thinking.set both the natural or organic search and PPC results processes in motion. Pay per click (PPC) advertising lets you target potential customers actively searching the web for the products or services you offer.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. on-going management.businesslink. so it can be a highly cost-effective form of advertising when implemented correctly. They appear in a column to the right of or above the 'natural' or organic results on search engine results pages.gov. You only pay for 'click throughs'. drive more targeted traffic to your website and turn users' interest into a sale. you want people e-Commerce | Created by Business Link on 26 January 2010 09:50 Ã#¨ Crown copyright 2007 Page 115 . When users search the internet for products or services via a search engine. Such adverts are called sponsored links or sponsored adverts.

• Define keywords that best describe your product or service.Pay per click advertising searching for your product or service to find you. Other adverts from higher ranking websites may top the list and/or be more compelling or relevant than yours. click through to your website and buy. e-Commerce | Created by Business Link on 26 January 2010 09:50 Ã#¨ Crown copyright 2007 Page 116 . you: • Choose one or more PPC providers according to your business model eg a global or local search engine. A few are sometimes displayed above and/or below them.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. Users click through on the offers of interest and buy directly from the partner merchant or from the price comparison portal itself. With PPC. Content matching could bring you qualified leads .this is known as the cost per click or simply CPC. a price comparison or content website. adverts about travel and hotel options in Paris will probably be displayed. clicks through on your advert and lands on your website.normally appear to the right of the natural or organic listings. Sponsored links . • Pay your PPC provider your bid price for that keyword when an internet user. from websites with a different user base to that of the search engine itself. 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. its position is not guaranteed. 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 . • Bid an amount per click on each keyword that you feel will give your advert an advantage over your competitors . • Create small adverts to specification and submit these to your PPC provider. the search engine they use returns one or more search engine response pages (SERPS). For example. nor will it be the only one. if you're reading about Paris on a national newspaper website partnered with a search engine.ie business adverts placed via PPC that match the search term .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 . Even if the search engine displays your advert. searching for the item described by your keyword.ie customers actively looking for a product or service like yours that they intend to buy if the price is right. SERPS present the most relevant generic and sponsored links to the queried keywords.

eg 'hotel' for 'bed and breakfast'. • Use search engine optimisation technology and tactics so your website benefits from the way in which search engines work. You can buy software or use providers who will analyse keywords for you. However there are things you can do yourself. To reach a good ranking. 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. you are advised to regularly check your conversion rate against the click-through rate. co-branding and advertising links with complementary businesses. In order to succeed at PPC . Keep your keywords up to date by adding variations to match changing search terms. See our guide on search engine optimisation. 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'll need to make the right bid but also: • Get a good click-through rate (CTR) for your adverts. e-Commerce | Created by Business Link on 26 January 2010 09:50 Ã#¨ Crown copyright 2007 . • 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. 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. You can find a partial list of price comparison websites on the Paler website . Millions of internet searches are made every day so it is important to find the best keywords for your business. • Add value to your website through appealing content. price comparison websites offer you access to qualified leads .and to generally get the leading search engines to list your website in organic search results . Researching keywords Keyword research is central to any pay per click (PPC) campaign. However.Opens in a new window. This is the percentage of people who click through on your adverts against the number of times the search engine displays them.you need to find out which words and phrases your potential customers use when they search online for products or services like yours. 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. Consider whether or not to allow synonyms .ie customers who are actively looking for a product or service like yours that they intend to buy if the price is right. search engines evaluate keyword bids and website rankings.

You might want to form campaigns around a group of keywords relating to a single product.ie one or more adverts targeting the same group of people . See our guide on search engine optimisation.with the aim of closing a sale of the product on offer. for instance. paid reviews and many other types of paid advertising . a group of products or a particular geographic area.check the ones you're using are still popular in search engines' ratings and delivering good results. Campaign creation You need to start your pay per click (PPC) campaign by considering your business objectives . SEO promotes websites in the major search engines so that users can find them when they search for some chosen keywords or expressions. 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 .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.may also be relevant to your business. Landing pages are those you specifically design to match the offer in your advert . Bear in mind that PPC is one aspect of an online marketing campaign.a broad match. Banner advertising. You'll need to define: • which visitors you want to attract . • Choose the right keyword matching option .Pay per click advertising • Prepare your adverts. taking into account that each advert group can link to several adverts. you can be very specific. • Set up distinct landing pages so that the destination URL in your advert will take users directly to the product they want to buy. Setting budgets for PPC campaigns is a little different to traditional campaigns. Remove the weak and form the best ones into advert groups. • Check the advice the major search engines offer on setting up campaigns and in particular any extra tools they offer to add value. Search engine optimisation (SEO) is the other half of the equation. 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#¨ Crown copyright 2007 . you should: • Re-analyse your keywords . Aside from budget considerations.ie your target audience • whether you want to target local or regional.collectively known as search engine marketing . Make sure the landing pages are appealing and match the content of the advert to maximise your conversion rate . will trigger your ad more frequently than an exact match and could mean that your ad is shown inappropriately. See the page in this guide on setting campaign budgets.ie the percentage of people who actually buy the product out of all of those who click through. so you can test which adverts and bids are working best.which most often means you want to convert your website's visitors into buyers.

Typically. you're in control of the cost of your keyword-targeted adverts. • Conversion rate . See the page in this guide on choosing a pay per click agency.and target your copy to specific audiences. • Cost per click (CPC) bid .the total amount you're willing to spend per day on a specific campaign. but you'll never pay more than the maximum you set. Key points to consider when writing your adverts are to: e-Commerce | Created by Business Link on 26 January 2010 09:50 Ã#¨ Crown copyright 2007 Page 119 . your adverts will have fewer displays. All of them offer tools to help you calculate and set your budget.the percentage of clicks out of the total number of times your advert is displayed. PPC gives you the flexibility to run different adverts in different regions. You'll need to constantly monitor your bids in light of your advert's performance. The more compelling your advert.Pay per click advertising landing page and the website's quality. but if you set the budget significantly below your PPC provider's recommendation. it will include an advert's CTR. at different times of the day . the most important of which is the web address from which potential customers will click through to the landing page on your website. • Quality score . you may prefer to invest in automated bidding tools or use the services of a PPC agency to carry out these tasks for you. Adverts have four short lines. 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. changing them every day if necessary. This is because each of the market-leading providers offers a slightly different proposition. You may pay less than your CPC bid as your ranking will determine the actual cost. but how you set your budget will depend on the PPC provider you choose.assigned by search engines according to their own calculation. (PPC) campaign. You need to attract targeted leads and you have barely 100 characters to do this. There's no minimum.the maximum amount you're willing to pay for each click. Your copy needs to be compelling and you must attract the right buyers . you can prepare several adverts and test which works best.or night . which counts towards your quality score.the percentage of people who buy out of those who click through and visit your website. If your budget allows. which may in turn increase your CTR. you could benefit from a CPC that is below your maximum bid and/or a better position on the search page. • Click-through rate (CTR) . the higher CTR you can expect and the lower your advertising cost will be. 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. Common terms used in setting budgets include: • Daily budget .ie those who want your product or service. Because of the immediacy of the internet. As a high score improves your ranking.

the CAP Code.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. but you're not getting the sales. You can view the CAP Code at the Committee of Advertising Practice website . Aim for a high conversion rate . the claims you make for your product or service must comply with a number of standards to ensure fair trade.Pay per click advertising • include your keywords • use phrases that relate to your keywords • be specific . say so • your URL is part of the advert .ie effective enough to close the sale. You need to keep the user's attention so they don't follow any links away from the page. If your adverts are getting good click-through rates. Page 120 Complying with advertising e-Commerce | Created by Business Link on 26 January 2010 09:50 Ã#¨ Crown copyright 2007 .if you have a time-limited offer. 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. 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 . how it works and how to order it. 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 .ie a high percentage of people who click through to stay on your landing page long enough to buy your product or service. standards When you advertise. trade marks and anti-discrimination law when you use their services.if you only serve a particular city. clearly explain on the landing page what the product is.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. Using your keywords. 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. include it • offer benefits .Opens in a new window. If either the quality of your page or how well you have targeted your advert lets you down. you're less likely to convert the hit into a sale. Your provider will give you the tools to monitor and evaluate your results. you can quickly cancel the bid for that advert and set up a new landing page or revamp the existing one .then re-bid and monitor results until you reach your desired conversion rate. which should be tailored to match the advert .

manage. 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. If you find a name in the top ten generic results and again in the top three sponsored links.eg banner adverts. There are certain similarities with traditional advertising agencies . PPC agencies must have different skills and a different mind set. Typically. See the page in this guide on choosing a pay per click agency. 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 . bid management. 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. Before contacting an agency. 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. track and analyse PPC campaigns • a creative approach to PPC essentials . a Yahoo! Search Marketing Ambassador and/or a Microsoft adExcellence member.keyword research. summaries and Page 121 e-Commerce | Created by Business Link on 26 January 2010 09:50 Ã#¨ Crown copyright 2007 .eg you'll want prospective PPC agencies to provide testimonials and customer references or case studies. which you can view as graphs. 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. consider the skills and competencies you expect of an agency and your marketing goals and objectives. See our guide on how to choose and manage an advertising agency. However. You can also take on a PPC agency to carry out these critical tasks on your behalf and provide you with real-time reports. 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. you could click through and see whether the landing page matches your expectations. Ask prospective agencies whether they're accredited as a Google AdWords Qualified Company.

Opens in a new window MSN adCenter information on the Microsoft website .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. For example. you could then target a campaign to draw them back as return customers • analyse and optimise your landing pages .if it's to a competitor.if you find a heavy density in a particular region.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 . you will be able to improve your online results.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 . the Google Analytics tool will allow you to: • assess whether your conversion rate differs between regions . 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#¨ Crown copyright 2007 .Opens in a Page 122 Related guides on businesslink.uk Search engine optimisation | E-marketplaces. 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 . check how your copy. the tools are more sophisticated.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 . In some cases.the conversion rate is the number of visitors to your site that actually become customers during their visit • find out where your customers live .gov.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 .Opens in a new window Campaign research and search marketing advice on the Internet Advertising Bureau website .

Opens in a new window e-Commerce | Created by Business Link on 26 January 2010 09:50 Ã#¨ Crown copyright 2007 Page 123 .Pay per click advertising new window Google keyword tool information on the Google website .Opens in a new window Internet advertising regulation guidance on the IAB website .Opens in a new window CAP Code on the Committee of Advertising Practice 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 Copy writing for search marketing advice on the Internet Advertising Bureau (IAB) website .Opens in a new window Choosing keywords advice on the Microsoft 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 Open source analytics information on the Open Web Analytics website .

face-to-face meetings can be just as rewarding and productive when conducted online. as business leaders realise that cost and efficiency gains can be made by avoiding a physical networking event. The second is the continued development of computers that can handle full-motion video and graphics.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. You can find this guide on http://www.gov.uk Related web sites you might find useful Traditional networking events are increasingly giving way to online alternatives. It will also provide advice on the types of events you can 'attend'.gov. identify some of the risks involved and outline what is considered good online etiquette. Developing strategic relationships via networking events has been the traditional means of making new business contacts. Word of mouse e-Commerce | Created by Business Link on 26 January 2010 09:50 Ã#¨ Crown copyright 2007 Page 124 . The connections you and your business make are of paramount importance today. 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 first is the availability of fast broadband access to the internet. With advanced communications technology now available. audio and video have come together to offer online networking as a practical proposition for even the smallest enterprise.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. Text. Today. the internet is becoming a meeting place in its own right.

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#¨ Crown copyright 2007 Page 125 . It is vital that you think through what you want to achieve by taking part in an online network. This close connection fosters a much more intimate working relationship that you can build on over time. There are a number of different online networks that your business can participate in. Targeted advertising Online networks are now becoming a hotbed for advertising space. With nothing more than your computer and an internet connection you can be networking with hundreds of other businesses in minutes. You can communicate with other businesses via online networks on a daily basis. Businesses have been quick to realise that the captive audience of online networks are ideal for focused marketing messages for goods or services. 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.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. time and other resources such as travel that not having to attend a physical networking event can bring to your enterprise. Physical networking events often only take place once a month. This will guide you to the networking format that is right for your business. Think about what you want to gain from building a relationship with other businesses. 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. Networking events had long been the way that business relationships have been built. Building business relationships Online networks enable you and your business to maintain close relationships with other enterprises over long geographical distances. If you focus your needs the type of online network that is ideal for you will become clear. 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. Don't underestimate the savings in cost.

Find practical information about advertising on the Advertising Association website. 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. e-Commerce | Created by Business Link on 26 January 2010 09:50 Ã#¨ Crown copyright 2007 . This is especially true if your business operates in a niche market.Opens in a new window Social networking sites such as Facebook and MySpace offer a number of different advertising options including pay per click. Online networks explained There are many different types of online network your business could join. location) relating to network members. This will ensure a good return on your investment.Twitter • referral and connection building LinkedIn. pay per view. 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. it can be difficult to choose the right network for your business.Online networking Placing advertising within online networks is gathering pace.Digg. but there are a great number of smaller networks that may be a better fit with your business. You may already be aware of the high profile business networks like LinkedIn. Flash ads and classified notices. but it is still important to spend your time and resources with online networks that actually deliver real benefits to your business. Find out about internet advertising on the Internet Advertising Bureau (IAB) website . Network 2012 • social information exchange Facebook. carefully consider which online networks to use and the marketing message you want to get across. marital status.Opens in a new window. MySpace. This will allow you to make informed decisions about whether a particular social networking site is appropriate to your marketing strategy. . However. Advertising can be targeted against a variety of demographic criteria (eg age. Joining several networks is an option.BT Tradespace. Some sites have tools that can be used for research giving your business valuable customer profile information. Page 126 How to choose and join online networks With so many different online networks available. Plaxo. As with your business' other marketing spend. bebo • microblogging . they do fall into distinct categories that include: • profile/market building networks . banner ads. from simple email lists to complete virtual worlds. Ecademy • book marking and reviewing .

online 'word-of-mouth' or 'tell a friend' campaigns that encourage users to spread the message to their social networks. though.some social networking sites provide profile pages.sending targeted emails to selected customers or potential new customers. Special attention has to be paid to the network members themselves and what level of advertising they are prepared to tolerate on their network. 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.users click on the banner and are linked to the website that is paying for the advert. and will deliver the results you are looking for. You must evaluate the level of advertising and promotional material you can push to these members. • Email campaigns .Online networking Stumbleupon • email connection and network building . Spend some time researching the networks you think are ideal for your business. blogs or other editable spaces that allow keyword rich links to be added. iStockphoto Before you become active on any of these networks. It is. MSN Groups • self perpetuating groups . audio and interactive capabilities. This can contribute to your search engine optimisation strategy. • Link building . These include: • Banner advertising . sometimes containing special offers. 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#¨ Crown copyright 2007 . There are risks involved in using online networking as a marketing channel and it is important to approach this type of advertising with care.flickr. Understanding online network users You may already be using each of the above types of advertising to promote your business online. 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. discounts and other promotions. This is time well spent. it is vitally important that you understand the profile of the other people and businesses already using the network. those that you may already be using across the web. 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. the kind of advertising you use is also important. or worse still placing advertising that is not welcome by the members will damage your business' brand and reputation. See our guide on search engine optimisation. • Viral marketing . and can include video.Yahoo! Groups. Also. Usually work on 'click-through' .banners occupy a designated area for rent on web pages. Posting inappropriate messages.

When using online networks. and their likely response to the advertising approach you intend to use. it could even lead to legal action against you. • Never make personal criticisms of other network users or their businesses. • Thoroughly research the network(s) you want to advertise on. Some email lists are read by thousands of people. This is very bad etiquette and could result in your business being thrown off the network entirely. You should also check the terms and conditions of any online network that you intend to use. instance. 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#¨ Crown copyright 2007 . Understand who the participants are. • Spam your fellow network users with messages. See also our guide on e-commerce and the law. and what marketing messages they are open to. Network marketing dos and don'ts If you intend to use online networking as part of your marketing mix. With online network marketing quality is much more favourable than quantity. • Ever sell or otherwise pass on any Etiquette and online networks Online networks have their own rules that should be followed. • Don't post inappropriate or off-topic questions or comments. try to apply the following principles: • Don't make each of your posts on a network an advertisement for your business' services or products. Whether you are joining a network as a member or starting your own . Marketing messages that are effective need to be highly focused. to ensure that any marketing activity that you do is acceptable.you must ensure you abide by the etiquette that has been developed since online networks first appeared. If in doubt contact the network's moderator. Blatant self-promotion is usually frowned upon by other network users. eg for libel or defamation.Online networking personal details about the people or businesses on your target network without their permission. just like face-to-face networking events. In the most serious cases. • Always read the network's guidelines before you make any posts. • Develop metrics to enable you to track and analyse the return you are getting from your marketing spend. This will ensure you don't make any beginner's mistakes.which means that you become the moderator of the network . Don't: • Make assumptions about the people and businesses on the network you are targeting. Understand the audience you are marketing to. • Think about privacy. 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.

check with the sender first if the attachment isn't something you expected.or if known eg from a fellow employee. entertainment news or other links to high traffic sites. • Watch out for corporate identity theft. If clicking on a link always check the website address you have been taken to. as these can also be Trojans that can infect your computer.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. If you access online networks via wireless internet access ensure you have adequate security to protect your wireless network from eavesdropping and hacker attack. Phishing is where legitimate looking emails seemingly from a reliable source. Don't open attachments such as those ending with '. With the rise of identity theft. Your business name could be used within online networks without your knowledge or permission.scr' which is the file extension used for Windows screensavers. security should be at the top of your agenda. Avoid opening email attachments from unknown sources . Never reveal any sensitive information about yourself or your business without first checking the credentials of the enquirer.Online networking network. use filtering software to reduce the instances of spam and phishing attacks. • 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. you are not powerless in the face of what may seem like an unstoppable wave of identity theft and threats to your security. ensuring you are using online networks safely is essential. 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.exe' (an executable file) or those with the '. • Carefully read the terms and conditions for any network that you participate in. However. If you use email-based online networks. Follow the guidelines below to ensure you use online networks safely: • Keep your login details secure and regularly change your password. Find out about using the Protected Online Filing Scheme (PROOF) on the Companies House website . exchange private email address and continue the conversation through that channel. fake emails and security threats to small and large companies.Opens in a new window. Contact Companies House Contact Centre • • • • • e-Commerce | Created by Business Link on 26 January 2010 09:50 Ã#¨ Crown copyright 2007 . • on Tel 0303 1234 500 for more information about this type of security threat. in order to ensure you are where you believe you should be. This could be a phishing attack. are used with the aim of obtaining personal details. eg a bank. These links can take you to phishing websites and have the potential to infect your computer. Avoid clicking on links added to messages in any social networking websites that you use. These include links to current events. Security in a Web 2.

original and engaging content. When joining a network. • Create new. • Commit enough resources. there are a lot of factors to consider. Find out how to combat corporate identity theft on the Companies House website . • Maintain contacts. Networking is all about relationships. It's easy to disproportionately assign resources to online networking. It can be difficult to maintain a large number of contacts as you join more networks. Online networks may have marketing at their heart. • Place advertising on carefully chosen networks. e-Commerce | Created by Business Link on 26 January 2010 09:50 Ã#¨ Crown copyright 2007 . However. Ask yourself why you are joining an online network. ensure that you: • Choose the right network for your business goals. You and your business need to maintain these network connections. What do you want to get out of this activity? • Develop your user profile. think about how much time and resources you have available. or are thinking about starting your own network. the closer that relationship. Try to write relevant and engaging content each time you contribute to a network. The more people and businesses know about you. Always check your data is being held securely. • Obey the network rules. Find out about responsibilities when handling personal data on the Information Commissioner's website Opens in a new window. Joining a network can have a great positive impact on your business' brand. When joining one or more online networks that support your sector. The close working relationships you can build via networks is now an essential component of modern branding practice. • Include online networking within your marketing mix. Don't forget your other forms of advertising and promotion. This will enable you to better budget your time and resources. Ensure you are aware of the etiquette that is in place. Every network has its own rules. • Enhance your business brand.Opens in a new window. which can take more time and resources than you might initially think. be careful when exposing information about yourself and your business. as they are effective as well.Online networking itself on your computer. No one wants to read boring posts on the networks you are a member of. Try to avoid hard sales pitches on your networks as these are usually rejected. • Avoid the hard sell. Your core motivation for joining an online network may be to sell your business' goods or products. Planning is vitally important to ensure you join the right network(s) that will deliver the business benefits you are looking for. but don't forget the other forms of promotion your business is using. Identify the key contacts you want to maintain a relationship with. The online Page 130 Checklist: online networking Whether you are looking for one or more online networks to join.

Banner ads are now appearing on network websites.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#¨ Crown copyright 2007 Page 131 .uk Web 2. Careful consideration must be given to what kind of advertising is placed on these networks and what messages they contain.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.Opens in a new window Communication skills courses on the Impact Factory website . 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 .gov. Research the profile of network members to help you design an engaging advertising message they will positively respond to. Related guides on businesslink.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.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.

Opens in a new window Advertising codes information on the Committee of Advertising Practice website .Opens in a new window e-Commerce | Created by Business Link on 26 January 2010 09:50 Ã#¨ Crown copyright 2007 Page 132 .Opens in a new window Online marketing information on the Marketing Online website .Opens in a new window Identity theft protection information on the Identity Theft website .Opens in a new window Advertising standards information on the Advertising Standards Authority 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 PROOF Scheme information on the Companies House website .Opens in a new window Online networks safe-use information on the Directgov website .Opens in a new window Business mentoring network on the Horsesmouth website (registration required) .Opens in a new window Download data protection for small businesses guidance from the Information Commissioner's website (PDF) .Online networking Practical advertising guidance on the Advertising Association website .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 Internet advertising information on the IAB website .

0: a guide for business How the web is changing Although widely used there is much disagreement over what the term 'Web 2. The 'new' internet or 'Web 2.uk/northeast by navigating to: Home > Sales and marketing > Online marketing > Web 2. But how customers are using the internet is changing. Whereas the 'old' internet was about static content and online information. the 'new' internet is about dynamic.0: a guide for business Subjects covered in this guide Introduction Introduction How the web is changing What is Web 2.businesslink. the internet of the 1990s was about static.0? Web 2. Increasingly customers expect to engage with a brand online in a variety of ways. Online content has become richer. information-based content and a clear separation between content provider and end user.0' is e-Commerce | Created by Business Link on 26 January 2010 09:50 Ã#¨ Crown copyright 2007 Page 133 . user generated content or 'social media'.Web 2.gov.0 technology benefited my business (Flash video) Related guides on businesslink. The term 'Web 2. more collaborative and social. 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. This change is altering the way that businesses now build customer relationships online. You can find this guide on http://www.gov.uk Related web sites you might find useful The web is a vital tool for any modern business. This provides both new opportunities and risks for your business. Put simply. Customers today search online for everything from their local plumber to a global brand.0' actually means.0' is commonly used to describe this 'second generation' of the internet.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 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.

forums or social networking sites.0 is and whether you can apply it to your business but there are several features that tend to distinguish it. so websites need to balance accessibility with richer and more engaging customer experiences using the variety of tools that are available. customers are increasingly looking to engage with a company or brand online in multiple ways.0: a guide for business all about richer content based on collaboration and information sharing. rate products or add information. Web 2. This requires a two-way dialogue between the customer and the business. Customers expect immediacy in their online interactions. eg user reviews on Amazon. Web 2.0 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. etc. social networking. it also raises issues of how businesses use and manage these new technologies . Developing strategic relationships via networking events has been the traditional means of making new business contacts. What is Web 2. 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.see the page in this guide on legal implications and best practice when using social media. They expect richer content and a greater variety . Users can easily access the web at home. See our guide on online networking. The new web culture has also raised customer expectations. in the office or on their phone.including audio and video podcasts. Increasingly customers want to build a relationship with the brand.0 could mean new opportunities for your business. with online networking sites such as LinkedIn increasingly helping businesses to extend their professional networks. where content is regularly updated and where any comments that they make are quickly replied to.0 does not refer to a particular technology but to a general trend. This can often add real value for other customers Page 134 e-Commerce | Created by Business Link on 26 January 2010 09:50 Ã#¨ Crown copyright 2007 .this is the ability for your customers to interact with your business online by being able to leave comments. blogs. It is now easier than ever for you to directly target customers with viral marketing campaigns.0? Web 2. socialise and shop. encouraging end users to be more interactive with the content they access and more proactive about producing their own web content. Business-to-business (B2B) relationships are also changing. See our guide on how to identify and sell more to your most valuable customers. new devices and new online applications have all helped to change the way people work. A new web culture Because of this 'new web culture'. There is no checklist to decide what Web 2. online forums. There are more choices than ever before for customers online. Faster connections. offer new online services or build brand awareness through the use of blogs. Although this new web culture provides a richer customer experience.Web 2.

providing users with applications that they can add to websites or devices.to the page you're using. Blogs These are websites where individuals and businesses can post opinions or news about themselves. or the ability to modify the layout and colour scheme of a site to your preferences. If your business website is static and not keeping up. Other websites such as iGoogle let you add web applications or 'Web apps' programs hosted online . • Would Web 2. • Collaboration . which allows users to write and edit content collectively on your website.Web 2. Business networking sites such as LinkedIn can be used to develop professional networks. which can really change the way your customers view your brand. technical. MySpace and Twitter. However.nearly all Web 2. • Online networking and social media .0: a guide for business and provide you with customer insight. This can be useful for your business as it lets customers identify with your brand and makes them more likely to return.0 tools The fast rate of new developments online has become part of what customers expect from the internet. An example of this is a wiki.0 tools. making a successful site does not require huge investment. In some cases you can find free or very cheap ways to add these to your site. • Personalisation .the ability for people to find others with similar interests and express themselves to a community of like-minded people.0 applications centre around some community aspect where users can share experiences and knowledge. and to be able to express and publish their own views to a community of users using different types of interactive media. 'Web apps' are growing in popularity. canvass opinion.0 tools add value to the user experience and enhance your online brand? • What is the cost. to contribute online using different types of technology from anywhere in the world. Business blogs are another example of how you can communicate directly with your customers.the facility to customise the way you view or interact with websites. Common to all of these is the ability for users to add and edit content. You need to think about what your customers want. customers may look elsewhere. 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. personalising their customer experience. Web 2. and advertise new products or services see the page in this guide on Web 2. for example. 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#¨ Crown copyright 2007 Page 135 . to enhance career or recruitment options or simply to keep in touch with former colleagues and contacts. See our guide on online networking. eg social sites such as Facebook. the ability to set your local area on a news website so you get the most relevant news or weather information.

RSS feeds RSS (Really Simple Syndication) feeds are an automated way of sending updates to your customers.org website .Opens in a new window.0: a guide for business changes in the business or provide information on new products or services. customers can identify the content that is important to them so that they can stay up to date. perhaps this would be more engaging if it was presented as a video clip rather than text. This may mean that they are more likely to return to your site. When allowing users to contribute to your blog there are also legal and best practice issues to consider . encouraging more visitors to your site. Find out more about RSS feeds on the BBC website Opens in a new window. e-Commerce | Created by Business Link on 26 January 2010 09:50 Ã#¨ Crown copyright 2007 Page 136 . 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. Wikis Wikis let different users edit the same page. By subscribing to an RSS feed. Read about how you can use YouTube as part of your e-marketing strategy on the National B2B Centre website . If your website includes case studies on satisfied customers. Consider recording your own podcasts or link to others that your customers might find useful. Instead of putting up generic corporate imagery.Web 2. encourage your customers to tell their own story by posting to your site. But remember. there can be issues when you allow users to post content to your website. See the page in this guide on the legal implications and best practice when using social media. Either approach could help your website appear prominently in search results.Opens in a new window. 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. See our guide on search engine optimisation. Blogs are also a good way of gathering informal feedback from your customers. 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. Find answers to frequently asked questions about podcasts on the BBC website . If your customers are passionate about your products that will help to draw in new customers.see the page in this guide on legal implications and best practice when using social media.Opens in a new window. updates and figures on the Technorati website . Think about ways in which you can incorporate video content on your website. Remember there can also be issues when you allow users to edit your pages. Find blogging news. 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. Find out about wikis on the wiki. Remember that if you have content that changes regularly customers are more likely to return to your site.Opens in a new window Audio podcasts These allow users to listen to information on the move using an mp3 player.

User-generated content can put your business on display for a worldwide audience. The good news is that there are many tools available that can help you.0 tools to enhance your relationship with your customers and build a community around your brand. However.0 tools can be added to your site at little or no cost.Web 2. Could they benefit from additional information or advice from previous customers? What can you offer beyond simply selling products or providing information? Think about how you can use Web 2. A significant advantage is that many Web 2. Generating an online buzz around your products and your brand is vital to make sure customers keep coming back. global brand' Is your business or industry relevant only to the local area you operate in? Perhaps you already have a good local reputation and don't see the need to build a website. there are always potential new customers in your marketplace and a good website can be an effective way to minimise your advertising spend and extend your reach. it will instantly make people see you in a different light. but also attracts new customers.0: a guide for business How Web 2.'Local hero.lets users know how Page 137 e-Commerce | Created by Business Link on 26 January 2010 09:50 Ã#¨ Crown copyright 2007 . while many social media tools are useful. This not only encourages people to return after making a purchase. Legal implications and best practice when using social media Before you launch any new features to your website. improving your customers' web experience will help your business in the long term. they are likely to find what they want elsewhere. Customer content can improve the value of your site. So. they often require users to post personal details. if you run a local bakery you may not deliver worldwide but if you add your unique recipes and let people from New York to New Delhi post comments on them via your website. even if you can't see an immediate benefit. to reply to customers and to add new content to your website to keep it up to date. make sure you have thought about the legal aspects. Make sure you have the following on your site: • privacy policy . However. Unless you directly engage with your target audience. With a website that acts as a permanent online advert you may not need to use other marketing methods to attract customers. Extend your customer base . Managing these details can be straightforward.0 can be used for business Customers have never had so many choices to buy online. For example. but you must make clear to your users what you are and are not responsible for. The more visitors you have to your site the more likely you are to sell. For example. Think about what your customers are looking for when they visit your website. A good example might be a business selling pet accessories that boosts its profits by letting customers post pictures of their pets. you need to allocate time and resources to monitor user content.

two-way exchange of ideas and opinions. It is also important to monitor how your business is being talked about on other websites.lays out the limits of your legal liability • terms and conditions . respond in a professional and positive way and address the issues that have been raised. This could include: • Profane language . Make sure you monitor what users are saying. e-Commerce | Created by Business Link on 26 January 2010 09:50 Ã#¨ Crown copyright 2007 Page 138 . 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. New devices and wireless networks with wider area coverage mean even greater opportunities to connect with your customers. below we outline three existing technologies that may become more prominent in the future.0' prove just as contentious as the earlier versions. • Libellous material . Any campaigns should be designed with the social web in mind.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. you don't want to have too many negative comments about your business. so that you can respond accordingly. look into the reasons behind the comments and try to rectify them.0: a guide for business their personal details will be used • disclaimer . Depending on your business you may find that some users post inappropriate comments. The mobile web The concept of mobile web access already exists to some extent. this should be balanced with maintaining brand honesty. It is important that site users feel that there is an open and honest. See our guide on e-commerce and the law. 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.while customer opinion can be useful. If you do receive negative comments.Web 2. Protect your brand It is important for your business to consider the monitoring of user comments.lets users know what they can expect from the site Depending on the type of user-generated content you are allowing. If you find this is the case. You should position your marketing strategy on the social web very carefully. Avoid simply placing the same messages you use in other marketing channels into a social web context. Instead. • Damaging comments . While you should try to protect your brand and your site from potential threats. This will build trust between you and your customers and encourage loyalty.you may be held responsible for any user comments on your site that insult or libel someone. but it is set to develop further in the future. tailor your campaign so that it will sit comfortably with both the site and its users.

0 technology benefited my business (Flash video) Lucy and Kurt Jewson Frugi .email providers like Yahoo. but has seen only limited success to date. are providing increasing opportunities for mobile and online marketing. All you need.co. using Web 2. Some businesses are using the technology for special offers and promotions. Many hyped services have subsequently failed to attract attention. Here's how Web 2. 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." • "Start a blog to communicate with your customers. Simple examples of this are . While this is far removed from the virtual reality seen in films. virtual worlds look set to increase overall. Be honest in your conversations and react positively to any negative feedback you receive. games and animations together with more location based services. since the network of computers that makes up 'the cloud' handles these for you. is the software required to let you access your resources online. cloud computing eases the software and hardware demands placed on you and your business. it can still provide opportunities for your business to build relationships with customers using shared three-dimensional spaces. by logging on to your account over the internet.0: a guide for business Mobile marketing techniques include sending text and multimedia messages." • "Use search engine optimisation to improve your page ranking on the natural listings of search engines and help drive customers to your website. Hotmail or Google. However. anywhere in the world. Richer content including video." Frugi has been producing its range of Page 139 e-Commerce | Created by Business Link on 26 January 2010 09:50 Ã#¨ Crown copyright 2007 . there will be increasing opportunities to connect with your customers. as a user. Find out about mobile marketing on the Mobile Marketing Association website Opens in a new window. you access your emails from any computer. Expect to see social networking sites allowing even greater customisation. As users get used to customising their profile to suit their own personality and interacting with friends online. News and information providers are using mobile technology to push extra subscription services or targeted content. An extension of current web services. or targeted advertising via WAP and 3G internet. or sending vouchers and discount codes to mobile devices via Bluetooth.Opens in a new window. Watch a video explaining what cloud computing means for business on the computing.uk website . Cloud computing builds on this model providing both cost benefits and flexibility for your business.0 technology to open up a two-way dialogue with your customers.Opens in a new window Lucy and Kurt's top tips: • "Create a website that expresses 'who you are as a business'. Virtual worlds The idea of virtual reality online has been around for a long time. Instead of running an email client locally on your computer.Web 2.

gov.co.Opens in a new window Podcast information on the BBC website . children and babies since 2004.0 guidance on the O'Reilly website .0 technology to build brand awareness and create an online community around their product.Opens in a new window UK small business podcasts on the SmallBizPod website . 12MB) • Help Related guides on businesslink.Opens in a new window Wikis introduction on the About. Social media information on the Internet Advertising Bureau website .Opens in a new window • Read transcript .Web 2. Here Lucy and Kurt explain how they have set about doing this and the benefits and risks involved.Opens in a new window E-marketing using YouTube guidance on the National B2B Centre website . updates and figures on the Technorati website .0: a guide for business organic clothes for mothers.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 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#¨ Crown copyright 2007 Page 140 . Owners Lucy and Kurt Jewson have had an e-commerce website since the start.Opens in a new window Internet advertising regulation guidance on the Internet Advertising Bureau website .Opens in a new window Blog news.uk website . More recently they have begun using Web 2.com website .Opens in a new window • Listen to audio only (mp3.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.

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