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What the Customers See

The first point of contact for customers doing business on the Net is content: the information, catalog, brochures, and so on available on a Web site. For most Web sites, compelling content that draws in customers and encourages repeat visits is essential, and commerce sites are no exception. The precise look and feel of Web content is a creative and marketing design issue, but the design of Internet commerce systems requires a general understanding of the mechanisms of Web content and the tools available to create and manage it. This chapter provides an overview of Web content technology and how it works with Internet commerce.

The technology of content creation and management has evolved rapidly over the past few years. Specialized tools for creating Web content have become widely available, and many other programs have been adapted to generate output for the Web as well. In addition, as more and more people throughout companies have become involved in producing Web sites, it has become harder simply to manage all of the content being created. This problem has led to the development and deployment of sophisticated content management systems that help take documents and other materials from conception to delivery on the Web.


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