[Draft] W3C Merchant Business Group Charter


The mission of the Merchant Business Group (“Merchant BG”) is to improve the Web for people and organisations that sell goods or services, or accept donations online. This includes both business-to-business (B2B) merchants, business-to-consumer (B2C) merchants as well as not-for-profit donation acceptors. In this non-technical forum, participants will discuss merchant challenges, how emerging Web technologies could help address them, and what additional Web capabilities may be necessary. Likely topics include:


Participants will choose and prioritize discussion topics.

Activities in Scope

Activities out of Scope


The Merchant Business Group may publish use cases, requirements, analyses, white papers or other deliverables consistent with the scope of this charter. These may be shared with other W3C groups as input to standardization activities, as well as groups outside W3C.

This group will not publish technical Specifications.

Published documents should represent group consensus. Documents will be published under the W3C Document License and will be freely available.


Although the group focuses on merchant issues, participation is not limited to merchants. Integrators and others who represent merchant interests are also encouraged to participate and contribute diverse perspectives. We also seek global participation.

Participants should have knowledge of industry business requirements and some technical knowledge. Deep technical knowledge is not required.

Participation will potentially involve email, teleconferences, authoring of use cases, and review of education materials. These activities are expected to require approximately 4 hours monthly. Participants are also encouraged to accelerate progress by sharing materials such as externally developed use cases and requirements, or experimental results.

The group should also hold at least one face-to-face meeting per year. The group will determine the location, which may include W3C's TPAC event or co-located with another industry event.

The W3C Code of Ethics and Professional Conduct applies to participation in this group.


The group operates under the Community and Business Group Process. Terms in this Charter that conflict with those of the Community and Business Group Process are void.

The group will publish minutes or summaries of its meetings.

Decision Process

This group will seek to make decisions where there is consensus. For important decisions, the Chairs will issue a Call for Consensus to allow multi-day online feedback for a proposed course of action, and publicly record the outcome.

It is the Chairs' responsibility to ensure that the decision process is fair, respects the consensus of the CG, and does not unreasonably favour or discriminate against any group participant or their employer.

Chair Selection

Participants in this group choose their Chair(s) and can replace their Chair(s) at any time using whatever means they prefer. However, if 5 participants, no two from the same organisation, call for an election, the group must use the following process to replace any current Chair(s) with a new Chair, consulting the Community Development Lead on election operations (e.g., voting infrastructure and using RFC 2777).

  1. Participants announce their candidacies. Participants have 14 days to announce their candidacies, but this period ends as soon as all participants have announced their intentions. If there is only one candidate, that person becomes the Chair. If there are two or more candidates, there is a vote. Otherwise, nothing changes.
  2. Participants vote. Participants have 21 days to vote for a single candidate, but this period ends as soon as all participants have voted. The individual who receives the most votes, no two from the same organisation, is elected chair. In case of a tie, RFC2777 is used to break the tie. An elected Chair may appoint co-Chairs.

Participants dissatisfied with the outcome of an election may ask the Community Development Lead to intervene. The Community Development Lead, after evaluating the election, may take any action including no action.

Amendments to this Charter

The group can decide to work on a proposed amended charter, editing the text using the Decision Process described above. The decision on whether to adopt the amended charter is made by conducting a 30-day vote on the proposed new charter. The new charter, if approved, takes effect on either the proposed date in the charter itself, or 7 days after the result of the election is announced, whichever is later. A new charter must receive 2/3 of the votes cast in the approval vote to pass. The group may make simple corrections to the charter such as deliverable dates by the simpler group decision process rather than this charter amendment process. The group will use the amendment process for any substantive changes to the goals, scope, deliverables, decision process or rules for amending the charter.