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Format of session E-Commerce Site creation tools start of discussion of how to establish an E-Commerce prototype – a shop front end Example tools available You need to make a choice Summary Setting up a <something>site I often get asked how to do this by businesses; the media etc

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format of session
Format of session
  • E-Commerce Site creation tools
    • start of discussion of how to establish an E-Commerce prototype – a shop front end
    • Example tools available
    • You need to make a choice
  • Summary

©Staffordshire University

setting up a something site
Setting up a <something>site
  • I often get asked how to do this by businesses; the media etc
    • Convert a website into an E-Commerce site
      • So we need to be clear about what this means
      • What to use etc
        • Spectrum from template led (low £) to bespoke (high £)
    • Build an E-Commerce site
      • So we need to be clear about what this means
        • B to C – virtual shop
    • You have seen what I use to gather these requirements earlier in the module

©Staffordshire University

before you start
Before you start
  • Review the important technologies and standards which need to be considered a pre-requisite to developing e-commerce sites
    • Understanding the options available for the architecture of a site - review
  • Understand why this is important
    • as an entrepreneur or e-business co-coordinator within a firm it is important to take ownership of the above
    • Make an informed choice
    • Future proof as best as possible
    • Get value for money
  • Design the site first with a view to either passing it over to a 3rd party or doing it yourself – this the assignment

©Staffordshire University

b to c or b to b site creation
B to C or B to B site creation
  • E-Commerce Site creation - start of discussion of how to establish a shop front
  • Shop front model awareness
  • An understanding of the development options you have in order of difficulty
    • Bespoke development e.g. Visual Studio ASP.Net;Coldfusion;Dreamweaver;PHP;JSP etc
    • Instant mix package e.g.Actinic, Mal’s E-Commerce
    • Simple hoster service provided by firms like Freecom
      • User allowed to update site in an easy manner

©Staffordshire University

which path to take
Which path to take?
  • the problem? - what criteria can you use to decide which path to follow
  • What are the advantages and disadvantages of each of the options I have mentioned?
    • skill set; time; budget; customisation;modification; brand - there are lots more to come up with
  • Let’s have a look at each option in a bit more detail……..

©Staffordshire University

options what are they
Options - what are they?
  • Decisions to make before the project starts! Do you…...
  • Go In-house - grow your own team without any help?
  • Go In-house with some help from an organisation like the University or a internet services firm?
  • Link a shopping cart package to your existing web pages?

©Staffordshire University

get some else to do the work
Get some else to do the work
  • Outsource - internet services firm - hire a 3rd party – not an option for the assignment!
    • Involves a cost (could be substantial)
    • Usually bespoke and integration in other systems
  • Local firms specialise in this type of work Staffordshire examples:
    • Newebia
    • Limelight

©Staffordshire University

diy simplest
DIY - Simplest
  • Go for the simplest solution and use one of the hosting services like 123.reg?
  • May be use an off the shelf solution to begin (usually involves the use of standard templates to choose from) and then replace it with a design of your own when appropriate
    • You build up the skill set
    • Gain experience

©Staffordshire University

options site building by numbers
Options - Site building by numbers!
  • There are a number of free service providers providing help on setting up an E-Commerce site
    • Example Tripod.com - and apart from wizards to set up a web site, you can E-enable it as well
    • For those who have chosen a B to B scenario then this site will interest you Alibaba

©Staffordshire University

options site building by numbers10
Options - Site building by numbers!
  • Using any of these services is certainly easy and you need very little technical knowledge
  • The free simple website offerings are easy (although basic)
  • But remember - it would helpful before using any of these tools to have some idea of what the site is trying to do - strategy!

©Staffordshire University

options site building by numbers11
Options - Site building by numbers!
  • Without doubt setting up shop has never been easier or cheaper
  • Inexpensive off the shelf on-line stores can be provided by a number of vendors including British Telecom
  • Back to what we discussed two weeks ago - depends on what your strategy is
    • you can have a website for £25 set up which may then account for 25% of your business!

©Staffordshire University

options site building by numbers12
Options - Site building by numbers!
  • So one option is to use an off the shelf solution to begin with
    • (usually involves the use of standard templates to choose from)
      • Yahoo!
    • then replace it with a design of your own when appropriate
      • Using a more sophisticated tool
      • Or developing bespoke

©Staffordshire University

diy part involvement
DIY - Part involvement
  • Go for the template solution and use one of the hosting services
    • Examples
      • freecom.net ; Examples Tripod ; E-bay shop or Google Sites
      • In the tutorial review the services offered by this firm
      • usually involves the use of standard templates to choose from and maintain
      • Does involve a cost
  • I’ve used this approach in the past as an “off the shelf” solution to get a user involved
    • Suits those with little technical skill
  • Can replace using a different approach when experience of e-commerce has been acquired

©Staffordshire University

diy a bit more complicated
DIY! A bit more complicated
  • What skills are needed?
    • Web page building skills from the Simple to begin with using anything e.g. Word or one of the templates like Google Sites
    • Use of open source (free) software for the Shopping bit
      • Mal’s E-Commerce (JCW’s favourite)
  • Let’s examine a practical example
    • Staffordshire University prototype shop – see link
  • Suits those who are prepared to spend the time get hands dirty and prepared to work at it…I must stress this

©Staffordshire University

diy package options
DIY - package options
  • These are the well known shop cart technology packages on the market
    • Not free but low cost – have a trial period and so could be used for the assignment
      • Actinic
      • ecBuilder Pro
      • Clickcart Pro
  • All the above are rich in functionality/advice
  • Often sneered at by “programmers” but the ubiquity of the packages says something about the success of these packages

©Staffordshire University

grow your own staff cpd skills
Grow your own staff/CPD skills
  • Given the right conditions it may be advantageous for a company to develop the e-commerce project in-house
    • Quite expensive in my experience but…..
      • it is a question of risk and looking long term
    • It demands an infrastructure of hardware and suitable software
    • Skill set of staff needs to be considered
      • Example skill set to develop
        • LAMP (Linux/Apache/MySQL/PHP)
        • Visual Studio.net/SQL Server/IIS

©Staffordshire University

summary
Summary
  • E-Commerce tooling up is influenced by many aspects
    • Size of firm
    • Budget
    • Expertise
    • Willingness to get involved
  • Costs and return on investment (ROI) vary
    • A B to C firm is looking for minimum outlay for maximum return

©Staffordshire University

summary18
Summary
  • How much to spend?
  • Is the low cost option the best solution – from my experience, not necessarily
  • So, the conclusion could be that if you want to test the water, then a cheap solution may be good but if the conditions demand something much bigger from the off, then start up costs are much higher

©Staffordshire University

summary19
Summary
  • A firm has a number of aspects to consider before making a choice about setting up an E-Shop
    • We have reviewed them and these can help you in the assignment which is a design but include a simple set of prototype pages
    • The aim is to develop a design document which include a mock up of the shop pages
      • A tool can be used for this purpose
      • This document would then be used to develop from
  • This is the assignment for this module

©Staffordshire University