WO2009128785A1 - Graphical user interface, online advertising method and method of determining online advertising fees - Google Patents

Graphical user interface, online advertising method and method of determining online advertising fees Download PDF

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Publication number
WO2009128785A1
WO2009128785A1 PCT/SG2008/000126 SG2008000126W WO2009128785A1 WO 2009128785 A1 WO2009128785 A1 WO 2009128785A1 SG 2008000126 W SG2008000126 W SG 2008000126W WO 2009128785 A1 WO2009128785 A1 WO 2009128785A1
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WIPO (PCT)
Prior art keywords
user
organiser
information
region
website
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Application number
PCT/SG2008/000126
Other languages
French (fr)
Inventor
Samuel Cranage Baker
Chuen Yang Jeremy Lee
Original Assignee
Streetsine Pte Ltd.
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Publication date
Application filed by Streetsine Pte Ltd. filed Critical Streetsine Pte Ltd.
Priority to PCT/SG2008/000126 priority Critical patent/WO2009128785A1/en
Publication of WO2009128785A1 publication Critical patent/WO2009128785A1/en

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    • GPHYSICS
    • G06COMPUTING; CALCULATING; COUNTING
    • G06QDATA PROCESSING SYSTEMS OR METHODS, SPECIALLY ADAPTED FOR ADMINISTRATIVE, COMMERCIAL, FINANCIAL, MANAGERIAL, SUPERVISORY OR FORECASTING PURPOSES; SYSTEMS OR METHODS SPECIALLY ADAPTED FOR ADMINISTRATIVE, COMMERCIAL, FINANCIAL, MANAGERIAL, SUPERVISORY OR FORECASTING PURPOSES, NOT OTHERWISE PROVIDED FOR
    • G06Q30/00Commerce, e.g. shopping or e-commerce
    • G06Q30/02Marketing, e.g. market research and analysis, surveying, promotions, advertising, buyer profiling, customer management or rewards; Price estimation or determination

Abstract

Graphical user interface (130), online advertising method and method of determining online advertising fees are disclosed herein. In a described embodiment, a website (100) is provided that includes an organiser panel (130). The main page of the website (100) and the organiser panel (130) includes a plurality of different types of actions (108,121,136,138,134) that are selectable by a user. The selections by the user are tracked and the amount of advertising fee to charge the advertiser of a product or service is based on these tracked actions. The preferred embodiment also discloses hiding information about the seller that would enable the user to contact the seller until certain action is taken by the user in order to protect the interest of the website provider.

Description

GRAPHICAL USER INTERFACE, ONLINE ADVERTISING METHOD AND METHOD OF DETERMINING ONLINE ADVERTISING FEES

BACKGROUND AND FIELD OF INVENTION

This invention relates to a graphical user interface, online advertising method and method of determining online advertising fees.

The World Wide Web and the internet has become an indispensable part of everyone's lives and online advertising has seen tremendous growth in recent years. A key factor of the growth of the internet is its rich resource of information that is available, in general, free of charge. Internet users have been accustomed to obtaining free information from the World Wide Web. As a result, subscription-based models for suppliers of information on the internet find it difficult to charge users to use their information and this presents challenges for suppliers of the information to generate income in return for providing information on the internet.

One way for suppliers of information Jo generate revenue is to allow advertisement on their websites and various online advertising pricing models have been proposed for the supplier to charge the advertiser such as lead generation based on counting impressions or clicks. However, such measurements do not distinguish between mere surfers and potential buyers and is also subject to fraud. It is an object of this invention to provide a graphical user interface, online advertising method and method of determining online advertising fees which addresses at least one of the disadvantages of the prior art and/or to provide the public with a useful choice.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

In a first aspect, there is provided a method of determining fees for advertising a product or service on a website, the website having a plurality of different types of actions selectable by a user of the website in relation to a product or service listed on the website, the method comprising the steps of: tracking the different types of actions selected by the user in relation to the product or service; each different action representing an advertisement fee; and obtaining an amount to charge the advertiser of the selected product or service based on the tracked actions.

Since different types of action can be used to infer different interest levels of the users, tracking the types of actions performed by the user may be used to evaluate value of lead generated. Thus, the fees for advertising the product or service may be based on the types of actions performed by the user. This provides a way of justifying the advertising fees to the advertiser. Each different action may represent a different advertisement fee. Advantageously, the method further comprises the steps of displaying information about the product or service but hiding information that would enable the user to contact the advertiser. This ensures that the website service provider, acting as a middleman, is not bypassed until a certain action is taken that would validate the buyer-seller link which can be used by the service provider to charge the advertisers for the lead generation.

Preferably, the method further comprises the steps of receiving an instruction from the user to contact the advertiser, contacting the advertiser; and providing details of the user to the advertiser.

The method may comprise the step of displaying the hidden information to the user.

At an appropriate time, the method may further comprise the steps of debiting the advertiser's account with the obtained amount.

Advantageously, the method may further comprises the step of providing an organiser region having an identifier tab, the organiser region being configured to be selectively slidable in and out of an edge of the website between a first position in which the content of the organiser is displayed for viewing by a user together with a portion of the main region, and a second position in which the content of the organiser region is visually hidden and the identifier tab is visible to the user. The website may comprise a plurality of selectable products or services, and the method may comprise the step of, upon selection by a user, dynamically populating the organiser region with information regarding the selected product or service.

Preferably, the organiser region includes hyperlinks which link back to a main page of the website. The organiser region may also include an editable region for addiηg text by the user.

In a second aspect, there is provided an online advertising method for a website, the website providing information regarding a product or service being offered but without providing information that would enable a user to contact the advertiser of the product or service, the method comprising the steps of: receiving instructions from the user to contact the advertiser; the instructions including information about the user; providing the user's information to the advertiser; and thereafter, providing information to contact the advertiser to the user.

The second aspect is particularly useful for final transactions that do not occur on the website i.e. the exchange of the products or services and money or money worth is carried out directly between the advertiser and the buyer (or user of the website). These products may be sale or rent of properties of tangible goods where the goods are supplied by the advertiser directly to the buyer and the buyer pays the advertiser directly. The website is merely acting as a middleman and hiding the information that would enable the user to contact the advertiser is advantageous since this prevents the user from going directly to the advertiser and cutting out the middleman. Thus, once the user is able to provide information to the advertiser, this provides an excellent validation link between the advertiser and the user and in return, the website provides information to the user so that the user and advertiser may be linked up. This validation link thus provides the evidence of the usefulness of advertising on the website and which justifies the website provider to bill the advertiser an advertising fee.

In a third aspect, there is provided graphical user interface for a website, having a main region for displaying information and for a user to select information on the website, and an organiser region having an identifier tab, the organiser region being configured to be selectively slidable in and out of an edge of the main region between a first position in which the content of the organiser is displayed for viewing by a user together with a portion of the main region, and a second position in which the content of the organiser region is visually hidden and the identifier tab is visible to the user, wherein the organiser region is configured to be dynamically populated, in either the first or the second position, with information corresponding to the user selected information from the main region. In a fourth aspect, there is provided a method of displaying a graphical user interface for a website, the method comprising: (i) providing a main region for displaying information and for a user to select information on the website, ii) providing an organiser region having an identifier tab, the organiser region being configured to be selectively slidable in and out of an edge of the main region between a first position in which the content of the organiser is displayed for viewing by a user together with a portion of the main region, and a second position in which the content of the organiser region is visually hidden and the identifier tab is visible to the user; and (iii) dynamically populating the organiser region with information corresponding to the user selected information from the main region in either positions of the organiser region.

The invention also relates to a system having the graphical user interface and/or configured to perform the methods according to the above mentioned aspects.

Online commerce has changed the way people sell and buy things and "insiders" are now putting information up on the internet that is only available to them. For example, in the case of property transactions, these insiders might be realtors, property investment analysts, property companies, etc. In a traditional commerce (or non-Internet environment), an insider can use the exclusive information to his advantage because he is the sole holder of that information. If he has information that a client needs directly, he can charge a direct fee. If he does not have the information that a client needs but knows someone who does, he can refer. He might charge a referral fee to the client or get a lead generation fee from the seller or he might get some quid pro quo from the seller. The classic match-maker is a realtor or an investment banker. They use their inside knowledge to bring buyers and sellers together and charge fees.

The Internet gives people access to information that they were not positioned to be able to intercept (i.e., geographic hurdles, access hurdles, time hurdles, cost, etc.). What the described embodiment proposes is to eliminate these hurdles of geography, access, time, and cost and still aims to generate revenue in a non-convention way. The challenge is how to balance the advantages and the disadvantages of the Internet and maximise the potential of the internet. The advantages of the internet include being able to reach an extremely large audience with an extremely large amount of information. The disadvantages is that we do not know who is the audience and to get people to the site (or drive traffic to the site, as the expression goes), it is inevitable to "give things away for free", which is an inherent character of the internet. Thus, the challenge is to put that information out there for free so buyers and sellers are motivated or attracted to use the described embodiment as an information marketplace, and then charge (i.e., lead generation or match-making fee or referral fee) for bringing the buyers and sellers together. Unless there is a mechanism, like the organiser panel proposed, a user (i.e. buyer) would go to a website, obtain the information (i.e., information concerning a sale) that this house is for sale and contact the seller directly, thus bypassing the service provider of the website that brought the seller and buyer together. Thus, an aspect is to hide the information that would enable the buyer and seller to contact each other until the service provider is paid a fee for providing the "match-making" service.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

An embodiment of the invention will now be described, by way of example, with reference to the accompanying drawings in which,

Figure 1 is a screen dump of a website for listing of properties and businesses and which includes a control panel and a Singapore map, according to a preferred embodiment of the invention;

Figure 2 is a screen dump of the website of Figure 1 that shows the results of a property search;

Figure 3 is a screen dump of the website of Figure 2 that shows the location of a selected property on the Singapore map;

Figure 4 is a screen dump of the website of Figure 2 with "Add to Organiser" fields selected to populate an organiser panel with the selected information; Figure 5 shows an example of the organiser panel when the organiser panel slides out from the website of Figure 4;

Figure 6 is a flow diagram illustrating the flow of information flows between an internet browser on a PC that is used to browse the website of Figure 1 , and a server that is hosting the website of Figure 2, when a search request is made at the control panel;

Figure 7 is a flow diagram illustrating the flow of information between the internet browser and the server of Figure 6 when a user selects an item to add to the organiser panel of Figure 5; Figure 8 is a flow diagram illustrating the flow of information between the internet browser and the server of Figure 6 when a user performs certain actions to the organiser panel of Figure 5.

Figure 9 is a flow diagram illustrating the flow of information when a user selects other functions provided by the organiser panel of Figure 5; Figure 10 is a chart showing the results of qualifying the users of the website of Figure 1 by tracking their actions and

Figure 11 illustrates the information flow between a seller of a property and a prospective buyer according to the preferred embodiment of this invention.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT

Figure 1 is a screen dump (with certain superfluous details omitted) of a website 100 for listing properties and businesses in a country and in this embodiment, the country is Singapore. At the heart of the main page of the website 100 is a Singapore map 102 and on the left hand side of the website 100, is a control panel 104 which has a number of graphical icons 106 for a user to interact with the website 100.

To advertise a property listing on the website 100, a seller (or the advertiser, which could be the owner of the property or a property agent marketing the property on behalf of the owner) registers with the website and opens an account at step (a) as shown in Figure 11. During this process, the seller's identification is validated and this also includes requesting the seller to include his mobile number and the reason for this will be apparent later.

When the account opening is completed, at step (b) of Figure 11 , the seller credits his account with a minimum value $Z, say $50. Thereafter, when the seller uploads a listing for the property that he wants to sell, a placement fee, and in this embodiment $5 is deducted from his account. For the purpose of illustration, let's assume that this is the seller for a property at "Lorong Chuan" of a particular size and number of rooms. The property listing and the website 100 is stored or hosted in a server 200 administered by a service provider of the website 100. The deduction of the placement fee grants the seller the right to display his listing on the site for a period of time and in this case, 2 weeks. The listing is thus available for viewing by users of the website 100. When a user enters the website 100 from a remote PC using the PC's internet browser 300, the user is able to perform a search using the graphical icon "Property Search" 108 which brings about a "Property Listings Search" menu 110 as shown in Figure 2. The menu 110 allows users to input their search criteria for example, whether the user is looking for properties to buy or rent 111, the type of housing 112 that the user is looking for, the geographical location in that country 114, number of bedrooms required 116 and the size of the property 118. After the user inputs the criteria, the search results are provided in the results portion 120 and this provides a listing of the properties 122 that satisfy the search criteria. From Figure 2, the first entry 122a relates to the "Lorong Chuan" property that is put up for sale, among other properties. As shown in step (d) of Figure 11 , the seller is not charged when a user views the listing. Likewise, the seller is not charged at step (e) of Figure 11 , if the user views other listings from the search results or performs other comparative analysis or other research.

Selecting the first entry 122a (i.e. clicking on the hyperlink "Lorong Chuan" under "Address" 124) illustrates the location of this property 122 with reference to the Singapore map 102, as shown in Figure 3 (appropriately enlarged). The location of the property 122 is marked on the map 102 using a marker 124 so that the user is aware of the location in Singapore, together with a message box 126 providing brief descriptions about the property and which also offers other functions. Further, there are two concentric circles 128 of different radii and the smaller circle represents a 1 km radius and the larger one represents a 2 km radius from the property location and thus, the user has a cognitive connection between the selected property and the amenities or other places of interest within the vicinity of the selected property.

The website 100 further includes another graphical user interface in the form of an organiser panel 130 that includes an identifier tab 132 that protrudes out of an edge of the website 100 as shown in Figure 2 and the function of the organiser panel 130 will be more apparent later.

Figure 6 shows the information flow when a user conducts the above discussed search. At step 1 , the search request is transmitted to the server 200. The server 200 receives the search request and generates the search results at step 3 for the internet browser 300. At step 4, the internet browser 300 receives the search results from the server 200 and determines at step 5 if any of the search results are organiser-enabled. If any of the search results are not organiser- enabled, the internet browser 300 displays that search results in a normal way. For those search results that are organizer-enabled, the internet browser renders a link option for the user to add to the organizer panel 130 at step 6 of Figure 6. An example of how the link options are presented can be seen in Figure 2 under the sub-heading "Add to Organiser" 121 , and it would be appreciated that details of the property are shown but not the sellers' details.

At this stage, it is very difficult to determine the interest of the user i.e. whether the user is a genuine buyer or merely surfing for general information but this information is tracked by the server 300 (in view of the search request). Even if the user reviews the entire search results, this may show a little more interest but hard to conclude whether the user is a legitimate buyer and the interaction between the website and the user is tracked by a software application residing at the server 300.

After reviewing the search results and if the user is interested to proceed further, at step 7 of Figure 7, the user clicks on the link option "Add" 121 that corresponds to the listing that he is interested in and the internet browser 300 determines the outline of the container that is holding the information of interest at step 8. This outline is used in step 9 to render an animation showing the entire data container moving across the display screen into the organiser panel 130. in this way, there is visual confirmation that the selection is being processed and the link option "add" changes to "Open" at step 10 of Figure 7 signifying that the selected information has been mapped to the organiser panel 130. The change of the link option is illustrated in Figure 4 (compare with Figure 3, under "Add to Organiser"). Again, the server 200 tracks all these activities are tracked by the server 200.

The placing of information in the organiser panel 130 is illustrated at step (f) of Figure 11.

For the search results that are not organiser-enabled, these will be simply without the "Add" field under "Add to Organiser" which means that it is not possible for the user to add the corresponding information to the organiser panel. 130. This is an option but in the preferred embodiment, all the sellers' listings are organiser-enabled.

Referring to Figure 8, when the user wants to view the organiser panel 130, he clicks on the organiser tab 132 at step 11 and at step 12, the organiser panel 130 slides out from a hidden state (with the organiser tab. showing as shown in Figure 2) to a visible state (see Figure 5) and the internet browser performs a number of actions to determine what to display for the user to view the contents of the organiser panel 130.

From Figure 5, it would be appreciated that the organiser panel 130 is categorised into different categories that correspond to the type of information available on the control panel 104 for a user to select. In this embodiment, the categories are "Property Listings" 130a that corresponds to "Property Search" 108 in the control panel 104, "Comparable Transacted Properties" 130b to Historical Property prices option; "Business Listings" 130c that corresponds to "Business Search" in the control panel 104, and "My Comments" 13Od which allows the user to input comments.

in operation 13, the internet browser detects the category of the data being added and notifies the server in operation 14. This allows the system to track which buyer/seller transaction pair was activated. In our example, the buyer- seller pair is a (property buyer-property seller) pair and the info will be under "Property Listing" category of an organizer-enabled info. Other examples of categories are "Business Listings" and "Company X Journal Research articles".

The internet browser 300 next determines whether part of the organizer data should be hidden from the buyer at this point (operation 15). If it is not required to be hidden, the information is displayed in its whole entirety within the organizer panel 130. If part of the information is to be hidden, then step 16 is executed.

In the organiser panel 130 of Figure 5, it should be apparent that details of the seller is hidden and is presented as an action link at step 16 of Figure 8 for the user to select and is revealed only if the user selects the action link. This is also when the contents of the organiser panel (together with any action link) are displayed for viewing by the user.

In the organiser panel 130 of Figure 5, the action links are configured as "Send Free SMS" (Short Messaging Service) under the field "Contact Seller" 134 which corresponds to each entry in the listing of "Property Listings" 130a. For example, if the user is interested in the first entry (i.e. the property at "Lorong Chuan"), then he would be motivated to find out more information (as opposed to a mere surfer of information) and inevitably, the user would want to contact the seller to find out more information about the listed property. Thus, at step 17 of Figure 8, the user clicks on "Send Free SMS" 134a that corresponds to the first entry and this triggers a reaction via the rendered action link. This action is a good indication of a genuine buyer and is tracked by the server 200 at step 18. The server 200 then responds with a prompt requesting the user to insert his contactable telephone number and when this information is received, the server 200 sends an SMS to the seller. It should be appreciated that by selectively hiding certain pieces of information, the system has actually enabled verification of the mobile of the buyer - therefore protecting the interests of the seller. This further qualifies the lead). Further, at step 19, the server 200 also returns the "hidden" information to the user which is the seller's contact number.

The above steps are shown in steps (g) and (h) in Figure 11 which shows that when the user contacts the seller, this deducts a lead generation fee, of $10 (Debit $Y in Figure 11 ), from the seller's account as shown in step (h) of Figure 11. The process has now validated the link between the buyer and the seller and ensured that the service provider of the website 100 is compensated for acting as the middleman that brings potential buyers and sellers together.

Of course, it is envisaged that the hidden information may be displayed prior to the sending the SMS to the seller. It is also envisaged that both may be carried out simultaneously.

The exchange of information between the user and seller is a good way of qualifying that the user is a genuine buyer. Figure 9, together with Figure 5, also illustrate other ways of how the website qualifies the users.

The organiser panel 130 includes a "save" icon 136 that allows the user to save the contents of the organiser panel 130 for future retrieval. When this function is activated, the server 200 prompts the user to register with the website 100 by submitting the user's personal particulars including a unique identifier. This unique identifier is then stored in association with the saved contents of the organiser panel 130 as shown in step 32. ). Information transferred and stored in the server 200 are (1 ) category of organizer information, (2) whether hidden information have been revealed, (3) the contents of the organizer panel itself, and (4) the user identifier.

The user has an option of subsequently retrieving the saved contents of the organizer panel subsequently as shown in step 33. For retrieval, the user needs to login to the website 100 using the user identifier which is sent to the server 200 which performs a database lookup at step 34. The information is retrieved at step 35 and returned to the browser for display at step 36. The displayed information would be exactly as the data that have been saved for example, as in Figure 5.

The user also has an option of exporting the contents of the organiser as a PDF by using the PDF icon 138 (see Figure 5). This allows the user to export the contents, saved the contents to a local hard drive and/or print the PDF document. In operation 37, the user chooses to export his organizer. Again, the user ID is sent to the server in operation 38 to identify the relevant organizer records. This information are formatted by the server in operation 39 and passed to the browser for download in operation 40. The user can subsequently print the exported organizer data, and/or save it to his local drive. Although not necessary, the use of the user ID allow the service provider to track which user has actually exported the contents of the organiser panel. By tracking the export function of the organizer, it may be possible to charge advertisers of the business listings a fee (since someone has added a business listing, eg. Restaurant xxx and printed out the contact details). Just like the property transaction, when the business owners are charged, the user's contact details may similarly be given to the restaurant for follow-up.

To further increase the usefulness of the export or printing function from the organiser panel 130, the entre website 100 prevents screen-scraping so as to encourage users to use the organiser panel. This achieves a win-win situation for both the service provider of the website 100 and the user since the user gets what he wants (exporting/printing the information via the organiser panel) and the service provider protects unauthorised copying. Further, saving, exporting or printing via the organiser panel makes it easier to track the actions of the user so that these actions can be measured and used to charge the advertisers of the information. The tracking of the user's actions is important since this provides an indication of the intent of the user that is used to qualify the users (i.e. potential buyers). For example, when a user enters the website 100 and starts to look at the Property Listings, this may infer some level of buyer interest but hard to determine, as the user could be a surfer. If the user proceeds to compare sellers' listings to other listings, this may show a little more interest, but it could be a seller doing research. As a result, it is still hard to distinguish between a surfer and a legitimate buyer.

When a user saves the contents of the organiser panel 130 for future retrieval and/or exports the contents out in PDF, these actions may be taken to mean an increased level of interest that the user intends to use the information to purchase something and thus a higher probability that the user is a genuine buyer. When the user chooses to "Contact Seller", this provides a stronger indication of the interest of the user and when an SMS is sent to the seller, there is validation of the link between the user (i.e. potential buyer) and the seller.

Depending on the pricing model, the seller could be debited upon initiating any of these actions, but the preferred model would be to debit the seller's account to charge the seller for the listing when the seller receives the SMS with the information of the buyer since this is when the link between buyer and seller is validated. Hiding certain information such as the seller's details is to protect the website's interest (or actually the owner of the site or supplier of the site information). This is particularly important because it is also satisfies the internet's tradition of free information to the general public while getting paid for lead generation (revenue diversification beyond advertising), and the hidden information prevents the user from cutting out the middleman (i.e. the owner of the website) until such time it is possible to establish a validation link between the potential buyer and the seller.

With the above information and inference, it is possible to qualify potential buyers by establishing categories of users based on their behaviour as shown in Figure 10. As explained earlier, the behaviour or actions of the users are tracked and such behaviours are construed as opportunities to infer different interest levels of the user. In the internet, where the user, seller and middleman are essentially anonymous, this hierarchy is achieved by inference. Thus, the more opportunities in website for the buyer to indicate interest, the better the inference and this inference is used to determine the amount of advertising fees to charge for the advertisement.

Referring to Figure 10, as the level or category of the qualified buyer improves and the likelihood to buy increases, the lead generation provided to the seller becomes more valuable, as the probability of closing this lead is greater. The exchange of information, i.e. contact information, between the user and the seller is a good way to qualify the user is a genuine buyer. A value is assigned to a lead that meets certain criteria which means that the website can justify its fees to the seller. The above price model can be dependent on both the level and category. Category example - Charge "property" category sellers $10 for every buyer lead. Charge "business" listing category sellers $1 for every export to PDF for the organizer. Level example - $10 Credits are deducted for every property buyer lead. Additional $1 credit is deducted for every export of the organizer which contains the seller's property details.

Thus, in view of the above, a price model is derived based on the different actions taken by the user when surfing the website 100 and using the organiser panel 130 such that the cost chargeable to the seller (or advertiser) is based on the type and/or number of actions performed by the user since different actions represents the different interest levels of the user. With the ability to measure the user's intent, one can run more robust marketing models. This also makes it easier to justify the fees to a seller if the commission is derived from the seller.

The table below provides a summary of the benefits of the features of the system according to the preferred embodiment.

Figure imgf000022_0001
Figure imgf000023_0001
Figure imgf000024_0001

The described embodiments should not be construed as limitative. For example, in the described embodiment, the system is configured to contact the advertiser using a SMS but this may be replaced by an e-mail, facsimile, telephonic communication etc. The described embodiment describes the various actions or functions being provided on the organiser panel 130 but this may not be necessary.

The use of the organiser panel 130 is merely preferred although it is envisaged that the selected information may be populated to a different webpage which is accessed via a hyperlink, similar to a "shopping cart". In the described embodiment, the sellers' contact details are hidden from the user until the user performs a certain action. However, the full address of the property may also be hidden to prevent the user from physically checking up the property without contacting the seller.

The described embodiment charges two fees to a seller or advertiser of the property - placement (or listing on the website 100 which is not linked to the organiser panel 130) and lead generation (when the user contacts the seller/advertiser). However, it is envisaged that, as the website 100 increases its reach, to also charge for placing information to the organiser panel 130. Similarly, performing certain actions within the organiser panel may lead to charges billed to the seller/advertiser and this is one area of possible expansion for the website.

In the described embodiment, all listings are organiser-enabled. However, the invention is flexible in that it may allow selectively enabling of the organiser in some cases but not in others. This also allows the provider of the website to differentiate between sellers by allowing some to opt out from being organiser- enabled.

In the described embodiment, in a bid to be more user-friendly and also to cultivate and promote the usage of the organizer panel 130, there is no need for a user to register with the service provider (i.e. no need to create an account) but this is a possibility. The described embodiment uses a seller listing properties as an example and other goods and/or services being offered for sale may also use the proposed price model. Further, instead of sellers posting listings, the system is also applicable to buyers in that the buyers are the ones posting listings and charged for the placement and/or lead generation when a seller (user of the website 100) contacts the buyers.

Having now fully described the invention, it should be apparent to one of ordinary skill in the art that many modifications can be made hereto without departing from the scope as claimed.

Claims

, 26 CLAIMS
1. A method of determining fees for advertising a product or service on a website, the website having a plurality of different types of actions selectable by a user of the website in relation to a product or service listed on the website, the method comprising the steps of: tracking the different types of actions selected by the user in relation to the product or service; each different action representing an advertisement fee; and obtaining an amount to charge the advertiser of the selected product or service based on the tracked actions.
2. A method according to claim 1 , further comprising the steps of displaying information about the product or service but hiding information that would enable the user to contact the advertiser.
3. A method according to claim 1 or 2, further comprising the steps of receiving an instruction from the user to contact the advertiser, contacting the advertiser; and providing details of the user to the advertiser.
4. A method according to claim 2 or 3, further comprising the step of displaying the hidden information to the user.
5. A method according to any of the preceding claims, further comprising the steps of debiting the advertiser's account with the obtained amount.
6. A method according to any preceding claim, further comprising the step of providing an organiser region having an identifier tab, the organiser region being configured to be selectively slidable in and out of an edge of the website between a first position in which the content of the organiser is displayed for viewing by a user together with a portion of the main region, and a second position in which the content of the organiser region is visually hidden and the identifier tab is visible to the user.
7. A method according to claim 6, wherein the website comprises a plurality of selectable products or services, the method comprising the step of, upon selection by a user, dynamically populating the organiser region with information regarding the selected product or service.
8. A method according to claim 6 or 7, wherein the organiser region includes hyperlinks which links back to a main page of the website.
9. A method according to any of claims 6 to 8, wherein the organiser region includes an editable region for adding text by the user.
10.An online advertising method for a website, the website providing information regarding a product or service being offered but hiding information that would enable a user to contact the advertiser of the product or service, the method comprising the steps of: receiving instructions from the user to contact the advertiser of the product or service, the instructions including information about the user; providing the user's information to the advertiser; and providing information about the advertiser to the user.
11.An online advertising method according to claim 1 , wherein the advertiser's information is provided to the buyer after the user's information is provided to the advertiser.
12. An online advertising method according to claim 10 or 11 , wherein the information about the advertiser provided to the user includes a mobile number of the advertiser.
13.An online advertising method according to any of claims 10 to 12, further comprising the step of sending a SMS to the advertiser, the SMS including the user's information.
14.An online advertising method according to any of claims 10 to 13, wherein the website includes a main region having a plurality of selectable products W
29 or services and an organiser region, the method comprising the step of, upon selection by a user, dynamically populating the organiser region with information regarding the selected product or service.
15.An online advertising method according to claim 14, further comprising the steps of: tracking the different types of actions selected by the user in relation to the product or service; each different action representing an advertisement fee; and obtaining an amount to charge the advertiser of the selected product or service based on the tracked actions.
16. Graphical user interface for a website, having (i) a main region for displaying information and for a user to select information on the website, and
(ii) an organiser region having an identifier tab, the organiser region being configured to be selectively slidable in and out of an edge of the main region between a first position in which the content of the organiser is displayed for viewing by a user together with a portion of the main region, and a second position in which the content of the organiser region is visually hidden and the identifier tab is visible to the user, (iii) wherein the organiser region is configured to be dynamically populated, in either the first or the second position, with information corresponding to the user selected information from the main region.
17. A method of displaying a graphical user interface for a website, the method comprising: (ii) providing a main region for displaying information and for a user to select information on the website, ii) providing an organiser region having an identifier tab, the organiser region being configured to be selectively slidable in and out of an edge of the main region between a first position in which the content of the organiser is displayed for viewing by a user together with a portion of the main region, and a second position in which the content of the organiser region is visually hidden and the identifier tab is visible to the user; and
(iii) dynamically populating the organiser region with information corresponding to the user selected information from the main region in either positions of the organiser region.
18. A system having the graphical user interface of claim 16 and/or configured to perform the methods according to any of claims 1 to 15 or 17.
PCT/SG2008/000126 2008-04-16 2008-04-16 Graphical user interface, online advertising method and method of determining online advertising fees WO2009128785A1 (en)

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Citations (4)

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US6356284B1 (en) * 1999-03-29 2002-03-12 Powerware Corporation Operating system-independent graphical user interface with sliding panel
US20070100956A1 (en) * 2005-10-29 2007-05-03 Gopesh Kumar A system and method for enabling prospects to contact sponsoring advertisers on the telephone directly from an Internet-based advertisement with just a single-click, and efficiently tracking from what Internet location (URL) the telephone contacts are initiated.
US20070162334A1 (en) * 2006-01-10 2007-07-12 Utbk, Inc. Systems and methods to convert a call generated from an advertisement
WO2007129089A1 (en) * 2006-05-09 2007-11-15 Ads Free Global Limited Server system and method for facilitating a transaction

Patent Citations (4)

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Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US6356284B1 (en) * 1999-03-29 2002-03-12 Powerware Corporation Operating system-independent graphical user interface with sliding panel
US20070100956A1 (en) * 2005-10-29 2007-05-03 Gopesh Kumar A system and method for enabling prospects to contact sponsoring advertisers on the telephone directly from an Internet-based advertisement with just a single-click, and efficiently tracking from what Internet location (URL) the telephone contacts are initiated.
US20070162334A1 (en) * 2006-01-10 2007-07-12 Utbk, Inc. Systems and methods to convert a call generated from an advertisement
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