BUSINESS ON THE WORLD WIDE WEB

March 6, 1997 Electronic Commerce


Transcript of the live chat session that took place Thursday, March 6, 1997, noon to 1 PM. These sessions are scheduled for noon-1 PM US Eastern Time (GMT -4) every Thursday.

These sessions are hosted by Richard Seltzer. If you would like to receive email reminders of our chat sessions, simply send a blank email message to businessonthewebchats-subscribe@yahoogroups.com or go to http://groups.yahoo.com/group/businessonthewebchats and sign up there.

For transcripts other previous sessions and a list of future topics, click here.

For an article on how to make "business chat" work (based on this experience), click here.

Since the chat itself happens at a rapid pace, it's often difficult to note interesting facts in particular URLs as they appear on-line. Here's a place to take a more leisurely look. I've rearranged some of the pieces to try to capture the various threads of discussion (which sometimes get lost in the rush of live chat).

Please send email with your follow-on questions and comments, and suggions for topics we should focus on in future sessions. So long as the volume of email responses is manageable, I'll post the most pertinent ones here for all to see.


Threads (reconstructed after the fact):


Introductions

Richard Seltzer 11:50am (199.3.129.189)The scheduled chat is on Business on the WWW.If you are here for that discussion,please identify yourself.

We're here to share experiences about doing business on the Internet -- particularly the World Wide Web. What works? What doesn't work? Why? What are the trends that matter? How can you/should you adapt to the Internet culture and environment?

I work for the Internet Business Group at Digital Equipment in Marlboro, MA. In that capacity, I end up talking to people from large companies about how they can use the Web for business.I also have my own personal Web page -- which is content rich and no frills -- which I do for practically nothing and draws a fair amount of traffic and attention.

Tom Dadakis tomdadak@ix.netcom.com 11:59am (199.183.44.164)Hello, Richard. Tom Dadakis, Internet Consultant

Richard Seltzer 12:01pm (199.3.129.189)Welcome, Tom. Are any of your current clients selling over the Web or doingother activities you'd call "electroniccommerce."? That's the topic we're goingto try to focus on today.

Kaye Vivian kvivian@cloud9.net 12:04pm (168.100.204.1)Hello Richard... Kaye Vivian here.

Kathleen Gilroy12:06pm (207.116.130.112)Hi Richard. I'm here.

Sudha (sudha@web-net.org) 12:08pm (204.165.159.3)Hi Richard, Sudha Jamthe here.

Dana Blankenhorn 12:08pm (207.146.10.141). I'm a reporter and have been covering electronic commerce for 12 years, most recently withNetGuide Magazine

Kaye Vivian (kvivian@cloud9.net 12:13pm (168.100.204.1)Dana, nice to see you. I love NetGuide and like all the changes you have been making. I was a subscriber to the original issue. :)

Bob Fleischer, fleischer@zko.dec.com 12:13pm (192.208.46.249)

Ed Jaros - Green Bay 12:22pm (207.67.22.30)Hello all.

InterWorld 12:24pm (165.254.130.180)Good afternoon.

Gisela Bauerle 12:35pm (208.5.144.17)Hi, Just joining in.

Sudha (sudha@web-net.org) 12:39pm (204.165.159.3)Hi Gisela Bauerle, where are you connected from?

Richard Seltzer 12:10pm (199.3.129.189.Today, we plan to focus on Electronic Commerce. How do you spell success in today's marketplace? Where should companies focus their efforts to get the best return for their Internet investments?If you using the Internet today to sell products or services, pleaseconnect and tell us about your experiences.


What Sells on the Web?

Richard Seltzer 12:03pm (199.3.129.189)Tom --Last week we heard from Todd Mogren, who runs a Web site for a retail store in Connecticut, (you're in Connecticut too aren't you?) he's selling power tools to the tune of $30K per month over the Internet.That struck me as extraordinary --do you know of any other instances of people selling plain old hard goods (not computers, not software, not information) successfully over the Web today?

Tom Dadakis tomdadak@ix.netcom.com 12:04pm (199.183.44.164)I am interested in best practices. At my last assignment with GE Capital, they had 12 different initiatives going on in e-commerce. Everyone is trying to figure it out, what works; what's a waste.

Sudha (sudha@web-net.org) 12:11pm (204.165.159.3)Tom: I am from Web-Net, a business networking user group. We share information to leverage on the web. Best practices interests me too.

Tom Dadakis tomdadak@ix.netcom.com 12:08pm (199.183.44.164)Richard, yes I am from CT. I was interested in what MicroWarehouse was doing. I was quite surprised to hear that they are doing so much but I think that also includes their BBS & call center. I saw that Dell is claiming $1million /days in sales from their website. Not bad. Were these new sales or just redirected from their 800 number. Then what is the cost for each?

Kathleen Gilroy 12:09pm (207.116.130.112)If books don't count as information, what about amazon.com?

Dana Blankenthorn 12:07pm (207.146.10.141)Most of the success stories I've seen are in the business-to-business area. Businesses have an incentive to be online, they have the tools, and the savings can go to the bottom line fairly directly.

Sudha (sudha@web-net.org) Dana, why do you say business-to-business are the sucess stories. I think business to business spending in visible, that doesn't show their ROI. What do you think?

Dana Blankenhorn12:10pm (207.146.10.141)Costs for taking orders online can be much less than costs for taking orders by phone, since you don't have to pay an operator. But those savings don't come overnight. You have to establish a presence first...

Tom Dadakis tomdadak@ix.netcom.com 12:15pm (199.183.44.164)I agree with Dana that the B-to-B market will be much bigger and grow more quickly than the consumer market.

Richard Seltzer 12:13pm (199.3.129.189)Dana -- welcome. I too have mostly been hearing about business-to-business and intranet success and very little about sales to the general public -- with notable exceptions like amazon.com, which Kathleen Gilroy mentioned, and also sales of computers and software, as Tom mentioned. I hear ads for Peapod and thesale and home delivery of groceries but haven't met anyone who used it.I'd like to try to figure out what works and what doesn't and why. The more concrete examples the better.

Sudha (sudha@web-net.org) 12:14pm (204.165.159.3)Hi Dana, Do you see more business success stories? Do you have any examples?

Scott Rehling scottr@outreach.com 12:12pm (207.22.221.15)Hello Richard. It's Scott Rehling from Outreach Communications. Ten minutes ago, I signed a company up to sell on line using our products. They sell haunted house supplies. We have folks selling comic books, videos, books, Tupperware, T-shirts, coffee mugs, etc. SOme of them are experiencing a good deal of success. We're getting more and more inquiries from companies selling plain old hard goods.

Richard Seltzer 12:17pm (199.3.129.189)Scott -- can you please tell us more.What are those companies doing to attract audience? How are they encouraging those folks to return? What volume of sales are they generating? And what are they paying to promote their sites and how?

Sudha (sudha@web-net.org) 12:19pm (204.165.159.3)Hi Scott, good to see you again. Congrats on the new orders.It sounds from what you say that there is trend change towards buying on the net? Is that right? Has anyone seen recent shift in such stats?


Selling Professional Services over the Internet

Kaye Vivian (kvivian@cloud9.net 12:08pm (168.100.204.1)Retail on the web is an area where I feel a little out of my league, but I will relate a recent experience with one of my clients.I conducted a full day brainstorming session for a professional services firm that wants to use the Net to generate revenues in some way, so we tried to come up with a list of potential products/services that might be sold in that manner (using secure server, credit cards, etc.). This is a total departure from the traditional way of approaching professional services, traditionally a one-on-one business. We came up with some very viable options that we are going to develop, but it's a good 6-months down the road.

Kaye Vivian (kvivian@cloud9.net 12:12pm (168.100.204.1)It seems to me that for service organizations, just about anything that they have existing on a database, whether research or information or statistics, could be repackaged into modules that sell for $29.95 or something (whatever that magic number that people are willing to spend on an impulse purchase). To me it seems an obvious evolution of the Net...from providing free information by the truckload, to sorting and packaging some of that information and targeting it to people who might be willing to pay for it. Which is not to say we didn't come up with some ideas on the high-end of the revenue scale...we did, and we are going to try them. But they are more in the vein of subscription services for businesses, not widespread retailing to the public.

Richard Seltzer 12:17pm (199.3.129.189)Kaye -- your experience is close to what I've seen and expect. Information-based service makes good sense to deliver over the Internet and to charge for.What I'm truly puzzled by is the reports of sales of ordinary hard goods.


Selling Tickets

Bob Fleischer, fleischer@zko.dec.com 12:18pm (192.208.46.249)I would think that the Web has advantages for selling anything where availability and/or number of alternatives is a factor; for example,tickets of various kinds (theatre, airline, etc.)A telephone call is an especially poor channel to explore alternatives for seating, schedule, price, etc.

Richard Seltzer 12:24pm (199.3.129.189)Bob -- I think you are right on target with the ticket sales kinds of business. Both to events and to travel. That makes good sense.


Selling Groceries

Sudha (sudha@web-net.org) 12:18pm (204.165.159.3)Richard: Grocery-to-Go (gtg.com) is an example of a success story. They are working on the same model of amazon.com but with groceries.You order online using the web; they have an outlet in Medford, MA and keep low inventories. I think with the web, businesses reaching consumers has to take very different channels. gtg is not expecting you to shop like we do with starmarket and Stop and Shop, but deliver to businesses on fridays at your parking lot.

Richard Seltzer 12:24pm I hadn't heard of Groceries-to-Go, Sudha.Do you have any sense of their level of revenue and whether they are able to operateprofitably yet?I've heard that Elcom is starting up something similar called ShopLink here in the Boston area. But I'm not sure the market is ready for it. I'm skeptical.

Sudha (sudha@web-net.org) 12:30pm (204.165.159.3)Richard: I don't have revenue stats of gtg. Will try to get it to you later.

Scott Rehling scottr@outreach.com 12:27pm (207.22.221.15)There is a company in Austin called PC Foods that offers on line ordering and home delivery of groceries. I understand they are doing extremely well. Of course, this sort of concept will catch on faster in a high tech community like Austin, TX. I can't see it happening in say Wyoming.

Ed Jaros - Green Bay 12:31pm (207.67.22.30)I have worked with two cheese companies in Green bay that are getting some success on their sites. http://www.renards.com and http://www.stevescheese.com. Nothing exceptional about their sites but they do get orders on line.

Sudha (sudha@web-net.org) 12:34pm (204.165.159.3)Richard/Scott: gtg operated as a free service for MIT community before they setout as a company. From what I heard them speak (at MIT Sloan school)they are working on the free model of attracting loyal customers and getting a premium from the cost saving and their network of suppliers. The analogy was that we as consumers don't pay to go to grocery stores.

Richard Seltzer 12:39pm (199.3.129.189)Su --Very interesting. Is gtg still operatingas a free service? I know that Peapod(after brief trial offer) is quite expensive.

Sudha (sudha@web-net.org) 12:40pm (204.165.159.3)Richard: Yes, gtg is free for consumers

Richard Seltzer 12:46pm (199.3.129.189)Su --gtg for free? Interesting. Any sign thatthey are going to grow to other Boston area communities? If so, that would very quickly put Peapod and other such ventures in jeopardy. That seems to be a majorrisk on the Internet -- if you charge for a service you can easily to undercut by someone who provides it for free.So the most viable long-term business models seem to be ones where the benefit gained comes from close relationships with customers and the business that generates.


Selling Real Estate

Tom Dadakis tomdadak@ix.netcom.com12:19pm (199.183.44.164)Real Estate Brokers (Century 21, coldwell Banker) are claiming substantial activity on their websites, but RE Brokers are prone to hype.

800 Number Replacement

Kaye Vivian (kvivian@cloud9.net 12:19pm (168.100.204.1)Regarding costs of commerce, I'm afraid I might not be able to track the reference, but I read something last night that said one company that had experimented with 800- vs. web commerce had saved dramatically. Sorry for no details on who it was, but the numbers they cited were that it cost them something like $8.00 per minute for telephone 800- service (labor included, presumably) and that by doing the same transactions over the web the cost dropped to $.08 per minute. Pretty astounding! As a result, they discontinued their 800 service. (Their sales staff squawked initially, but the company put extra effort into creating good sales materials for the sales staff and customers and noticed no significant change in the level of commerce. I believe they said that in their test program they dropped from $250,000 per year in costs to $25,000 per year. Worth taking note of! try harder. {g}

Richard Seltzer 12:24pm Yes, Kaye, I see tremendous advantage from shifting from 800 number access for information and service to using aWeb site.


Britannica

Sudha (sudha@web-net.org) 12:22pm (204.165.159.3)Kaye: That's some stats. Encylopedia Britannica showed similar stats of saving by selling on the web vs walking sales person and abandoned their entire North American Sales force when they setup eb.com.

Richard Seltzer 12:25pm (199.3.129.189)Sudha --I heard that Britannica went Chapter 11 some months ago. Have they re-emerged?Was that something they were trying as they were going down? or something that is helping them come back up?

Sudha (sudha@web-net.org) As for eb, Web was their strategy after they went down. I don't have recent numbers, but I read a case study about them as a success story.

Richard Seltzer 12:35pm (199.3.129.189)Su -- Is that case study on Britannica on the Web anywhere? I'd be very interested in seeing it. Harvard Business School (Jeff Rayport) did one on them about ayear and a half ago. And much has changedsince then. I'd really like to try tosort out how the Internet helped and hurtthem. They were one of the pioneers of doing business on the Internet. But it's possible that they didn't pick the right price and the right business model.


Other Books

Tom Dadakis tomdadak@ix.netcom.com 12:55pm (199.183.44.120)Richard, Barnes & Noble as well as Borders are getting set to launch their websites. I have talked with simon & Schuster, who are very interested in this area but are maintaining list pricing at their website so that they do not offend their primary distribution points-- bookstores.

Buying Computers

Tom Dadakis tomdadak@ix.netcom.com 12:25pm (199.183.44.164)I will share a personal story; I just bought a new laptop but while I was shopping in January, I thought let's see if I can do this on the web. I went to NECX, Netbuyer, and several other catalog web sites to check out the inventory and prices. The web is only as good as the most recent file update. Some updated weekly. but in the end, I found what I wanted from an ad in a weekly computer mag. I called the 800# and did it the old fashion way.

Selling Software

Gisela Bauerle 12:43pm (208.5.144.17)My company, Stream International, has an online store at http://www.stream.com. We've certainly seen the importance of buyer's convenience shopping with electronic software delivery.

Scott Rehling scottr@outreach.com 12:44pm (207.22.221.15)Gisela, what sort of products do you offer?

Gisela Bauerle 12:46pm (208.5.144.17)PC Software, books and some peripherals. Also provide online tech support via web response, online chat and telephone response.

Sudha (sudha@web-net.org) 12:47pm (204.165.159.3)Gisela: I looked at your site. What is the fish game? Is it a real game? I guess, like Ed mentioned earlier, it is something unique to make the visitor stay on the site.

Gisela Bauerle 12:54pm (208.5.144.17)Su, yes you're right about the fish. But more importantly we're providing product and tech support info to the user for informational and sales purposes.


Hard Goods???

Richard Seltzer 12:20pm (199.3.129.189)Suspicions -- if you offer "all" of something for sale over the Web, you have a competitive advantage because of your enormous range of choice.And if you operate without inventory, you have a tremendous cost advantage over physical stores. Hence the success ofamazon.com and cdnow.Also, if you combine your catalog listing on the Web with extraordinary personal service (delivery in particular), then too you might have a winner. (I don't knowhow well Peapod is doing).But for what other reason might people buy ordinary hard goods from a Web site instead of from a store?

Kaye Vivian (kvivian@cloud9.net 12:23pm (168.100.204.1)Richard, one factor in buying hard goods over the web certainly has to be convenience. Just like with catalogs. People have full days and tight schedules, and to be able to sit at home in your pajamas at midnight and put in a grocery order or take care of your birthday shopping list for April, is quite appealing.

Scott Rehling scottr@outreach.com 12:24pm (207.22.221.15)Most of the sites selling consumer hard goods on line are promoting them in a similar fashion to the way you promote any site. Advertising, holding contests on their site to keep people coming back. Reduced pricing for on-line ordering, etc. We have one company Kanji Koncepts http://www.kanjipage.com, who is selling a very unique line of caps, t-shirts and other appearal. They generate some unique traffic as they offer infomation on the famous Marfa Lights in Texas (the unexplainable light phenomenon that is popular with UFO enthusiasts). At any rate, although I'm not at liberty to disclose exact figures, they sell several thousands of dollars worth of product on line a day.

Richard Seltzer (199.3.129.189)Scott --I'm still skeptical. I'd like to get a sense of what it is costing these sites to promote their on-line sales. It's quite possible -- probable even -- that they are spending more than they are bringing in -- by advertising in other media and by largediscounts and by special promotions.That's normal for a brand-new startup.But revenues without a sense of costs doesn't give us any indication of success.I'm looking for sustainable business models.

Scott Rehling scottr@outreach.com 12:36pm (207.22.221.15)Richard, I really don't have a lot of detail about our customers' spending numbers. I can assure you that we are signing on more and more customers who are selling ordinary hard goods, and none of them are going out of business. There's no doubt about the fact that tech and information related goods still dominate the on line sales arena. I'm here to tell you that despite what the numbers are indicating, we feel a bit of a change in the atmosphere.

InterWorld 12:32pm (165.254.130.180) The early adopters have been technology companies that are sellinng their goods on line. In the prospects that I am talking to, there is strong interest in most hard goods and publishing companies that have identified projects.

Sudha (sudha@web-net.org) 12:36pm (204.165.159.3)Hi Interworld, There was a discussion about Microwarehouse just before you joined in this week.

InterWorld 12:43pm (165.254.130.180)Su: Thanks MicroWarehouse is one of our customers. They have been using our software for 8 to 10 months. Please let me know if anyone has any questions about MW. Thanks


Why Do People Buy On-Line?

Ed Jaros - Green Bay 12:29pm (207.67.22.30)I recommend to my accounts that when setting up a web site the #1 goal should be to provide useful information that is unique. From there they will hopefully get bookmarked. From there people keep coming back to their site for the info and when people are ready to do business they will turn to the experts... them.

Kaye Vivian (kvivian@cloud9.net 12:34pm (168.100.204.1)I'm back, Richard. Ed's comment makes me raise the question: What is it that actually gets people to buy online? I have worked with a small biotechnology company that sells reagents for research, and despite a very weak web site and English as a second language (they did their own web site themselves initially), they are still generating orders from the web! Do you think it's the novelty of the medium?

Richard Seltzer 12:37pm (199.3.129.189)Kaye -- I wish I could figure it out.My gut feel goes with what Ed said -- you need to build a loyal audience/a community.But every day I get half a dozen new pressreleases about commercial Web sites sellingthe most obscure and mundane products. It's hard to believe that they are all just throwing their money away. But I'dlike to be able to sort out why people are going to those sites and why they are buying there and whether this is just a novelty, or if it is really a sustainable business model.

Sudha (sudha@web-net.org) 12:39pm (204.165.159.3)Kaye, the motivation of why people sell on the web is different from why people buy on the web.People buy for convenience as you mentioned, lower costs and also uniqueness. It will attract a segment of consumers who want to try it out because it is different. There if they find a cognitive match and service level, they'll come again

Ed Jaros - Green Bay 12:40pm (207.67.22.30)Kaye, i do think that buying on line is somewhat of a trendy thing as well as practical. I booked my honeymoon last year through a guy in CA. I did get an excellent price, but I wanted to book it on the net becasue I met my wife through aol. I'm sure a lot of people buy on the net just so they could say they did... at least for now.

Sudha (sudha@web-net.org) 12:43pm (204.165.159.3)Ed, that's interesting. Would you have bought online if it didn't match your price?Did you have concerns about the company till you actually started on the trip?

Ed Jaros - Green Bay 12:44pm (207.67.22.30)Richard is right... there is a lot of junk being sold on the Net. What is the general impression of o-line malls. Anyone ever use them? I for one hate them and see a lot of rip offs coming from the concept.

Scott Rehling scottr@outreach.com 12:45pm(207.22.221.15)Ed- what do you mean by rip-offs?

Ed Jaros - Green Bay 12:51pm (207.67.22.30)Try finding Parmentiers Florist who is in FTD's "on-line mall" You can't. The malls market themselve.. not their customers. Why do you go to a mall... to make shopping easy and to keep from driving alot. I see the internet as one big mall. Dividing yourself off into some corner I think hurts you.

Kaye Vivian (kvivian@cloud9.net 12:47pm (168.100.204.1)Let's ask the very basic question in personal terms: why would *you* (or I) go to these web sites to buy? My process would be this. First I have a particular product or service in mind. Then I do a search to find the different companies or web sites connected to what I want. I visit them and read them. Unless there's some VERY compelling reason to muddle through, I will automatically discount any web site that is hard to use, difficult to navigate or find the pricing information, etc. Then among those I narrowed down to, I will weigh the pros and cons as outlined in their product materials. The company that gives me the information I need to make my decision and has a competitive price will get my business. One other interesting aside. I don't know how average I am in this, but I would tend to buy higher price items online (computers, software, parts for some equipment I already own, etc.) than to buy something for $9.95. And I'm pretty jaded in that I won't pay for a trial subscription to anything. The Web has spoiled us in that way. For example, I love NewsPage Direct, but I just don't know if I really get $6.95 per month of value from them to continue my subscription monthly. Just rambling here, but I suspect that I'm more likely to buy a one-shot item than to return again and again to buy repeat items (for example, groceries).


Any Examples of Roadkill?

Richard Seltzer 12:32pm (199.3.129.189)All, I'm also looking for tales of Internet roadkill. Some folks I work with believe that thiswill be the year when electronic commerce really takes off. That may well be true.The kind of things I'm hearing in this session inclines me more in that direction.But the real tangible proof that that is happening will be when Internet business begins to have significant impact on traditional business -- and businesses that haven't adapted to the Internet start to go under. Do any of you know of examples of that kind yet? (It may well be too early.)

Tom Dadakis tomdadak@ix.netcom.com 12:42pm (199.183.44.120)Richard, I'm not sure what you mean by "significant impact on traditional business". If you mean taking sales away from others, I'm not sure. Get sales that might not have happened if they didn't have a website. Maybe. I firmly believe that the use of the web is still justified on cost savings rather than new business. If a business can have a lower expenditures to sales ratio, it will be more successful than its competitors. But the overall web business is so miniscule, that I don't see any impact yet, let alone business failing because they have not adapted to the change.

Richard Seltzer 12:50pm (199.3.129.189)Tom --I agree that it is probably too early.But I'd look to see impact over the next year at book stores/chains (impacted byAmazon.com) and at stores/chains that sellmusic (impacted by cdnow etc.) The audience for those products is on the Web already.The Web based stores can offer enormous choiceand can operate with no inventory.I wonder if there was any slight effect from the Internet involved in the Strawberries chain going chapter 11.

Sudha (sudha@web-net.org) 12:51pm (204.165.159.3)Todd: I agree with Richard. Web is imposing a new business model. Traditional businesses have lots to lose by changing to a new model. So, they try to convert slowly looking at cost saving.Intel's CEO Andy Grove wrote a recent book called "Only the Paranoid Survive" where he says some things like the Internet are major changes in the way business operates. He calls these change points as "Strategic Inflection points" where a business should realize the changing forces outside and redefine its competitive model. Else, traditional businesses used to older ways will slowly fall.

Ed Jaros - Green Bay 12:58pm (207.67.22.30)Tom... I would like to link some of my customers to their suppliers but can't because their suppliers sell on line as well. I really feel that suppliers role should be that of support, not sales. 


Being Found -- Search Engines

Ed Jaros - Green Bay 12:35pm (207.67.22.30)Important thing with your site. Can people find your sites with search engines by typing in what they are looking for... not by typing in your company name.Example. "wisconsin florists" in http://altavista.digital.com typed in quotes brings up only one florist (my acct :-) ) but I know there are dozens of florists in WI on line.

Richard Seltzer 12:41pm (199.3.129.189)Ed -- At AltaVista when you type"Wisconsin florists" you are searching for just those words in just that order.If you didn't use the quotes you would get every Web page where one or the otherof those words appears. (

Ed Jaros - Green Bay 12:47pm (207.67.22.30)Richard, typing in wisconsin florists gets 50,000 hits (my site on top :-) ) but i try to keep it narrowed down. My point is that all florists in WI should have thought of what their potential customers would think and do the proper tags to be there. From a consumer standpoint if I can't find them it is their problem, not mine.


On-line Info about Machine Work?

dj 12:44pm (205.218.77.68)Just joined in here. Have a small company that is needing more work and would like to know where to find contracts for machine work- particularly in the stamping area.How would I research to find market growth? and need?

Kaye Vivian (kvivian@cloud9.net 12:51pm (168.100.204.1)DJ, there are a number of good research/reference resources on the web that can help you to assess your market and identify what others in similar businesses are doing. If you want to E-mail me, I'll be glad to send you a list of links you can check out. :)

Sudha (sudha@web-net.org) 12:52pm (204.165.159.3)Kaye, can you email me the list too. I'll be intered.

Kaye Vivian (kvivian@cloud9.net 12:53pm (168.100.204.1)I'd be glad to send it to anyone. If you would, please just E-mail me, though, because I tend to find time to do E-mail but not review the chat transcripts! try harder. {g} At least, until a few weeks later... :)


Effect of Bandwidth?

Scott Rehling scottr@outreach.com 12:53pm (207.22.221.15)Any comments on how bandwidth fits into the future of on line commerce? My feeling is that when there is more adequate bandwidth in the common household, sites will be quicker and easier to use and certain products will be more likely to be sold successfully on line i.e. compact discs and videos (perhaps someday we'll download our music and print inserts)

Best Places to Advertise Retail on the Web?

anonymous 12:53pm (208.140.33.2)What is the best place to advertise retail on www? I carry austrian and german crystal and would like to develop a picture catalog.

Kaye Vivian (kvivian@cloud9.net 12:54pm (168.100.204.1)Anonymous, please give your name and E-mail address in the box. :) Advertising is a whole separate and interesting issue. Richard, I think we should discuss advertising in a session soon...

Kaye Vivian (kvivian@cloud9.net 12:56pm (168.100.204.1)Regarding advertising, there's not one central place or site to advertise. Probably your best bet, anonymous, would be to find sites where people go who might be intered in your products (new age groups? collectors?) and then get them to give you a free link. You could talk to the most heavily trafficked about what they might charge you for an ad. But your ad has to be more than "I have good stuff, come look at it". :)

Sudha (sudha@web-net.org) 12:57pm (204.165.159.3)anonymous: advertise retail on www: You should definitely get into all possible business directories. submit-it is a good place to start.If you want to place paid ads, you should go for ads that reach your target audience.


Wrapup

Richard Seltzer 12:54pm (199.3.129.189)Time is passing too quickly. All, please post here you email addressesand URLs so we can keep in touch andsee the things you are doing.Also, please send me email seltzer@samizdat.com with followup message, comments, questions and I'll post them with the transcript --Yes, as usual, I'll do an edited transcriptof this session so you can see the threads and read at your leisure.Checkhttp://www.samizdat.com/#chat

Gisela Bauerle 12:56pm (208.5.144.17)E-mail: giselabauerle,http://www.stream.com

Kaye Vivian (kvivian@cloud9.net 12:58pm (168.100.204.1)Thanks for a nice chat, Richard...I'm logging off. Kaye Vivian (kvivian@cloud9.net) Bye all :)

dj 12:58pm (205.218.77.37)email: clslong@tir.com

Ed Jaros - Green Bay 1:00pm (207.67.22.30)ed.jaros@sparknet.nethttp://www.sparknet.net Thanks Richard. Have a great day!

Sudha (sudha@web-net.org) 1:00pm (204.165.159.3)Thanks Richard. See you next week

Tom Dadakis tomdadak@ix.netcom.com 12:58pm (199.183.44.120)Tom Dadakis, Internet Consultant. Good session Richard, will we continue next week?

Richard Seltzer 12:58pm (199.3.129.189)Next Thursday I'll be at Internet World in Los Angeles. (Any of you who will beout there, please stop by and say hello at the Digital booth. I'll be doing a talk about AltaVista Live Topics in thetheater at the Digital booth each day at 2 PM).I'm not sure how the logistics will work,but I plan to continue this discussion fromthere next Thursday same time.I'd also like to broaden the discussion to talk some more about what e-commerce sites are doing to promote themselves --how are they getting traffic? what is it costing them to get traffic? and is there any relationship between traffic and sales?

Scott Rehling scottr@outreach.com 12:59pm (207.22.221.15)Thanks Richard, I'll stop by and see you at internet world. Anyone interested in seeing me, come to Outreach Communications' booth #4178.


Followup

International Aspects of Doing Business on the Internet -- Cultural Factors and Cross-Cultural Web Sites

From: Abby Yanow <ayanow@jrihealth.org> Date: Fri, 07 Mar 1997 13:00:54 -0800

I paid special note to the conversation re. international aspects of doing business - and I saw a question that you raised about people who discuss cultural differences in business practice, customs, etc.

As you may know, this has become a field in its own right, called intercultural management, and its related neighbor, intercultural training. These trainings are delivered to:

The different companies who offer such services have extensive lists of business consultants who are experts on many different countries. The larger companies like Prudential actually bought out smaller organizations who provide the training - Arthur Andersen just bought Bennett & Associates out of Chicago. They all provide both training and consulting. I've included some links down below if you're interested - they're sort of related to the JapanBiz page that you mentioned.

Thanks again for your wonderful materials, and I look forward to joining you all on your chat room.

Abby Yanow

PS -- Here are some links to cross-cultural Web sites:

Asian Pacific management Forum

Bennett and Associates

Intercultural press

Arthur Andersen Int'l business

China Cross Cultural Exchange

World Culture

Prudential Relocation services


X2 Technology (56K Modems)

From: Ed Jaros <ed.jaros@sparknet.net> Date: Mon, 10 Mar 1997 13:39:25 -0600

I thought this would be of interest to you and the group.

QUESTION:

>I just upgraded my modem to a 56k us robotics X2 modem. Does Sparknet.net support faster speeds for this modem. If you do what do i need to do to get connected at a faster baud?

ANSWER:

I have bad news. X2 technology is a joke.

The FCC won't allow 56K communications because of a 56K tarrif, and all of the (LECS) Local Exchange Carriers lobbying the FCC to keep to the tariff they started, you and I and USR loses.

LECS get to charge $186-$225 PER MONTH for a 56K feed. If the FCC would allow USR to offer 56K modems, then you and I would only have to pay $14 a month for a standard phone line instead of the $186-$225 PER month that Ameritech gets now.

SO, the reality is that you will ONLY get 53k of throughput with a x2 modem, AND that is ONLY downstream from SparkNET To you. It is NOT 2 way 53k. The other way is standard 28.8 or 33.6k.

PLUS it will cost SparkNET at least $25K this year to switch to x2 technology, WHICH ISNT EVEN A STANDARD YET, for a tiny increase of speed, that you may never notice.

SparkNET official position is that we will upgrade to the new technology as soon as DUAL x2 and k56kPLUS technology compatible dialup switches are available.

You see, Rockwell, which owns 75% of the modem chipset market in the world, is in 75% of our customers modems right now. That means if we spend the tens of thousands to upgrade so that US Robotics customers can get x2 53k/28.8k, we would be ignoring 75% of our market.

Therefore, we must wait till BOTH standards are ratified and available before we do any upgrading.

Since I have ISDN, I know how fast 64K is vs 128K vs 28.8, and I can say that when you do get the improvement in speed US Robotics has promised you, you will be disappointed.

If you haven't yet, My suggestion is for you to subscribe to our network-status list where we will notify you when x2 and or k56kPLUS technology is coming.

You can join from this page: netstatus.sparknet.net

Ed Jaros, Website Strategist, http://www.SparkNET.net


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