Greg Gore is Vice President of Praxis International, Inc.
Technical Training, Consulting, and Publishing since 1988



E-Commerce Lessons for High-Tech Startup Enterprises
Greg Gore


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In the late eighties, Dr. Harry Fallick, a plastic surgeon and dermatological chemist, co-founded Fallene, Ltd., a cosmeceutical company headquartered in King of Prussia, PA. From the outset, his goal was to develop a “potent, full-light spectrum, topical protective system” for sun sensitive people and others concerned about the damaging effects of the sun. The result of his efforts is Fallene’s “Total Block” product line, which says it provides “the most complete coverage available against UV light.”

The majority of Fallene’s sales efforts are directed toward dermatologists, plastic surgeons, rheumatologists, oncologists, and other health care professionals who resell the products to their patients. From the beginning, however, Fallick recognized that the Internet would be the ideal way to go direct to his target audience of individuals with known sun sensitivity conditions such as skin cancer and lupus.

Fallick says that every year, more than one million people in the United States get skin cancer, which is the most common form of cancer. He also says that the rate of skin cancer is growing three to five percent annually.

In addition, Fallick knew that a number of prescription drugs and some medical treatment plans including chemotherapy, photodynamic therapy, post radiation therapy, post laser skin therapy and other therapies may cause increased sun sensitivity. With his target audience firmly in mind, Fallick hired a consultant to develop a web site that would not only promote the sale of his products, but would also serve as an educational resource about the effects of the sun, photosensitivity, and photoallergic drugs and treatments.

The first lesson Fallick says he learned about setting up a site on the Internet was to be clear about what you are getting when you hire someone to design a web site for you. When the job was done, the consultant showed him the site on the Internet, gave him a disk with all of the web files on it, and said, “Here it is. Good luck.” At that point, Fallick realized he lacked the in-house expertise required to maintain and update the site.

Now, his Webmaster and MIS (Management Information Systems) manager is his son, Frank Celia, a student in the MIS program at Drexel University. Celia says the key to a successful ecommerce web site is getting high placements on Internet search engines, especially on the major search engines such as Consequently, Fallene has three web sites with duplicate content that link to each other:,, and

Celia has completely updated Fallene’s web sites. They are graphically attractive, cleanly laid out and fast-loading so that people using a dial-up service will not experience any delays. “One thing to avoid,” says Celia, “is the use of animated plug-ins on your opening homepage. If you are going to use them, make them an option.”

The original Fallene ecommerce ordering system used a secure order form page designed with Microsoft FrontPage. Fallene now uses the Miva Order System, a very popular web-based store manager and shopping cart system offered by Fallene’s ISP hosting company, Hostway ( Celia chose Hostway’s ecommerce system because of the excellent support and customer service Fallene receives at Hostway and because the Miva system can easily expand as Fallene’s needs grow.

Harry Fallick forecasts continued growth and success for Fallene. Beyond his target audience of people with sun sensitivity, there is growing awareness on the part of the general population of the need for sun protection. As a plastic surgeon, Fallick knows firsthand of the need by many people to look young. He is the first to point out that the number one cause of wrinkling and premature aging is sun exposure.


The Greg Gore Web Site on Computers and the Internet (

This column was published in the Daily Local News, West Chester, PA on November 13, 2002. Greg Gore can be reached at

© 2009 by Greg Gore. All rights reserved.