What Is E Commerce


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What Is E Commerce

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What Is E Commerce

  1. 1. What is e-commerce Simply put, e-commerce is the online transaction of business, featuring linked computer systems of the vendor, host, and buyer. Electronic transactions involve the transfer of ownership or rights to use a good or service. Most people are familiar with business-to-consumer electronic business (B2C). Common illustrations include Amazon.com, llbean.com, CompUSA.com, travelocity.com, and hotels.com.
  2. 2. <ul><li>Ecommerce allows consumers to electronically exchange goods and services with no barriers of time or distance. Electronic commerce has expanded rapidly over the past five years and is predicted to continue at this rate, or even accelerate. In the near future the boundaries between &quot;conventional&quot; and &quot;electronic&quot; commerce will become increasingly blurred as more and more businesses move sections of their operations onto the Internet. </li></ul>
  3. 3. <ul><li>Ecommerce allows consumers to electronically exchange goods and services with no barriers of time or distance. Electronic commerce has expanded rapidly over the past five years and is predicted to continue at this rate, or even accelerate. In the near future the boundaries between &quot;conventional&quot; and &quot;electronic&quot; commerce will become increasingly blurred as more and more businesses move sections of their operations onto the Internet. </li></ul>
  4. 4. Why should my store be on the Internet? <ul><li>This is one of the most common question that business owners and retailers ask. The Internet offers a brand new medium on which you can sell your products and services. Millions of people worldwide wander around Web sites on the Internet twenty-four hours a day. Yet businesses are hesitant to take advantage of this instant global market. </li></ul>
  5. 5. Open 24x7 for business <ul><li>This is one of the best benefits of a Web store and having ecommerce a shopping cart software program on your site. With a properly implemented site, you can sell products and generate revenue twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week. You are always open, ready to take money and conduct business. This is especially important because your Web store hours now match the schedule of all of your potential customers </li></ul>
  6. 6. Instant customer service <ul><li>Your site doesn't have to just take orders. You can provide instant customer service. Place common questions and answers on your site where they are always available for your customers. Not to mention that friendly aid and advice from a fellow happy customer can be invaluable in marketing and generating sales. Add a live chat services to your website. </li></ul>
  7. 7. Instant global market / No geographic boundaries <ul><li>With a Web store, you are instantly selling to people all over the world. People no longer are constrained by geographic boundaries. Customers can visit and purchase from stores located in different countries with minimal effort. Passport, plane tickets, gasoline – No mode of conveyance required - just a browser and an Internet connection. </li></ul>
  8. 8. <ul><li>As the Web 'levels the playing field' by eliminating geographic boundaries, there are some different marketing strategies you must take. </li></ul><ul><li>Having a global customer base introduces the problem of different types of currencies. You will need to make sure your Web store is capable of handling your international customers if you want to accept their orders. </li></ul>
  9. 9. Your competitors are selling on the Internet <ul><li>Finally, as we all know, you are in a competitive market and you have competitors. You are instantly doomed to fail if you think that there is no money to be made on the Internet or your competitors aren't considering about it. </li></ul><ul><li>Chances are very good that at least one competitor of yours is currently conducting business on the Internet. </li></ul><ul><li>And that's business you are losing. If you want to compete with this type of aggressive competitor, you need to have a good Web store on the Internet - for your current customers and to win over new customers. </li></ul>
  10. 10. <ul><li>Electronic commerce has also led to the development of electronic marketplaces where suppliers and potential customers are brought together to conduct mutually beneficial trade. </li></ul>
  11. 11. What does my store need to be successful? <ul><li>The road to creating a successful online store can be difficult if unaware of e-commerce principles and what e-commerce is supposed to do for your online business. Researching and understanding the guidelines required to properly implement an e-business plan is a crucial part to becoming successful with online store building. </li></ul>
  12. 12. <ul><li>Once you decide to have a retail presence on the Web. </li></ul><ul><li>Now what? </li></ul><ul><li>Well, setting up a store on the Internet involves some of the same principles as setting up shop physically. </li></ul>
  13. 13. What do you need to have an online store and what exactly is a shopping cart? <ul><li>Shopping cart software is an application used to allow consumers to purchase goods and or services, track customers, and tie together all aspects of ecommerce into one cohesive whole. </li></ul>
  14. 14. <ul><li>While there are many types of software that you can use, customizable, turnkey solutions are proven to be a cost effective method to build, edit and maintain an online store. </li></ul><ul><li>How do online shopping carts differ from those found in a grocery store? The image is one of an invisible shopping cart. </li></ul><ul><li>You enter an online store, see a product that fulfills your demand and you place it into your virtual shopping basket. When you are through browsing, you click checkout and complete the transaction by providing payment information. </li></ul>
  15. 15. An automated sales mechanism <ul><li>You would not open a physical store without a sales clerk to complete a sales transaction. You should not open an Internet Web store without a similar mechanism to take a customer's order. Your Web site is available twenty-four hours a day. That means you should be able to take a customer's payment for goods twenty-four hours a day. If your Web site does not do this, then you are missing the whole point of having a Web store. </li></ul>
  16. 16. <ul><li>Your sales mechanism for your Web store MUST be automated. Imagine the following scenario: You walk into a mall retail store. There are all sorts of great products you want to buy. You pick out some items and go to check out. Instead of a cash register, there is a note saying that you should e-mail them your order or call their number to place an order. What would you do? You would probably think twice about your order, decide it isn't worth it, and go to the next store. </li></ul>
  17. 17. <ul><li>YOU NEED AN AUTOMATED SALES MECHANISM FOR YOUR WEB STORE! </li></ul><ul><li>Just like a regular retail store, your Web store needs to be interactive during the sales process, to ensure the user that they are placing a tangible order. </li></ul><ul><li>Since the user cannot physically pick-up products on your Web store, you need some kind of &quot;shopping cart&quot; system (more on this later). When the customer is satisfied with their selections and ready to purchase, YOU need to get the payment information from them. </li></ul><ul><li>Don't put the ball in their court by asking them to call or e-mail. Chances are good that they won't bother. </li></ul>
  18. 18. A professional appearance <ul><li>Your Web store must look professional and be easy to use. No exceptions. You need quality pictures and descriptions of all of your products. The Web store must be easy to navigate and easy to figure out. Any confusion in your Web store turns directly into lost sales. </li></ul>
  19. 19. <ul><li>A professional appearance is also critical because of the lack of geographic boundaries. </li></ul><ul><li>Your customers can now choose between you and your competitors with little or no effort. This means that if your Web store is anything less than professional, your customers will probably go somewhere else. </li></ul><ul><li>And because of the nature of the Web, it is real easy to go somewhere else. So your store must look clean, sharp, and professional in order to maintain and generate new business. </li></ul>
  20. 20. A thorough marketing plan <ul><li>Just like any other business venture, a marketing plan is critical. You CANNOT just throw up a Web site and expect to instantly generate revenue. You need to think about how you are going to go about getting customers to your Web store. Knowledge of your market and common sense are critical for this. Create a plan of action, and then carry it out. Measure your results, and alter your plan to perform better next time. These are just basic marketing principles – and they are necessary for this venture. </li></ul>
  21. 21. Internet marketing strategies <ul><li>Marketing on the Internet is similar to any marketing, but there are some specific strategies you can take to increase the number of customers visiting your Web store and making purchases from you Web store. </li></ul>
  22. 22. Use non-Internet marketing media <ul><li>This is so important! Do not confine your marketing to the Internet! Advertising, press, flyers – these all should be considered in your Web store marketing plan. If you have existing marketing channels established, then you should use them to promote your Web store. This includes mailing lists, newsletters, and printed catalogs. Your Web store URL should be everywhere. You can't make sales on your Web store if you don't tell customers where to go. </li></ul>
  23. 23. Search Engines <ul><li>Search engines are a very important part of your Internet marketing plan. They provide a starting point for the wandering Internet user, and can be valuable when they direct customers to your Web store. Make sure to take the time to design your Web store to be optimally placed within search engines. </li></ul>
  24. 24. <ul><li>Realize that search engines CANNOT be your only means of Internet marketing. This cannot be stressed enough! There are thousands of different Web sites out there that share something in common with your Web store. </li></ul>
  25. 25. <ul><li>Surveys show that over 85% of internet users find new Web sites by using search engines. Traffic you receive from search engines is already targeted. Visitors arriving at your site from search engines have entered a keyword relevant to your site, so they are already interested in your product or service. </li></ul>
  26. 26. Word of mouth <ul><li>Word of mouth can be an important part of Internet marketing, just as with physical stores. Do not, however, rely on this method as your sole marketing plan. Word of mouth is good at increasing existing business – turning a decent amount of Internet traffic into an amazing amount of Internet traffic. </li></ul>
  27. 27. E-commerce Shopping Carts Software Programs <ul><li>Online shopping carts and software programs provides your customers with an interactivity that is necessary for the purchasing process. Customers need to be able to examine products closely and obtain in-depth information. Needless to say, shopping carts must be easy and intuitive. If not, customers will become frustrated – and will not buy from your Web store. </li></ul>
  28. 28. <ul><li>An important aspect of shopping carts is their ability to calculate shipping & handling and tax. When the customer is buying products, it is important to let them know how much they will be spending in shipping & handling and tax. So it is important that the shopping cart has the ability to calculate this automatically. </li></ul>
  29. 29. <ul><li>There are many different implementations of shopping carts and automated sales mechanisms available. </li></ul><ul><li>They range from simple ASP to PHP/MySQL full-blown, easy-to-use products. Some automated sales mechanisms provide Web-hosting services. </li></ul><ul><li>You will need to decide what level of service you require. Realize that some Internet sales automation companies and products require you to host your Web site on their servers, and would require you to destroy a stabile and trusting relationship with your existing Internet Service Provider. </li></ul>
  30. 30. <ul><li>Another feature to look for in a database shopping cart software is the ability to get authorization to charge a credit card during the purchase process. If the customer does not enter a valid credit card, then you do not want to accept the order. Your shopping cart should be able to interface with your merchant bank to obtain this real-time authorization. </li></ul>
  31. 31. <ul><li>Shopping carts may directly contact your merchant bank, or use a third-party service such as PayPal to interface with your merchant bank. Using this feature, you can obtain authorization real-time, and then actually collect funds from the credit card when you ship products. Or if you are selling information, you can collect the funds automatically when you obtain the authorization </li></ul>
  32. 32. The Fact! You MUST Expand to the Web! <ul><li>We believe that it has become expected for a business to have a web site, successful or not. No matter what your company brochure and business cards say about you or your level of professionalism, you are still expected to have them. </li></ul><ul><li>If a client needs to fax you a document, have you modify it, sign it, make a copy of it for your files and overnight a signed copy to back to them, you had better be able to do all that and call back to verify you've done it. If you don't have the phone, fax, copier and word processing software to handle that - you look unprofessional. </li></ul><ul><li>We believe that a web presence has become a part of that mix - and probably at some point soon - streamline the whole process to be handled online! </li></ul>
  33. 33. <ul><li>Many web developers have developed a rather haughty attitude toward who should be and who shouldn't be online. </li></ul><ul><li>I believe this stems from the frustration encountered in explaining to those clients new to the web, that they must take very seriously the responsibility of being online. </li></ul><ul><li>That responsibility includes : </li></ul>
  34. 34. <ul><li>You MUST answer all e-mail within 24 hours and preferably sooner. Web savvy customers want response almost immediately! </li></ul><ul><li>You MUST keep your site information current and update often! There is no excuse for stale, inaccurate information online! </li></ul><ul><li>You MUST make a solid and continuing commitment to your site and assign the tasks involved to an employee or commit to spending the necessary time yourself! </li></ul>
  35. 35. <ul><li>Just as we have gone from &quot;Do you have a fax machine?&quot; to &quot;What is your fax number?&quot;, so too are we moving rapidly away from &quot;Do you have a web site?&quot; toward &quot;What is your web address?&quot;. How is it that we accept the need for the fax machine, the copy machine, the phone and the computer, but not a web site? </li></ul>
  36. 36. <ul><li>Those small businesses that post ANY kind of web sites and DON'T maintain them and DON'T answer their e-mail are hurting their business just like ignoring phone calls and doing without an answering machine will hurt their business. </li></ul><ul><li>But inattention to business will destroy any entrepreneur, no matter what else they do. The web presence has become as common and as expected as a telephone to small business. </li></ul>
  37. 37. <ul><li>Having a professional look with interactive pages and fancy graphics are bonuses, not requirements. What IS required is that the web site be maintained and that e-mails are treated as just as important as phone calls. Don't get a phone if you don't intend to answer it. </li></ul><ul><li>Don't provide an e-mail link if you don't intend to respond to e-mails. DON'T have a web site if you don't intend to keep it current and aren't prepared to provide the utility your customers demand. </li></ul>
  38. 38. <ul><li>Every business is expected to be online, just as they are expected to have a telephone and a fax and an answering machine. Size will always determine resource allocation. Hire a professional if you can, but </li></ul><ul><li>Get Online Now! </li></ul>
  39. 39. Contact Us <ul><li>Tel: </li></ul><ul><li>08450 21 00 23 </li></ul><ul><li>E-mail: </li></ul><ul><li>[email_address] </li></ul><ul><li>Web: </li></ul><ul><li>www.AlrayesWebSolutions.com </li></ul>