The Human Touch

Written by Bob Osgoodby

Sure,repparttar e-tools available for an online merchant are great. We have up torepparttar 109087 minute product selection on our web pages, and autoresponders that can follow up requests. We have our own online mall, immediate payment methods to prevent that "cooling off" period, secure sites for financial transactions, and all sorts of e-tools at our disposal. But what is wrong? You're not being overwhelmed with sales, and barely making expenses.

Stop for a moment. Why are potential customers leaving your e-store without placing an order. Assuming you have a decent product and prices, why are they not buying.

Possibly they have questions that are not being answered, and would like to talk with a live human being. The brick and mortar store hasrepparttar 109088 edge overrepparttar 109089 e-store, when faced with a customer that needs personal contact to feel comfortable.

If someone has reached this point, usually all they need is a little assurance before placing their order. And here isrepparttar 109090 funny part - they may not even want to talk with someone, but may just want to be sure there is someone they can contact if there is a problem.

Enterprise Portals - The Next Big Thing

Written by Paul Brassil

Just when you finally got comfortable withrepparttar transformation ofrepparttar 109086 Web from a simple server of static HTML to a complex application centered in B2C and B2B concepts, along comesrepparttar 109087 latest in E-Business initiatives -repparttar 109088 Enterprise Portal. Enterprise Portals are Extranets developed by companies to satisfy secure communications with their customers, partners, and employees, and it's an idea whose time has certainly come. Both big companies and small have discoveredrepparttar 109089 multifaceted value of such systems, and it's only a matter of time before they will berepparttar 109090 main channel of communication between companies and their customers.

The history ofrepparttar 109091 web for many companies has been interesting inrepparttar 109092 lack of planning and focus. Companies were reluctant to go onrepparttar 109093 web at first due to concerns withrepparttar 109094 permanence ofrepparttar 109095 Internet. Byrepparttar 109096 end ofrepparttar 109097 1990's, however, departmental web sites were popping up throughoutrepparttar 109098 corporate world, andrepparttar 109099 prevailing impression was thatrepparttar 109100 more stovepipe web sites a company could buildrepparttar 109101 better. Soon, corporations were faced with a confusing glut of Intra/Extra/Internet sites that tended to defy a consistent branding, offer overlapping functionality, and require users to amass a large number of login accounts. The goal of an Enterprise Portal is to collapse these disparate corporate web sites into a single entry point intorepparttar 109102 company, offering users a consistent brand, a single login, and reliable access torepparttar 109103 wealth of a company's offerings.

So, what are some ofrepparttar 109104 features found in these Enterprise Portals? Customers might use an Enterprise Portal for accessing product information, sign up for training and view course offerings, leverage service features such as on-line call center interactions or software distribution features, register for a company sponsored conference, or simply accessrepparttar 109105 company's online commerce offerings. Partners might userepparttar 109106 site to strengthen channel ties, download content to extendrepparttar 109107 relationship, or collaborate online withrepparttar 109108 company on new programs. Employees would userepparttar 109109 site as they wouldrepparttar 109110 company Intranet, withrepparttar 109111 benefit of using traditional Intranet features outsiderepparttar 109112 firewall (like checking email). Across all these users, Enterprise Portals offer established "Portal" features such as industry news, event calendars, and user preferences to promote return visits and longer sessions.

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