E-business site

An e-business site is an externally facing site that is designed to market a company's products and services to consumers and allow them to purchase these items online. The focus of the site is on helping consumers match their needs to the appropriate product or service and maximizing their purchases.

The site provides:
  • Press releases about the latest news about the company's products and services.
  • A promotions area with information about products and services that include sales, special package deals, and discounts.
  • A products and services catalog area with the entire catalog displayed as a searchable taxonomy.
  • A shopping area where users can see:
    • A searchable list of available products and services available for purchase online.
    • A summary of the items they are intending to purchase.
    • An area to calculate tax, shipping, and other costs.
    • An area to purchase these items online using mail order, or by using a follow-up call from a salesperson.
    • An area to track orders they initiated.
  • Articles where the organization can help customers by using articles that discuss their products and services.
  • A support area with technical documentation, contact numbers, support request forms, FAQs, and downloads.
  • A service for subscribing to a newsletter where the user is sent a regular update that highlights new promotions, products, or articles.

The home page of the site is used to highlight the latest promotions, and to give a strong sense of the brand of the organization. Throughout the site, collaborative filtering is used to help suggest products and services to consumers based on their purchasing and navigational activity. A discussion system can also be used to allow users to build a community where they can comment on and rate various products and services.

A number of components are used together to build the e-business site:
  • HCL Portal is used to provide a platform for the integration of content and applications that form the e-business site.
  • The overall theme and top-level navigation of the intranet is also managed by using HCL Portal.
  • The HCL Web Content Manager provides the micro-level layout of the content within the site, and is also used to directly build the press releases, FAQs, articles, and promotional content.
  • The catalog and shopping areas are being run by using WebSphere Commerce.
  • Personalization is used to suggest products to users based on collaborative filtering, and to email the newsletter.
  • A third-party discussion system is used to deliver collaborative forums in the communities section of the site by using a custom portlet.

An e-business site can generate a large amount of traffic with a relatively small amount of content.