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
Created by Business Link on 26 January 2010 09:50 You can personalise content from the Business Link website and download it in PDF format. This is a free service

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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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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 | Created by Business Link on 26 January 2010 09:50 Ã#¨ Crown copyright 2007

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0 tools How Web 2.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.gov. This is a free service e-Commerce | Created by Business Link on 26 January 2010 09:50 Ã#¨ Crown copyright 2007 Page 4 .gov.0: a guide for business Introduction How the web is changing What is Web 2.0? Web 2.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.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.gov.uk Related web sites you might find useful 124 124 124 125 126 127 128 129 130 131 131 131 Using keywords to improve your search engine Submitting new websites to search engines 109 Web 2.0 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.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 technology benefited my Created by Business Link on 26 January 2010 09:50 You can personalise content from the Business Link website and download it in PDF format. This is a free service e-Commerce | Created by Business Link on 26 January 2010 09:50 Ã#¨ Crown copyright 2007 Page 5 .gov.uk Related web sites you might find useful 137 138 139 140 140 The future of the web and how it may affect your Here's how Web 2.e-Commerce social media business business (Flash video) Related guides on businesslink.

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

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

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

Alternatively. ensure that any web-hosting solution you are considering can support the SSL protocol.Accepting online payments acquiring banks.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. 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. You need to: • outline your business plan . therefore. 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 .see the page in this guide . The acquiring banks have strict requirements and it's possible that even the bank you use for your business current account may refuse you .including details of your cashflow and how you'll promote your online activities • supply your website address • explain the details of your product or service • give your suppliers' details • describe how you will deliver your product or service • set out your terms and conditions for online trading • work out your expected average online transaction values. 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 . there are other IMA providers that you can investigate on the internet.checklist: applying for a merchant account. secure socket layer (SSL) technology is used to encrypt transaction data and to send the necessary customer and card details to the acquiring bank in order to authorise the purchase. Once the IMA has been set up. When you apply for an IMA the bank will want to know certain details about you and your business. You should. 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.

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

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

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

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 .

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

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

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

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

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

Create an online shop directories. If you want to build your audience it is essential that you are listed in web directories and search engines. is up to date. 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. 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 . Ask friends and family to get involved with this for some objective feedback.Opens in a new window and see our guide on search engine optimisation. there are risks involved with this. 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 . • Get other websites to link to your site . However. • Make it easy to find and purchase products. 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. such as those produced by local Chambers of Commerce find Chambers of Commerce in your area on the Chamber Online website . Remember .Opens in a new window Avoid online pitfalls Many e-commerce websites fail because of basic mistakes that are easily rectified. • Resubmitting your site details regularly to the main search engines. An alternative is to use an SEO agency there are many to choose from. especially on prices. • Monitor the information you provide on a regular basis. This will ensure that orders can be processed promptly. emails can be responded to quickly and helplines are manned by the appropriate staff at reasonable times. • Writing a description of your site and the services it offers and placing it prominently on your home page.many search engines rank sites according to how many other websites link to them.when selling through an online shop. • Make sure that resources and procedures are in place to support your website. see our guide on search engine optimisation. You can find an SEO agency on the SEMPO website.Opens in a new window • Adding an email this to a friend button on your site When you choose your internet address (URL) or domain name.pick key words and make sure they are in your page title and repeated further down the page. Find information about search engine optimisation (SEO) on the Search Engine Watch website . • Have your website professionally designed. .

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

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

246K) . 46K) .67MB) .Opens in a new window Download card-not-present fraud prevention guidance from the Card Watch website (PDF.Opens in a new window e-Commerce | Created by Business Link on 26 January 2010 09:50 Ã#¨ Crown copyright 2007 Page 22 . 99K) .Opens in a new window Download Distance Selling Regulations guidance from the Office of Fair Trading website (PDF.Opens in a new window Download Data Protection Act compliance guidance from the ICO website (PDF.Opens in a new window Download Electronic Commerce Regulations guidance from the Department for Business.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 .Create an online shop management | Web 2. Innovation & Skills website (PDF.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 Chamber of Commerce Office search on the British Chambers of Commerce website . 1.

It provides advice on how best to identify the opportunities for e-commerce within your business and the solutions available.gov. for most the supply of goods will continue to require a physical delivery. E-commerce plays an increasingly important role in the way in which products and services are purchased. the actual sale and delivery of goods can be made online.businesslink. 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. If you plan to sell online. Direct sales Many businesses use e-commerce for the direct selling of goods or services online. This guide looks at the key issues to consider when planning for the introduction of e-commerce. It also emphasises the need to plan for the ongoing development and maintenance of any e-commerce system at the outset. However. you may need to rethink many of your business activities. You can find this guide on http://www. and to provide after-sales support.Planning for e-commerce Subjects covered in this guide Introduction Introduction Identifying e-commerce opportunities Making an e-commerce site easy to use Trading partner relationships Implementing e-commerce Recognising the ongoing commitment Who is involved in an e-commerce project? How planning helped us create a profitable website Related guides on businesslink. For some businesses such as those selling software or music.uk Related web sites you might find useful E-commerce systems such as your website can be used to market and sell to customers. e-Commerce | Created by Business Link on 26 January 2010 09:50 Ã#¨ Crown copyright 2007 Page 23 .gov.uk/northeast by navigating to: Home > IT & e-commerce > E-commerce > Planning for e-commerce Identifying e-commerce opportunities There are several different ways you might use e-commerce in your business.

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

Some of the key technologies are listed below. regardless of location Extranets This is a shared intranet that allows users to share key trading data such as inventory levels and sales trends. These internet-based technologies and processes also allow you to improve your own business efficiency. suppliers and key customers • be used for exchanging data and applications. e-commerce also provides new ways of building closer links and improving business relationships with key trading partners. Payment software Most customers will wish to pay for their purchases with credit or debit cards. Extranets can: • be made available to selected external partners. such as vendors. and sharing specific business information • improve supply chain management See our guide on the benefits of intranets and extranets. 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 . 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. contractors. 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 . Trading partner relationships As well as offering new ways of doing business with customers. Supply chain management The concept of supply chain management revolves around having the right product in the right place. Intranets These are private internal company networks that use the same browser-based technology and network protocols as the internet. including any packing and shipping requirements.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. at the right time.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.

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

Marketing No matter how well designed your e-commerce site is and how competitive your products and prices are. advice and tools to help you improve your website's searchability. There are a number of actions you can take to encourage customer feedback. Many of the main search engines . Security considerations Popular methods of promoting a website include: • Email advertising campaigns. Whatever your business. Hackers can attack systems at any time. Site maintenance Changes in product details. • Online directories. Use the web tools provided by the search engines to help you optimise your search engine performance and improve your website's ranking. but isn't visible on the pages) when designing and building your website. links where you 'pay per click'.provide tips. In addition. This will improve organic search engine listings.ensure that the keyword phrases you chose appear in your webpage title and the page body text. See our guide on search engine optimisation. The majority of search engines place little value on the 'meta' keywords . • Digital coupons offering discounts. 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. Each product will have its own key words and descriptions.Opens in a new window. including carrying out surveys and putting feedback forms on the site. Access the Google Webmaster tools on the Google website . Your website designer can help you include the key phrases and metadata (information that describes a webpage.including sponsored Using the internet for business purposes is fraught with risks to security. if the customers are unaware of its existence then you will fail to exploit its potential. Find out about online marketing on the National B2B Centre website Opens in a new window. 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. up-to-date advertisements and sales information will all need to be maintained throughout the life of the site. Customer feedback It is important that the site evolves to meet the needs of your customers. special offers.Planning for e-commerce online shop. Yahoo! and MSN . banner adverts and reciprocal links. • Web adverts . There are also various marketing and security issues that need to be taken into account. e-Commerce | Created by Business Link on 26 January 2010 09:50 Ã#¨ Crown copyright 2007 . there's a real risk that your system Page 27 Recognising the ongoing commitment Even in the planning stages of an e-commerce project. it is important to understand how the website will be maintained on a day-to-day basis.such as Google. See our guide on pay per click advertising. product ranges.

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. You should recognise the need for effective security controls to prevent your site from falling victim to hackers or fraudsters. See our guide on securing your e-commerce systems. the more reliant you will become upon it. Contingency planning The more successful your e-commerce service becomes. However. Sun.Planning for e-commerce may become the target of an attack that could affect your organisation. 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. these skills are likely to include experience of: • • • • • • servers . See our guide on managing risk in e-commerce. 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. Externally.Microsoft. 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. 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 .

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

gov. I've not really kept up with it but it is down to finances and time really." Related guides on businesslink. 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 .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 .understanding e-commerce contracts | Benefits of intranets and extranets | E-marketplaces.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 .

or by e-Commerce | Created by Business Link on 26 January 2010 09:50 Ã#¨ Crown copyright 2007 Page 31 . The trader and customer are not face to face at any point.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. This can pose a number of challenges to the formation and enforcement of contracts. E-commerce is all about selling goods and services via the internet. As far as e-commerce transactions are concerned. regardless of location.businesslink. The Regulations apply to businesses that: • sell goods or services to businesses or consumers on the internet. This guide introduces you to the various regulations and provides practical advice on how to ensure that you comply with your legal requirements. A number of legislative initiatives affect business conducted online .gov. with business conducted remotely.they can be complex and change regularly. 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. You can find this guide on http://www.uk/northeast by navigating to: Home > IT & e-commerce > E-commerce > E-commerce and the law E-commerce Regulations The E-commerce Regulations came into force in August 2002. the legislation is primarily intended to ensure that online contracts are legally binding. However.gov. it is not a substitute for professional legal advice.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.

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

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

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

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. catering or leisure services. The consumer is entitled to receive a full refund for a cancelled contract within 30 days. or the services have been provided.and any conditions that must be met to qualify for it (these must be easily accessible. 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. including a notice of cancellation rights. They only apply to transactions between businesses and consumers (individuals acting outside the course of their business) and do not include business-to-business contracts and auctions. if you use electronic communications as a marketing tool. without having to give a reason.other required information can then be set out in the main body of the communication. e-Commerce | Created by Business Link on 26 January 2010 09:50 Ã#¨ Crown copyright 2007 . The right to withdraw can be exercised by the consumer even after the goods have been delivered.including any discount. starting from when the goods are received. Under the Regulations. though there are some limited exceptions for existing customers. There are some exceptions to these rights of cancellation. the complaints procedure. clear and unambiguous) • provide the recipient with 'opt-out' rights You should obtain prior individual consent from your customer through them 'opting in'.E-commerce and the law All of these actions can damage the reputation of your business and adversely affect the goodwill of your customers. including: • contracts for the provision of accommodation. Electronic communications as a marketing tool should also: • identify the person on whose behalf it is sent • clearly identify any promotional offer . transport. premium or gift . If no details of the cooling-off period have been given by the supplier to the consumer. This means that any commercial communication sent by email or text message should be clearly identifiable as such through its header . 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. So. it is extended to three months. They cover purchases made via email and the internet. you should ensure that each communication is clearly identifiable as relating to the advertising or marketing of a product.

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

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

Though businesses will continue to make use of traditional marketing methods.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 .gov. such as advertising. You can find this guide on http://www. The basics of marketing remain the same creating a strategy to deliver the right messages to the right people. Specific benefits of e-marketing include: • Global reach .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. unlike TV or print 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.uk Related web sites you might find useful E-marketing means using digital technologies to help sell your goods or services. What has changed is the number of options you have. This guide describes how to develop an e-marketing plan and provides guidance on implementing that plan and monitoring its effectiveness.businesslink. • Lower cost . direct mail and PR. These technologies are a valuable complement to traditional marketing methods whatever the size of your company or your business model. it allows truly personalised marketing.a website can reach anyone in the world who has internet access.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. Many businesses are producing great results with e-marketing and its flexible and cost-effective nature makes it particularly suitable for small businesses.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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. "We're constantly reviewing and updating our e-marketing plan to keep us ahead of the competition. 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." 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 .Opens in a new window e-marketing glossary on the Marketing Online website .gov. This should provide a major expansion of our own database for future e-marketing campaigns. However I wish we'd originally built in more "landing pages" .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.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 ." What I'd do differently Build in more landing pages "The website has proved a highly successful e-marketing tool from day one.the pages that potential customers are directed to when they type a particular keyword into a search engine.Opens in a new window Domain name dispute resolution guidance on the ICANN website .Opens in a new window Domain name scams information on the Office of Fair Trading website . For example.Opens in a new window Related guides on businesslink.Develop an e-marketing plan to all staff.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Opens in a new window IT security guidance for employees on the Microsoft Small Business Centre 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 .gov. 1.Opens in a new window Top 20 internet security vulnerabilities listed on the SANS Institute website Opens in a new window Latest security alerts and incidents on the Microsoft website .Opens in a new window British Standards ISO/IEC 27001 information and benefits on the British Standards Institution website .Opens in a new window Securing client VPNs explained on the Techworld website .47MB) .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 . Innovation & Skills website (PDF.Opens in a new window Spam combatting advice on the National Computing Centre website .Opens in a new window Latest virus threats information on the McAfee Threat Centre website .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 Download security best practice advice from the Department for Business.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 . worms and trojans information on the Microsoft website .Securing your e-commerce systems Related guides on businesslink.Opens in a new window Viruses.Opens in a new window Spyware combatting advice on the Microsoft website .

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 Related web sites you might find useful You can find this guide on http://www.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.gov.

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

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

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

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

Opens in a new window e-Commerce | Created by Business Link on 26 January 2010 09:50 Ã#¨ Crown copyright 2007 Page 65 .Managing risk in e-commerce Information security management systems advice on the British Standards Institution Management Systems website .

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

appraisal procedures and schedules. they enable staff to do work from any location simply by using a web browser. Types of content found on intranets: • administrative . which is accessible from anywhere in the world.calendars. press releases.annual reports and organisational performance • IT .delivering information and business news as directories and web documents • document management . industry organisations. mission statements. tips on dealing with problems with hardware. 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. expenses forms and annual leave requests. project documents. procedure manuals and membership of internal committees and groups • corporate . corporate brochures. branding guidelines. staff discount schemes.viewing.current project details.business plans. presentations Benefits of an intranet Your business' efficiency can be improved by using your intranet for: • publishing . with links to competitor websites. software and networks.competitive intelligence.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 . policies on corporate use of email and internet access and a list of online training courses and support • marketing . time and expense reporting • external information resources route planning and mapping sites. document templates. including their home and customer sites.automating a range of administrative processes • front-end to corporate systems providing a common interface to corporate databases and business information systems • email . meeting room bookings. research sites and search engines Because intranets are secure and easily accessible via the internet. Other types of intranet are available that merge the regular features of intranets with those often found in software such as Microsoft Office. emergency procedures.Benefits of intranets and extranets • human resources . new vacancies • individual projects . printing and working collaboratively on office documents such as spreadsheets • training . client/customer lists. press coverage and staff newsletters • financial . project management information.accessing and delivering various types of e-learning to the user's desktop • workflow . employee policies. Creating a web office will allow you to organise and manage information and share documents and calendars using a familiar web browser function.virus alerts. latest marketing initiatives. team contact 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. 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.forms can be accessed and completed on the desktop. key customers etc. electronic order tracking and inventory management. and then forwarded as appropriate for approval. they will expect it to be available. for exchanging data and applications and sharing information. without ever having to be printed out. Why would you use an extranet? Businesses of all sizes are under increasing pressure to use online ordering. an extranet can also provide remote access to corporate systems for staff who spend lots of time out of the office. It also means that your business partners and suppliers can access the information they need 24 hours a day. suppliers. This will help to give your internal communications their own identity and prevent employees confusing internal and external information. or home workers. This might involve the use of content management software and training for staff to use it. Extranets offer a cheap and efficient way for businesses to connect with their trading partners. At the same time small businesses are keen to meet the demands of larger companies in terms of working flexibly. adopting new technologies and enabling the exchange of business information and transactions.Benefits of intranets and extranets corporate information can be stored centrally and accessed at any time • sharing of resources and best practice . 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.a virtual community can be created to facilitate information sharing and collaborative working • improved customer service . up to date and secure at all times. 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. As with an intranet. Key issues to consider Bear in mind that once you make parts of your business data available to trading partners.better access to accurate and consistent information by your staff leads to enhanced levels of customer service • reduction in paperwork . e-Commerce | Created by Business Link on 26 January 2010 09:50 Ã#¨ Crown copyright 2007 Page 68 . Availability and security are key factors in the success of an extranet. for instance those in sales or customer support. Extranet users should be a well-defined group and access must be protected by rigorous identification routines and security features.

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

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

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

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

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 Intranet content management advice on the National Computing Centre website Opens in a new window Extranet customer service benefits on the NCC website .Opens in a new window CMS performances compared on the CMS Matrix website .Opens in a new window Project schedules for CMS selection and implementation on the Intranet Focus website .Opens in a new window Content management glossary on the Cimtech website .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 .

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

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

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

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

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

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

Related web sites you might find useful e-marketplace financing information on the eMarket Services website . they also give access to many new potential partners and suppliers. E-marketplaces can play an important role in this activity.E-marketplaces.Opens in a new window Purchasing and supply management advice on the Chartered Institute of Purchasing & Supply website . E-sourcing covers the elements of the buying process which are at the discretion of specialist buyers.Opens in a new window Business directory and advertising scams information on the Office of Fair Trading website . the use of reverse auctions and online exchanges enables procurement officers to obtain better prices as they encourage competitive bidding between suppliers. Furthermore.gov.com website .Opens in a new window e-marketplaces directory on the eMarket Services website . E-sourcing is the use of the internet to make decisions and form strategies regarding how and where services or products are obtained.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. 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. online auctions and exchanges the buying process: • • • • • requisition against order authorisation order receipt payment businesslink.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.

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

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

Outsourcing can incorporate not only the delivery of goods but also order handling. The fulfilment process must therefore include the capability for handling the returns. See the page in this guide on outsourcing the delivery of your goods. RFID tags can be read by equipment that is out of line of sight. If you run an e-commerce business outsourcing can also include the development and management of your Page 83 e-Commerce | Created by Business Link on 26 January 2010 09:50 Ã#¨ Crown copyright 2007 . stock control and the storage. which integrates product planning. using the post or couriers is likely to provide a satisfactory solution. maintaining inventories and tracking orders into one system. This should include giving the customer the option to have a replacement item supplied or their money refunded. packing and despatch of goods. while exploiting the third party's logistic expertise. such as optimising productivity. See our guide on customer protection. shared database as long as your staff are trained to keep it up-to-date at all stages of the process. Agreed procedures should be in place to facilitate either option. parts purchasing. If your business runs a customer relationship management system then this is the best place to do it. increasing revenue and controlling costs.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. which involves tagging objects so that they can be tracked. More sophisticated techniques for doing this include: • Enterprise resource planning software. This can be achieved through a single. which you can use to advise customers. Linking processes and tracking goods Linking processes and tracking orders are important in allowing you to predict delivery times earlier on. 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. many logistics companies now offer delivery tracking as part of their service. If you outsource your delivery requirements. so you can keep customers updated on where their goods are and improve your service. • Radio frequency identification (RFID). This will enable you to focus on your core competencies. 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. outsourcing your distribution may also provide your business with an affordable alternative. at a range of up to 90 feet. It is important that your business records the reasons and frequency with which individuals or companies return goods. irrespective of the quality or type of product being sold. However.

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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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 Software suppliers for the fulfilment marketplace on the Fulfilment Guide website .uk Planning for e-commerce | Accounting software | Customer relationship management | Supply chain software | Open source software | Manage your customer care | Customer protection | Returns and refunds.Opens in a new window Software suppliers for the fulfilment marketplace on the Fulfilment Guide website .Opens in a new window IP advice on the Intellectual Property Office website .Fulfilling customer orders 08459 500 505 Related guides on businesslink.gov. 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) .Opens in a new window e-Commerce | Created by Business Link on 26 January 2010 09:50 Ã#¨ Crown copyright 2007 Page 87 .

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. not all e-commerce developments are a success. Here are some of the key issues you need to consider from the outset when planning for the introduction of an e-commerce system. The reasons for this vary and are often dependent upon a particular set of circumstances or issues. such as a percentage increase in sales or new customers.gov.uk/northeast by navigating to: Home > IT & e-commerce > E-commerce > Common e-commerce pitfalls Mistakes at the planning stage of an e-commerce project can mean lower chances of success.for example. Lack of planning You can find this guide on http://www. to bring in new business or cut the cost of each sale. Nevertheless there is some commonality between many of the problems and pitfalls experienced by e-commerce systems.gov. as you develop your own e-commerce offerings.businesslink. This guide will give an overview of some of the more common e-commerce pitfalls.uk Related web sites you might find useful Despite the rapid growth in the use of e-commerce by both consumers and businesses. but it will provide you with some useful pointers in terms of what not to do. • Agree specific. measurable objectives for what you want to achieve. 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 any targets you set are realistic and achievable. It obviously cannot cover all potential problem areas. Set realistic targets • Set clear goals .

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

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

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

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

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

The motives may be malicious or to gain competitive knowledge. Hackers gaining access to privileged information • Inadequate security controls can enable hackers to gain access to your sensitive business data such as price lists.gov. You should. Some businesses never recover from such attacks. with a view to committing fraud. • Contingency planning is intended to put measures in place to enable your systems to continue operating.Common e-commerce pitfalls If you already have a merchant account set up with your bank. Denial-of-service attacks • Denial-of-service attacks deny access to authorised users of a website. 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. so that the site is forced to offer a reduced level of service or cease operation completely. Loss of customer confidence • Security breaches can damage the confidence that your customers have in the e-commerce service you provide.uk Planning for e-commerce | Best practice in web design | Maintaining your web content and technology | Search engine optimisation | Web 2. • A lack of customer confidence is potentially fatal to the success of your online venture. Related guides on businesslink. • 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. ensure that any web hosting solution you are considering is capable of supporting the SSL protocol. perhaps through locating to a back-up site. such as virus software. • Hackers may also gain access to the financial information of your business or your customers. No contingency measures in place • There are many possible threats to the operation of your e-commerce system. both malicious and natural. password protection and firewalls. catalogues and valuable intellectual property.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 . therefore. Consider the most likely risks and take steps to minimise them.

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 High-value fraud guidance on the Metropolitan Police 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 .

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Opens in a new window Google Webmaster tools on the Google 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 Search engine technology trends on the Search Engine Watch website .Opens in a new window Domain name information on the EURid website .Generate business from your e-marketing plan networking | Here's how I used email marketing effectively | Here's how an online shop helped my business | Here's how Web 2.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-Commerce | Created by Business Link on 26 January 2010 09:50 Ã#¨ Crown copyright 2007 Page 105 .Opens in a new window Mobile data usage information on the Mobile Data Association website .Opens in a new window e-marketing glossary on the Marketing Online website .it website .

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

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

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

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

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

Opens in a new window • find out about the free tool on the WebLogExpert website . A tracking code is added to each page of your website which collects user data.Opens in a new window SEO toolbox on the National B2B Centre website (registration required) .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 . 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. it should provide regular reports showing how their optimisations are working. Google's Toolbar for Firefox and Internet Explorer gives a basic view of the Google Page Rank of any page.Opens in a new window • get a free log file analysis tool on the AWStats 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.Opens in a new window. you can use web analytics also known as page tagging or tracking. You can download log-file analysis tools from many sources: • find out about the free tool on the Webalizer 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. 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.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 SEO information on the Search Engine Marketing Professional Organisation website .understanding e-commerce contracts | Pay per click advertising | Website hosting options | Related web sites you might find useful Search engine information on the Search Engine Watch website . You can find out about Analytics on the Google website .Opens in a new window Using web analytics If you can't get access to your web servers' log files. Get reports from SEO partners If you use an SEO agency. along with any plans to improve current search engine ranking. Related guides on businesslink. 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.Search engine optimisation Make sure that your hosting provider gives you access to your web server log files.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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.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 .Opens in a Page 122 Related guides on businesslink.Opens in a new window PPC topics on the Yahoo! website Opens in a new window Partial list of price comparison websites on the Paler website .Opens in a new window Internet marketing terms glossary on the Internet Advertising Bureau website Opens in a new window AdWords guidance on the Google website . you could then target a campaign to draw them back as return customers • analyse and optimise your landing pages .gov. the Google Analytics tool will allow you to: • assess whether your conversion rate differs between regions .uk Search engine optimisation | E-marketplaces. 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 . the tools are more sophisticated. you will be able to improve your online results.the conversion rate is the number of visitors to your site that actually become customers during their visit • find out where your customers live . check how your copy.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 . For example. landing page and number of steps to conversion compare with theirs Related web sites you might find useful Website advertising information on the Internet Advertising Bureau website Opens in a new window PPC information on the Internet Advertising Bureau website .Opens in a new window Campaign research and search marketing advice on the Internet Advertising Bureau website .if you find a heavy density in a particular region.Opens in a new window MSN adCenter information on the Microsoft website . In some cases.if it's to a competitor.

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

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

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. 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.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. 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. This will guide you to the networking format that is right for your business. With nothing more than your computer and an internet connection you can be networking with hundreds of other businesses in minutes. 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. The internet has provided yet another way for businesses to communicate with each other. Physical networking events often only take place once a month. Building business relationships Online networks enable you and your business to maintain close relationships with other enterprises over long geographical distances. Businesses have been quick to realise that the captive audience of online networks are ideal for focused marketing messages for goods or services. It is vital that you think through what you want to achieve by taking part in an online network. Business benefits of online e-Commerce | Created by Business Link on 26 January 2010 09:50 Ã#¨ Crown copyright 2007 Page 125 . This close connection fosters a much more intimate working relationship that you can build on over time. Networking events had long been the way that business relationships have been built. Think about what you want to gain from building a relationship with other businesses. Don't underestimate the savings in cost. Each of the different types of online network has its pros and cons. You can communicate with other businesses via online networks on a daily basis. time and other resources such as travel that not having to attend a physical networking event can bring to your enterprise. If you focus your needs the type of online network that is ideal for you will become clear.

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

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

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

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

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

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.uk Web 2.0: 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. Innovation and Skills 020 7215 5000 Companies House Contact Centre 0303 1234 500 ICO Helpline 08456 30 60 60 Related web sites you might find useful Online marketing information on the Marketing Online website .Opens in a new window 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 .Online networking networks that have developed over the last few years are clearly a great location for your business' advertising. 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 | Create your marketing strategy | Advertising: the basics | Search engine optimisation | E-commerce and the law | Privacy and data protection in direct marketing | Web 2. Related guides on businesslink.Opens in a new window Communication skills courses on the Impact Factory website .gov. Research the profile of network members to help you design an engaging advertising message they will positively respond to. Banner ads are now appearing on network websites.

Opens in a new window Advertising standards information on the Advertising Standards Authority website .Opens in a new window Advertising codes information on the Committee of Advertising Practice website .Opens in a new window Internet advertising information on the IAB website .Online networking Practical advertising guidance on the Advertising Association 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 Identity theft protection information on the Identity Theft 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 PROOF Scheme information on the Companies House 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 Online marketing information on the Marketing Online website .Opens in a new window Download data protection for small businesses guidance from the Information Commissioner's website (PDF) .Opens in a new window Online Advertising Networks Buyer's Guide on the e-consultancy website Opens in a new window Communication skills courses on the learndirect website .

Whereas the 'old' internet was about static content and online information.gov. Increasingly customers expect to engage with a brand online in a variety of ways.0' is e-Commerce | Created by Business Link on 26 January 2010 09:50 Ã#¨ Crown copyright 2007 Page 133 .0: a guide for business Subjects covered in this guide Introduction Introduction How the web is changing What is Web 2. It will also provide advice on how to target customers more effectively to ensure your message is getting across. the 'new' internet is about dynamic.gov. New technology and faster connection speeds have meant that more customers and businesses are connected than ever before.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.uk/northeast by navigating to: Home > Sales and marketing > Online marketing > Web 2.0? Web 2.0' is commonly used to describe this 'second generation' of the internet. user generated content or 'social media'. The 'new' internet or 'Web 2. This change is altering the way that businesses now build customer relationships online.0' actually means.Web 2. Customers today search online for everything from their local plumber to a global brand. But how customers are using the internet is changing. Put simply. This provides both new opportunities and risks for your business.0: a guide for business How the web is changing Although widely used there is much disagreement over what the term 'Web 2.uk Related web sites you might find useful The web is a vital tool for any modern business. 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. The term 'Web 2.0 tools How Web 2. the internet of the 1990s was about static.0 technology benefited my business (Flash video) Related guides on businesslink. You can find this guide on http://www. Online content has become richer.businesslink. information-based content and a clear separation between content provider and end user.

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

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

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

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

Instead. The mobile web The concept of mobile web access already exists to some extent.Web 2.0' prove just as contentious as the earlier versions. tailor your campaign so that it will sit comfortably with both the site and its users. See our guide on e-commerce and the law. two-way exchange of ideas and opinions. below we outline three existing technologies that may become more prominent in the future. This will build trust between you and your customers and encourage loyalty. Depending on your business you may find that some users post inappropriate comments. this should be balanced with maintaining brand honesty. If you do receive negative comments.lets users know what they can expect from the site Depending on the type of user-generated content you are allowing. It is also important to monitor how your business is being talked about on other websites. You should position your marketing strategy on the social web very carefully. Protect your brand It is important for your business to consider the monitoring of user comments.lays out the limits of your legal liability • terms and conditions .while customer opinion can be useful. so that you can respond accordingly. While you should try to protect your brand and your site from potential threats. • Libellous material . This could include: • Profane language . 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. e-Commerce | Created by Business Link on 26 January 2010 09:50 Ã#¨ Crown copyright 2007 Page 138 .you may be held responsible for any user comments on your site that insult or libel someone. New devices and wireless networks with wider area coverage mean even greater opportunities to connect with your customers.0: a guide for business their personal details will be used • disclaimer . respond in a professional and positive way and address the issues that have been raised.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. • Damaging comments . Any campaigns should be designed with the social web in mind. It is important that site users feel that there is an open and honest. look into the reasons behind the comments and try to rectify them. If you find this is the case. but it is set to develop further in the future. you don't want to have too many negative comments about your business. Avoid simply placing the same messages you use in other marketing channels into a social web context. 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. Make sure you monitor what users are saying.

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

Opens in a new window • Listen to audio only (mp3.com website .Opens in a new window Internet advertising regulation guidance on the Internet Advertising Bureau website .Opens in a new window Podcast information on the BBC website . Owners Lucy and Kurt Jewson have had an e-commerce website since the start.uk website .Opens in a new window UK small business podcasts on the SmallBizPod website . children and babies since 2004.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 .co. Social media information on the Internet Advertising Bureau website .gov. Here Lucy and Kurt explain how they have set about doing this and the benefits and risks involved.Opens in a new window • Read transcript .0 guidance on the O'Reilly website .Opens in a new window e-Commerce | Created by Business Link on 26 January 2010 09:50 Ã#¨ Crown copyright 2007 Page 140 .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. 12MB) • Help Related guides on businesslink.Opens in a new window Blog news.Opens in a new window Wikis introduction on the About.0 technology to build brand awareness and create an online community around their product.Web 2.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. More recently they have begun using Web 2.

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