Electronic commerce, or e-commerce, is transacting business online or in the internet. Instead of physical stores and stalls, merchants display their products and services on their websites. Consumers visit these sites and buy their products or avail of services they offer.
The following are examples of e-commerce:
- Online ticketing
- Online auctions
- Online shopping
- Online banking
- Electronic payments
There are three types of e-commerce based on the type of participants involved in the transaction. These are:
- Business to Consumer or B2C e-commerce
- Business to Business or B2B e-commerce
- Consumer to Consumer or C2C e-commerce
B2C e-commerce involves an online transaction between a business and a consumer. B2B e-commerce involves two businesses and C2C e-commerce is between two consumers. An online auction is an example of a C2C e-commerce.
E-commerce brings several benefits or advantages for consumers. Consumers can shop and bank anytime through e-commerce. Online shopping and banking sites are open all the time and are accessible anywhere from personal computers or mobile phones. E-commerce eliminates the hassles associated with conventional shopping or banking such as traffic, long lines at the checkout counters, lack of parking space and closing times.
Consumers have a wider choice of products and services online and they select just by visiting many sites and clicking the mouse. For merchants, e-commerce lowers capitalization costs.
Setting up a website wherein you can do business in is cheaper when compared to finding and renting out store space. Maintenance costs are lowered because you do not hire personnel to do tasks like preparing documents such as purchase orders or invoices, answering telephone calls, preparing mails, overtime pays and buying credit card machines. Niche products can be established and profits can be increased through optimizing search engine results eliminating costs in advertising campaigns.
There are things to consider when putting up an online store. The ease of finding the products in your online store is one. Display your products so that consumers can easily find what they want. Provide links through which consumers can easily find and accessed the products they want to buy. Provide information about return and exchange policies as well as shipping charges and contact information. These are information your consumer needs before completing a purchase.
The time it takes consumers to purchase in your online store is another factor. Consumers go online because it is more convenient than the conventional way of shopping. Use software technology that can provide a faster service to your consumers. Do not make your consumers wait. Update the software that runs your online store so that transactions run smoothly and quickly.
Paying online is another essential of an online business. Provide different method payments for your consumers. More importantly, provide security in paying online. Consumers will keep on buying when they are assured that their personal and financial information are safe and secure in your online store.
ShopSite Starter is for small businesses with few products to sell. Some of its features include flexible shipping and handling options, a dual currency support and 5 pages of up to 15 products. ShopSite Manager is for medium sized businesses with more products to sell and with plans for special sales or promotions.
Among its features are unlimited pages for unlimited products, analytics integration by Google and tools for power editing or bulk uploading. ShopSite Pro is for large businesses with a large selection of products. Tracking of inventory, support for barcode scanner and gift certificates are some of the features in this plan.
Aside from shopping carts, Fatcow e-commerce services include SSL certificates for safe and secure online payments. AcceptSafe and PayPal are the credit card processing features in Fatcow. For your shipping and inventory, Doba is included in the e-commerce services of Fatcow.