ECommerce is an expression used for any type of trade that is done across the Internet. Ecommerce trade has many subsets involved, like online shopping from retail websites, auctions, trading goods online and business services between companies. ECommerce has become the most important facet of Internet in the present scenario.
How Ecommerce Helps?
Ecommerce allows us to exchange goods and services, surpassing the barriers of time and distance. It involves several transactions, usually the transfer of money in exchange of goods or services online.
The uses of Ecommerce are divided into the following categories:
1. E-tailing or online retail selling on the stores, which are better known as virtual malls.
2. Easy to gather demographic data on the internet.
3. Electronic Data exchange in the form of email and fax.
4. Business-to-business(B2B) and Business-to- Consumer(B2C) buying and selling
5. The security of industry communications and dealings.
1. E-tailing or Virtual Stores.
A virtual store is a major achievement of ecommerce technology. It is a place with 24 hours availability for shopping with a sophisticated interactive interface. The onset of virtual stores has made Internet a billion dollar source of revenue. The online business of virtual stores has skyrocketed in the past 4 years and continues to grow at amazing pace. The figures reveal that, at the start of e-tailing or virtual shopping malls in 1997, Dell Computers reported orders worth million dollars a day!
2. Market Research.
With the advent of ecommerce, it has become easy to search and collect information about business prospects and the consumer. This is done mainly with the help of registration forms, questionnaires and order filling forms. This demographic data collection is very useful from the point of view of the various companies involved in online business.
3. Electronic Data Interchange (EDI).
Electronic Data Interchange is used for the exchange of business information in the form of electronic catalogs and electronic payment systems. To be accurate, EDI is considered as a standard form of electronic documents that are exchanged between companies. Lately, there are most advanced versions of electronic data exchange in the form of XML and ebXML, which are set to replace EDI.
4. E-Mail and Fax.
Ecommerce is also accomplished with the help of other electronic forms of communication like e-mail and fax. Companies attempting to use e-mail and fax for unsolicited ads use these features. The promising use of phone calls over the Internet is also a result of ecommerce. In addition, the trend of sending email newsletters to subscribers is also growing.
5. B2B and B2C Online trade.
The power of the Web has been revealed and the companies selling products and services online have discovered that the internet provides not only a 24-hour-a-day platform for them but also the most promising way to reach out to their customers.
6. Safety of personal information.
Ecommerce has developed safe ways to transfer important information in the form of encrypted messages. It also includes verifying all the legal business transactions, giving access to different resources, coding the information and thereby ensuring the privacy of the data. Secure Sockets Layer or the SSL is the most widely used ecommerce security technologies today.
What is a Shopping cart?.
A Shopping cart is a system that allows the users to purchase goods and or services, track the orders and tie together all features of ecommerce into one organized structure.
Setting up Ecommerce Store
It can be difficult to set up an online Ecommerce store if you are unaware of the basic facts. A well-organized research and understanding is essential to implement an e-business plan.
1. While there are many types of software that are available, an efficient and cost-effective solution proves to be the most beneficial. Shopping cart software’s are available at a price starting from $79.95 per month or even more. There are free ecommerce development solutions also available on the net. Take into consideration the number of credit card processors and shipping services the shopping cart software supports.
2. The next step, you need a means of accepting online payments. Cost of setting up a payment system for your website is a crucial factor. If you are looking for a cheap payment system, then Pay pal is the best option. If in case, you have your own merchant account set up, then setting up an ecommerce account will be cheaper for you.
3. Lastly, you will need a promotion strategy to drive the traffic to your site. You will require advertising and search engine-marketing program, to increase your presence on the internet.
Ecommerce is surely a very rewarding enterprise, but one cannot make money overnight. It requires a lot of study, hard work and sensible decisions on facts learned from researching ecommerce. In this field, you cannot simply rely on your gut feeling!