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    Effectiveness of Supply Chain Components

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    Analyze a website of your choice for the effectiveness of the supply chain components - discuss the support provided to the customer during and after the purchase; discuss the fulfillment process (includes shipping) and the support after the purchase (ongoing technical support, handling returns etc). Please do not use one of the websites that is covered in your learning team project. You are free to choose another site within the same industry of course.

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    Please see the attached file.

    Review of www.cdnow.com
    1. Product range and offerings - www.cdnow.com, is a western collection. It has the following music categories:
    a) Rock
    b) Alternative/Indie
    c) Pop/R&B
    d) Hip-Hop
    e) Electronic/Dance
    f) Jazz
    g) Country, etc

    The geographical reach of www.cdnow.com is much vaster. It has special division for labelled as "around the world". It has specific links for shipping to Europe and Middle East. Further, the label also has link to shipping for Japanese people. One can say that that www.cdnow.com caters to broad western music and offers product ranges from CDs to customised CDs. Further; it has a link for sales and specials. Also, it gives soundtracks and downloads. On September 1, 2000, Bertelsmann AG, the third largest media company in the world, acquired CDNOW. CDNOW is part of the Bertelsmann e-Commerce Group (BeCG). It also has an alliance with Amazon.com, one of the largest e-commerce firm in the world. Apart from music, it also provides movies in DVDs. The product and service range of CDNOW are the following:
     More than 500,000 music and entertainment-related products, including CDs, vinyl, cassettes, music videos, movies, DVDs, electronics, digital music downloads, and special product offerings
     Custom CDs where the customer picks their own songs
     More than 500,000 sound samples
     Exclusive interviews and reviews from CDNOW's award-winning editorial staff
     CDNOW's allstar™ daily news, artist and album reviews, feature stories, and guides to music genres
     Interactive media content, including CDNOW Radio and CDNOW WebSessions.
     Gift center and registry, wish lists and personal recommendations
     Strong network of music portals through CDNOW's strategic alliances and vast affiliate marketing programs
     Excellent customer service to support billing and delivery and answer questions about movies and music
     Site navigation in eight languages

    2. Affiliate programs and co-branding - It has a special link that covers the entire affiliate network. The following are the affiliate network:
    a) Cosmic Sign In
    b) C2 Sign In
    These programs help to get the following:
    • Earn commissions for every sale made through links on one's own site through CDNOW link.
    • Enhance Web site's content by providing hard-to-find albums, sound samples, music reviews, contest, etc.
    • Increase the web traffic of one's own site
    One has to have a personal homepage, fan or band site or a non-commercial community page. By becoming a member of Cosmic sign in member; one gets the following advantages:
    • Earn up to 15% for all sales made through Cosmic Credit links.
    • Apply earnings towards CDNOW purchases.
    • WIN free promotional items from favourite bands.
    • Increase traffic to Web site by offering current music information to visitors. Cosmic Members are given the opportunity to be featured at CDNOW on artist pages, in feature articles and more.
    • CDNOW Today - an exclusive interactive content showcase that contains fresh CDNOW editorial content, allstar news articles, as well as top seller lists and information on current sales and specials.
    • Manufacture own CDs with Furnace MFG.
    • Save on a subscription to CMJ New Music Monthly. Find out how to get your releases on CDNOW.
    So, the affiliate program allows a person to set up links to CDNOW on one's Web site and earn CDNOW store credit whenever one link leads to a sale. There is absolutely no cost to join the program. In this scheme, if one's site generates sales for CDNOW by the link providing on other site, then CDNOW credits 7% of its store sales to the member's account. Further, there is monthly bonus based on the amount of sales generated. The Cosmic Credit Program uses CDNOW's Buyweb tracking technology to track visits and sales produced by those visits (called "sessions") at CDNOW.

    Co-branding, advertising and sponsorship - CDNOW claims to be one of the most powerful and recognizable online entertainment brands. They offer our audience an unprecedented selection of music products, artist news and reviews, audio and video clips, and community -- all of which can be personalized to suit various lifestyles. By incorporating an advanced, customized retention email program with unrivalled site ...

    Solution Summary

    This solution analyzes the 'cdnow' website on the effectiveness of the supply chain components by touching on the product range and offerings, affiliate programs and co-branding, gift centre policies, personal CD offerings and limitations, shopping and delivery costs for worldwide customers, pricing, search engine, payment modes, free initial introductory offerings, ease of use and time taken to purchase, customer testimonials and revenue model.