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E-commerce is a technical term used for buying and selling products and services over electronic systems such as internet and other computer networks. With the rapid development of technology, the amount of trade conducted electronically has grown by leaps and bounds. The e-commerce services have given plethora of options for business growth and expansion. Initially, e-commerce was used to facilitate commercial transactions. In the 21st century, with advanced technology and improved functionalities, shopping can be fun and convenient.
The basic building blocks for e-commerce are:
Website: The face of the website can have serious impact on the traffic flow. Considering website to be the only tool for creating your web presence, the whole designing process should enhance the look and feel of the website.
Shopping cart softwares: These enable merchants to easily launch online business. Shopping cart softwares is an ordering system for customers to choose a product, place an order and finally to make the payment.
Payment gateway: Choose a payment gateway that matches your e-commerce needs and helps to process the online payments. It is a software application that takes care of the credit card information and its transmission across net.
Secure Socket Layer: This is important for any website that is collecting sensitive information online.
E-commerce being conducted between businesses is referred to as business-to-business or B2B whereas the business being conducted between businesses and consumers is generally referred to as business-to-consumer or B2C. According to business owners, some of the vital aspects that the e-commerce site owners need to keep in mind are as given below:
- Website design can have a direct impact on conversion and search engine rankings. Improved product images can improves sales. So, website should be designed accordingly.
- Choose a well rounded platform and an expert for web-designing. Inorder to design your website, hire someone who is expert at it. Instead of wasting time in building the website on your own, you can spend time in developing products.
- Choose proven shopping cart software and a proven host.
- Search engine optimization and affiliates are effective tools for marketing your products. E-commerce enables you to reach the target audience at a faster rate.
- Select a host that has flexibility with 24X7 support. Else you mind end up rebuilding your site.
- Website optimization is extremely important. Create keyword rich webpages that can improve your search engine rankings.
Electronic commerce has been used for enterprise content management, instant messaging, online shopping and order tracking, online banking, online office suites, domestic and international payment systems, shopping cart software, teleconferencing, and electronic tickets and for e-mails.
E-commerce has been used for many services such as:
- Electronic funds transfer
- Supply chain management
- Internet marketing
- Online transaction processing
- Electronic data interchange
- Inventory management systems
- Automated data collection systems
Inorder to reach the target audience, different electronic mediums have been used such as:
- Information across web, store and call centers
- Online videos and web TV
- Cell phone and other wireless devices are being used for online shopping and payment purposes
- Social networking sites are effective platforms to product promotion
- New web site applications such as a site search features to enable shoppers to search for products based on customerâ€™s taste and preference.
Some of the advantages of e-commerce over offline business are as given below:
- Saves time and cost for setting up a physical store
- Provides convenience to shop from all across the globe at any time.
- Business transaction detail is well- maintained.
- Many customers can be attended simultaneously.
- Linking to other affiliate sites can help customers in finding products of their interest.
- Fraudulent transaction attempts are checked
The success of the e-commerce depends on the design of the webpage and optimization of the website. The e-commerce ensures smooth functioning and growth of your business.
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