Published on February 27, 2009
E-COMMERCE 2008 & BEYOND
uknetweb This presentation was prepared by uknetweb , a company specialising in the technical end of web development. Based in Cornwall, UK, the company has successfully developed a number of sites for clients within the small to medium enterprise (SME/SMB Market), as well as working as partners on projects for the likes of Nokia . The company is owned and run by Toby Parkins, who boasts 14 years of web experience, working on some of the earliest web projects at his university. uknetweb specialise in spotting technical opportunities for businesses operating on the web. The company has created sites with a number of world firsts including; The Cornwall Kawasaki Centre featuring a parts database of over 1.5 million parts linked with diagrams and Beachbeat Surfboards featuring the first custom board shaper and webcam store with live see and buy. Anyone interested in learning more on what the company can do can contact Aren Grimshaw or Toby Parkins on +44(0)1872 555933.
key areas sell knowledge efficiency This presentation focuses on e-commerce and emerging internet technologies for business in 2008 and beyond. We have focused on the following 6 areas in this presentation, linking where possible to examples and research. We believe that the internet is in the middle of a great period of change with another billion users joining the web , the growth of web 2.0 projects and fears of a recession . social advertising security
e-commerce E-commerce refers to the sale of goods or products through a store online as opposed to a real world bricks and mortar site. A huge and growing area – online shopping sales in the UK hit a new high last year, hitting the £4bn per month mark in July for the first time and over a 12 month period online sales were up a massive 36% ( Brand Republic ). Online stores are not just about selling products. Many work on more sophisticated functions such as flight or hotel booking systems, comparison sites, online brokers or affiliate marketing schemes. It’s a big area but still many companies operate in sectors where this model of business isn’t always appropriate so looking more widely at the internet and emerging technology is important in presenting a presentation that is of use to each and every person accessing it.
who uses the web In the UK alone around 34 million people use the internet (according to a survey released by the BBC late last year.) The main way people access online is through logging on at home with 61% in the same survey using their home PC to access the net. Out of these numbers around 65% of internet users buy, with 67% of those feeling confident to purchase using their credit card.
hidden depths What you see at the front of a website is the design . Like an iceberg, the design is only the tip of what is actually going on. Beyond the way the site looks are layers of code, databases, servers and other technical functionality to create the site you use on your screen. Looking towards 2008 how is the e-commerce store evolving?
evolving web the social web payments unleashed pick up in-store new competition
the social web
pick up in-store
the social web Looking at the ‘social web’ in context of the e-commerce / online store environment, there are principally 3 examples of the e-commerce store taking on a more social and connected kind of attitude. These changes focus on people wanting to see information on how other shoppers are acting within the same shopping environment. Using a supermarket analogy: You see a big crowd massing in one of the aisles, around a particular product or range of products or customers queuing up to complain all holding the same product – you would factor in this information into any decision you might make as to whether to purchase or not purchase. In much the same way efforts online are shifting to give consumers what they want. A more social and interactive shopping experience where they can compare products, see what others are buying, hear about duff products before they buy them.
the social web - cont Three specific examples of these changes in the e-commerce environment are: online reviews comparison functionality tag clouds The following three slides show websites (click picture to link to site) adopting this kind of technology into their online presence.
Three specific examples of these changes in the e-commerce environment are:
The following three slides show websites (click picture to link to site) adopting this kind of technology into their online presence.
More and more customers are reviewing products and accessing the reviews of other customers. Research shows that consumers trust retailers offering these functions over ones that don’t. Amazon has had this kind of functionality for a long time. online reviews
comparison functionality E-commerce stores are waking up to the need to offer customers comparisons on like products through their own websites. Simple checkboxes like this one found on the Palm website allows customers to limit results to a specific couple of products with side by side comparison. This kind of functionality offers customers more, increasing store loyalty and reducing cart abandonment as they go elsewhere to retrieve information.
tag clouds You may have noticed these strange boxes appearing across the web like the one shown above on the Yell.com website in the UK. They are a simple graphic format that shows how other people on the web are acting. In this case, the larger words reveal the company searches most commonly being carried out by other users. Cloud tags originated from ‘social’ book marking, a way of storing your favourite online places and adding tag references to store them for later use by you or other web users. (see slide 54)
pay and pick up payments unleashed pick up in store
pick up in store
Driven by growing fears about the security of purchases online and the increasing number of younger online customers, new pre-paid cards are emerging onto the market. Many cards are available to any user over the age of 13 without any requirement for credit checks. These cards act as normal Mastercard, Visa, Maestro or even American Express cards enabling the user to make purchases online Unlike a credit card, pre-paid debit cards need to be pre-loaded with cash similar to a ‘pay as you go’ mobile phone. They reduce the risk of online shopping by limiting the risk of loss to the credit present on the card. payments unleashed
pick up in store avoid postage costs check availability immediacy of purchase There is an increasing trend towards online stores offering an in-store pick up of products ordered over the internet. For traditional offline consumers they gain access to product availability before travelling to the store, or calling busy customer service staff. For online users, the need for a ‘quick fix’ buying something and getting it immediately, without postage costs, is driving this change.
avoid postage costs
immediacy of purchase
new competition Listed among the Media Guardian’s: Hit sites for 2008 is relative new company, and eBay/Amazon competitor, Etsy.com . ‘ A cross between eBay, Amazon and your grandma’s basement’ according to Wikipedia , the site provides a sales route for for smaller craft based businesses and niche product manufacturers Offering a cost effective way to sell handmade goods online, this site presents many cottage industries with an ideal start to e-commerce business. From a consumer perspective, a great place to shop for gifts with functions to search by colour, event and much more.
e-commerce statistics £4bn per month in online sales online sales up 29% last year total UK web sales £103bn 2007 65% of internet users buy online
£4bn per month in online sales
online sales up 29% last year
total UK web sales £103bn 2007
65% of internet users buy online
knowledge podcasting rss OK so we can see the changes when trying to sell products or services online, but, what changes can we utilize in businesses where there is no product or service to be bundled up, presented and sold online? How can those businesses not selling online make the most out of the internet? Below are 5 words that may or may not be familiar to you; however, I am sure you would have heard them mentioned in conversation more and more frequently during 2007. The following slides give a short overview on each. To read a detailed article on each click the title to be forwarded to it’s page on Wikipedia . wikis blogs widgets / dashboards
widgets / dashboards
wikis allows users to create, edit, and link web pages (read/write web) used to create collaborative websites biggest example = wikipedia
allows users to create, edit, and link web pages (read/write web)
used to create collaborative websites
biggest example = wikipedia
wikis - example Wikipedia came under some attack in the media during 2007 for inaccuracies; however, in comparison with trusted sources such as The Encylodpedia Britannica it was found to contain comparative levels of accuracy throughout. Wiki’s are being tested across a variety of scenarios, from marketing to education and will continue to grow in 2008. The publication of books such as ‘ Wikinomics ’ are highlighting how these new methods of operating are helping businesses in all sectors find new ways of working, improving growth, profits and efficiencies through collaboration. As a business tool they offer access to up to date information on a range of diverse subjects that otherwise may have required detailed research.
blogs offer commentary or news on a particular subject can be a form of online personal / corporate diary loads of free expertise, advice and knowledge available
offer commentary or news on a particular subject
can be a form of online personal / corporate diary
loads of free expertise, advice and knowledge available
blogs - example Here is an example of one of the many CEO blogs out there on the web – in this case Justin Kitch, CEO and Founder of Homestead.com
podcasts an audio clip or file downloaded for playback on PC or media device news, commentary, training etc keep informed of important changes
an audio clip or file
downloaded for playback on PC or media device
news, commentary, training etc
keep informed of important changes
podcasts - example Here is an example of just one of the many out there ready to download. In this case this is the Financial Times producing a variety of business news items.
rss makes it easy to keep up to date with changing content showcases a snippet of information with a link to full info can be added to a company website you choose what you see
makes it easy to keep up to date with changing content
showcases a snippet of information with a link to full info
can be added to a company website
you choose what you see
rss – My World My World is part of the Flock Browser. It can be accessed by pressing a small button built into the browser. The custom page displayed shows any RSS feeds subscribed to, as well as your most commonly visited sites. The screen shot above was taken off one of our screens here at uknetweb in preparing this presentation.
widgets / dashboards specific desktop application serves a specific function dashboards: iGoogle , MyWorld see the information you need or require
specific desktop application
serves a specific function
dashboards: iGoogle , MyWorld
see the information you need or require
vista gadgets The screen grab on the left shows some of the ‘ gadgets ’ shown on my desktop as part of the Windows Vista Operating System. Other systems offer similar functionality, Apple Mac users are able to have ‘ widgets ’ as are users of the Yahoo service.
dashboard - iGoogle iGoogle – a kind of personalised window on the net presented on your own customisable homepage. iGoogle – a kind of personalised window on the net presented on your own customisable homepage.
efficiency Skype wifi hotspots BlackBerrys Webex green IT social lending
skype VOIP free to use can advertise business great for outsource teams to stay connected
free to use
can advertise business
great for outsource teams to stay connected
wifi / mobile number of hotspots provides access to the web out of the office or home increases business efficiency mobile data only packages through most major networks
number of hotspots
provides access to the web out of the office or home
increases business efficiency
mobile data only packages through most major networks
Webex online service removes need to travel for meetings great for training and consultancy assists businesses in attracting work out of area
removes need to travel for meetings
great for training and consultancy
assists businesses in attracting work out of area
BlackBerry a handheld device cross between a phone and personal organiser improves business efficiency provides access to diaries, task lists and email on the move
a handheld device
cross between a phone and personal organiser
improves business efficiency
provides access to diaries, task lists and email on the move
green IT reduce waste reduce emissions use of emerging technologies adopt sustainable practices
use of emerging technologies
adopt sustainable practices
social lending a relatively new trend exciting prospect for small businesses new financial model expect major growth in 2008 ‘ Wikinomics ’ at work
a relatively new trend
exciting prospect for small businesses
new financial model
expect major growth in 2008
‘ Wikinomics ’ at work
social lending – example 1 US social lender Prosper.com Backed by Accel Partners, Benchmark Capital, DAG Ventures, Fidelity Ventures, Meritech Capital Partners, and Omidyar Network. Prosper has raised $40 million and its platform is patent pending.
social lending – example 2 UK Social Lender - ZOPA In just over two years, it has attracted more then 170,000 members with around 5,000 more signing up each month
social If you got through last year without hearing about Facebook, MySpace or any of the other ‘Social networking’ sites we would be very surprised. Many might write them off as a waste of time, or a fad; however, evidence both in the UK and the US shows major adoption of these sites both by the expected younger audience and beyond. Estimates put membership of Facebook at 50 million and site valuations are currently around £7.5bn. These sites work on creating niche groups of likeminded individuals who set up personalised ‘profiles’ on the web keeping friends, colleagues or others updated. Similarly for businesses they offer a free route to display company or team information to an audience and track the way in which they interact with these communications.
facebook for business - 1 This an example of a Facebook company page. These pages allow companies to display corporate information on a company profile page created by a member. It allows for different types of information to be uploaded and automatically sent to those ‘fans’ registered to receive it.
facebook for business - 2 Functions behind the page – perform as a page manager enabling the business to track hits and click through rates in much the same way as conventional websites. We wouldn’t recommend this as your only presence on the web, but as a free addition to the information you present online it can help reach difficult parts of the market where suitable.
advertising Advertising in the new web environment is a complex task; however, statistics show that year on year growth in online ad spend is at 40.1% with online advertising making up 14.7% of the total UK ad spend . With the marketplace changing at an ever faster pace marketers are finding it hard to plan the best routes and gain maximum return on investment for their companies. Where possible companies should look to bring in specific and recognised Search Engine Optimisation (SEO), specialists . These consultants can help companies read statistics and plan online advertising spend appropriately. Facebook and other sites now also offer highly targeted advertising for relevant businesses with advertising directed at very specific target groups by area, location, hobbies and much, much more. Advertising through social networks is set to go from $920 million dollars in 2007 to 1.6bn dollars in 2008 .
advertising £2bn+ UK online ad spend Online accounts for nearly 15% of total advertising in UK 40%+ year on year growth US to spend $1.6bn dollars on social networking sites
£2bn+ UK online ad spend
Online accounts for nearly 15% of total advertising in UK
40%+ year on year growth
US to spend $1.6bn dollars on social networking sites
Google adwords There is a wealth of information out there for those who know how to read it and make informed decisions. This slide shows the numbers of people searching for key phrases on the internet during various times of the year. These phrases relate to those found within the uknetweb website and the number of internet users searching for each of those phrases.
Google trends Generated by GoogleTrends, this screenshot shows how interest in the environment over the past few years has driven search engine searches for a word such as ‘eco’ since early 2006 and increasing steadily during 2007 leading into 2008. Interestingly the word ‘green’ remained almost static in comparison. Understanding these factors can be massively important when planning your online marketing activity.
social bookmarking These sites allow individual users to store, tag and share links across the internet. Users can share these links both with friends and people with similar interests. They can access links from any computer they happen to be using. All of these sites are free to use but do require you to register. Once registered you can begin bookmarking. Each of the sites works slightly differently but all perform pretty much the same function. The more tags a website gets the more it may be found by likeminded users in the future. As such achieving social tags may be important in getting future rankings for a site. The next slide shows the various social bookmarking logos you will see.
social bookmarking logos
security data protection identity theft rogue websites hacking viruses
conclusion - 1 In 2008 and beyond, e-commerce and internet technologies are unlocking new possibilities for all businesses. SELL: Sales continue to grow on the internet and online stores are likely to achieve higher and higher profits. Look out for comparisons, rankings, new payment options and pick up in stores. KNOWLEDGE: Use the knowledge that is out there. Tap into what consumers and competitors' are saying. Keep up to date with information and manage what information you receive through widgets, dashboards and RSS feeds. EFFIENCY: See how you could make your business more efficient or environmentally friendly. Research new ways of working, collaborating and staying in touch through Skype, webex, blackberrys and wifi.
conclusion - 2 SOCIAL: Create new contacts through extended contact spheres. Utilise new web technologies to network outside your normal area. ADVERTISING: Market your business offline and online. Remember how Nike and Coke increased advertising and marketing spend during the recession years and reaped the rewards, Look towards some of the cost effective or free routes coming online. SECURITY: Ensure your business is protected. Make sure your security and your customer’s security is up to date. Why not try your hand at just some of the areas suggested? 2008 is a great year to get your business moving online. Best Wishes, uknetweb .
other interesting links IAB: Considerations for Marketers in 2008 Dave Chaffey.com : Global / worldwide Internet statistics sources Lifehacker's 2007 Guide to Free Software and Webapps Viaspire : Predictions Buffet for 2008 - Take Your Pick Trendspotting.com : Spotting the trends of influencers Ed Tech Hacks: Best of 2007 & Predictions for 2008 Roundup TechCrunch : 2008: Web 2.0 Companies I couldn’t live without Consumer Lab: The Top Ten Marketing Trends for 2008 Darren Herman:THE Digital Media & Internet Uber 2008 Prediction List Ecommerce Times: Predictions 2008: Fighting Back a Recession and Increasing Trust
IAB: Considerations for Marketers in 2008
Dave Chaffey.com : Global / worldwide Internet statistics sources
Lifehacker's 2007 Guide to Free Software and Webapps
Viaspire : Predictions Buffet for 2008 - Take Your Pick
Trendspotting.com : Spotting the trends of influencers
Ed Tech Hacks: Best of 2007 & Predictions for 2008 Roundup
TechCrunch : 2008: Web 2.0 Companies I couldn’t live without
Consumer Lab: The Top Ten Marketing Trends for 2008
Darren Herman:THE Digital Media & Internet Uber 2008 Prediction List
Ecommerce Times: Predictions 2008: Fighting Back a Recession and Increasing Trust
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