Electronic Commerce Research

, Volume 1, Issue 1–2, pp 53–68 | Cite as

Transactional Multimedia Banner as Web Access Point

  • Zon-yin Shae
  • Xiping Wang
  • Jürg von Kaenel


Currently there is an explosively growing amount of back-end services available (e.g., business to business (B2B) commerce, business to consumer (B2C) commerce, and infomercial services) in the Internet. These services are mostly accessible through static HTML web pages at a few specific web portals. Advertising in TV broadcasting has shown that multimedia is a very effective means to present merchandise and attract shoppers. This has been applied to the Web by including animated multimedia banner ads on web pages. However, the issues of coupling interactive browsing, shopping, and secure transactions, e.g., from inside a multimedia banner, have only recently started to being explored. In this paper, we will investigate the feasibility of using interactive multimedia banners as pervasive access point for the B2C, B2B, and infomercial services. We present a system architecture that involves a layer of middleware agents functioning as the bridge between the interactive multimedia banners and back-end services. The findings suggest that the middleware agents can not only convey the B2B services to the individual consumers via multimedia banners, but also simplify the design of the middleware agents by using the standardized B2B application interfaces. As a specific case study, the use of interactive multimedia banners, communicating with a browsing/transaction middleware agent in accessing the catalog and shopping services, over the Internet will be discussed and prototyped. The system architecture under study consists of an interactive multimedia banner (such as a banner-ad, or the display of merchandise in a catalog), a browsing agent, and a transaction agent. Such interactive multimedia banners allow users to browse and buy the merchandise in the e-mall directly from the banner. The browsing agent enables interactive browsing within the banner. The transaction agent interfaces with various e-commerce servers and existing e-malls to complete the transaction securely. We implement a pure Java based shopping system to investigate the feasibility of this architecture. The initial implementation results indicate that this architecture provides a tight and general integration between multimedia browsing and secure transactions and significantly reduces user interactions needed to choose the merchandise and close the transaction.

e-commerce multimedia Web portal agent multimedia banner B2B B2C Java banner 


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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 2001

Authors and Affiliations

  • Zon-yin Shae
    • 1
  • Xiping Wang
    • 2
  • Jürg von Kaenel
    • 3
  1. 1.IBM Research DivisionT.J. Watson Research CenterHawthorneUSA
  2. 2.IBM Research DivisionT.J. Watson Research CenterHawthorneUSA
  3. 3.IBM Research DivisionT.J. Watson Research CenterHawthorneUSA

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