Be realistic with e-commerce plans, warns MP

Palmer, a member of the all member parliamentary internet group, urged companies setting up websites to think ahead and prepare for success. He said it wasn’t good enough designing a website if the company didn’t have provisions in place to provide consumers with goods and services.

To help companies survive in the e-jungle, Palmer outlined five basic rules.

One, redesign what you’re offering and what you operate to fit the new market. Two, be realistic. Ensure distribution system can manage if you are successful. Three, think internationally. Four, invest in a good web design and have it tested by 12 year olds. Five, watch competitors and update marketing strategies and services yearly.

The governments pledge to lead the world in e-commerce was cautiously received by Palmer given the US’ success (Government on track to be world e-leader), although he did acknowledge the UK’s position ahead of the rest of Europe. The UK government has promised to have all governmental electronic services available by 2002.

But there are still many people who are not online or don’t know much about the internet, said Palmer. He said the government has to do something about that as there are still many people who cannot afford the internet.

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