E-commerce definition: E-commerce, known as electronic commerce, is a term for any business or commercial transaction that involves the transfer of information through the internet. E-commerce is now a standard platform to buy and sell products online, with most people preferring to browse online rather than in retail stores. It is one of the most significant features of the Internet to date.
Electronic commerce gives consumers the opportunity to exchange goods and services across the web with no obstacles of time or distance. For the past five years, e-commerce has grown massively worldwide and is expected to continue this trend, with more businesses moving across to selling online.
There are many things to consider when setting up your e-commerce business. For companies wishing to build an e-commerce empire, the opportunity to create a website to expectation is endless.
Sites such as WordPress provide mobile-friendly, waiting in the wings templates to get a store up and running quickly, without the added issues or inconveniences of starting from scratch. Pay-pal and World Pay are popular choices of payment by many; as a business, it’s vital to have a well-managed and secure form of taking payment from consumers online.
When selling physical goods, you must take into consideration how that product will be shipped to the customer. Bray solutions can assist you with this, providing smooth running sales, a trusted delivery service and excellent customer service.
Advantages and Disadvantages of E-commerce
E-commerce is undoubtedly a great platform to build your business; customers want convenience and Internet retailing is on offer to them seven days a week with no limit of browsing time.
When shopping, retail businesses will most likely offer a wider range of products online than in the store. Having the option to buy online means businesses do not have to limit the amount they trade.
As long as you have the sources, you can ship to almost any country in the world; e-commerce allows a business to overcome geographical limitations. There are also many opportunities to gain new custom over the Internet with the use of search engines. A person who has never heard of your business before could stumble across your site after researching an item they would like to purchase.
E-commerce also eliminates the problem of having to browse endlessly around a store to encounter the correct aisle. On an e-commerce site, customers can steer towards the exact product they would like just by using the search box or through navigation.
If you want to gain a relationship with customers, some websites will remember preferences of that customer and list recommended products that may be of interest to them.
Despite the fascinating growth of e-commerce in the past few years, it can still have some disadvantages. For example, when buying a product where there is more than one option available, there is no employee to talk to for advice on which would best meet your needs. This uncertainty could result in either a loss of sale for the company or a purchase of the wrong product.
Therefore, it is essential to consider the amount of information your website has on that product. A full product description, including dimensions, colour variations, materials used and sizes, will ensure the customer is better informed as to the goods they will receive. Encouraging people to leave reviews on their purchases, will give new customers enough information to be confident that the product or service is right for them.
Reviews should be honest, whether they are positive or negative, as it shows your loyalty with regards to customer care.
Similarly, images of a product online will not always be exactly how they appear. Transactions can be very misleading when the item the customer receives is something entirely different to what they expect. This is the main issue when ordering clothing; pictures of materials can lead to dissatisfaction once the product is received.
One way to limit this is to display a variety of high-quality images and highlight precisely what materials and colours options are available. Most e-commerce clothing businesses already do this, so you don’t want to be one that doesn’t.
Of course, buying online has no instant gratification. When you order something, there will always be a wait for delivery, whether that be a day or a few weeks. Impatient customers will feel less satisfaction with their purchase if it takes longer than a week to deliver to them. Take this into consideration when looking at your fulfilment processes, and as an incentive, offer ‘online only’ or ‘exclusive’ discounts to make their wait worth the while.
Despite having both advantages and disadvantages, E-commerce is a fast moving, key accessory to the Internet and is something that is becoming more compulsory to retailers as time progresses.