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Monday, February 6, 2012

PAS BUSINESS STUDIESBusiness and Technology - assignment one‘E-commerce in the new millenium’

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PAS BUSINESS STUDIES


Business and Technology - assignment one


‘E-commerce in the new millenium’


1. E-commerce means on-line trading and promotion, that is, buying, selling and advertising goods and services over electronic networks. Although e-commerce refers to all electronic transactions over any electronic network, today we tend to think of it as transactions carried out using the Internet. Electronic commerce has in fact been around for a long time. Large corporations have been conducting electronic transactions via Electronic Data Interchange (or EDI) for years. The problem is that EDI is run on proprietary networks, and uses proprietary software. It is too expensive to be used by smaller businesses. The Internet, on the other hand, is an open network. The software that makes the Internet work is in the public domain. Anyone can install it for free. The Internet Service Providers (ISP’s) who sell you Internet access are often owned by large companies, which also own the telecommunications networks over which the Internet runs, but they dont own the Internet itself. No one does. This means that accessing and using the Internet is relatively inexpensive. It makes it possible for a one-person business in Adelaide to use technology that once would only have been available to a multinational company. It means that our Adelaide business, courtesy of the Internet, can operate in the global environment, participating in global networks and markets. Using E-commerce information can also be moved across a server to another business or to consumers such as catalogues.


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1. The introduction of E-commerce and the development of telecommunications into businesses has been advantageous is several way. Firstly, it has enabled domestic companies to establish valuable export markets with overseas companies or consumers as their business would have been sited on the Internet. If these companies had not been on the Internet, chances are that the foreign investor would not have discovered this trading partner. Not only has E-commerce opened a businesses opportunities overseas, but it has also allowed other states in Australia to gain access to a companies goods and services even if the selling company was not located in the same state as the purchaser.


By using E-commerce as a point of sales, the appointment of sales staff could be reduced saving the company involved in E-commerce valuable time in training and money in wages. Instead, a computer technician could be employed to make the Internet sight attractive to customers who may not be able to visit the actual store, as they may be interstate or overseas. Marketing and promotion staff numbers could be cut only keeping a select few to develop new products and ways to sell them. E.g. Banks have introduced online banking to reduce the amount of tellers who need to be employed.


If a business is heavily involved in stocks and shares then it would be vital for the transactions and purchases to become E-commerce orientated. The stock market can change shape dramatically and quickly meaning that if transactions are not made swiftly, a large amount of funds can be lost due to lost time. If connected to the Internet, the transactions can be made instantaneously, with the click of a button, possibly saving the company large amounts of money.





The Internet may be a more effective advertising tool to a business that specializes in the sale of certain goods. Companies responsible for the sale of computer programs (software) or hardware may choose to advertise and sell products on the Internet as the companies’ target market is more likely to be found using the internet than in newspapers and so on.


Businesses may also need to send letters, pictures, power point presentations or computer programs to other business colleges, wholesalers, distributors or customers. Sending letters and the other items mentioned above takes time and may need to be sent quickly e.g. Inform a customer not to come in to collect a package as it has not arrived yet. The customers would not receive the letter in time using conventional mailing systems (or as some like to call it today ‘Snail Mail’). Instead, if the letters were sent using a e-commerce via the internet (e-mail) valuable time and money could be saved.


1.


Dymocks Booksellers


Dymocks is Sydneys greatest bookstore. It all began in 187 when William Dymock began business as a bookseller in a rented room in Market Street. William Dymock died at the age of and as he was unmarried and childless, he left the business to his sister Marjory, who was married to John Forsyth. From that time onwards, the Forsyth family has managed Dymocks. Dymocks booksellers have stores in Adelaide currently. One located in Rundle mall, another at Burnside shopping center and the last at Westfield, Marion. The latest bid made by the Forsyth’s of Dymocks was to go online and offer a website, which allows the sales of books and also the preview of services offered by Dymocks.


The site itself has several features that are all useful and easy to access via the main menu. Services such as Gift vouchers, Book Purchases, New Releases, Categories of Books Available for Sale, Best Sellers and a Search Engine. Gift vouchers can be made out, paid for and delivered all by using the Dymocks website. A more in depth illustration of this option will be shown later. The main menu page also displays books of the month and also the weeks best seller allowing people with not much of an idea for books which ones are selling most. The search engine on this site allows for people who may not be able to get into the stores or people who do not want to go there, to see if Dymocks have the book in stock. Even if they do not know the exact name of the book, they can enter a key word and from the results of the search then select the correct one. They can then purchase the book on line and have it delivered to their house. The site is excellent for beginners, as the headings are self-explanatory and easy to follow.


Examples The Menu which greets you as you enter the website is well laid out and neatly presented allowing potential customers to see clearly see which areas they may be interested in looking at. (Appendix 1) Each side of the website contains links which take you to the related area you selected whilst in the middle of the page, new features of the website are displayed. These also contain links, which can take you to the latest additions to the website. If you were interested in looking at the various types of categories of books that are available for sale on this website, all you need to do is to select the Browse or other category links as highlighted in Appendix 1. This then takes you to a page displaying the categories that are available on this website (Appendix 1.1). If the category named ‘Top Ten Books of the Week’ is selected from the menu, then you are taken to the corresponding page (Appendix 1.). From the page you are able to view the top ten books, read a brief description, see their status (for example available now) and you are give the option to purchase the book. Displaying the front cover of the book allows customers to recall if they have seen the book before or it may appeal to them. So this aspect of the website is especially well planned as it clear, easy to follow and looks appealing. By clicking on the heading ‘Mark Waugh; the Biography’ or the ‘buy’ icon, we are taken to a page where the transaction can occur (Appendix 1.). The delivery details, total cost of the book and the prompts you need to follow in order to give your credit card details are all linked to this page. The appropriate links are highlighted (Appendix 1.).


Another innovative idea incorporated in this website is the online gift voucher page (Appendix 1.4). It can be accessed from the main menu (appendix 1) by clicking on the gift voucher link. From this page, the gift voucher can be created with your own person message, which you enter on the Internet. You are able to type in the name of who you wish the voucher to be addressed to, which will be printed on the voucher, who it is from, the method of delivery (post or e-mail), the cost of the voucher you wish to give the recipient and the date of delivery. After each of the boxes in which you enter the relevant information there is an example of how the box could or should be filled out in order to create a user friendly site and attract more customers to the, already successful, online business tool. By clicking next on the bottom of the page you can enter you credit card details and complete the transaction. Dymocks’ online store is an excellent example for a successful website. It is user friendly in the fact that there are no complex paths to follow in order to access the area of the site you want. It is all accessible from the main page. As Dymocks is a well-known Australian Company the movement into E-commerce should prove to be a useful business tool as technology is rapidly advancing and this may be the way of the future.


Trading post


Australia’s first Trading Post, The Melbourne Trading Post was founded in 166. In 168, both the Sydney Metropolitan Trading Post and the Personal Trading Post in Brisbane commenced publication. Today, the Trading Post Group publishes 11 Trading Post publications around Australia, Autotrader in Perth, Buysell in Sydney, Collectormania and the leading website tradingpost.com.au. The group is now part of Trader.com, a global leader in classified advertising.


The Trading post website itself contains several different sections, which can assist a wide range of people. Firstly, the Trading Post website allows people who are seeking second hand goods an opportunity to purchase them by matching them with sellers. The areas, in which goods are for sale, are categorized on a user-friendly menu that takes you to a list of the products and prices requested for these goods with the click of the mouse. The categories, which have goods available for sale, are


ɨ Arts, Crafts and Hobbies


ɨ Audio Visual


ɨ Automotive


ɨ Business


ɨ Computers


ɨ Employment


ɨ Garden and Outdoor


ɨ General


ɨ Home and Family


ɨ Marine


ɨ Personal Needs


ɨ Pets and Livestock


ɨ Plant and Machinery


ɨ Real Estate


ɨ Renovation and Building


ɨ Sport and Leisure





The contact telephone number of the person who you need to speak to in order to arrange an inspection time or talk to for further information is also available along with a brief description of the individual goods.


The next section of the Trading Post website allows for sellers to register their ads to appear on-line and also in the weekly Trading Post publication, which is released every Thursday. The option to do this is offered on the main screen of the web site and the prompts are easy to follow in order to place your ad and pay for it using a credit card.


Another section of the website allows buyers to search for certain keywords, which may be associated with the product that they are looking to buy by using the ‘Keyword Search’. If a buyer is not sure which category the product he/she is looking for falls under then this search can be used. Another variety of search available on this website is a more in depth category search. You can select from the list of categories you wish to search and enter a key word and the website will filter out any irrelevant information and leave you with the keyword you have searched for in the category you selected.


Examples As you first enter the website, it gives you the choice to select which state you wish to search for products in (Appendix ). The way in which you select the state that you want to search in is simply by clicking on the picture of the desired state e.g. S.A. This is an interesting way to setup the introduction page to a website but very effective as it allows first time Internet users an easy option to get their searching started in the correct direction.


Once entering the website and selecting the state which you would like to search in, you are taken to a main menu (Appendix .1) which allows you to select whether you would like to ‘Keyword Search’ as mentioned earlier, Report a sale or place and add. If you would like to conduct a more in depth, category search then click on the key word search heading or classifieds search heading and you are taken to a more thorough searching option (Appendix .). You can enter the category that you would like to search in, the amount you are willing to spend and the main words associated with the product you are looking to buy. Also the area you are looking in and the age of the corresponding ads can also be entered. This search option is extremely useful in the filtration of irrelevant information and save the user time. An innovative addition to the site in order to attract users to the site.


Finally, if you wish to place an add, you click on the option provided on the main menu (Appendix .1) which takes you to the prompts you must follow in order to place your add and pay for it using your credit card. (Appendix .). The website is well laid out and neatly presented. The options available are all present on the main page allowing easy navigation around the website and allowing efficient searching for desired goods. This would be a rather useful business tool in conjunction with the weekly Trading Post Publication in order to make the Publication more widely available to consumers.


Ticketek


In keeping with the trend of online ticket sales which have usually been associated with airline ticket purchases and bookings, entertainment events such as sport matches like the cricket and concerts; for example The Red Hot Chili Peppers, are now having tickets distributed via the internet through Ticketek.com. Ticketek deals with the sales of these tickets in Hong Kong, Australia and New Zealand, concert information, for instance; what date and time the concert/match in on and location of these events.


The main page on this site outlines the main features which are coming up in the months ahead and also exclusive giveaways and competitions you can enter online. These competitions often pop up (activate without selection or command given) and often lead to frustration and annoyance. This may deter some customers from online purchases and therefore could be removed to make the site user-friendlier and more convenient. By selecting one of the main events (clicking on the picture or heading of the concert, the site cuts straight to the chase and gives you a description of the artist or match, Locations of the events, Seating sections and arrangements and the ability to purchase the tickets online. Other features of this website include a list of vendors of tickets. If you are not comfortable completing the transaction online, then this is a helpful idea that may encourage some potential customers to purchase tickets from Ticketek, just not online, instead of going to a completely different company e.g. BASS.


Examples When you first enter this site you must select which country you would like to book tickets in by clicking on the map picture (Appendix ). By selecting the Australia option, the main page for Australian concerts and events is displayed (Appendix .1) which shows pictures of the major events and lists the names of the less significant events.


If you were interested in going to see Kylie Minogue live in concert, you could book and pay for you tickets on line. By clicking on the Kylie Minogue writing on the side panel of the site, you are taken to the Kylie Minogue concert information page (Appendix .). As the Kylie Minogue concert is only a few weeks away and it has been a year since her last Australian performance it is no surprise to see that the tickets are completely sold out and no further tickets will be issued. The description of her concert locations and her tour details are still displayed but the option to purchase tickets has been removed.


The site does not offer that much and I guess it doesn’t really have to. Selling tickets is the aim of the business and Ticketek certainly makes this possible not only in traditional stores but also through the Internet. The continual hindrance of the pop up competitions will seriously make me consider whether I would use Ticketek or another company for ticket purchases, as it took the site longer to load and it meant I had to close the competition site down each time it opened. If this were to be removed, the site would be a very simple but quite effective business tool. The site was presented nicely and the color scheme matched the company’s logo. The added option of seeing where ticket vendors are located would certainly attract a few more viewers to the Internet site.


CCS Mail-order


CCS mail order is an Internet website established by the creators of ‘Strength’ magazine and has specialized in the online sale of skateboarding goods, snowboarding goods and magazine subscriptions. The main menu of this website has a playing movie which draws you in right from the word go. The heading to the subsidiary sections of the website are easily located making this site easy to use for beginners and is bound to attract more people to the website.


When categories are selected, the website brings up a menu containing pictures and a brief description of the goods available in this section. The wide range of goods available include





ɨ Complete snowboard/skateboard packages


ɨ Skateboard parts


ɨ Snowboarding boots


ɨ Protective gear (e.g. helmets


ɨ Clothing


ɨ Shoes


ɨ Backpacks and Bags


ɨ Accessories (such as ramps)


ɨ Videos


The website also contains an online version to the ‘Strength’ monthly skateboarding publication from which subscriptions are available. The magazine has the latest new from the world of skateboarding such as recent sponsorship deals, photography albums, Bios on certain skateboarders and recent competition results. This would provide an added reason for some people to visit the site and may result in a purchase of goods. The site is neatly laid out and presented in a user-friendly fashion, which would give people of all ages the ability to navigate through the site and complete online transactions. The skateboarding magazine also contains sections called ‘Trick Tips’ which are videos of the world’s best skaters explaining to beginners how to execute certain moves and what they should look like. I know this section itself draws a large amount of users to the site, as it is extremely useful information and presented by some of the world’s most famous skateboarders’ e.g. Tony Hawk.


Competitions can also be entered on this site which may interest some users of this site but if was to lead to a flooding of your e-mail account with unwanted information then it is probably wise to steer clear of this option. The icons to enter these competitions are flashy which may convince some to enter the competitions and therefore prove to be a useful business tool (trading of the information collected from the competition entry form).


Examples The main page of this site has all the options at the top of the page into which section of the website you wish to inspect (Appendix 4). If you were looking for a pair of skateboarding shoes, then the first step that would need to be taken would be the selection of the skate store icon at the top of the main menu page. When the skate store option is selected, you are taken to the page that contains the categories from which skateboarding gear is available (Appendix 4.1). By scrolling down and finding the shoe section, you can see that the brand names of the shoes are all listed under the shoes heading. This makes it easier to pick what you want and find it faster. Lest say, for the examples sake, that you were interested in the ‘Adio’ brand of shoes. By clicking on the link named Adio you can be taken to a page displaying all the Adio shoes for sale and the amount they cost (Appendix 4.). If you found a pair of shoes which you liked and wished to buy, then either by clicking on the picture or the heading of the desired shoes then you are taken to the page where the transaction details are filled out. Options like color, size and the final price including delivery (Appendix 4.) are all included on this page.


CCS also sponsors a number of professional skateboarders, giving them free products if they advertise for them. On this page you are able to access an interview with certain skateboarders and a picture album of each. These skateboards are world-renowned and reading information about them may attract new users to the site, particularly young people who idolize these skaters. The main focus of this website is to focus on young people who are more likely to purchase these goods rather than the older generations. The skater team page is accessible from the main menu page at the list of categories at the top of the page (CCS team). This takes you to the page where a small picture of each skater is displayed (Appendix 4.4) and by clicking the face you are taken to the interview and pictures of the selected skater. Once the face has been selected, a larger picture of the skater and the interview with him is accessible (Appendix 4.5).





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