Investigating a Transactional Website (

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Kamran Adnan        Transactional Website        Unit 2: The Digital Economy


By Kamran Adnan

Transactional Websites

A transactional website is one that allows visitors to buy goods or services online and also pay for them online.  The most common type of transactional websites offer goods such as books, electronics, and food. However there are also websites that offer other type of goods and services such as travelling tickets, downloadable games/software or online movies.

In most cases these websites were created by large companies and supermarket chains, whereas there are also some where the general public can sell their own goods. Examples for this are and

My Transactional Website (LatestDVD9)

The transactional website that I have chosen to investigate is This is a website that sells a variety of movies on DVDs. The website sells only movies on DVDs including mainly Hollywood and also a few Bollywood movies. It is a very popular DVD selling website because customers can find almost every Hollywood movie they are looking for, no matter how old it is. There are even movies available that came out more than 65 years ago.


As the name of the website tells it, its purpose is mainly to sell DVDs. The website is to sell the latest films that have just come out in cinemas on DVDs and sell these mainly in the United States. However in the FAQs it is written that the website also sells across the world to other countries, considering the postage charges.

Nature of the Business

This business only sells its products online and does not have any store or sell via any high street shops in the UK or around the world. This is a British company, but it sells its products worldwide. The customer however has to bear in mind the shipping costs of the DVD(s). As I could not find enough detail about the website’s business itself, I am not able to tell enough about the nature of the business.

Structure and Navigation

Site Structure

The website is structured in a very simple way. From the main homepage there are the further five subpages, which you can see in the screenshot below. These pages are subordinated to the homepage. When going to a DVD, this opens a new page that shows only the DVD and its information. Using this navigation bar customers can mainly find out information about the purchase of DVDs or find the most popular DVDs of the week.

The flow Diagram below also visually presents the way the website is structured. As you can see, there are five sections, which are all subbed underneath the Homepage.

There is always a search facility at the top of each page that has the logo and a few text boxes, where the search criteria can be entered to find a movie according to the title, main actors, or the Director of the movie. This facility is available on every page, which makes it very easy to search for movies without having to look for a search box.

I have also tested the search facility and found out that it works very impressively well. For example I typed in Tom Cruise in the Starring part (actor) to find films where he starred in. The results were very impressively positive, because they gave me a total of 22 movies, which included all the latest movies of him. The image below shows the results of my search.

The problem however occurred if you typed the name or wrong. The search machine was not able to correct the name to the right one. I tested it by typing in Tom Criuse in the Starring section, but all what came up was a text saying Sorry, no matches DVD were found. Therefore this means that a customer would always have to enter the name of the movie or actors/directors correctly without any righting mistake, or they would not be able to find the video on that website.


Ease of Navigation

As I have shown before there is that navigation bar on top of every page, which redirects you to the main information pages you would like to know about, including contacting the business and shipping and order details as well as frequently asked questions.

However, using this navigation bar you can not look for films you want to buy, apart from the top 20 films of the week. For finding a film you would need to use the search facility at the top (as shown on the right). This makes it easy to find a movie by entering the title, actor or director details of the movie and finally clicking on Go. Below I have shown a screenshot  the categories, by which films can be found.

Using the navigation bar it also makes it very easy to go return to the Homepage by clicking on the HOME button. This is available on every page, giving customers always the possibility of going back to the main page. A site map however is not available on this website.

Type and Range of Products

The range of products that are available on this website are (as mentioned before) only movies on DVDs. The majority of its movies are Hollywood; however there are also movies from other film industries available such as Bollywood, and Cinemas of other countries. The DVDs come in a DVD sleeve, which also protects the disk from damage. The reason why the company uses these and not DVD cases, is that this reduces the weight of the product and thus the shipping costs are reduced significantly.

There are pictures available of the DVD front covers only. This is because this is the way a movie is identified. Therefore there are no 360˚ views because this would be pointless as the main product is only a DVD disk, where only the movie is important. Therefore there are only 2D images of the front cover.

The overall product description is very detailed and provides customers with a lot of information about the film. The fields that are shown for the movies are Title, Starring (actors), Director, Category, Number of Discs, Audio/Video Quality, Format/Coding, Subtitle, and Price. The image on the left shows an example of how the movie info for a certain film looks like.

Furthermore there is a short synopsis (a summary) available for each movie. This allows customers to read what the movie is all about and whether it is worth buying and watching the movie or not. The synopsis is very important because otherwise the customers would have to go to other movie websites to read the synopsis of the film, which would make this website less easy to use and it might cause less customers to buy the DVD.

Reviews are not available on this website, but they can be found on other websites that deal with movie reviews. This is because it is not LatestDVD9, who is responsible for the interest level and quality of the film. The company however makes itself responsible for a good video quality. For this there are overall feedbacks from various customers. These are shown on the homepage in a small window on the right. Many customers have given feedback to the company, which can be found on their website.

On this transactional website you cannot see what other customers also bought. This is mainly because in order to buy a product you do not have to create an account or register. You only need to give your details. It is only possible to see what other customers also bought if there were usernames for every customer, which would allow others to see what each customer bought from the website. Furthermore there is the problem that this would not be that helpful in this case as different people prefer different kinds of movies.

There is a star rating system available on the website for each DVD. This rating is out of a maximum of 5 stars. This system tells customers how the Audio and Video quality of the DVD is. The ratings however are not done by customers who purchased the product, but they were set by the business itself. They set an average quality for the audio and video of the movie and put it into a star rating system. In the image on the left you can see how this looks like, where I put the ring around the rating.

 In most cases the DVD is available and will be shipped to the customer in time. However according to the company the ordered DVD is sometimes not available and therefore the delivery could get delayed. The customer however cannot see whether the DVD is in stock before purchasing it. He can only find out about this by E-Mails that might arrive days later.

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According to the website the delivery can take on average between 5 and 14 working days.The delivery arrives in the general post and therefore arrives mostly in the morning. The delivery can however also be delayed as mentioned above if the requested DVD is not available and not in stock.

The delivery costs for the DVDs are £5.50 for the first item and further £1.25 for every subsequent item. This cost includes the processing fees and the delivery insurance. This is the same for every DVD available on the website.

Suggestions for Improvements

I think that ...

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Here's what a teacher thought of this essay

Summary: Overall this is a comprehensive and well constructed piece of work. There is plenty of evidence to show that a lot of research has gone into this and also that the writer has spent time considering the site carefully under the different headings. Some suggestions for improvement: 1. Vocabulary - as mentioned in the document, the use of specialist subject vocabulary, which does not need to be overly complex words, just accurate and relevant ones, is important to demonstrate to the examiner that the candidate has a good grip of the content and subject matter. A really good starting point is to find the relevant point in the specification about the topic and the list the words that the awarding body have used in their own text. These are the words/phrases that have been deemed relevant so use them! In addition there are words such as "genre" that are not related to ICT but to the subject which also help to add credibility. 2. Quality of writing - at times the student has written things which are not in keeping with the quality of the rest of the document for example, "the website is really boring". This does not impart anything useful or really give any justifiable review of the website and is really just a throw away comment. If these are removed on a final read through then this would help. 3. Evaluation - this is, for the most part, executed effectively. However, there are times when a little more structure would help in the form of some evaluation criteria or some objectives. These are referred to at times but more often would improve the quality. This said, attempts at evaluation have been largely successful. This is a very high 4 star piece of work and with attention to the 3 points above would be 5 stars.