Copyright 2003 - All rights reserved (except where indicated).
Issued: 02.May 03
DMLR*Newsletter — GOLD Edition n.13
|I. The E-Commerce Website.
Any e-business model has to employ the e-commerce services.
But not every website is an e-commerce platform too...
Confused? Actually the terminology implies that while e-commerce is a process (not a whole model of business!), e-commerce services can or can't be built into a website as consequence of the Web business model you have implemented.
Complicated? According to the VeriSign (r) Guide "How to Create an E-Commerce Web Site", just take the following steps to ensure that you are performing an e-commerce site.
<1> Establish Your Online Brand With A Right Web Domain
<2> Build a User-Friendly Site
<3> Set up Your Web Server
(or Select an ISP Hosting Your Site)
<4> Secure Your Site
<5> Accept and Manage All Kinds of Payments
<6> Test, Test, Test
<7> Promote Your Site
<8> Start Selling
Note: DMLR*News did produce several articles dedicated to some of these eight points. Search the archive here:
(Points as 3, 4, 5 are the technological components of any website so they have not been yet included into the main topics treated by this newsletter. Now read part II here!)
II. The E-Commerce Process.
*Step 4* of the list above is aiming to build your
customers' confidence and trust with regards to the online transaction.
"85 percent of Web users surveyed reported that a lack of security made them uncomfortable sending credit card numbers over the Internet".
E-merchants can win the confidence of these customers by building secure websites to face serious threats and avoid the "spoofing" (illegitimate sites), unhautorized sensitive information disclosure, data alteration, unauthorized action. Credit card numbers, user names, and the content of a transaction are all vulnerable to such risk of alteration.
Consequently the e-commerce process has to guarantee the general security of transaction in terms of
Proof of communication.
Solution: digital certificates for the Web site (Sever IDs) are the common answer for these security questions. A Server ID supported by the Secure Socket Layer (SSL) protocol, for example, assures the customers that a Web site is legitimate, that they are really doing business with an
e-merchant, and that confidential information transmitted to the e-merchant online is protected.
*Step 5* of the list above relies on the core of the e-commerce process, or how to take advantage of the efficiency of online payment processing! The website will then feature an "Internet payment gateway" that provides Internet connectivity between buyers, sellers, and the third part or the financial networks that move money between them.
The Internet payment processing system usually includes different partecipants and technologies:
- customer, a holder of a payment instrument
(eg. credit card)
- issuer, a financial institution (i.e. bank)
- merchant, the e-commerce Web site
- acquirer, a financial institution that process
- payment gateway, an interface between e-merchant and
- processor, a large data center that processes credit
An online payment transaction using a payment gateway system is basically a 6-step process:
1) the customer places an order online by selecting items from a Web site catalog; the site often replies with an order summary of the items, their price, a total amount,
an order number
2) the customer confirms the order, including payment data, to the e-merchant (payment information's usually encrypted)
3) the e-commerce site requests payment authorization from the payment gateway, which routes the request to banks and payment processors --at this step the cardholder's account is charged and the e-merchant is guaranteed to be paid
4) the e-merchant confirms the order and supply the goods or services to the customer
5) the payment gateway handles the payment processing with the processor
6) transactions are settled.
Connecting all the players isn't so simple for small- and medium-sized businesses. In fact many e-commerce websites have been outsourced to providers for payment service.
III. Giving The Numbers.
Can the numbers improve the visibility of websites?
Are the numbers a direct means to market online?
What is the source of numbers in domain names?
Let's go to review what the numbers are representing on Web marketing by appearing in some domains.
a) The number is simply a... number!
I'm going to say it's the number of a public telephone, so the domain reinforces the service to be called:
b) The number is remembering a concept or product.
It may deliver some direct message or it may just recall some... concept:
c) The number is a short cut to the company name.
Experts say the only important impact a domain name has is on your business image. The number is its condensed image:
d) The number is a short cut to phrases too long to type.
This is a sipmle way to get fresh and short a generic name:
www......... (try to create your own!).
Sounds like a bunch of gibberish?
A good domain name can be a brand --the seed and start of a bigger brand. It can portray product benefits or features. Hope this stirs some new thoughts and gives you fodder for
giving your numbers!
IV. Direct Marketing.
The DIRECT MARKETING glossary is available since July on DMLR,
as English text, in a 3-document edition (PDF) you can browse here or easily download onto your desktop.
It consists of 19 pages as a whole, 311 paragraphs/terms, 236 Kb, 7450 words, 44772 types!
Select and print the three parts of the glossary in English on http://www.dmlr.org/come/menu.htm.
Sure the Internet has been changing the traditional snail-mail based direct marketing. And yet the Internet marketing is a consequence of the old direct marketing somehow.
Many terms you'll find inside the DM glossary are suiting for the e-marketing too (see GOLD n.10).
Let's consider another example:
RFMR is "acronym for recency - frequency - monetary value ratio, a formula used to evaluate the sales potential of names on a mailing list".
The principle behind the RFM method is that that customers are individuals and not simple data on electronic files. Anyone is expressing precise needs during its life cycle, someone is high spending, someone else is hardly buying... The direct marketing campaign is customer oriented when
the customers are monitored in their buying behaviour and are always receiving the right promotion to solicit them to buy again.
On RFM model I had selected a book from Jim Novo,
where a series of examples coming off from the websites and online users data processing are well provided to readers.
VeriSign --the Internet Trust Company-- offers a complete
range of products and services to help you secure your Web site. Among these solutions, SSL sever IDs (encryption), payment management services, Internet merchant accounts.
VI. 1ite Phone & Quiz.
The list had missed the first prefix launched for calling mobile phone almost ten years ago. Many numbers have been added after that premiere and several technologies are supporting now the wireless communication.
Cf. DMLR*News 1ite n.3,
VII. Review: Inter.it.
On this issue let's look at: "Inter.it", the official site
for the Internazionale Football Club.
- Web location is http://www.inter.it
- Type of site: a 3-language (it, en, es) website, this is a pluri-awarded sport location dedicated to the games, news, appointments of the black and blue dressed team of Milan.
The site is the portal to be entered by all the fans and journalists wanting to stay constantly informed on the daily activities and trainings that are reported directly from the main fields, venues and competitions during the sporting year.
- Means: the club doesn't skimp on multimedial ways to create interest to visitors and produce web contents for updating the news on the daily life at Inter.
The weekly email newsletter, the wall of fans (chat), the direct line offering the interviews by the players, the technical staff and the president, a reserved area to interact with the club management, the membership for buying the official merchandise items, all these are the modes which any supporter can activate and use to take part into the club's activity and happenings.
- Web site: it consists mostly of dynamic HTML pages. Again, it's the organization that counts rather than a single section or page.
To mention as fundamental the links to partners such as the organization vending tickets for the home matches or the companies, both technical and commercial, sponsoring the football club.
- Demo: the catalog of items is far wide and updated every year with the launching of the new jersey and uniform, cap and tracksuit, and all the basic tools aimed to wear the
black and blue fans.
The "wall of fans" is the area where all can dialogue with each other about the themes of the day --you may count from 50 to 250 users as everage presence online when you are connecting to the site and presences are reported in the right side of the main page.
The "match centre" is maybe the most advanced example of web contents and it's the real time report of all the games played during the season. Data are generated dynamically and are always supported by different media --video, audio, graphics, text.
The archive of pictures along with the navigation on this site is really great.
It did make me a little angry though --and if you have a very slow connection, you may have time to get yourself a snack during downloads of the pictures.
For connecting to the site Inter.it I have set up an useful statistical service where the data processed by me represent an introduction and link to the official website:
- Rating: 13 out of 15.
Dondi --word processing, HTML and the ropes.