Electronic Commerce or e-commerce is one of the most important aspects of the Internet to emerge in recent years. This technology enables people to exchange goods and services immediately, with no barriers in terms of time or distance.
What is e-commerce?
E-commerce is defined as the process of financial transactions by electronic means. With the growth of commerce on the Information Superhighway, e-commerce often refers to purchases from online stores on the web, otherwise known as e-commerce websites, virtual stores, or cyber stores. E-commerce can either be business to business (B2B) or business to consumer (B2C).
In other words, e-commerce is harnessing the power of the Internet to help you make money more effectively and efficiently. It means using cost-effective tools for building your online store, and offering your clients a way of transacting with you and your company even without human intervention.
The processes behind e-commerce
E-commerce involves much the same processes as selling goods elsewhere, but in a digital format. Concepts such as presentation, placement, display, stocking, selling and payment are also utilised in offline businesses, as well as in e-commerce. The main difference is that these are all done on screen and as an automated process.
The importance of an online platform
At the heart of e-commerce is the online store. An online store is a web platform or website where transactions, such as shopping, purchasing, and inquiries happen. To be effective, an online store must be attractive to potential customers, projects the right image, and is easy for customers to find what they want.
If you are building an online store for your business, make sure it is easy to navigate and has a good search function. The site design should also reflect the image you’re trying to project: professional, trendy, up-scale, and reliable. As much as possible, strive to accept credit cards and offer a good return policy for your customers. Remember to take precautions in order to prevent the customer’s confidential information from falling into the wrong hands.