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Business Topics and E-commerce

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Business Topics and E-commerce

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  1. Business Topicsand E-commerce • Some on-line resources on topics… • Business Plans • Someone’s site on E-commerce techniques • Startup Case Studies website • Marketing and E-Commerce

  2. Business Plans • US Small Business Administration • Free on-line short courses: • In general, the courses are all self-paced and should take about 30 minutes to complete. Most of the courses require a brief online registration. • Small Business Primer: Guide to Starting a Business • How to Prepare a Business Plan • Technology 101: A Small Business Guide

  3. Business Plans website • US SBA site (previous slide) • Commercial website: • Ecommerce sample business plan:

  4. Palmer Web Marketing • • Some interesting resources • But caveat surfer! • Handout for discussion: • Top 10 eCommerce Startup Mistakes • Free e-book (79 pages, lots of whitespace) • eCommerce Roadmap

  5. eCommerce Roadmap contents • Palmer Webmarketing has a free e-book • Contents are: • Landing Page Optimization • Site Navigation Optimization • Site Search Optimization • Category Page Optimization • Product Page Optimization • Shopping Cart Optimization • Checkout Process Optimization • Customer Service • eCommerce SEO Tactics

  6. Startup Review: Case Studies • • a blog that profiles successful Internet start-ups in a case study format • Created through interviews with early employees at the companies profiled and industry experts •,, Craigslist,, eCRUSH Network, eHarmony, Facebook, Flektor, Flickr, Greenfield Online, Grouper Networks, Homegain, HotJobs,, iStockphoto, Jumpcut, Jumpstart Automotive, Linkshare, LoopNet,, Marchex, MyBlogLog, MySpace, Newegg, Reddit,, Rotten Tomatoes, StepUp Commerce, Userplane, Wallstrip, Xfire, YouTube,

  7. Marketing • A definition of marketing: • strategies and actions a firm takes… • to establish a relationship with a consumer… • and encourage purchases of its products or services. • Marketing issues include: • Understanding customers • Products and brands (branding) • Segments, targets, positioning • And more…

  8. Knowing About your Customers • community, culture, lifestyle • how they shop • frequency, barriers (e.g. trust), facilitators • where they get information about products • behavior on-line • behavior once on a site

  9. Internet Marketing Techniques • An e-business has new ways to learn about customers and behaviors. Examples: • Analyzing behavior of customers on your website • Storing shopping cart info, orders, etc in databases • Datamining • Customer registration info

  10. Analyzing Behavior on Website • Let’s look at • Analyzing weblogs • Web bugs

  11. Web servers log access • Web logs can record: • IP address of visitor • Time-stamp • URL requested (page, image, script) • Servers response • URL from which visitor came to this site • Browser and OS info

  12. From Logs We Can Analyze: • Day, time and time-of-year info • What people requested • The "clickstream" -- a trace of pages they went through • Where they came from • What kind of computers they use

  13. Companies and Technologies • WebTrends ( • "Analytics" product: • They say: "Analytics allows you to measure all aspects of your organization's online presence, from static site content to what customers are doing on your blogs. Enhanced support for open standards lets you connect aggregate online data with purchasing, sales and other enterprise systems to get one view of your customers and data."

  14. Companies and Technologies • Google Analytics • Free Service, • They say: “[GA] is the enterprise-class web analytics solution that gives you rich insights into your website traffic and marketing effectiveness. Powerful, flexible and easy-to-use features now let you see and analyze your traffic data in an entirely new way. With Google Analytics, you're more prepared to write better-targeted ads, strengthen your marketing initiatives and create higher converting websites.”

  15. Google Analytics • GA can track visitors from all referrers, including search engines, display advertising, pay-per-click networks, email marketing and digital collateral such as links within PDF documents. • How's it work: • A "page-tag" included on each web page. • A bit of Javascript • Collects visitor data, sends it to Google data collection servers. • Reports done hourly (with some lag)

  16. More User Info • In addition to logs, there are: • Cookies • You know about these. • Can identify a returning customer (new or repeat visitor) • Can say how long since they were here, etc. • Not completely accurate. (why?) • Web bugs

  17. What’s a Web Bug? • A graphic image on a Web page or in an Email message • A link to an external site, not an image embedded in your message • Designed to monitor who is reading the Web page or Email message • May be invisible (size 1 pixel by 1 pixel) or not • Sometimes knowns as a "clear GIFs", "1-by-1 GIFs" or "invisible GIFs“ • (More info:

  18. How’s This Work? • Web bug: on some other server • Remember: when a server delivers a HTML file or an image file, it logs this • A page or an email can have an image that’s stored on some external site • Thus the server there logs delivery of that image (even if it’s invisible to you)

  19. Examples (in HTML) • <img src="" width=1 height=1 border=0> • <img width='1' height='1' src=" vid=3&catid=370153037&" alt=" ">

  20. What Info Can Be Gathered? • Again, the server where the bug lives will log: • The IP address of your computer • The URL of the page that the Web Bug is located on • The URL of the Web Bug image • The time the Web Bug was viewed • The type of browser that fetched the Web Bug image • Also possible: Info from any cookie that's on your machine

  21. Web Bugs on a Web Page • Using personal info in a cookie, ad companies can track what pages you view over time • Stores this info in a database • Later used to target specific banners ads for you • How many people view a website

  22. Web Bugs Used in an Email • Tells if and when a message was read • Links email address with the IP address of machine you read mail on • Within an organization, can tell how often a message is forwarded and read • In spam: • How many users have seen the spam message • Allows spammers to detect valid email addresses

  23. Web Bugs: Legal, Ethical? • Controversial! Attempt to monitor you without your knowledge • Legal? Not clearly illegal • They are used on the websites of legitimate companies • Privacy policies for websites generally don't mention these

  24. Web Bugs: What can you do? • You can't easily identify web bugs • Firebug can help you find them! • New email clients (e.g. Mozilla Thunderbird) do not display images in email that are links to files on external sites (see next slide) • (Images embedded as part of email message are OK) • You can click "Show Images" button • Also nice not to see some images in spam • Helps to disable and delete cookies

  25. An Email Client Blocks Remote Images

  26. Advertising • Establishing a relationship with your customer means: • attracting and getting customers • Therefore, ads! • Previously: TV, radio, newspaper, magazines, direct mail • Now also: advertising networks (e.g. DoubleClick), affiliate marketing, blog marketing,… • Search engines: SEO; pay for placement and rank

  27. Ads Moving On-line • On-line advertising growing 20% per year • Intel: • has moved 50% of its marketing budget to the online channel • Proctor and Gamble (world's largest advertiser) • 35% now on-line • Nike: • only 35% in traditional channels • the rest on-line and events • (Numbers reported as of 2007.)

  28. Advertising Networks • Participating sites (publishers) agree to display ads • Thus the Advertising Network has an inventory of available slots • Database info, customer info, etc. used to sell slots to those who match the site • Also, customer movement tracked from site to site to discover customer interest • Also, you identity may be known (from some site’s registration), so ads matching your demographic are shown

  29. Big Business • DoubleClick • First SW released in 1996 • Bought by Google in April 2007 for $3.1 billion • 24/7 Real Media’s Open AdStream • Bought by WPP for in June 2007 for $649 million • Aquantive • Bought by Microsoft in May 2007 for $6.1 billion

  30. Big Business: E.g. DoubleClick • 60 billion ads per month • About 24,000 a second • 100 million user-profiles • Relies on databases, servers, cookies, web bugs • See diagram

  31. Other Marketing Approaches • Web 2.0 leads to marketing on… • Blogs, social networks, viral marketing

  32. Search Engine Optimization (SEO) • Most major search engines allow companies to pay for their ads to be shown in response to specific searches • But steps you can take may help • Register with search engines (if allowed) • Make sure your keywords match common queries • Especially in title, headings, meta, top-level pages • Links: links to your pages, links to other pages • Increasing in-links? Affiliate relationships, ads, dummy websites • Hire a pro • (PalmerWebMarketing’s e-book has some suggestions too.)

  33. Much much more… • Handout from textbook:E-commerce: Business, Technology, Societyby Kenneth C. Laudon and Carol Guercio Traver • Covers: • Ads (on-line, banner, video) • Costs, effectiveness • Email, spam • Terminology for ads/on-line marketing • Etc.