Electronic commerce, commonly known as e-commerce, is a business concept that allows people to buy and sell goods and services through digital media including websites, smartphone apps, and social media.
It is a system of buying and selling products or services that is carried out exclusively through the Internet.
It refers to transactions between buyers and sellers that take place on an internet platform that handles all collections and payments entirely online.
The use of e-commerce has now been in use by many people in different parts of the world. Because of its effectiveness, businesses have adopted this sort of commerce as part of their sales strategy.
Businesses, individuals, and organizations can now reach out to their audiences, make huge sales, and scale-up without much stress, as everything is now being done online. Customers can access a variety of brands, products, and services via the internet at any time and from any location. It refers to the procedures of selling and purchasing goods and services via electronic channels, such as websites, apps, and social media.
Of course, when you want to make this activity a sustainable, profitable, and long-lasting business, you’ll need to pay attention to branding, digital authority, marketing, and a variety of other factors that influence positioning and exposure.
Usefulness of e-commerce
This marketing method will be focused on companies and entrepreneurs, as we discuss its usefulness.
- Increased sales opportunities: It logically follows that a company that operates traditionally will see a large rise in sales potential if it additionally decides to use electronic channels. Brands that are solely focused on this type of commerce, on the other hand, have more opportunities as they have access to a global community of millions of users.
- Launch of innovative products: In the traditional market, launching innovative items necessitates a significant investment in advertising, a huge logistical system to get it to the right points of sale or suppliers, as well as the sales team’s productivity. This is why so many small and medium-sized businesses use electronic commerce to offer innovative services or products, allowing users to learn more about them and even interact with some of their features before purchasing them.
- Brand recognition: If your company has been established for a long time but your brand recognition is minimal, then e-commerce is a must for you. When marketing is being done through social media platforms and a large internet community, then your brand transit from being invisible to being widely known by market participants and many users.
Advantages and disadvantages of e-commerce
Before you venture into the e-commerce business, you may need to consider some of its advantages as listed below:
Global reach: In past times, for companies to generate sales on another continent, it had to be an extremely large organization, with different branches, collaborators, and a great logistical capacity. Instead, electronic commerce gives global reach to anyone who wants to venture into it. It’s just very simple! customers from all over the world will be able to access your virtual store or social media account, whereby they check through your products or services and make a purchase.
Everything you have to do now is figuring out how to connect with them.
Flexibility and simplification: If you have decent architecture and technology assistance, you won’t require hundreds of personnel to run a successful virtual business.
Furthermore, there are alternatives such as dropshipping that make the internet sales process much easier. Because it provides a direct link with the provider, this model allows electronic businesses to operate not needing to keep stock.
Lower investmentIn recent years, e-commerce has become more than just a source of profit for large corporations. It has also established itself as a viable option for small and medium-sized businesses.
Since it requires significantly less capital than traditional trading, it saves money on things like payroll, high-volume inventories, and the price of maintaining
and renting physical locations, among other things.
Interactivity: Another feature of e-commerce is that it encourages consumers and brands to communicate with one another regularly. Users can ask inquiries, comment on products, and even file complaints in seconds. Proper improvements can be done for you to serve your consumers or users better if you get feedback from them. Meanwhile, stores that care about customer service may reply to any interaction instantly.
You will also like to look into some of the disadvantages of e-commerce which are listed below:
- There is great competition, especially from the great giants of online commerce and from well-known international brands that open their online stores.
- The profitability threshold takes time to arrive, generally, you have to make a significant investment in marketing at the beginning so that the e-commerce obtains visibility.
- Security issues, usually caused by cyber-attacks, expose customer data and affect trust in the online store.
What are the best e-commerce platforms?
There are several ways to promote electronically, one of which is through platforms that act as middlemen between entrepreneurs, producers, and businesses and their target audiences. Ecommerce platforms were created expressly to conduct transactions, making them essential software for businesses looking to sell their goods or services.
They also assist in the development of strategies and actions aimed at consolidating an e-commerce-focused business. Some of the platforms include:
- WooCommerce: This is a free plugin that’s developed to perfectly work with WordPress. It works well with a large number of extensions, both free and paid. It’s one of the most widely utilized e-commerce platforms on the planet.
- Shopify: This platform, established in Canada, charges a monthly fee for hosting, website construction, marketing tools, and other add-ons.
- PrestaShop: This is a content management system (CMS) designed primarily for the establishment and management of online shops. It allows you to create your virtual store with over 4,000 design themes and an intuitive and straightforward User interface.
- Magento: Due to its specific packages for large, medium, and small businesses, Magento is a platform with a lot of versatility. It features several distinct properties that vary depending on your needs.
What are the best ways to create an e-commerce store?
Now that you’ve learned about the various e-commerce platforms, it’s time to learn how to create an e-commerce store for your products, services, or brand.
- Define the products or services you’ll sell: A virtual store can’t have a muddled offer. It’s crucial to define and segment the products, and services, (or groupings of these) that you’ll promote. This, of course, must be supported by thorough market research and the identification of the target market.
- Find suppliers or logistics points: Before launching any business, ensuring supplies is critical, and a virtual store is no exception. Remember that you are not required to have a real and immediate inventory in the digital world because you can link with a supplier. It also specifies logistics aspects like delivery timings and who is responsible for them (your team or other parties).
- Create the store: You already know that you can do this with the help of an e-commerce platform. However, if you want a notion that is even more personal, choose your development (with the support of experts in programming, design, and other areas, of course).
- Create a virtual strategy: Which social media platforms do you wish to use? How will you get people to visit your store? In your virtual strategy manual or guide, you must answer these and many other questions.
For your e-commerce store design, marketing strategies, and management, you can book a free consultation with our professional team, and we will be glad to give you the best!