What is E-Commerce and What are it’s Benefits?

Introduction

What is E-Commerce? E-commerce, also known as online shopping, entails the purchase and sale of products or services over the Internet. E-commerce can be done in person or remotely; it has only increased in popularity over time because of the convenience it offers consumers, who now have access to thousands of new products at all hours of the day and night that are sold from all corners of the world.

E-commerce

What is e-commerce?

The term e-commerce refers to any kind of business transaction that happens over electronic channels. If a customer clicks a buy button, they’re participating in e-commerce. If they place an order on your website or give you their email address, they’re participating in e-commerce. 

If you use social media to market your business—for example, if you include a link to your product page in your Facebook profile—you’re participating in e-commerce. Of course, traditional brick-and-mortar businesses participate in e-commerce too; according to research from 2013, 93% of consumers who were able to shop online made purchases over those channels during a six-month period. That same study found that 92% of customers prefer shopping for products online. The numbers don’t lie: E-commerce is big business. In fact, Internet Retailer estimates that e-commerce sales will reach $1 trillion by 2020. 

Even better, e-commerce can be profitable even when accounting for expenses like shipping and payment processing fees. According to one survey, 70% of small businesses that sell products online say they make a profit off those sales. And while most people think about retail when they hear e-commerce, there’s also plenty of opportunity in B2B (business-to-business) transactions as well; some companies have reported seeing double-digit growth year after year in their B2B e-commerce efforts. What are its benefits?: One reason why so many people enjoy shopping online is that it offers convenience: You can browse at home without having to get dressed up or drive anywhere.

What are the benefits of e-commerce

Having an online store has a lot of benefits over a traditional brick-and-mortar retail operation. That being said, being a successful eCommerce company still requires planning, organization, great design, marketing, and implementation. One of the biggest benefits of running an e-commerce business is that your physical location doesn’t matter. With a mobile app or website you can sell products worldwide 24/7 to anyone with internet access; though localizing your product catalogs can really help boost sales in new markets. Additionally, online orders can be made faster than ordering in person, increasing customer satisfaction. 

If you’re serious about eCommerce then reading up on industry leaders is recommended. The top 5 companies in terms of revenue are Amazon, eBay, Alibaba Group Holding Ltd., Apple Inc., and Walmart Stores Inc. Learn from their mistakes, study their successes, and apply what you learn to your own business.

Is your business ready for an e-commerce website?

E-commerce, or electronic commerce, refers to all those commercial transactions conducted over computer networks, including websites. It’s a part of what we now call B2B (business to business) and B2C (business to consumer). But let’s get back to that question: Is your business ready for an e-commerce website? Well, that depends.

 If you have products you want to sell online, then yes, your business can absolutely benefit from an e-commerce website. If you don’t have any products but want to sell something online anyway—perhaps services or subscriptions—then no, an e-commerce site isn’t right for you. There are plenty of other options out there. The bottom line: if you want to start selling things online, then yes, an e-commerce website is probably right for you.   But you’ve got to do your research first. A good place to start is by checking out some of our resources on starting an e-commerce business.

Top 3 tips to succeed with e-commerce

  1. Find a niche. It’s good to understand e-commerce, but it’s even better to really know your industry.
  2. Have a powerful brand that customers respond to. There’s no secret recipe for creating a compelling brand, but having one will certainly help you get more clicks, sales, and repeat customers. 
  3. Make your site trustworthy in order to build loyalty and drive repeat purchases from existing customers. Your audience will return if they like what they see on your site as well as trust that they won’t be taken advantage of. Once you’ve identified these three key elements, then all that’s left is to execute them properly. If done right, your e-commerce venture can become an engine for growth and profitability. The great thing about e-commerce is that it gives you many ways to reach out to customers.               

 In addition to building a website or mobile app, there are many other channels available today including social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter, Google+, email marketing campaigns, and search engine optimization strategies. When developing your business plan for success, remember that creativity plays a major role in helping you stand out from competitors by offering products or services not currently available elsewhere. To compete effectively against big retailers such as Amazon, Zappos and others who have vast inventories at their disposal, consider developing a private label product line where consumers can buy customized products directly from you.

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