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How to make money with eCommerce

How to make money with eCommerce. David Strom david@strom.com MPA Seminar, 14 April 1999. This past holiday season. Sales of books, CDs, and computers continued to increase Problems still remain with many sites Estimates still vary widely. Obstacles to Wide Deployment of eCommerce.

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How to make money with eCommerce

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  1. How to make money with eCommerce David Strom david@strom.com MPA Seminar, 14 April 1999

  2. This past holiday season • Sales of books, CDs, and computers continued to increase • Problems still remain with many sites • Estimates still vary widely

  3. Obstacles to Wide Deployment of eCommerce • Easy forms of payment • Trust in the system • Perceived benefits outweigh the risk • Technology and infrastructure still primitive • No general agreement on basics

  4. Sad State of Today’s eCommerce Marketplace • Poor quality tools • Hard-to-find stores • Limited payment methods • Credit card snooping perceptions • Older browser versions can’t view latest sites

  5. Case in Point: Buying a Bike Rack • Item not carried: outdated catalog • Telesales not familiar with web • No cross-sell or substitutions online • Needed three phone calls to complete purchase

  6. Critical Success Factors for Physical Storefronts • Location • Branding • Good service • Good product selection • Proper pricing and margins • Traffic

  7. Now Try to Agree on Definitions for Web Stores • What determines a good location? • Position on a search page • Nearness to popular destination • Ad on a popular server • What determines branding? • Memorable domain name • Popular search category destination

  8. An Example of bad location: Montana Meats • www.imt.net/~lingerie/buffalo/buffalo.html • Can’t they afford their own domain name? • www.company.com/~anything is BAD NEWS!

  9. Speaking of Domain Names • Typo.net • AmericaOffline.com • Sell ad space on things like: • amazom.com • www.eartlink.net • acivilaction.com vs civil-action.com • whitehouse.gov vs. whitehouse.com • Is the Internet a great place or what?

  10. Dealing With Rogue Domains • bestbuys.com vs bestbuy.com • united.com vs untied.com • Use same colors, try to go after same audience • Lawyers are standing by to take your call… • Use various tools to track down offenders: • companysleuth.com • dejanews.com • rs.internic.net

  11. Determining Traffic • Hard to do -- is it hits, page views, registered users? • [HITS = How Idiots Track Success] • Hard to measure -- do you count gifs? Use log files? • No general agreement on any metrics!

  12. Traditional Advertising Doesn’t Apply Anymore • Can’t measure anything • Every site has its own banner sizes • The Web is not TV

  13. One Working Definition of Success: • SURVIVAL! • If a site is still running after 12 months, and getting more traffic, it is a success.

  14. Good eCommerce Principles • Easy to find merchandize • Good service • Individual customization is key • Simple navigation • Make payments easy • Make buyer feel transaction is secure

  15. How NOT to Design a Payment Screen • www.netmar.com/new/norderform.shtml

  16. Common mistakes with payments • Provide too few or too many order confirmation pages • Confusing methods and misplaced buttons on order page • Make it hard for customers to buy things • Don’t make your customers read error screens

  17. Making the Buyer Feel Secure: the Six Components of Trust • Seals of approval, logos of credit card co’s • Identifiable brand name • Ease of navigation • Order fulfillment easy to understand • Clear purpose and site presentation • Fast and simple technology (Cheskin Research)

  18. How to Generate Repeat Business • Make the shopper feel part of the family • Shopping as entertainment (online auctions) • “Do what I mean” search function (Amazon looks at common search misspellings made in the previous 24 hours) • Periodic targeted email updates and reminders • Use one-click shopping (cookies or logins)

  19. Today’s Panel • Dave Kansas, thestreet.com • Al DiGuido, Computer Shopper/Zdnet

  20. Discussion points • Getting started • Targeting the right audience • Which revenue model • Technologies used • Mistakes you now realize

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