Playboy and Pets Online

by Cannelle Cuvelier

This video explains how e-commerce is so succesful. I did not make this, but thought that this video says it all. It is about 8 minutes long and was retrieved from Youtube at the following link.

Introduction to businesses

playboy_bunny_clear_1.jpgPLAYBOY: Playboy is an adult enteirtainment magazine. The Playboy enterprise is recognized by it's Rabbit Head Logo. Playboy has two forms of business through Internet: Members that sign up so that they can have unlimited access to videos, photoshoots, etc, just like Suicide Girls. It's called the Playboy Cyber Club, and the membership prices range from 8 to 20$ a month. Payments can be made eitheir by Credit Card or Cheque.

People can also buy Playboy products online that includes furnishings for home and bar, including a variety of tables, chairs, lamps, towels, clocks, neon signs, shot glasses, flasks, coasters, and more. The Store also has home and bed furnishings, videos, a clothing line, magazines, books, calendars, etc.

PETS ONLINE: Pets Online is an Australian website that sells pets and puppies online. Previous owners that want to sell their pets upload a picture, information, get a price, and then people can look at the pets and the owners. They have all types of animals: dogs, birds, cats, horses, etc.

This is very interesting, since it helps people that are unable to look after their pets any longer to find someone to take over quicker. Putting posters up in their town, or advertising them in newspapers takes time and is not always successfull, but by selling them online, they are able to reach more probable clients and have more chance to sell their pets.

IT systems used in E-commerce

E-commerce (or electronic commerce) is any business transaction whose price or essential terms were negotiated over an online system such as an Internet, Extranet, Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) network, or electronic mail system. It does not include transactions negotiated via facsimile machine (fax machine) or switched telephone network, or payments made online for transactions whose terms were negotiated offline.

external image cards.jpgThe Playboy and Pets Online online stores both have what we call a virtual shop which includes a catalogue allowing costumers to browse through the products and their details (description, weight, price, colours availibity, picture, etc.). Customers can then add the items they want to buy to their shopping carts (virtual). Most payments are made via credit cards such as VISA. Which allow spontaneous purchasing, whilst cheques give the customer time to change their mind about a purchase. There are three ways of purchasing items online:

Fully automatic Credit Card system
This allows customers to browse the catalogue of goods adding items they wish to buy to a virtual shopping trolley (or shopping cart). At any time they may add or remove items from their shopping trolley. Then the customer proceeds to the checkout and enters their credit card details, delivery address etc. confirms the order with the knowledge that their credit card details are safe and secure. They then await delivery. This is typical of most e-commerce systems.

external image e-comms-diagram.gifYoutube

[1]Customer browse the catalogue of products and add / removes products to and from their shopping cart

[2]The customer proceeds to the checkout and confirm they wish to purchase the products in their shopping cart.

[3]The customer provides their credit card details and they are sent to the payment gateway for authorisation. Communications between the website and the payment gateway are secured using SSL technology.

[4]If authorised funds are reserved in the customers account

[5]Funds are transferred from the customers account to the website's merchant account

[6]Funds are transferred from the website's merchant account to its business account.

Mail order system
This system allows customers print off an order form, which they fill out with details of the goods they wish to purchase from the online catalogue. They then send the order form and payment, usually cheque or postal order, to the business address. The biggest downside to a mail order system is, that it does not allow impulse buying, the biggest upside is, free to setup and maintain and there is not a percentage taken of each tranexternal image buttons-mail-big.pngsaction.

Semi-automatic creditcard system
This system is the same as the fully automatic system as far as the customer is concerned. They browse the catalogue and add products to their virtual trolley, then proceed to the virtual checkout and pay for the goods using their creditcard. At this point, instead of the creditcard details being automatically verified and funds reserved, the credit card details are stored on the server (in encrypted format) ready for the commerce to download once or twice a day or each order can emailed to them (in an encrypted format). The encrypted orders are then automatically de-encripted. The commerce then needs to process the creditcard details manually, using a manual creditcard swipe or online virtual creditcard swipe. Once the goods have been shipped. This allows the customers to make creditcard purchases from the website, but without it costing you so much, as it does not have to pay for a payment processing network or merchant account in order to process the orders. But this would be unsuitable if it had too many orders to process manually. However, if the business is already selling goods from a shop or over the phone and can take creditcard orders in this way it would be easily integrated.

homepage_springsale_01.jpgPlayboy allow costumers to pay eitheir using cheques or credit cards and to order their items online. Once the customer has chosen the item that they wish to buy, they add it to their shopping cart or enter the item number. They then choose whether they want to pay by cheque or credit card. The item will be shipped to them directly after they've paid.

Customers can also order the items from a catalogue. They are sent a catalogue and choose the items that they like. They then get onto the Playboy online store and enter the codes of each items they'd like to buy. These items will be shipped once they have been paid for.

There are two options, the credit cards and cheques. The credit cards are used to pay online (see credit card system above) while the cheques, most often, are used by people that want to pay as they receive their items.

external image 12380_494x473_pb.jpg

external image petsonlineunbeatablevalue1.gifPets Online is an australian website that allows people that want to seel their pets online to advertise them on their website. Like you can see on the image on the left, the owners advertise their pets for $5.95. That is actually one of the only forms of businesses that works for the website.external image thumb_2811_img0_Kittens%20&%20Pups%2025.02.07%20042.jpg

The website does not actually 'sell pets online', but have owners advertise their pets, and so it's only the present owners of the pets that have to pay in order to have their pets onto the website. Once someone is interested in buying a pet, he or she contacts the owner by telephone or email and that's done. So, i contrast to Playboy, Pets Online is not really an example of e-commerce (at least directly).

Ethical and social issues

external image e-commerce-solutions.jpg E-commerce has both advantages and disadvantages, like any other area of technology. E-commerce allows a wider number of people to buy items online, anywhere in the world, of any age, any race, etc. Therefore it's also a way of flattening the world and being able to give everyone an equal chance to buy what they want. For example, a woman living in Bulgaria, where there are no Playboy Shops, and that wants to buy a Playboy lamp, will have a chance to buy it through their online store. Therefore E-commerce is an advantage for people that are physically (handicapped person) or geographically (someone living in Colorado mountains) not able to buy specific things.

external image ecommerce_1.jpgE-commerce is a great way for people to buy things without having to get out and having to look for something that might not be in the shop. If you buy it online, you are sure to find something that you want and like and there are much more details on an online store (colours, etc.). E-commerce allows you to buy something that makes you unique and that you choose entirely for you. For example, you can personalise what you buy, by deciding on the colour, size, material, etc. Oneill, a company that sells surf, snowboard, etc. products (clothes, boards, etc.) lets costumers order wetsuits that they can personalise by including names, choosing the design, colours, etc (click here to see).

But as more and more people start to use e-commerce, then no one will want to go out shopping anymore and shops will have to close down. People will also get lazier and lazier and stay home more often since you can now order food, flowers, and actually ANYTHING online, that all you need to do is stay home and have everything delivered to you. People will not exercise, and maybe young people will study at home, using online courses. This means that there will be people losing their jobs, but new jobs opening up. It's a risk whatsoever.

However, e-commerce is risky because a lot of people that have bought these online have had their pin codes and visa numbers stolen, so that other people used their cards to order things online. This happened to my mum, who had never ordered anything online, but still had someone reserving hotel rooms in Korea with her card. Also the customer-seller relationship is all gone with e-commerce since there are no way for the two to interact with each other. To conclude this, e-commerce, even though it's a great help at times, is not bringing people together, and instead might lead to people staying at home and doing all their shopping online, thus not allowing anyone to interact no more, and to lessen our social life. Ethically, e-commerce is not wrong and it has helped handicapped people, as well as people that were geographically not able to buy things an equal chance to have what they want.

The results of a recent eMarketer survey reports, " 74% of the Internet population over the age of 13 will shop online." Shopping, by the way, includes purchases from traditional e-commerce sites as well as online auctions. It seems that more and more people are going to use e-commerce.

Solutions to e-commerce

external image shopping-national-chain.jpg E-commerce is great, but it shouldn't replace real shops, which are also part of a leisure activity and which tend to get people out of their houses. If e-commerce becomes the main source of goods, then people will stay home and never get out much. What businesses should do is not sell all of their items online, so that some items require the costumer to go buy out themselves. But then again, that might annoy costumers who will stop buying items from that business altogether. For example, if a certain Playboy magazine wasn't to be sold online and people were used to it, then they wouldn't bother going to buy it by themselves.

There are some types of businesses which do not directly sell things online, such as PetsOnline, who get owners to pay to have their pets advertised onto their website, but they do not actually sell pets themselves. That's why i decided to do a wiki using both Playboy and PetsOnline, because they are both different forms of e-commerce. The solution would be to have more and more websites using the type of business that Pets Online does, where there isn't any direct form of selling goods, but it's all about advertising it online, so that it sells better in real life. That's the way social networks do it. They offer their services free, but actually they are advising a lot of other services online and rely onto their users who advertise things they like and dislike between each other.

The other main problem is security since a lot of people buy items online with others' credit cards. When costumers buy somethingexternal image online-shopping.jpg online, most sites tell them that their codes are safe and that no one will be able to steal their card number and/or pin codes. The truth is different. Maybe, yes, online businnes do not steal your numbers, but hackers can. We have all had experienced it, or know people that have. However, hackers can be tracked much more easily than your normal day shop thieves. It would be best for businesses to ensure that when they mean their services are secured, they really do, and that they have people checking the transactions, etc.


Playboy. __Playboy__. Playboy. 17 Feb. 2007 .

Pets Online. __Pets Online__. 12 Feb. 2007 <[[

Wikipedia. "Electronic commerce." __Wikipedia__. 19 Feb. 2007. 22 Feb. 2007 .

UKecommerce. "Tailored Solution." __UK eCommerce__. 14 Feb. 2007 .

Federal Trade Commission. __FTC-Online Shopping__. 18 Feb. 2007 .

"Shopping cart." __Wikipedia__. 16 Feb. 2007 <[[>]].

Monster Commerce. "E-commerce Tutorial." __Monster commerce__. Network solutions. 24 Feb. 2007

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Extra multimedia

List of great Online Shopping websites


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E-commerce Times