Electronic commerce, commonly written as E-Commerce, is the trading in products or services using computer networks, such as the Internet. Electronic commerce draws on technologies such as mobile commerce, electronic funds transfer, supply chain management, Internet marketing, online transaction processing, electronic data interchange (EDI), inventory management systems, and automated data collection systems. Modern electronic commerce typically uses the World Wide Web for at least one part of the transaction’s life cycle, although it may also use other technologies such as E-Mail.
E-Commerce businesses may employ some or all the following:
1. Online shopping websites for retail sales direct to consumers,
2. Providing or participating in online marketplaces, which process third-party business-to-consumer or consumer-to-consumer sales,
3. Business-to-business buying and selling,
4. Gathering and using demographic data through Web contacts and social media,
5. Business-to-business electronic data interchange,
6. Marketing to prospective and established customers by E-Mail or fax (for example, with newsletters),
7. Engaging in pretail for launching new products and services.
Pretail (also referred to as pre-retail, or pre-commerce) is a sub-category of E-Commerce and online retail for introducing new products, services, and brands to market by pre-launching online, sometimes as reservations in limited quantity before release, realization, or commercial availability. Pretail includes pre-sale commerce, pre-order retailers, incubation marketplaces, and crowdfunding communities.
Another approach to define and explain, what E-Commerce is, comes from the so-called 5-C-model (Zwass 2014). It defines E-Commerce by five activity domains whose denominations start with the letter “C”:
i. In the electronic marketplaces there is a matching of customers and suppliers, an establishing of the transaction terms, and the facilitation of exchange transactions.
ii. With the broad move to the Web-enabled enterprise systems with relatively uniform capabilities as compared to the legacy systems, a universal supply-chain linkage has been created.
i. The Web is a vast nexus, or network, of relationships among firms and individuals.
ii. More or fewer formal collaborations are created or emerge on the Web to bring together individuals engaged in knowledge work in a manner that limits the constraints of space, time, national boundaries, and organizational affiliation.
i. As an interactive medium, the Web has given rise to a multiplicity of media products.
ii. This universal medium has become a forum for self-expression (as in blogs) and self-presentation (as, for an example, in Polyvore: www.polyvore.com).
iii. The rapidly growing M-Commerce (see below) enables connectivity in context, with location-sensitive products and advertising.
iv. In the communications domain, the Web also serves as a distribution channel for digital products.
i. Common software development platforms, many of them in the open-source domain, enable a wide spectrum of firms to avail themselves of the benefits of the already developed software, which is, moreover, compatible with that of their trading and collaborating partners.
ii. The Internet, as a network of networks that is easy to join and out of which it is relatively easy to carve out virtual private networks, is the universal telecommunications network, now widely expanding in the mobile domain.
i. Internet infrastructure enables large-scale sharing of computational and storage resources, thus leading to the implementation of the decades-old idea of utility computing.
Thus, once you have understood what e-commerce it is will be lot easier to explain how to be successful in it. Here are the following steps you can take to be successful in running e-commerce business:
1. Do not rush the launch: One of the biggest mistakes unsuccessful ecommerce entrepreneurs make is forcing or rushing the launch of a website. You only get one shot at launching your website and you cannot mess this up. While it’s okay to purchase your domain name and throw up some sort of “Coming Soon” page, you should avoid the big reveal until you’ve laid some substantial ground work (SEO, content marketing, social media, paid advertising, etc.).
2. Put the focus on the user: It’s no secret that the biggest shortcoming of ecommerce businesses is the inability to let their customers touch, feel, smell, and see (first-hand) products before making a decision. While there is currently no solution for solving this problem, you can compensate for this deficiency in other areas of the business. Some of the best tips include offering appropriate pricing, giving free shipping, and making the checkout process easy with simplified shopping carts.
3. Test absolutely everything: Before, during and after you launch any ecommerce business, you should invest in testing and analytics. Think like the customer and figure out what is working, what is not, and the why behind those answers.
4. Work closely with social: Any ecommerce entrepreneur that tells you he outsources social media or delegates it to other team members is crazy. Social media is the heartbeat of your business, as it gives you an uninterrupted glance into the lives of your customers. While it is perfectly fine to have a social-media manager, it’s pertinent that you’re involved with it, too.
5. Incorporate social elements: Going along with the previous tip, it is a great idea to include social elements on your ecommerce sites. Things like product reviews and testimonials follow buttons and even social login options all help the conversion funnel.
6. Go mobile: Bill Siwicki of Internet Retailer references Goldman Sachs, saying, “Tablets will play an increasingly important role as worldwide consumer spending via mobile jumps from $204 billion in 2014 to $626 billion in 2018” If you aren’t building ecommerce businesses with mobile in mind, you may be irrelevant in three to five years.
7. Stay on top of SEO: As the ecommerce economy experiences rapid growth, more and more businesses will be entering this increasingly crowded space. That means it will be more important than ever to stay on top of SEO in order to stand out from the competition. Connecting with a skilled SEO will help you stay competitive in the long run.
8. Collect information: Unless you plan on launching a single site and stepping away (most entrepreneurs are tempted to keep trying), it’s critical that you collect customer information and build databases to aid future launches.
9. Continue evolving: Finally, never stop evolving. Technology, trends, and customer tastes will change, and so must you if you want to succeed in such a variable market.
Besides if you do have any questions give me a call: https://clarity.fm/joy-brotonath