Advising legal laws
A group of graduates are interested in investing and starting up an online business related to sports equipments and sports clothes and accessories. Nowadays more and more customers like shopping online instead of getting through traffics and reaching their favourite shopping places. All the daily clothing to exercise equipments can be purchased through online. Graduates are going to start a company and been a E-commerce/Internet consultant, I will be advising the firm about some of the steps in setting a online business and some legal issues and laws related to the online business.
The objectives of company are clear, they wish to deal in sports products such as exercise equipments, sports clothes and other accessories. They also intend to sell online exercise videos which can help youngsters in learning the exercise routines and techniques. The main motto of the company is to build itself in the online sports business. The secondary aim of the company is to gain benefits through giving space in their website to advertisers.
Considering the competitors in this market there are some big competitors in this business which are dealing with sports equipments and products and related accessories. Detailed information about the 3 competitors in this business according to (i) company information; (ii) customer services; (iii) customer information regarding the rights of customers (iv) product warranties and (v) design and ease of website use will be discussed.
The first competitor in the market is www.jjbsports.com. Many users access www.jjbsports.com for shopping sports products. Google has ranked www.jjbsports.com as the first page in its search engine for any sports products. www.jjbsports.com deals in various sports equipments, exercise equipments, clothes and many other commodities. www.jjbsports.com has a large range of products from exercise equipments to small accessories used in sports. They do provide free home delivery upon purchase of £25; this is a special marketing feature by which they try to attract customers. A 24 hrs call centre has been setup by www.jjbsports.com for its customers so that they can book for their orders any time and from any place. Giving out such easy to go services for customers no doubt www.jjbsports.com has gained such a big market share in sports equipments world. www.jjbsports.com do provides with football matches tickets to its customers on shopping. The main point to notice is www.jjbsports.com sorts out its products on basis of its brand name which feels easier for customers to browse through different products. The secure network (https) is used by www.jjbsports.com for its secure transactions and protection of database of information related to its customers. They use credit card as the most preferable transaction method for transactions, also they give out free vouchers and coupons to customers on the level or limit of their shopping. All the concerns related to the shopping are covered by www.jjbsports.com in their website, on how to browse through WebPages? , how to do online transaction? And many more concerns which can be raised by a customer. If there are any other queries, customers can mail to www.jjbsports.com on their customer query's mail id email@example.com. The warranties provided by the company are the returning policy of www.jjbsports.com which is valid until 28 days from the date of purchase with the equipment or clothes should be in the same healthy condition at the date of purchase.
Second in the line of competition is www.sportsdirect.com, the second most famous sports online shopping site ranked by Google. Customers do prefer to shop online on www.sportsdirect.com. They also deal in sports equipments, clothes and other sports accessories. The main reason why customers are attracted towards www.sportsdirect.com is the rates, which sportsdirect.com provides in much cheaper rates than jjbsports.com. Free home delivery is provided by www.sportsdirect.com for 24 hours above the purchase of particular limit. The marketing strategy adopted by sportsdirect.com to sell products at much cheaper rates than its competitors has given boost to their overall sales of the equipments and products. Many customers who are less braded oriented get lured to this kind of marketing strategy which is useful for sportsdirect.com. Sportsdirect.com also gives out promotional offers during football season such as "Money back, if England wins", which makes more customers attracted towards sportsdirect.com. Customers find it easy to browse through all the products by choice of products such as section for exercise equipments, sports clothes, and related accessories all in different tabs and different section. Same as jjbsports.com, they also use secure network for all their transactions and security of their customer database. The cheap prices and discounts are the marketing strategy implemented by the sportsdirect.com. Customers find it easier to browse through all the products under 1 tab instead of going through all the brands and selecting their products. The transaction mode is through credit card and only through Master Card. The warranty provided by the company is that they accept the returning products only after 7 days from the purchase date. All the information related to the company and the FAQ queries of the customers are addressed in customer services tab in the website. In the front page of the website all the most likely products are displayed with any available discounts, this helps customers to directly select the product instead of searching for the equipments or clothes. Sportsdirect.com does not return money for the exchange of their products.
The third main competitor is www.jdsports.co.uk which is a fashion hub for most of teenagers and fashion freaks. Jdsports.com also deals in sports equipments, accessories and also deal in selling out new fashion outfits through their sites. Fashion oriented customers are more attracted towards jdsports.com instead of any other sites. The new fashion outfits can be easily found on jdsports.com instead of searching it in any other websites or shop. With availability of sports products jdsports.com also deals in selling shoes, fashion outfits and more. Since UK is a fashion oriented hub more customers like shopping in jdsports.com due to availability of their required fashion stuffs. Shopping above £50 will give customers a free home delivery by jdsports.com. Jdsports.co.uk does deliver their products to the door step of their customers to any part of the world, with the applicable charges added to it. Same as other competitor's jdsports.com also uses a secure network for their transaction and securing their customer database. A unique facility which is provided by the jdsports.co.uk is the size chart which we won't be able to find in any other competitors website, which provides us a information related to size of clothes, accessories, shoes and many other products according to age and height. The warranty policy of the jdsports.com is up-to 28 days from the day of purchase. After 28 days the returning policy won't be applicable to the purchased product. firstname.lastname@example.org is a mail provided by the jdsports.co.uk to customers regarding any queries related to their website and products.
Our Company will be dealing in sports equipments, sports clothes, sports accessories and also make available online exercise videos and e-books in the download format for its signed up users (registered users). All brands and exercise equipments, sport clothes will be available under one website. The range of products will be much more than other competitors which will customers to get all the products under one website. "Products at our doorstep" will be advertised on our website above purchase of £25 much less than any other competitor. A dedicated page will be provided to customers for any queries regarding shopping and products. Secured network will be used (https) for any kind of transaction and security of the customer information database. The warranty policy will be active only till 11 days from the day of purchase with no money back, but new product will be given in exchange to that product. Heavy orders will be given special discounts and a free home delivery within the limited area. The uniqueness of our website will be the proper division of the products under their brand name, which will help customers in finding their stuffs more easily than any other website. Fashion plays an important role in UK therefore fashion updates will be done on the website regarding new equipments and clothes and many more products.
Company name & Intellectual property:
The name of our website is "sportsworld.co.uk". This name has been selected since the name clearly describes the motto of the company in related to sports and deals in sports equipments and related products. The company will be dealing in sports equipments, exercise products, sports clothes and other sports accessories. According to the UK legislation laws and regulation this name is valid as checked on 07th March 2010. Some important documents regarding the company should be submitted for registration of company in name of sportingworld.co.uk.
- Memorandum of Association: All information regarding the company should be given along with registered office location.
- Articles of association: All details regarding the company. One investor can be director of the company unless everyone decided to be stakeholder of the company together. Graduates can also choose to be "Separate legal personality", under which company will not be entitled to any legal issues.
- Form 10: This form is about director of the company and his details and information about the registered company. If a shop will be open in the near future then it will consist of the address of the shop and the registered office.
- Form 12: The undertaking taken from the company that they will abide by the laws of the United Kingdom under companies Act. All the requirements should be fulfilled before undertaking this form.
Domain name issues:
URL for the company would be www.sportsworld.co.uk. After registration and payment of the initial amount of fees names are granted for the company. The domain name system was first introduced in January, 1985. The .com, co.uk, co. in, co.au all under Top level Domain also known as TLD's. They are also subdivided into Secondary level Domains also known as SLD's. Nominet is the authorizing agent which looks after the registration and allocation of the domain name in United Kingdom. The issues and concerns related to DNS are looked after ICANN (The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers). This corporation governs the issuing of the domain names to the company. The name by itself tells us the kind of business of the company. All sporting equipments will be made available in www.sportsworld.co.uk. Customers won't have to try very hard to find out this site as, if a customer searches out for sportingworld.co.uk in Google while typing the first 5 letters customer would be able to see this site on the Google search bar.
Above is the Trademark Logo for Sportsworld.co.uk. This is the unique logo which has been created considering the name of the website. The Trademark logo for each company should be different which is considered the first point in the Trade Marks Act 1994. The Trade mark is the image by which customers recognizes the company. This logo can be used by sportsworld.co.uk if they put shop in real world market. There can be many issues if any other company tries to copy the same logo of any other company, the company copying the logo would be entitled to legal actions. There will be a large range of products consisting of sports equipments, exercise equipments, sports clothes, e-books, e-videos for exercise and health related books and journals.
Intellectual property is the rights of the company in business environment. IP is unique and varies from company to company. Other companies are restricted from using or copying rights of other companies without their prior consent. Any company overruling these regulations can face legal action from the other company. IP maintains a balance between the company and the society and also solves issues and concerns between them. The main aim of Intellectual property is to safeguard the uniqueness and creativity of the people and the company. If a organization tries to create monopoly through Intellectual property then their chances that the IP rights of the company can be taken away. There are many rights given to the company, one of them is Copyright right which is given to the companies to safeguard their own creativity and uniqueness of their website and information. The same IP right is also given to sportsworld.co.uk by which we can copyright our website images, contents and unique products which can and only be displayed on our website. No other company would be able to copy the images and contents from our website and use it for any reasons; prior notice should be send to sportsworld.co.uk for permission of use of contents. If any organization does copy any contents from sportsworld.co.uk they would be facing a legal action from sportsworld.co.uk. Digital rights management is useful for companies dealing in down-able formats products such as e-books, e-videos, and many more. The governing law which looks after the copyright rights and issues is Copyright and Related Rights Regulations 2003 (Regulation 24) and regarding designs and contents of the website governing body is Copyright, Designs and Patents Act, 1988 (CDPA , 1988). The Copyright and Rights in Databases Regulations 1997, protects the companies database which contains information regarding its customers and users, after every 15 years it has to be renewed. As explained earlier Trade Mark Act 1994, protects the logo of the company from been used by any other company.
Privacy & Data Protection:
Any company setting its business online or in real world has to take consideration of its security in order to safeguard its own personal data and customer information. Any company would face legal actions from a company or an customer if care is not taken against issues to security. The personal and customer information of an organization should always be safeguarded. Many tools and certifications are available for issues related to security. VeriSign is the most renowned and reliable security which will be obtained by any company dealing with online transactions and customer information database. Many tools are also available for making the transactions secure, but care should be taken in using this software's whether such software's are genuine or not. Customers are sometimes worried about moving ahead for online transactions if they don't see any VeriSign certification logo or any secured network logo, using this certifications will not only help customers in moving ahead in transactions but also helps companies in securing this database and network. Sometimes they are some loopholes which do get unknowingly such broken links in registration form, leakage in user information, company firewall and many more. Companies should take proper care while securing databases and online transactions modes. Any issues or concerns related to the transactions and leakage of customer information can create a bad image for the company in online business market. The governing body for customer database protection and online transactions is Data Protection Act (DPA) 1998. It undertakes all the issues and concerns by the customers related to the misuse of information and unsecured transactions modes. There are some principles which should be followed by any online company, they are:
- All the information related to business and customers should be processed carefully and with care.
- Customer information received by company should be analysed and processed according to Data Protection Act (DPA) 1998.
- If a company wishes to take any personal information from customer, company has to take prior consent from customer.
- Customer information should be safeguarded through secure networks and updates regarding information should be done through customers only.
- If a company keeps the information for some other reason they would have to face legal action from the governing body.
- Technical issues and concerns should be addressed by the company on time to time basis.
- The transfer of the customer information should take place in a company according to the regulations of European economic area.
- Customer information: Sportsworld.co.uk will be updating their customer information with prior consent to the customers. Statistical data will be collected on the basis of which sportsworld.co.uk management will be able to see the growth chart of the company on the basis of the number of the users using sportsworld.co.uk.
- Updating of the website: The information regarding your browser, IP address, the links through which you are routed are monitored and to improve the security of the website. No information will be passed to other companies or third party without customers consent.
- Security: The following website is registered under Data protection Act 1998, and care will be taken to safeguard the customer information according to the laws and regulations of the Act. Without prior consent to customer no information will be used for any purpose by the company. Although cookies will be used for user ids of the customer, customers can disable the cookies through their websites.
Advertising and marketing:
The above image is unique and it belongs to sportsworld.co.uk. The image clearly describes the main business of the company by displaying the different kind of sports equipments and states that sportsworld.co.uk deals in sports equipments. There some rules and regulations related to advertising by the company. The governing body for the business advertisements is controlled by CAP (committee of advertising practice) and ASA (Advertising Standard Authority) in United Kingdom. This 2 committee's look after the rules and regulation and makes timely changes to the regulation by which company advertisements won't hurt feelings of people. This image has only sports equipments and not any other people pictures or nude pictures which can be taken as anybody's Intellectual property.
There are many regulations by CAP and ASA out of which 2 main laws are:
- Comparative advertising: Many business organizations mislead advertisements for their benefits, which affects the people. European Union in 1997 passed some regulations which have to be followed by any business company. The regulation is called as Control of Misleading Advertisements (Comparative Advertisements) (Amendment) Regulations 2000.
- Contracting after advertising: Some companies make advertisements and close it soon, customers who enrol for such offers are in misery after the offer gets over, to avoid this kind of situation Consumer Protection (Distance Selling) Regulations 2000 helps customers to get a 7 days cancellation period granted from the company. Organizations should take care of not using any libellous or defamatory materials on their advertisements.
Graduates are thinking of some marketing strategy and some advise on their plans are as follows:
- E- Mails: Some companies do make use of technology for their marketing purpose such as sending emails to the customer for more information and opinions regarding their websites, some do make misuse of technology and gain more than required information from the customers. To avoid such kind of situation the Privacy and Electronic Communications (EC Directive) Regulations came on effect on 11 December 2003 which regulates the marketing through emails by the companies. Prior consent or permission should be taken from the customer before sending them mails. Company should give their full information on the email send to customers in case of future communications.
- Lottery: The idea of starting a monthly online lottery for the customers is also beneficial for the company, but to start this kind of lottery offers to the customer's sportsworld.co.uk has to abide by the regulations of Lotteries and Amusements Act 1976. Sportsworld.co.uk will be publishing that that winner will be purely based on chance and a small amount of fees will also be charged for playing online lottery on soortsworld.co.uk. Since its gambling only above age 18 candidates will be allowed to play for the online lottery.
Professionalism and ethics:
Professionalism is a part of any organization or business. Professionalism does not only mean coming to work daily but it's with what level of dedication you do your work or you provide services to the clients or customers. Considering for sportsworld.co.uk professionalism plays an important role in the company where recruitment of the employees will be done purely on the basis of professionalism. Sportsworld.co.uk is a internet based company so professionals with a proven background in working in internet related issues and dedicated professionals will be selected to work for sporsworld.co.uk. Considering the computing level business British Computing Service (BCS) is the governing body which set out regulations for the professionals related to information technology. Companies should take care that while recruiting for organization caste, race, and language should not come as a barrier in professionalism.
Ethics is described as the rules and principles of the company. Ethical issues and concerns should be taken care by the management of the company. Company's image and reputation can be affected by ethical issues. The relation between the company-employees-customers should be maintained by the management of the company. Some company's advertisements do create some ethical issues and concerns which can be harmful for company's image. There are some of the ethical issues and concerns which should be taken care while developing a business organization:
- Every business organization has its own pans and strategies to attract customer and increase their overall profits. Customers shopping habits is the most adopted marketing strategy by many companies. This helps companies in building up their own database of their regular customers and less frequent customers by which they can create offers to both types of the customers. Sportsworld.co.uk will be targeting such customers on the basis of their shopping habits and will be offering special discounts to regular customers. This marketing would be done through sending email to the customers prior to their consent and after getting permission information will be gathered.
- Companies indulging in activities of making sports equipments by cheap labours from other countries are clearly unethical approach from the company. Sportsworld.co.uk will not be engaging itself in doing such unethical activities by transporting cheap products from other countries. These cheap products will not affect health of the athletes but also create a risk for customers using the products. This unethical approach by the company will ruin the image of the company in business market.
- Rumours are part of business developed by rival companies to degrade the other companies. Sportsworld.co.uk will be tackling such rumours by taking a special investigation on the company and their related products which will be displayed by sportsworld.co.uk.Sportsworld.co.uk will be taking care in such situations of rumours.
- Organizations do have to monitor their employee's because of any theft or misuse of any office facility. Monitoring of employees helps in avoiding tense situations in the office premises. Care should be taken of not implementing CCTV's in personal areas such as dressing room, toilets. Implementing CCTV's in such place will affect the relationship between management and employees. Sportsworld.co.uk will take care of such unethical issues that should not be implemented in the office.
Advice on Online Medical Services
Advice on medical service will be a special option provided by the sportsworld.co.uk. This service will be available to all athletes and other customers who will be registering for a special membership consulting option. Consulting will be done by the specialized doctors. The doctor registration number will be displayed in the consultation window online. These doctors will be registered under British Medical Association and General Medical Council of United Kingdom. URAC (Utilization Review Accreditation Commission) is a committee which looks after the services given by the companies to customers; its main aim is to improve the health management system in the world. Sportsworld.co.uk will be obtaining accreditation from URAC. Doctors will be busy in their profession while serving to other patients in their own clinic, so a allocated time will be provided to the athletes for consultation on the minor issues related to health. Another accreditation is HON (Health On the Net Foundation) which helps in improving standard of the consultation given to athletes and other customers. Selling medical drugs prescribed by the doctors will be available on sportsworld.co.uk which can be ordered directly from the website. Sportsworld.co.uk will abide by the regulations of Royal Pharmaceutical Society of Great Britain(RPSGB) for selling medical drugs online. Dedicated page will be displaying all information regarding medical services, medical drugs, timings for consultation and all other information regarding accreditations and regulation followed by sportsworld.co.uk. Selling cheap drugs will be an unethical approach by any company dealing in medical services. Selling these cheap drugs to athletes can create adverse health effects on customers and athletes. Sportsworld.co.uk will not be involving in selling these cheap drugs to athletes.
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