In today’s high tech society, consumer demand for product spans every hour of the day, 24 hours a day and every day of the year. E-Commerce is the present and future business solution for the savvy business owner.
Gone are the days when customers waited for a brick and mortar store to open its doors so the early birds could take advantage of the latest sale. Customers want to spend their money wisely and they want their product as fast as possible, with as little hassle as possible.
E-commerce is defined as transmitting information electronically usually through buying and selling on the internet or other electronic systems.
It is estimated that almost 90% of adults shop online and, while not everyone will, purchase a product online, 3 people out of 5 will research the product online before they decide to purchase it.
No matter what size your business, or even if you are just starting out, integrating e-commerce solutions can exponentially expand your profits. If you are a consumer, e-commerce can save you time and money.
E-commerce stores are stored on web servers that deliver content to the consumer through their computer or mobile device.
Either a fully hosted solution or self hosting service, a Dedicated IP address & Domain Name.
Integrated Paypal Shopping Cart Software consisting of Set-Up, Checkout and Payment Features that can help manage inventory, generates invoices and calculates shipping costs.
Security Features such as an SSL, or “Secure Socket Layer,” which is a certificate that encrypts and protects personal information as it is being sent over the internet.
There are varieties of methods available such as building a website based e-commerce store, a Facebook e-commerce store or a Mobile e-commerce store. Due to the high demand for e-commerce solutions, there are many store-building services and web hosting services competing for your business that offer excellent deals and specials like free hosting, free domain names, free email, free SSL certificates, affiliate programs and free advertising.
B2B – Business to Business – both parties are manufacturers, traders, or retailers.
B2C – Business to Consumer – a business that sells to an end consumer.
C2C – Consumer to Consumer – bartering or auction style buying and selling between individuals.
Once you set-up your store you need to get the word out by establishing what is called a web presence.
Two of the most effective and economical methods to get your e-commerce business booming are through social media and mobile media.
Social media is one of the hottest and most effective ways to drive customers to your business. It takes traditional online shopping to a new level. Social networks, like Facebook, are not only ways to expand a company’s web presence, but are great ways to get new clients through referrals or “likes” and keep existing customers apprised of specials or daily deals.
According to recent statistics, among all forms of advertising, 90 percent of people will trust their friends’ recommendations on what product to buy and the best place to buy it.
Mobile Media is the latest trend in the e-commerce market. Mobile devices use SMS, or Short Message Service, also known as “texting,” to send messages from one device to another. Mobile marketing lets a business engage their customers by using an interactive method of sending announcements, advertising and special deals directly to the customer’s mobile device. This offers potential buyers flexibility and increases the chance of a sale by allowing the consumer to respond to the message and perhaps even purchasing a product directly from their mobile device, without waiting for access to a computer.
From initial contact through the final transaction when the customer receives the product or services, your e-commerce store should leave the customer feeling like they received respect and care throughout their entire journey. Not only will they be more likely to return, but also they will spread the word to their friends.