Week 10

November 27, 2009

During this weeks blog I will discuss what personalisation is and how effective it is for someone to use this. I will have to discuss both for and against it and decide whether or not I believe it is a positive or negative thing. I will first discuss what personalisation is and how it can impact upon certain things. I will discuss both the advantages and disadvantages on web personalisation. After discussing both what it is and the advantages I will then discuss exactly what I think of web personalisation whether I am for or against it.

Web personalisation involves using technology to accommodate the differences between individuals. Personalisation implies that the chances are based on implicit data, such as items purchased or page viewed. Web personalisation is really tailoring the presentation of a websites content to match a specific user’s instructions or preferences, this tailoring comes from a user either choosing from a menu or by tracking their own behaviour.

The image below was taken from Google images it shows how the web is developing and how personalisation is improving and developing the web.

Different types of personalisation include;

  • Check Box provides information via questionnaires and surveys
  • Segmentation and Rules-uses demographics, geographic, psychographics profile or other information to divide or segment large populations into smaller groups.
  • Preference based personalisation-seeks to understand the behavioural preferences of a specific individual user and deliver website content.

There are also different types of techniques when considering web personalisation. These include;

  • Content-based filtering- this is having good properties similar to those of the products that the customer selected in the past. By applying this technique new items can be successfully recommended if a certain amount of information about the features is available. However the accuracy in the recommendations downgrades if there are too many item features to be considered.
  • Collaborative filtering- is the social recommendation technique; the suggestion of goods is based on the identification of customers similar to the current one and the suggestion of the items which were appreciated by such customers. Similar customers are identified by analysing the ranks produced by the whole customer. This does not require detailed knowledge about the items but is subject to bootstrapping problems.  The recommendation is not able to handle items until they have been ranked by a minimum number of customers; moreover the recommendation capabilities are poor if the matrix storing the product ranks is sparse.

 There are both advantages and disadvantages of web personalisation I will discuss both of these and then will discuss whether I agree or disagree with web personalisation.

Advantages;

i. Save time- this eliminates repetitive tasks; it also recognises habits and shortens the path to engage in such habits.

ii. Save money- this helps identify lower cost solutions that meet all other specifications.

iii. Better information- it filters out information not relevant to a certain person and provides more specific information that is increasingly relevant to a person’s interests.

iv. Address ongoing needs, challenges or opportunities-provide one stop services allow flexibility in work hours, job responsibilities and benefits, accommodate unique personal preferences.

 Disadvantages;

i. Anonymity preferred- people do not want a relationship with companies that have no relevance to them. Computer programmers have no interest in getting to know an executive recruiter, if a company asks for information before giving relevance why then between 30 and 50 per cent of people will either lie to prevent giving personal information.

ii. Lack of credibility- if a company is one which you can not trust then the company will not be successful relationship as you as the user may not want to deal with the customer.

iii. Lack of Security- if a company fails to protect its assets then people will not be willing to share anything of value with the firm. People have real reasons to fear that today’s centralized networks are not secure.

iv. Impossible- people sometimes can not take advantage of lucrative offers.

v. Infrequent contact- people will have little interest in establishing a relationship with a company that installs a new sceptic system. Companies get around this by broadening their services to increase frequency of contact.

vi. Little value placed on potential benefits- people may not recognise the value in offered personalisation such as when firms offer to customise product offers. As companies move towards the personal and the number of interactions increases, it’s important to gain greater objectivity about the attractiveness of a firm’s offers.

When you go to a site like youtube.com and watch a few video clips and then leave, if you come back on the same computer they will have stored your settings and registered what you have looked at before and at the top of the page say what they recommend for you to watch. This is a case for web personalisation as it shows you as the user that they have set up in such a way that it keeps a user interested.

Another company that uses web personalisation is Amazon, if you buy products on Amazon then once you log back in they will offer you the same type of products so for example if you buy DVD’s or Book’s next time you go onto the website they will offer you knew DVD’s that are the same type of film as you bought, also with the books they will offer you similar types of books that will enable you to buy the same type of thing. An example of this is shown below. Having signed in it allowed me to see what other types of products I would like to buy by having recommended products that they would offer me.

In my own personal opinion I believe that although some websites use web personalisation wrong and they make mistakes when using it, most of the time when a company online uses it correctly it will be a great success as shown by my examples Amazon and YouTube. I believe that web personalisation is a god idea as it allows users to feel that they are having a sort of relationship with a company and that the company can make recommendations to that specific person. Although I can understand why some customers do not want to have recommendations as they might be buying something as a one-off and not actually like the product that they are being offered. Overall though the whole idea off web personalisation is useful as it can save the customer both time and money and also offers that customer better information.

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Week 9

November 19, 2009

In this week’s assignment I was asked to do a task that involved me using a search engine by Google that would allow me to come up with no more than twelve key phrases that would link to my e-commerce website. I have to make the most of the key words and phrases and list them showing how influential and important they are to my site. After doing this I summarize why they are important and the reasons that I chose these certain phrases. We had been given different links from the website homepage to try out and to cut it down to what I thought was key words and phrases and what would be important for my e-commerce site when using an AdWords campaign. I then started working on my key words that best describe my site. When I searched my first site that I decided to use the https://adwords.google.com/select/KeywordToolExternal this allowed me to try and list different key phrases that could be useful.

As you can see from the screen shot above I have searched for the key words related to my e-commerce website. As you can see from the print screen from above it is very important for me to make the right decision regarding the company. Seeing my site was quite a large company in America I narrowed my search to America so it only found results from America which allows me to make a better judgment off my key phrases.

If I begin to look at and study my results you can see that some of the key phrases and words are general and not really related to my e-commerce site and therefore will not be included when I take into consideration what would be key. If you look at the top of the search results you can see that the first key phrase given is ‘gift baskets’ now this is a general term which is not specific to a wine company or to my e-commerce site. This is a problem as if wine.com pay for the link then every time a user searched this and click through it then it can cause a problem as the customer could be looking for Christmas baskets and nothing to do with wine but wine.com will have to pay for this as they have paid for the link. This can cause many problems as they are paying for nothing and costing the company valuable money.

I also put the same search into groups to see if they helped me when making my decision, although they did separate everything into groups they did not provide enough material and included the word ‘wine’ in nearly every group and therefore did prove to be beneficial to me as you can see from the print screen below.

When I looked at the different sites and decided what the best key words are to pick I decided to go with the different words that I feel will enable the wine.com to use these key and vital words which would make them appear in a search engines results that would make them improve in a search.

The words I selected where;

  • Wine– I selected this word as it is a general word and when you type it into a search engine wine.com appears. Although many different companies are competing for the word then the price will be high but since it is essential and helps the company advertise this has to be a key word.
  • Champagne gift- this is a key word as the company does supply some champagne and when you search for the word it is a high result. It may also cost more for the company to get its name on the top of a search engine but it will allow for the company to get a high search result.
  • Wine online- this is a key word as the company is able to make sure that they are high up on this section this is because they specialize in this section of the market. This allows will be high cost as well as it is a market which has loads of competition.
  • Wine Christmas- this is a key phrase for me as they allow the company to show what different types of gifts they sell and how they can compete on a wider market. This cost will also be high for the company as many people will be looking for Christmas gifts and not only wine but get directed to this site.
  • Chateau lafite- this also is a key word as when a customer searches for a specific wine they should be directed to the page. Wine.com should ensure that they target this section as the cost per click will be cheaper and people will be searching for a wine and therefore it will be not be a waste of cost.
  • Best Red wines- this allows the company to pay for every time someone clicks through this will allow wine.com to set this as a target and ensure that they finish top of the search engine results.
  • Shiraz- this again will allow the company to target this section and make sure that the customer will be targeted through this section of it. When a customer searched this key word it will allow them to make sure that they search the key phrase and therefore wine.com will be able to set this as a target.
  • Thanksgiving wine guide- as this is one of the most searched links this will allow wine.com to target this key phrase and allow them to make sure that when a customer searches this key phrase the company’s link finishes top of the search results.
  • Affordable Bordeaux- this will once again allow the company to make sure that they do not waste money for when someone clicks through their site, this key phrase will make sure that the company will make the most of the different key phrases.
  • Wine and spirits top 100- this will allow the company to target this section of the market and make sure that when a customer searches these key words they once again finish top of the results.
  • Vintage wines- this key phrase allows the company to make sure that the key phrase is vital to make sure they allow the customer to make the most of what they search, when they search this key phrase it allows the company not to waste any money through the clicks that customers might waste.
  • Italian wine- this specifies to the customer searching what type of wine they are looking for and therefore when it appears on the search wine.com should be make sure that they have it at the top of their search results. It will allow the customer to know what they are clicking on and allow the company not to waste money on cost per clicks and pointless clicks.

During this weeks blog I have identified what I feel are twelve key phrase that wine.com could use when trying to identify and make a point of using ad words to make their search results relevant and not waste money on cost per clicks and when a customer clicks so it’s not pointless waste of money. I also tried to search for new ways of checking for ad words and new ways of checking what wine.com most successful searches are but failed to find anything.

Week 8

November 12, 2009

In this weeks blog I will discuss how easy I fund it to access my site www.wine.com using a search engine. I will examine a few different search sites and will determine how easy it I to find my site. I will also compare my search results to the search results of other wine selling companies. I will also include screen shots of my results and pay attention to the ‘paid for’ results.

Being an American company and only selling their wine in America when looking at search engines, they did not appear when you search www.google.ie or www.google.co.uk as they do not advertise in Britain or Ireland because they do not sell.

So my search engines will all be used with the standard .com at the end.

My first search that I undertook was on Google. I entered ‘buying wine online’ into the search engine. After clicking the enter button the search results came back and the company that came back was www.wine.com. This is the e-commerce company that I have been researching over the past few weeks. This is very important for a company to be top of a search engine it shows that the company has good recognition and that it is a popular and trusted website. Being top of the natural results in the top rated search engine and not being on the paid for results means that they gain enough creditability and recognition through the natural results.

buyingwineonline

I then did the same search result in Yahoo and my e-commerce company again came top of the search results. This is good for the company as they do not feature in the paid for results. This is good for the company as they are the first website that a user on the internet will come to when looking for a website to buy wine from.

And since they finished top in the top two search engines as stated by http://www.seoconsultants.com/search-engines/ this proves that the company is a valued e-commerce website with a good customer base and is a popular website.

yahoose

Then I decided to enter just the name ‘wine’ into both Google and then to Yahoo. On Yahoo it again was the first website to appear but in Google it was the fourth to appear. Again the company does not feature in the paid for column.

I then decided to change my search results and decided to search for different types of wine and see if the company appeared on the search engine after.

The first wine I entered was Shiraz. I entered ‘buying shiraz wine online’ into Google. Wine.com came fourth in the search engine and proved itself again to be a popular company when it comes to buying wine online. This again proves that www.wine.com is an established company with a big customer base in America. It proves again that they have the ability not to put in the paid for section and still be one of the topped rank.

shiraz

When I searched for Shiraz on Yahoo it did not appear on the first page of the search engine. This is disappointing for the company as Yahoo is the second most popular search engine and they do not advertise wine.com when it comes to buying a particular wine.

One of wine.com most completive rivals www.snooth.com is top on the Google search and third on the Yahoo search. This highlights the importance of advertising online and how some of their rivals can compete when the company does not advertise on a certain search engine.

Although when I did my first search www.snooth.com did not appear on the search engine on the first page. This shows that when it come to it wine.com has an added edge over its competitors and that they can compete with other companies in their market.

Wine.com is a popular company that has a lot of interest in the two main search engines. They come top in the natural result and did not appear in any of the paid for results as they do not need to. This proves a good move as they save money and get the popularity and customers without it. They are the number one selling wine company online.


Week 7

November 6, 2009

Today in this weeks blog I will discuss cloud computing. I will look at what cloud computing is and what it entails for a user. I will describe different aspects of ‘cloud computing.’

  • What is meant by cloud computing 
  • Impact of cloud computing in e-commerce 
  • Advantages of cloud computing 
  • Disadvantages of cloud computing

Below I will discuss the four above bullet points and define each one and how it is relevant and important today. The blog I will write will involve will looking up and finding out exactly how it is important and what impacts it could have on society.

Significant innovations in virtualisation and distributed computing as well as improved access to high-speed internet have accelerated interest in cloud computing,

Cloud computing is a general term for anything that involves delivering hosted services over the internet. It is Internet-based development and use of computer technology. Cloud computing also includes applications that you might develop that are hosted outside your own network. The name comes from the cloud symbol that is often used to represent the Internet in flow charts and diagrams. It is a paradigm shift whereby details are abstracted from the users who no longer need knowledge over the technology infrastructure in the ‘cloud.’

 The term cloud is used as a metaphor for the internet based on how the internet is depicted in computer network diagrams and is an abstraction of the underlying infrastructure it conceals. http://www.wikipedia.org says how typical cloud computing services provide common business applications online that are accessed forma web browser, while the software and data are stored on the servers.

Cloud computing customers generally do not own the physical infrastructure, instead avoiding capital expenditure by renting usage from third-party provider. Many cloud computing offerings employ the utility computing model, which is analogous to how traditional utility services are consumed.

A cloud service has three distinct characteristics that differentiate it from traditional hosting. It is sold on demand, typically by minute or the hour, it is elastic, a user can have as much or as little of a service as they want at any given time, and the service is fully managed by the provider.

A cloud can be both public and private.

  • A Public cloud sells services to anyone on the internet. It describes cloud computing in the traditional mainstream sense, whereby resources are dynamically provisioned on a self-service basis over the internet.
  • Private cloud is a proprietary network or a data centre that supplies hosted services to a limited number of people. While analyst’s predicted that private cloud networks would be the future of corporate IT there is still some uncertainty.

But whether the cloud is private or public, the goal of the cloud computing is to provide easy, scalable access to computing resources and IT services.

The services of Cloud computing can be divided into three categories

  1. Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS); like Amazon Web Services provides virtual server instances with unique IP addresses and blocks of storage on demand.
  2. Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS); in the cloud is defined as a set of software and product development tools hosted on the providers infrastructure.
  3. Software-as-a-Service (SaaS); the vendor supplies the hardware infrastructure, the software product and interacts with the user through front end portal.

The image below shows the growth of cloud computing over the past number of years. The image was taking from google images.

cloud_computing_growth

Impact on E-commerce

What leads many people to believe that e-commerce will be engulfed by the cloud computing storm are the cost benefits it has to offer. The cost of cloud computing are based on consumption there is no software, hardware or infrastructure to buy and in most cases you simply pay for what you use. In a traditional It model you would need to invest in a variety of components to handle your peak activity, with cloud you only pay for the processing power, storage and bandwidth you need meaning you don’t pay for the times your business is idle.

Some business analysts predict that at least 90% of e-commerce businesses will be using some form of cloud computing in the next five years. They believe tat e-commerce side of business has been moving towards cloud for years.

E-commerce businesses have been linked with cloud computing for years and now with it having cost benefits most businesses in the e-commerce side of things will offload infrastructure, development and software to the cloud.

Advantages

Below I will give a description of some of the advantages that comes with cloud computing. The benefits provide a win-win situation for both provider and customer.

  1. One of the advantages is that both small and medium-sized businesses can instantly obtain the benefits of the enormous infrastructure without having to implement it directly.
  2. There is a reduced cost; cloud technology is paid incrementally, saving organisations money. It acts as a low-cost alternative to access technology, for example like electricity you pay for what you use and pay until you use it. It enables companies to save money on important business activities.
  3. There is an increased storage; organisations have the ability to store more data than on a private computer system.
  4. Highly automated as IT personnel do not need to worry about having to update software.
  5. Optimum utilisation and dispersion of cost as while incorporating IaaS, PaaS and SaaS cloud computing brings economies of costs and resources.
  6. Flexibility as cloud computing offers much more flexibility than other computing methods.
  7. There is also a greater independence and remote access since the infrastructure is maintained by an intermediary and accessed by customers by way of internet using a web browser, this has simplified the idea of offshore software development.
  8. More Mobility as employees can access information wherever they are, rather than having to remain at their desk or office.
  9. It also allows IT to shift focus so that you are no longer worrying about constant server updates and other computing issues. Free to concentrate on innovation.
  10. Reliable as it improves through the use of multiple redundant sites which make cloud computing suitable for business continuity and disaster recovery.
  11. Security improves due to the centralisation of data, increased security-focused resources.

Disadvantages

Although there are many advantages of cloud computing business analysts have stated that there are still many problems with it.

  1. Relies totally on network connections, if the network goes down then you’re done until the computer is back up, or if the network is bogged up then everything will be slower.
  2. Doesn’t use a hard drive, while it also can be a benefit it is also a negative as some applications might require a hard drive attached to the computer.
  3. Changes in applications happen without your knowledge or consent, your data is not directly in your hands but in the hands of a third-party.
  4. You are dependant on your internet connection which could be a problem if connection fails and could be a problem for mission critical applications. When your offline cloud computing simply doesn’t work
  5. Doesn’t work with low-speed connections, if you have a low-speed connection it may take a long time just to get from page to page in a document and would not be beneficial to you.
  6. Although even on a fast connection it may be slow trying to access a similar software program on your desktop.
  7. Stored data might not be secure; with cloud computing all your data is stored on the cloud.
  8. Stored data can be lost as well, data stored on the cloud is unusually safe but if your data goes missing you have no physical or local backup.

Week 6

October 30, 2009

In this weeks blog I will discuss how I anaylsed the upstream and downstream of Supply Chain and discuss the different concepts that could be included including

  • Push-Pull supply models
  • Vertical Integration vs Disintegration vs Virtual Integration
  • Efficiencies in Supply Chain
  • Value Networks

Wine.com get their wine from all over the world, they have different warehouses but are based in California. The wine they have is made over various numbers of years and they don’t make the wine on the spot as they don’t make the wine they import it from different vineyards all over the world as well as some vineyards that they control. They do not make their products but store the wine.

Supply chain management is all the supply activities of an organisation from its suppliers to its customer. Downstream supply chain is transactions between an organisation and its customers and intermediaries, equivalent to sell side e-commerce. Upstream supply chain is transactions between an organisation and its suppliers and intermediaries, equivalent to buy side e-commerce. Wine.com uses both downstream and upstream, the company uses upstream to make transactions from their suppliers they contact the suppliers to get the products for their customers. They also use downstream to make transactions between their company and their customers.

The diagram below shows the supply chain management system. Taking from google images.

supplychain

Push-Pull strategy in business describes the movement of a product or information between two subjects. Pull is when the consumer ‘pulls’ the goods they demand or need, while the suppliers ‘pushes’ the goods towards the costumer. Wine.com is a ‘push’ company as they market their products to their customers and aim to make the customers want to buy their product. Through marketing they use the ‘Push-Pull’ strategy to entice the customers, if wine.com used a ‘pull’ strategy they would have to wait until the customer placed an order to make the wine. This is not viable for the company as most off the wine takes years to mature and develop their correct taste and flavours. By using ‘push’ the products are pushed through the channel, from the production side to the retailer.

800px-Technology-Push_Market-Pull

The diagram below of www.wikipedia.org is of a Push-Pull Model.

Vertical Integration is concerned with how much control a company has over its upstream supplier and downstream buyers. There are three different varieties of Vertical Integration, backward vertical integration which is upstream, forward vertical integration which is downstream and balanced vertical integration which is a combination of both. A company uses Backward Vertical Integration when it controls subsidiaries that produce some of the inputs used to in the production of its products. A company uses Forward Vertical Integration when it controls distribution centres and retailers where its products are sold. Balanced Vertical Integration means a firm controls all of the components, from raw materials to final delivery. Wine.com I believe to be balanced as they control everything within the business and how it is run.

Vertical Disintegration as opposed to integration, in which production occurs within a singular organisation, vertical disintegration means that various dis-economies of scale have broken a production process into separate companies. A major reason for Disintegration is to share risk, it is more likely to happen in volatile markets and I believe that wine.com does not use Disintegration but that it may be brought in, if new companies begin to compete in the market.

Virtual Integration is a new form of Value Chain Management. Virtual Integration plans to allow manufacturers to become virtual companies, owning only the brand and the customer. Vertical Integration is history as the future will be about virtual organisations operating within virtual supply chains. Virtual Integration as opposed to vertical integration represents the decomposition of a traditional company. The main difference is that Vertical Integration performs and Virtual Integration innovates. Wine.com could possibly be called a Virtual store having operated on the internet for years, they also may be able to include third parties when selling goods to try and reach a wider target audience.. Wine.com may not be considered virtual at the minute although they may be able to start to look to change their direction and improve relations with other third parties and new forms of advertising and marketing to get new customers.

The main difference between Vertical Integration and Virtual Integration is that Vertical is the extent to which supply chain activities are undertaken and controlled within the organisation and Virtual is the extent to which all activities are undertaken outside the organisation by third parties.

The diagram below is taken from the power-point notes that were displayed in Maurice Mulvenna’s lectures this week showing the different forms of integration.

integration

Value Network is a complex set of social and technical resources. They work together via relationships to create economic value. They account for the overall worth of products and services. External Value networks and Internal Value networks differ in that external includes customers or recipients and internal focus on key activities, processes and relationships although a company will use both.

Fjeldstad and Stabells say that a value network consists of theses components;

  • A set of customers
  • Some service the customers all use, enables interaction between customers
  • An organisation that provides the service
  • A set of contracts that enables access to the service

The purpose of a value network is to create the most benefit for the people involved in the network. When considering wine.com when discussing Value Networks you realise that they must have a value network that allows the customers to access their products and services and that they are vital in the overall process of the company. Value Networks are essential for a company to be successful and rely on their products and services being successful. As Fjeldstad and Stabells say there are a few key points that are needed when thinking about how successful a company can be and that the value network allows the company to provide a service.

When dealing with efficiencies within supply chain I could not find how it was linked to wine.com and do not know how they are related.

Week 5

October 22, 2009

This weeks blog by me will consist of me discussing Porters Five Forces. I will discuss and analyse each of the Five Forces in regards to wine.com and discuss how each Force impacts their website and company. Below is a diagram of how the Five Forces are all related and an explanation on the impacts of wine.com.

The diagram was taking from google images after writing in the search bar Porters Five Forces.

Porters Five Forces

The threat of substitute products and services

When a customer is buying wine there is not really a substitute product available and that they can only buy wine if they want it. There are different services available but it is unlikely that having such a good following and a wide range of publicity that new services would erode the profits of wine.com. Wine.com will monitor the market and will establish if a new competitor will come into the market and begin competing. Although there is a chance of a substitute of services wine.com do not need to worry about the substitute of their products.

The threat of the entry of new competitors (barriers to entry)

Wine.com needs to worry about new entrants into the market; they do not want to start sharing the market with a new competitor and have a fight on their hands for customers. The new competitors if able to compete on the same front as wine.com will possible hold a threat although it may prove beneficial to the market as it could allow customers to search for more wine and end up at wine.com’s website. Wine.com have a big enough grip on the website that they do not need to worry about new competitors and should also be aware that it may be a positive thing if they have a new competitor to compete with in the market.

The intensity of competitive rivalry

Wine.com has over the years adapted to different companies opening new sites to sell and compete in the wine industry. Wine.com offer services like none of their competitors, they offer deals and have many different employees that are experts in their fields and enable the customer buying products to see what they are getting is off good quality. Wine.com have also opened retail shops to cope with the new competitors that they may face, they are in a good position though because they once again were voted the number one internet retailer of the year, for the fifth straight year. So they have do not have to worry about new competitors at the current minute in time.

The bargaining power of customers/buyers

When determining who has the power between the company in this case wine.com and the buyers you have to determine who needs who the most. In the case of wine.com the customers have less commercial power as there are not as many companies that offer the same deals and service that wine.com offer. Wine.com has a set price that is not open to negotiation although they do offer deals that keep customers happy. If wine.com had more competitors than the customer would have more negotiating power.

The bargaining power of suppliers

When studying the bargaining power of the suppliers is like the bargaining power of customers only in reverse where before wine.com was the supplier. Wine.com has a timetable that it has to meet when a customer orders a product they need to get to goods to them as soon as possible. Wine.com orders the goods from suppliers who in turn get their goods from a vineyard. The suppliers are essential to wine.com as they need someone who sells them the wine. Although wine.com do not necessarily get the products of one supplier, different suppliers have different products that wine.com need and therefore not every supplier is essential to the company. Suppliers may find it difficult to raise prices to wine.com as they could move to another one of their suppliers for the business.

Week 4

October 15, 2009

7.

When purchasing from wine.com the customer must ensure that they agree to everything that the company has outlined in the Terms and Conditions. There is nothing in wine.com’s Terms that I would find unreasonable, and it is clearly outlined at the top that if any customer finds any of the Terms not to their personal liken then they are asked not to use the site.

User’s are asked to either intentionally or unintentionally violate any applicable law or regulation. They are also asked not to tamper with non public areas of the site and that unauthorised access may result in prosecution.

Wine.com also outlines how it will not be held liable for any loss of goods. The company clearly outlines that no matter what happens they are not held liable and the customers uses the site at their own risk. They say “IF YOU ARE DISSATISFIED WITH ANY PORTION OF THE WINE.COM SITE, OR WITH ANY OF THESE TERMS OF SERVICE, YOUR SOLE AND EXCLUSIVE REMEDY IS TO DISCONTINUE USING THE WINE.COM SITE.” This statement perhaps unreasonable as if the customers goods do not arrive in a reasonable condition then it can should not be deemed to be the customer’s fault.

8.

The use of encryption restricts unintended recipients from viewing the data, which are deemed confidential. Encryption is the procedure of transforming plain text to cipher text. This is turning text that can be read by anyone to text that can be read with someone with a secret decryption key. When ordering from wine.com the customer should not have to worry about entering sensitive information into the website, when wine.com asks for things like credit card number or social security number the data is encrypted with the best encryption software in the industry as they say – Secure Socket Layers (SSL). On a secure page like the ordering page on the wine.com website the lock icon at the bottom of the page will switch the lock from being open to being locked to show that the information is secure. The business uses data encryption to ensure online transactions, it plays four important roles.

  1. Digital authentication – allows both customers and the merchant to be sure they are dealing with who the other party claims to be.
  2. Integrity – ensures that the messages received are not changed during transmission by a third party.
  3. Non-repudiation – prevents customers or merchants denying they ever received or sent a particular message.
  4. Interception – if data is every intercepted encryption ensures privacy that prevents third parties.

9.

As Wikipedia describes it a ‘cookie in computing terms is a small piece of text stored on a user’s computer by a web browser. A cookie consists of one or more name value pairs containing bits of information such as user preferences, shopping cart contents, or other data used by websites.’

A cookie is data is data stored on the end users hard drive with information related directly to the end-users visit to wine.com. Any information placed in the cookie is accessible only to wine.com and they say in their statement that it will not be shared with anyone else. The use of cookies on wine.com is a unique session identifier which maintains shopping carts and state selections from different page requests, and allows wine.com to maintain information between visits. However wine.com do not find it necessary to have the cookie setting on their website and have made it clear that if the user rejects the cookie they can still browse the website, but unable to make a purchase. The cookies however make it easier for a user to log on and saves the user time when visiting the site again. Cookies also enable wine.com to track and target the interests of the users to enhance their experience and display products relating to a certain user’s preferences.

Week 3

October 9, 2009

4.

Wine.com has had a lot of new customers and new people accessing the site which means that the company will be able to use the information to target new people. The amount of unique visitors that come to the site shows that as a website it is successful. It is one of the most popular search results when entering the word WINE into a search engine. This shows that against competitors it should rank at the top as being first n the list most new customers will click to access it. Wine.com is the top of the list and that is what attracts a lot of new customers to the site.

unique visits

Over the past few months wine.com has been successful in having a lot of people visiting the website. The amount of visits as you can see from the graph means that over a period of December the visits to the site increased. From the reviews that people left this may be because they do good offers that will allow customers to buy gifts for friends and family and to use wine over the festive period. From the list of ratings and reviews out of 12 ratings 8 gave wine.com a five star. This is very high rating and shows that wine.com has the capability to attract new competitors.

visits

5 stars (8) 4 stars (0) 3 stars (1) 2 stars (0) 1 stars (3)

Below shows how popular wine.com is to the general public and how it attracts to the different target audiences. It shows that most people who use the website do so from work and that less people use the website at home and school. It also shows that from the ages of 25-54 wine.com proves most popular. It also shows that the age group of 18-24 is least popular. Some over 65’s do use it as well allow not as many as the 35-44 age group which is the most popular. Most people who use the website are females and therefore wine.com should try to aim their website at females in the age between 25 and 54. Also if they want to improve their sales they should probably aim their website at the younger people who are in college.

ta

5.

When you enter the website name and the page appears the first thing that is asked of you is what state you want your goods shipped to. The page below shows what it looks like when it’s first opened. It gives you a list of the states that the company can deliver the wine too.

state

After choosing which state you would like the wine delivered to it’s solely up to you as the customer to choose what you would like. The user interface on the website is friendly and easy to use and so navigating a way round the website should not be a problem. When you decide what wine you want and click the ADD TO CART button it will automatically add.  You can add as many items as you would like. Once you have finished and are satisfied with your purchases you click the checkout button. Once there you will be asked if that is everything and you proceed.

checkout

You then must access your personal information including your name Zip code and password. Once you create an account wine.com will be able to target you with a list of all the previous items you have bought. Once you have entered all your personal information you are asked for your bank details.

Entering all the information you will finally be allowed to get your confirmation order. You follow five steps listed below. After all steps are completed you wine will be sent out.

billinginfo

6.

I believe that if wine.com wants to be successful then a good way of going about improving their business idea would be to approach new ways of marketing and improving their business and prospective buyers. There are many possible ways in which they could market their company. As mainly an internet based company they are leaving themselves with too many eggs in the one basket so to speak, and although they do have two retail shops by advertising better and making it more accessible to more people the company could be able to improve sales and all aspects of the business.

The best way I believe is to make their website accessible through digital television if a possible customer was sitting at home during a commercial break and an advert came on telling them that instead of accessing the internet they could do it right there and then through pressing a button on the remote control then it may attract new consumers. The customer would press say the ‘red’ button say and would bring them to wine.com’s selection page where they would be able to make their own choice of wine selection and order it. The payment method would be through credit or debit card. This method of payment would be the only one accepted. Wine.com would also be able to keep a record of the customer name address and what wine they have bought in the past, so that they could send brochures out advertising the type of wine that customer would like. This process seems to be the most viable and easiest applicable as the company can attract a new range of interested consumers.

This method is strategically good as it is not a lot of bother to set up allow it does mean that company will need to pay different channels for methods of advertising during commercial breaks on TV. This may be the only main problem apart from the added advertising costs wine.com should benefit in the long term from expanding their advertising base that would enable them to gain new customers and hopefully make the company more successful in the long run.

Week 2

October 2, 2009

1.

Rombauer Vineyards was founded in 1982 by Koerner and Joan Rombauer and sits on a tree covered knoll overlooking the Napa Valley.

Wine.com is the top online wine retailer over the last five years. In the Internet retailer magazine wine.com was ranked number 15 in food and drug companies and 218th overall in the Top 500 guide of e-retailers 2009 edition. The Vineyard is regarded highly in all wine trade journals and many of the world’s finest restaurants use the wine from the vineyard to please their customers.

Originally founded in 1998 as eVineyard.com, we purchased the Wine.com name in 2001 and have grown into the #1 online wine store. Wine.com help you get the facts about the wine and help you make informed decisions about buying wine, who made it, which grapes it contains and what the critics make of it.

2.

Wine.com main aim as their CEO Rich Bergsund is and always will be focused on our core Internet sales channel,” said, Wine.com. But they do have two retail stores in California and Connecticut they allow the customer to meet face to face with the people behind wine.com and allows the people in the company to better the needs of the customer. By showing that their main aim is through sales on the internet but they are willing to open retail shops shows that they are aiming for a financial gain. The company only has one hundred year round employees.

I was unable to find the exact figures but Wine.com has a long history of financial problems, illustrating the challenges of dealing with state restrictions on shipping wine shaped in the 1930s after the end of Prohibition. The retailer can ship wine to customers in only 26 states and is obliged to operate 10 different warehouses that buy from state-licensed wholesalers, increasing its costs. This has the disadvantage that they cannot reach as a wide variety of people as they would like.

3.

Originally founded in 1998 as eVineyard.com, it became Wine.com name in 2001 and has grown into the number 1 online wine store by annual revenues. The business is based around their internet sales although they do have two retail shops which were opened to attract a new target audience. The main income for the business is the internet. They attract all new customers through new means. They use amazon.com to help in advertising and other measures. Their sales although are restricted to the USA and not every state. They have also moved with the times they use Twitter and Facebook to advertise their wine. The internet channel has more sales than the retail shop based on the fact that the company only has two retail shops and the internet can attract a wide customer base. The company was set up to help people enjoy the best of wines and wine.com strives to give the customer the best experience possible. On their website they are summed up by their first line “Our mission is to become the trusted resource for the wine enthusiast.”

Week 1

September 22, 2009

Internet Usage in the UK from 2006-2008

Today i will write my first blog which will be all abut the internet usage from the years 2006 to 2008 in the UK. I will discuss the stats and what has happened over the past couple of years.

Over the past couple of years there has been a 9% increase in the percentage of people using the internet. From 2006 to 2008 there has been an estimated total of 2.6million new users on the internet.

Internet Usage in 2006

An estimated 13.9 million households which translates to 57% in Great Britain could access the internet from home between January and April 2006. This is an increase of 26% 2.9million households since 2022, and 0.6million 5% over the last year.

In 2006 young people access the internet than any other age group. Adults were less likely to use the internet. The older age bracket of those over the age of 65 were less likely than any other age group with only 43% of the age group that have access to the internet actually used it. Almost two thirds of the age bracket 25 to 44 who had accessed to the internet used it.

Internet usage in 2006 grew from previous years due to a number of factors one factor given was due to a higher number of people employed and higher wages given. With the internet developing and it growing in different ways new people gaining access to it allowed it to grow. New facilities that are available in businesses, schools and universities helped internet usage grow.

Internet Usage in 2007

  

Above is a graph showing the internet usage from the different age groups in 2007. I got the graph from http://newsimg.bbc.co.uk/media/images/44075000/gif/_44075829_int_age416x259.gif it allows you to see the difference in the age groups that actually use the internet.

Internet Usage in 2008

In 2008 16.46 million households in the UK had access to the internet. This represented 65% of the households in the UK. This is an increase of 1.23 million since 2007. The number of people with access to the internet has grown over the past few years due to the fact that broadband has become a lot cheaper and more people can afford it. The internet also offers new services including Skype and Facebook which are used to attract new people to the internet. It allows them to keep in contact with freinds or family in different places and keep up to date. There was also an increase by 51% in 2008 in the households that have broadband from 2007. Overall that is 56% off all households that have broadband internet access.

The two tags below shows were I got my research from and what internet sites I used to find all the information that i needed. The information i gathered shows how the internet just keeps growing and that more and more people keep joining. It also shows that no matter what age all people use the internet for one reason or another.