Course

Internet Business Models MKT 6322-501, #12258

Professor

Ernan Haruvy

Term

Fall 2008

Meetings

T, 7:00pm-9:45pm, SOM 2.804

 

 

 

Professor’s Contact Information

Office Phone

972-883-4865

Office Location

SM 3.434

Email Address

eharuvy@utdallas.edu

Office Hours

Tuesday 6-7 or by appointment

 

General Course Information

Pre-requisites, Co-requisites, & other restrictions

MKT 6301

Course Description

The Internet in recent years has radically altered the face of business. The objective of this course is to introduce students to key concepts that are pervasive in today’s e-business practices as well as to the perils and opportunities in e-commerce. In particular, we focus on e-business strategy, the construction and implications of different e-business models, interaction with customers—including web interface, customer relationship management, and consumer behavior online—in an online environment, e-marketplaces and business-to-business commerce, data analysis, electronic auctions, market communications, online communities, and branding. We will also touch on various other e-commerce topics, depending on class interest, individual student experiences, and current events.

 

Learning Outcomes

Upon completion of this course, students are expected to:

Be able to construct a complete business model with value proposition, marketspace offering, resource model, and financial model

Be able to take advantage of Internet capabilities in this business model, including the two I’s (Interactivity and Individualization), Customer Relationship Management, Internet customization capabilities, Internet communities, and Internet communication

Be able to implement in this business model each of the seven C’s of Internet Marketing: Context, Content, Community, Customization, Communication, Connection, Commerce

Understand Porter’s strategic forces in Internet context

Be able to evaluate clickstream data

Understand key topics in e-commerce, including procurement, auctions, exchanges, and open source

 

Required Texts & Materials

 1. Textbook: Internet Marketing – Mohammed, Fisher, Jaworski and Paddison, McGraw-Hill, 2004

 2. Case Packet for Professor Haruvy -- MKT 6322*

*Changes from last semester: Added Google Advertising. 9-507-038. Replaced Dell Online 9-598-116 with Dell New Horizons 9-502-022
Assignments & Academic Calendar

 

Cases are to be found in your case packet. Articles are downloadable on the class web site. 

 

Date

Topics

Cases and articles (articles should be downloaded from the class web page; cases are in the case packet)

Book Chapters

Assignment due

Aug 26

History, Strategy

Case: Google

Case: Strategy and the Internet, Article: Tech where the action is, Article: How to Make Money on the Net

Ch. 2

Due: Topic for Project

Sep 2

Strategy, Models

Case: Streamline, Case: Dell, Articles: Dell, Online Grocers, Peapod Facts

Ch. 2, Ch. 3

Due:

      Complete Survey.

 

Sep 9

Models CRM, personalization, interface

Case: Charles Schwab

Article: Banker To the Rich

Case: Broadvision

Introduction to survey research

Ch. 5, 6

 

Sep 16

SAS Tutorial

SAS Tutorial

 

Due:

  Survey Data

Sep 23

Consumer Behavior, Clickstream

Case continued: Broadvision

Article: Lynch and Ariely (2000)

Ch. 4

 

Sep 30

B2B Auctions

 Article: EDI, Article: Online Exchanges

---------

 

Oct 7

B2B Exchanges

 Case: “Leveraging Internet Technologies in B2B”

Article: Bambi vs Godzilla

---------

Written Project—Part I

Oct 14

EXAM 1

Auctions

Case: Amazon

Article: Amazon

 

 

Oct 21

Pricing (HiLo, EDLP, bundling, two-part) & Auctions

Case: Amazon, Case: eBay, Article: eBay

Ch. 8

 

Oct 28

Communication

Case: Monster

eBay case in book, pp. 381-385

Roth and Ockenfels (2002)

Ch. 9

 

Nov 4

Branding

Case: Monster

Ch. 12

Written Project Part II

Nov 11

Search engines, payment systems, log files, and other technical aspects

Case continued: Monster

Article: Hotwiring Your Search Engine

Ch. 12

 

Nov 18

Open Source

2 open source articles, Case: Red Hat

Ch. 10

 

Nov 25

Exam

Online communities

Article: Virtual worlds

Ch. 10

Communities section

Dec 2

Presentations

 

Ch. 14

Written Project—Part III

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Course Policies

Grading (credit) Criteria

Class Participation:                                                      5%

Assignment 1: Topic                                                         1%

Assignment 2: Survey                                                     1%

Assignment 3: Data                                                       3%                

Written group project—Part I                                       5%  (p-weighted)

Written group project—Part II                                       5%   (p-weighted)

Final written group project (Parts I, II, and III)              25% (p-weighted)

Presentation grade                                                        15% (p-weighted)

Quizzes                                                                                     10%

Exam 1:                                                                       15%

Exam 2:                                                                       15%

‘p-weighted’ stands for peer-weighted which means this grade is multiplied by the weight group members assign to each individual’s contribution

Student Conduct and Discipline

 

The University of Texas System and The University of Texas at Dallas have rules and regulations for the orderly and efficient conduct of their business.  It is the responsibility of each student and each student organization to be knowledgeable about the rules and regulations which govern student conduct and activities.  General information on student conduct and discipline is contained in the UTD publication, A to Z Guide, which is provided to all registered students each academic year.

 

The University of Texas at Dallas administers student discipline within the procedures of recognized and established due process.  Procedures are defined and described in the Rules and Regulations, Board of Regents, The University of Texas System, Part 1, Chapter VI, Section 3, and in Title V, Rules on Student Services and Activities of the university’s Handbook of Operating Procedures.  Copies of these rules and regulations are available to students in the Office of the Dean of Students, where staff members are available to assist students in interpreting the rules and regulations (SU 1.602, 972/883-6391).

 

A student at the university neither loses the rights nor escapes the responsibilities of citizenship.  He or she is expected to obey federal, state, and local laws as well as the Regents’ Rules, university regulations, and administrative rules.  Students are subject to discipline for violating the standards of conduct whether such conduct takes place on or off campus, or whether civil or criminal penalties are also imposed for such conduct.

Academic Integrity

 

The faculty expects from its students a high level of responsibility and academic honesty.  Because the value of an academic degree depends upon the absolute integrity of the work done by the student for that degree, it is imperative that a student demonstrate a high standard of individual honor in his or her scholastic work.

 

Scholastic dishonesty includes, but is not limited to, statements, acts or omissions related to applications for enrollment or the award of a degree, and/or the submission as one’s own work or material that is not one’s own.  As a general rule, scholastic dishonesty involves one of the following acts:  cheating, plagiarism, collusion and/or falsifying academic records.  Students suspected of academic dishonesty are subject to disciplinary proceedings.

 

Plagiarism, especially from the web, from portions of papers for other classes, and from any other source is unacceptable and will be dealt with under the university’s policy on plagiarism (see general catalog for details).  This course will use the resources of turnitin.com, which searches the web for possible plagiarism and is over 90% effective.

Email Use

 

The University of Texas at Dallas recognizes the value and efficiency of communication between faculty/staff and students through electronic mail. At the same time, email raises some issues concerning security and the identity of each individual in an email exchange.  The university encourages all official student email correspondence be sent only to a student’s U.T. Dallas email address and that faculty and staff consider email from students official only if it originates from a UTD student account. This allows the university to maintain a high degree of confidence in the identity of all individual corresponding and the security of the transmitted information.  UTD furnishes each student with a free email account that is to be used in all communication with university personnel. The Department of Information Resources at U.T. Dallas provides a method for students to have their U.T. Dallas mail forwarded to other accounts.

Withdrawal from Class

 

The administration of this institution has set deadlines for withdrawal of any college-level courses. These dates and times are published in that semester's course catalog. Administration procedures must be followed. It is the student's responsibility to handle withdrawal requirements from any class. In other words, I cannot drop or withdraw any student. You must do the proper paperwork to ensure that you will not receive a final grade of "F" in a course if you choose not to attend the class once you are enrolled.

Student Grievance Procedures

 

Procedures for student grievances are found in Title V, Rules on Student Services and Activities, of the university’s Handbook of Operating Procedures.

 

In attempting to resolve any student grievance regarding grades, evaluations, or other fulfillments of academic responsibility, it is the obligation of the student first to make a serious effort to resolve the matter with the instructor, supervisor, administrator, or committee with whom the grievance originates (hereafter called “the respondent”).  Individual faculty members retain primary responsibility for assigning grades and evaluations.  If the matter cannot be resolved at that level, the grievance must be submitted in writing to the respondent with a copy of the respondent’s School Dean.  If the matter is not resolved by the written response provided by the respondent, the student may submit a written appeal to the School Dean.  If the grievance is not resolved by the School Dean’s decision, the student may make a written appeal to the Dean of Graduate or Undergraduate Education, and the deal will appoint and convene an Academic Appeals Panel.  The decision of the Academic Appeals Panel is final.  The results of the academic appeals process will be distributed to all involved parties.

 

Copies of these rules and regulations are available to students in the Office of the Dean of Students, where staff members are available to assist students in interpreting the rules and regulations.

Incomplete Grades

 

As per university policy, incomplete grades will be granted only for work unavoidably missed at the semester’s end and only if 70% of the course work has been completed.  An incomplete grade must be resolved within eight (8) weeks from the first day of the subsequent long semester.  If the required work to complete the course and to remove the incomplete grade is not submitted by the specified deadline, the incomplete grade is changed automatically to a grade of F.

Disability Services

 

The goal of Disability Services is to provide students with disabilities educational opportunities equal to those of their non-disabled peers.  Disability Services is located in room 1.610 in the Student Union.  Office hours are Monday and Thursday, 8:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m.; Tuesday and Wednesday, 8:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m.; and Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.

 

The contact information for the Office of Disability Services is:

The University of Texas at Dallas, SU 22

PO Box 830688

Richardson, Texas 75083-0688

(972) 883-2098 (voice or TTY)

 

Essentially, the law requires that colleges and universities make those reasonable adjustments necessary to eliminate discrimination on the basis of disability.  For example, it may be necessary to remove classroom prohibitions against tape recorders or animals (in the case of dog guides) for students who are blind.  Occasionally an assignment requirement may be substituted (for example, a research paper versus an oral presentation for a student who is hearing impaired).  Classes enrolled students with mobility impairments may have to be rescheduled in accessible facilities.  The college or university may need to provide special services such as registration, note-taking, or mobility assistance.

 

It is the student’s responsibility to notify his or her professors of the need for such an accommodation.  Disability Services provides students with letters to present to faculty members to verify that the student has a disability and needs accommodations.  Individuals requiring special accommodation should contact the professor after class or during office hours.

Religious Holy Days

The University of Texas at Dallas will excuse a student from class or other required activities for the travel to and observance of a religious holy day for a religion whose places of worship are exempt from property tax under Section 11.20, Tax Code, Texas Code Annotated.

The student is encouraged to notify the instructor or activity sponsor as soon as possible regarding the absence, preferably in advance of the assignment.  The student, so excused, will be allowed to take the exam or complete the assignment within a reasonable time after the absence: a period equal to the length of the absence, up to a maximum of one week. A student who notifies the instructor and completes any missed exam or assignment may not be penalized for the absence. A student who fails to complete the exam or assignment within the prescribed period may receive a failing grade for that exam or assignment.

If a student or an instructor disagrees about the nature of the absence [i.e., for the purpose of observing a religious holy day] or if there is similar disagreement about whether the student has been given a reasonable time to complete any missed assignments or examinations, either the student or the instructor may request a ruling from the chief executive officer of the institution, or his or her designee. The chief executive officer or designee must take into account the legislative intent of TEC 51.911(b), and the student and instructor will abide by the decision of the chief executive officer or designee.

Off-Campus Instruction and Course Activities

Off-campus, out-of-state, and foreign instruction and activities are subject to state law and University policies and procedures regarding travel and risk-related activities.  Information regarding these rules and regulations may be found at http://www.utdallas.edu/BusinessAffairs/Travel_Risk_Activities.htm.  Additional information is available from the office of the school dean. 

 

These descriptions and timelines are subject to change at the discretion of the Professor.


GROUP PROJECT – Idea for Topic

 

Each group will prepare a business model in a clearly specified industry or a particular e-marketplace (not from an existing case study) and turn it in. The type of business is flexible, but you need to get approval from me before you begin. Be original and creative. Here is a menu of ideas. You are encouraged to choose from this menu. Your choice is due by the end of the second lecture.

 

Startup capital: You have initial capital of $20,000.

 

Topics to choose from:

1.Arts and Crafts. A site for arts and crafts (jewelry, art) that brings together hobbyist makers of crafts from the DFW area with buyers interested in finding bargains.

2. Pet Owners. A site for pet owners offering local services such as pet sitting, pet walking and pet grooming by local unaffiliated DFW labor.

3. Tutoring. A site that brings together tutors and those in need of instruction. The site can (and probably should) be focused on one field. Possible fields: Music instruction, dance instruction, sports instruction, college tutors, home schooling tutors, …

4. Event planning[1]. Focus on one are: Birthdays, weddings, funerals…

5. Handyman Services. A site matching labor with those seeking labor.

6. Moving Services. A site matching labor with those seeking labor.

7. Legal advice. A site offering legal advice in one field. (a) teens in trouble (b) elderly seeking estate planning, ….

8. Medical tourism. A site offering potential routes and services for those seeking medical services in more affordable countries

 


Specific guidelines

 

The site cannot simply list items. It must devise algorithms to optimally match buyers and sellers (hence the added value), to optimally customize itself to buyers and sellers, and to offer only relevant, yet valuable (and preferably proprietary) information. Note that you are not creating Amazon, eBay or Craig’s List, so just a market for used or new items is out of the question. You cannot compete with these sites, so you must choose items that are local in nature or that are so specialized that a general site like eBay, Amazon, or Craig’s list cannot handle nor find it profitable or feasible to do so.

 

Devise approaches to attract traffic. This traffic can then be translated into revenue through ads and clicks. Projects have generally lacked proprietary information sources, a solid revenue model, and have been characterized by exaggerated (overoptimistic) revenue forecasts from advertising and clicks. To do well, you need to come up with unique information sources, a way to organize and customize these sources to create a competitive advantage, and a way to obtain revenues without exaggerating forecasts.

 

The project needs to be double spaced. It can be no less than 25 pages of text and no more than 40 pages of text (not including tables, figures and references). It should have no less than 6 pages of exhibits and no more than 15.

 

The written project will have three parts, which are detailed in the Table of Contents provided at the end. The three parts should be roughly equal in length and depth.

 

Keep in mind that this is not an “imaginary” business proposal. You have seed money of up to $20,000. That is, do not assume you have a million dollars and exclusive alliances.

 

If you plan to have exclusive alliances, sponsors, or financing, explain how you plan to obtain them and why your collaborators would be enticed.

 

Do not blah, blah. Every claim should be backed up from some source (company web page, case reports, SEC or 10K filings, news articles, et.). Each reference should follow the claim and the full reference should be provided in a footnote or the endnotes.

 

GROUP PROJECT PRESENTATION                                

 

Each group will present its business model. DO NOT PRESENT YOUR INDUSTRY ANALYSIS, although you may have one slide summarizing competitor strengths and competitive threats. The class will then rate each group on the following dimensions:

 

  1. Competitors: Did the group correctly identify the critical competitors? Do they have a real competitive advantage over these competitors?
  2. Target Segment: Were the target segments clearly identified? Are these segments reachable given the proposed resources?
  1. Online offering: Was the online offering complete? That is, do you feel that most or all steps in the consumer decision process could be mapped to some part of the offering?
  2. Loyalty, Stickiness, Communities, Branding: A strong community is one way to succeed; a strong brand name is another; beneficial customization is a third. Has the group utilized these three approaches to their fullest potential? Will consumers be loyal?
  3. B2B: Did the group take full advantage of B2B opportunities?
  1. Personalization: Did you feel that the proposal utilized customization and personalization? Was appropriate data collected on customers/visitors/users and was it utilized effectively?
  1. Interface: Was the user interface attractive? Did the group address all 7 C’s?
  2. Defensive capability: If the idea is a hit and starts making money, tens (possibly hundreds) of other ambitious entrepreneurs will jump in and brutally compete along the same lines (by copying the business model and design and forming appropriate alliances). With a head start, can the group maintain a strong competitive advantage that is hard to imitate and defend its position against competitors?
  3. Revenue Model: Can the group generate revenues and profits from the proposed models? Have they exhausted all possible revenue sources?
  4. Presentation: Was the presentation exciting, interesting, and informative?

Group Project Table of Contents

 

Pat I. Model

Executive Summary

Value Proposition

Marketspace offering (including egg diagram which is referenced in text but appears at the end)

Company Description

Resource System

Industry Overview

Competitive Analysis (a minimum of three competitors)

            For each competitor, provide history, business model, and SWOT

Customer Analysis (here you need extensive research, with references, as well as customer surveys)

Target Customers

Customer Profile

 

Part II. Strategy

SWOT Analysis          

Web Interface (discuss site map and flowchart)

Outline of the 7 C’s

Communication and Media

Branding

Communities

Personalization Tools (discuss role of clickstream data)

B2B Activities

 

 

Part III. Financial

Demand Assessment

Revenue Model and Pricing Strategies

Financial Forecast

 

Conclusion

 

References

 

Exhibits (any figure that appears in the exhibits but is not referred to in the text is an automatic deduction of points)

            Egg Diagram

            Resource Diagram

            Snapshots of competitors’ websites

            Snapshots of your website

            Customer Survey

Site Map

Flowchart


Checklist before you turn in your group project

 

  1. Did you cover three competitors in your industry? I want some research on each one.
  2. A brief history of each competitor.
  3. Still on competitors. How many customers do they have? What is the geographical area that they serve? These answer you can obtain simply by sending them an email. They will answer these two questions as long as you are polite and don’t have too many questions.
  4. Do some analysis of their web site: How do they generate revenues? Banner ads? Links? Donations? Fees? Sales? How do they maintain communities? How do they personalize their site or services? What kind of information do they collect from consumers on the web site? Examine the 7 C’s. The answers to these questions you can get simply by looking at the web site. Have a snapshot of each of their main sites.
  5. What are the strengths and weaknesses of each competitor?
  6. What are some industry statistics (see #2 for sources of information on that)?
  7. What are some industry trends (make sure to reference)?
  8.  Who are the major players in the industry?
  9. A breakdown of the industry (if it is segmented).
  10. Value proposition: The value proposition includes the focal benefits, target segments and rationale for why you can deliver better. This could all be summarized in the company’s mission statement or executive summary.
  11. TARGET MARKET. Who are your consumers? I need lots and lots of detail here. Where do they live? How much money do they make? How many children do they have? What do they eat for breakfast? Some of the answers will involve decisions by the group. Other answers will come from research on the geographical area or segment you are targeting. You can have several segments. In fact, you should. Your segments should be as narrowly defined as possible.
  12. What are the focal benefits? Why are they important? Briefly. You will repeat the focal benefits in the resource model.
  13. Why can you deliver better than competitors? What unique assets, resources and business model do you have?
  14. Online Offering. You need an egg diagram that maps a set of offerings to each decision step. The egg diagram goes at the end of the paper as a figure. However, you are required to have a section on online offering where you detail in words what is in that egg diagram and why.
  15. Resource model. You need to have a resource diagram that points assets to capabilities and capabilities to core benefits. Again, this is a figure that goes at the end of the paper—not the body of the paper. You need a section after the Online Offering Section that describes the resource model in detail.
  16. Revenue Model – What is your pricing strategy? How do you generate revenues? Use both user-based and provider-based model. Be very detailed and specific. You have to have multi-tiered pricing for both user-based and provider-based revenues. In the user-based pricing, use hierarchical membership rules (from the communities lecture) as a justification for multi-tiered pricing.
  17. Financial projections. You should know from your other courses how to come up with financial projections based on assumptions and market information. What I am going to carefully look at is the percentage of revenues from each of your sources. That should correspond to your revenue model. I am also going to look at your cost structure to see what activities you plan to outsource. That should correspond to you B2B discussion.
  18. Interface. This is a separate section titled interface. Describe your interface here. Snapshots appear at the end of the paper (in the appendix), but refer to them in the text in this section. Describe each snapshot you have and its purpose. In this section, you should describe at least one case scenario. That is, describe the story of one user, from need recognition and information search all the way to fulfillment, repeat usage, community involvement and loyalty, as he or she goes through the various web pages (with corresponding snapshots). Use the snapshots and your flowchart/sitemap to explain the process.
  19. Provide important snapshots of your interface (in the figures at the end). Use HTML or Frontpage. Using HTML, prepare the basic user interface, including links and all pages to be linked. You need not use ASP, CGI or servelets to process any data, but you should have a plan for what to do with data and how to customize web pages depending on consumer characteristics, past purchasing history, past visit history, web surfing pattern, web addresses visited just before yours, the page from which the linked to yours, etc.
  20. Flowchart of the process from logging in to leaving the site and / or detailed site map.
  21. The 7 C’s of Interface – List each of the 7 C’s.
  22. Customization – Though this is part of the 7 C’s it gets a separate section. We had two lectures on customization. Use what we learned. Rule-based? What rules? Collaborative filtering? How? What data will you ask for? How will you analyze it? How will you share it? How will you use it? How will you ensure that customers provide this data willingly and truthfully? How will you customize the service? The interface?
  23. Communities – This is an entire lecture. Use what you learned in that lecture. What communities can you create? How do you classify these communities (by the classifications we defined)? How will create and serve these communities? What communication tools will facilitate these communities?
  24. Branding. People often confuse branding with brand name. A brand name is a distinct name or symbol that separates your brand from others. This is NOT what I expect you to do in this section. What I want from you is branding—creating a set of associations from your brand in the minds of consumers. The first step would be to define the (1) core, (2) wrap-around and (3) marketing communications. The second step would be to list the promotion mix you will be using. Which media and how. Use traditional as well as online media, mass and customized. Special emphasis should be given to local efforts.
  25. Traffic building is part of Branding. Use Chapter 9 for help. 
  26. B2B— What activities can you outsource? From whom? How much will it cost?
  27. Auctions / Online Exchanges. This is not  a required section BUT I recommend you give it some serious thought. Most groups in the past were surprised to learn how useful auctions or reverse auctions would be to their business model.
  28. Other analyses: SWOT, the strategic / competitive forces. I want you to do a qualitative analysis of your business vis-à-vis the competitive environment. This could be done using the familiar SWOT analysis or using Porter’s five strategic forces.
  29. Conclusion: The conclusion is the most important section in the paper. The important thing in the conclusion is that it summarizes your main findings and conclusions and links the various parts of the paper. It concludes with a strong punch line that demonstrates the strength of your idea. Examples are given below:

 

(Summary of the paper)

 

In section 1, we discussed ….. Our research indicated that …. As a result it appears that … would be a distinct competitive advantage.

In section 2, ... (same as the above format)

(Links) Note that our resources (section ___) are uniquely suited to address the focal benefits in our value proposition (section ____). Our community (section ___) plays a central role in our online offering (section _______). (punchline) The following quote from ____________ best summarizes the idea behind our business model: “………..” There is a clearly a need, a trend and a vacuum which we are uniquely positioned to fill.

  1. Integrated plan. This should be in the conclusion.
  2. References. References go at the end and are not footnotes. Include at least five references from reputable non-www sources. Email or phone correspondence with executives is an acceptable and recommended source as long as you indicate the executive. The format for the references is not that critical. One recommendation is: Author (Date or Year), “Title of Article”, Source, page numbers. For example, Haruvy, E. (1999), Journal of Stuff, pp. 34-36. Is every claim backed by research? Is it cited in your reference section? Research is not www.google.com. Although you are more than welcome to cite web sites as your source of information, you are expected to visit databases. Examples include Business Source Premier, Business Dateline, Business and Industry and Lexis-Nexis. All are available to you via the UT-Dallas library web site (you can access it from home). You are expected to do your research.
  3. Figures. You need to have pictures of the web sites of all competitors and the main web pages for your company. Also the egg diagram and resource diagram. Tables and other exhibits about the market or industry are encouraged. All tables and figures should NOT be included in the body of the paper but rather moved to the end of the paper. In the body of the paper, where figure 3 should be, please put <INSERT FIGURE 3 HERE>.

 


Sample Survey/Questionnaire for Group Project

 

Thank you for participating in this study. The findings from this study will be used for a business proposal for a new type of business involving [give a brief description of the business]. Your answers are confidential and will not be linked to your identity or used for any non-research purpose. Should you be interested in the findings of this study, please contact us at [your email here]. Thanks again for your time and cooperation.

 

Part I. Demographics

 

1. You gender                                      Male / Female

2. Employment status:             Part time / Full time / Unemployed

3. Student Status:                     Part time / Full time / Not a student

4. Home ownership:                Own / Rent / Live with parents

5. Your occupation   __________________________

6. Marital Status                       Single / Married / Divorced / Widowed / Separated

 

7. Your age

 

<20

20-25

25-30

30-35

35-40

40-45

>45

 

8. Your family’s combined annual income.

 

<30K

30K-60K

60K-90K

90K-120K

120K-150K

150K-180K

>180K

 

9. How many hours a week on average do you spend on the Internet?          

 

<5

5-10

10-15

15-20

20-25

25-30

>30

 

 

 

Part II. Consumption questions of specific relevance to this project

 

Examples:

 

  1. Do you have a dog?                                                     Yes / No
  2. Do you have a cat?                                                      Yes / No

 

3. What is the amount you spend monthly on your pet? [This is an example, groups should change this]

 

<$10

$10-20

$20-50

$50-100

$100-200

$200-300

>$300

 

4. How often do you take your pet to a professional groomer?

 

<once a year

Once or twice a year

3 to 5 times a year

Every two month

Every month

Every two weeks

Once a week or more

 

5. How often do you purchase non-food items for your pet (e.g., clothing, toys)?

 

<once a year

Once or twice a year

3 to 5 times a year

Every two month

Every month

Every two weeks

Once a week or more

 

6. How often do you make purchases for your pet on the Internet?

 

<once a year

Once or twice a year

3 to 5 times a year

Every two month

Every month

Every two weeks

Once a week or more

 

 

Part III. Specific Value Questions

Our business consists of a web service that provides the following benefits. Please indicate the dollar amount each of the items below is worth to you?

 

Service

Dollar value to you

1. We send you reminders of when a visit is scheduled.

 

2. We link buyers and sellers.

 

3. We provide user-based ratings and feedback of eligible sellers

 

 

4. We provide independent verifications of sellers

 

5. We bargain with sellers on your behalf to ensure the lowest prices

 

6. We compare prices with providers out of our partners

 

7. We provide articles written by users like you as well as a dedicate staff

 

8. We provide a community of users like you with whom you can share life experiences, relevant stories, and advice

 

9. We award prizes on a regular bases

 

10. We send your information to agencies that provide additional services

 

11. We provide a portal to all related sites

 

12. We provide forms and documents relevant to you

 

13. How much would you be willing to pay for a monthly subscription to this entire website, assuming you trusted the source and valued the quality

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Part IV. Attributes of Importance

 

In a website like ours, how much do you value each of the attributes below (circle one)?

 

Attribute

Not important

 

Somewhat

unimportant

Neutral

Somewhat

Important

Very Important

1. Many others users

1

2

3

4

5

2. Strong community

1

2

3

4

5

3. Customer Services

1

2

3

4

5

4. Easy to use

1

2

3

4

5

5. Ease of navigation

1

2

3

4

5

6. Good graphics

1

2

3

4

5

7. Rich content

1

2

3

4

5

8. Relevant stories

1

2

3

4

5

9. Updated content

1

2

3

4

5

10. Alliances with providers

1

2

3

4

5

11. Cheap prices

1

2

3

4

5

12. Easy payment features

1

2

3

4

5

13. Strong brand name

1

2

3

4

5

14. Trustworthy

1

2

3

4

5

15. Reliable

1

2

3

4

5

16. Best in the business

1

2

3

4

5

17. Good value

1

2

3

4

5

18. Emphasis on DFW area

1

2

3

4

5

19. Quality of service

1

2

3

4

5

20. Quality of products

1

2

3

4

5

 



[1] Since your group is not the provider of the actual services, but rather a website that collects these services and organizes them, it is important to focus on key competitive advantages. The competition is quite fierce in all these planning areas, so you must find a way to outdo the competition. Key in this is obtaining defensible alliances and clever cost-cutting and efficiency enhancing tools. What are some information sources that only you could have access to? What are some algorithms that you could think of to provide real cost savings to your customers? How can you personalize the site to enhance loyalty?