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Subject: Re: UKNM: CommerceNet?
From: Carol
Date: Thu, 12 Aug 1999 10:04:10 +0100

Clay Shirky wrote:

> > ComerceNet Members are looking to formulate viable "processes" for
> > ecommerce development. The only logical way to do this is to talk to the
> > companies using these processes and have the industry agree the minimum
> > quality levels it is prepared to endorse.
> There is another logical way - capitalism. Businesses that serve their
> customers will do well. Businesses that don't will tank.
> Power has moved into the hands of the consumer, and businesses are
> frantic to convince themselves that this doesn't mean what they think
> it means, namely price transparency in increasingly commodified
> markets, with subsequent downward pressure on margins. Your program is
> like digital valium, designed remove this anxiety without affecting
> the root cause.

When I book a holiday I look for an IATA / ABTA travel agent. When I look
through the Yellow Pages for a plumber or electricial I look for traders who are
members of trade bodies, which typically requires them to have some minimum
quality standards, or at least the right to redress for the consumer. The
magazine and newspaper industries have each had to set up consumer protection
insurance schemes (eg. MOPS) in order to maintain the credibility of their
classified ad sections.

Having trade bodies administer quality and compensation schemes is nothing new.
The Internet neither adds nor takes away any of the validity of such schemes -
which have operated within, and supported, capitalism for centuries.

> >
> > That is total rubbish. Because a consumer has a good experience with
> > Amazon, doesn't mean they are an ecommerce devotee for life. A consumer's
> > impression of shopping online is only as good as their "last" transaction.
> I would like to see any figures supporting this claim. I am sure that
> this is what you would like to believe, but our experience in the
> States suggests that you are wrong - once a person has crossed the
> rubicon of buying online, further discrimination comes between
> offerings, so that a bad experience with one merchant causes them to
> switch merchants, but not to abandon online shopping.

Unfortunately all it takes is for three people to write to the same newspaper
with tales of woe about ecommerce, and that paper will splash scare stories for
a week - reaching and influencing millions of readers. At this fragile stage in
the market's development we just don't need it. It would help if we as an
industry had some sort of answer along the lines of "yes, of course there are
bad traders everywhere. To be safe, we recommend you look for the XYZ mark
which at least guarantees some sort of come-back if it all goes wrong." Those
companies who wish to participate can then do so, those who don't want to don't
need to. We're not talking about a compulsory tax here.

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  Re: UKNM: CommerceNet?, Clay Shirky

  Re: UKNM: CommerceNet?, Clay Shirky

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