E-commerce is nothing but electronic commerce. It is the buying and selling of goods and services online or over the internet.
Interesting Snippets from Across the Globe
Fascinating enough, e-commerce found its start in the mid-’90s. One of the first few transactions over the internet was by Dan Kohn, a 21-year-old entrepreneur who ran a website based in New Hampshire called NetMarket.
He sold a CD of the music group “Sting” to a friend in Philadelphia. His friend used his credit card in a transaction that was protected by encryption technology.
This transaction was one of the first secure transactions over the internet.
Another interesting “first” was the sale of a pizza over the internet in 1994 by Pizza Hut.
Then and Now
Ecommerce has come a long way from the mid-’90s till today. The online market has expanded four-fold. There is no doubt about the advantages of ecommerce websites today.
Ecommerce erases all barriers of physical distance. It promotes business irrespective of size or location.
The rapid surge in the use of mobile phones and the internet across the globe has added to the increase in the use of ecommerce websites.
Some of the top ecommerce websites today, to mention a few are:
The benefits of having ecommerce websites are many. Today, almost everyone has access to mobiles and the internet.
The buying capacity of individuals has increased over the years. This has forced businesses to shift focus online.
Some of the benefits of ecommerce websites can be summarised as follows.
Ecommerce Website Benefits
Ecommerce websites pave the way for fast selections and faster purchases. In a busy world, people look for quick solutions.
People now prefer to purchase goods in the comfort of their homes. It provides them with quick access to goods and services and faster payment options. Having an ecommerce website ensures quick purchases.
Having an ecommerce website enables you to showcase all your products and services under one roof. You can avoid hassles involved in displaying products and goods in a retail store.
You avoid fringe expenses like lighting, displaying costs and staff expenses. With ecommerce website you can store your goods and products in a godown but market them with high-quality photographs.
One of the advantages of ecommerce website is that there is no store closing time. The ecommerce website is open 24 hours a day and 365 days a year. This, at no extra cost. This increases sales and consequentially profits.
Ecommerce websites have the capacity to build your brand image. Social media links to your brand make it easier for prospective customers to visit your website and make easy purchases over the internet.
Unlike a physical store which is located in one particular area, ecommerce websites have no boundaries.
Ecommerce websites cater to customers all over the country and the world too. Through ecommerce website, you have a wider reach.
Also, ecommerce websites attract the older population who can not usually physically visit your store.
An ecommerce website can be creative, thereby attracting more viewers to the site. Creativity in a physical store is expensive and difficult to maintain. Ecommerce websites offer a solution to this problem.
It is a proven fact that certain colours on a website attract more viewers. A study conducted by Gabriel Nordbon Department of Psychology University of Lunds found that colours on a website have a positive and negative effect on men and women.
Therefore, we can safely conclude that ecommerce website can attract more visitors by being more creative with colours and design. The colour and design can be changed frequently on the ecommerce website
One of the benefits of having ecommerce websites is that it cuts costs. Maintaining a physical retail store requires a lot of investment.
Rent for premises, storekeeper salary, staff remuneration are just some of the expenses involved in maintaining a retail store. An Ecommerce website cuts all these peripheral costs.
Increased Marketing Opportunities
With ecommerce websites, it is easy to use online marketing tools that help with
- Social media marketing
You can also make use of pay per click advertising and other such online methods to market or advertise your goods and services.
These online marketing methods are cheaper when compared to TV advertisements, hoardings, radio advertisements and pamphlets.
Expanding? No Problem
Ecommerce websites allow you to expand your business by adding more pages to the websites with details of all additional products and services.
Customers Any Time Any Day
Ecommerce websites give a lot of flexibility to customers. Customers can visit and purchase your goods and service at any time of the day or night.
Customers need not wait in long queues for billing and can spend ample time reading the description of the products or services.
An ecommerce website makes it convenient for customers, thereby increasing your chances of converting sales into profits
Customers can compare prices and quality of products and services and thereby make a more profound decision.
Numerous Payment Options
Another benefit of ecommerce website is that it offers customers several payment options. This makes it easier and more flexible than a direct physical visit to the store.
Some of the payment options available on ecommerce websites are
- Debit or credit card
- Prepaid cards or point system
- Bank transfers
- Cash on delivery
Ecommerce websites offer personalised experiences to their customers. When a customer visits your website, the website computes a list of similar items that the customer may be interested to view.
This showcases all your products and services to the customer in one sitting. A website can take each customer to different landing pages and attract a customer to buy the goods without much effort from your end.
A physical store requires the staff to coerce the customer to buy a certain product.
One of the advantages of having an ecommerce website is it gives you easy access to customer details. A retail store requires customers to fill out lengthy forms for customer feedback or any other information.
Whereas, ecommerce websites easily obtain information from customers. Thereby making it easier to communicate with each of your customers.
This gives customers a feeling of personal attention and care from your ecommerce store.
You Can Be Anywhere in The World
Not only customers but even you get to be anywhere in the world while selling on an ecommerce website. It gives you the flexibility to sell your products and services from anywhere in the world.
E-commerce websites gives you geographical flexibility and remove all the barriers of location.
Through ecommerce websites, market research becomes easier. You now no longer have to appoint a strategist to inform you of customer reaction or sales.
Marketing research has been made easy through ecommerce websites. With the right marketing tools attached to your website, you will be able to receive all marketing information and make better business decisions based on this information.
As a retailer or a seller, having your own ecommerce website is a good idea. We have already discussed all the benefits of having an ecommerce website.
It grows your brand and allows you to acquire loyal customers among other benefits. At the same time, ecommerce websites help you to gain new insights into the world of marketing. Ecommerce websites are a boon to your business.