What is ecommerce? The use of electronic networks to exchange information, products, services and payments for commercial and communication purposes.
Started back in the 80's already - Compuserve added a service called the Electronic Mall, where users could purchase items directly from 110 online merchants.
Netscape 1.0's release in 1994 included an important security protocol called Secure Socket Layer (SSL) that encrypted messages on both the sending and receiving side of an online transaction. SSL ensured that personal information like names, addresses and credit card numbers could be encrypted as they passed over the Internet.
In 1994 and 1995, the first third-party services for processing online credit card sales began to appear
Companies that transformed e-commerce in the mid-1990s was Amazon and eBay.
Things you need to start your own e-commerce site:
A place to sell the product - in this case the website
A way to get people to come to your Web site
A way to accept orders - an on-line form of some sort
A way to accept money - normally a merchant account handling credit card payments.
A way to accept returns
A way to handle warranty claims if necessaryA way to provide customer service (often through email, on-line forms, on-line knowledge bases and FAQs
Key elements of e-commerce: 1. Trust and Credibility
Be open and honest
2. Build brand loyalty
3. Know your target market
4. Content and Design
5. The Shopping cart
Trust and Credibility:
Always making sure your customer knows that your website is secure and that their privacy will never be compromised
Money-back guarantees can make a purchase easier, even when mistrust or uncertainty have a significant impact on the customer’s deicision-making. Offering it will build a feeling of trust and comfort, making it easier for users to actually purchase a product.
Be open and honest - make all information clear on the site
for example: information related to the product, shipping, credit card security risks, privacy)
For everything you do on your website, keep in mind that the user always has to be in control of what’s happening.
Build brand loyalty:
you will earn trust
the right combination of usability, creative design, writing and a strong brand will create an experience through which your customers learn to trust you
This will get customers to come back to your site refer you to other users
Know your target market:
know the target market of your site - and create the website around that
(example - UTI want fun element but they want older people to spend money on site = wrong target)
design for the customer and not ourselves - most important
Content and Design:
A professional design is necessary to differentiate your business from that of amateurs and students
Provide your customers with e-mail addresses of the team, phone numbers, and, of course, e-mails - earn trust by being open
Too much focus is put on the design and usability of the home page, and that effort does not continue through to the rest of the website
More of the user’s time is spent on the product detail page than any other
clients want to spend time on this page - make sure they are buying the correct thing
Must be clear what you are advertising - within 3seconds you should know what the ad is about
The Shopping cart
how well you manage to drive users to the “Checkout”-button
incorrect use of the shopping cart icon = an example of flawed design decision
Shopping cart should become part of the site and not a seperate element
Important info about the cart:
provide customers with the information of what is inside the shopping cart,
indicate the minimal requirements for successful ordering
put a link to the checkout-section which might help users to finish the shopping process immediately
offer some help in case users have lost track of the process
Shopping Cart Gone Wrong
the shopping cart icon is not clickable,
the shopping cart icon is difficult to recognize
the shopping cart icon is difficult to find.
Things to consider for your site:
Social media - Very important for the customer to add your site as a favourite or share with others
Polls - get more people to take your poll - giving some form of incentive to participate
Neglected Thank you page - makes it more personal - someone just spent money on your site so make an effort to thank them
User ratings and customer reviews - You need to know what people think about your site
Key factor of e-commerce sites
You want the client to visit your site, spend money and return to purchase more products/services