This article quickly looks at the basics of e-commerce and explains how it can compliment a business or fully power it.
Electric Commerce, or ‘eCommerce’ is a process which allows a businesses to:
1. Market and advertise a product or service online.
2. Directly sell this product or service via their website.
3. Autonomously process client billing and order details.
4. Take payment for products or services.
5. Deliver services or products (if that is possible over the internet).
The popularity of eCommerce has exploded over the last few years, due to the ease of shopping online and the increasing trust the general public have with giving websites their card details. For the consumer, the ability to browse, select and purchase from the comfort of their home is a huge attraction.
For a business, eCommerce can be even more useful. Online marketing, for example, can prove cheaper and more effective than any other strategy. To explain this, I will use the most popular form of online advertising – Google.
To post an advert with Google, a business selects certain key words which, when searched for, will display their ad. This instantly narrows down the people viewing the advert to those with some interest in the topic. Otherwise, why would they search for it? However, a business will only pay a penny once the potential customer has actually clicked on the advert, thus showing even greater interest. This model means that a business only pays for their advert to be seen by very interested, potential customers. It also allows businesses to advertise to a very specific niche market, without paying a large sum to be featured in the corresponding niche publication.
Along with this marketing model, a good eCommerce site can radically reduce the cost of paying staff to answer phones and in many cases can remove the need for a physical shop floor!
Whether to compliment your existing business, or to start a new one, eCommerce is great option for any business.