What is E-Commerce?

E-commerce is essentially doing any method business electronically. One thing to keep in mind though, E-commerce is not only about technology–it is about your business. The industry has grown to become quite an important part of all businesses today, and is absolutely the future of shopping. This method is preferred to many business owners because it reduces the cost of doing business. The reason for this? Electronic transactions, electronic searches, cheaper advertising…the list goes on. In a simply put definition, e-commerce is the “practice of buying and selling products and/or services over the internet” (electronically-thus the word e-commerce). It is one of the fastest growing industries in today’s modern world of business.

E-commerce can be a fully integrated solution or a technical “front-end” to a business that otherwise isn’t wired. You can advertise for your offline store online and drive traffic to it, or you can offer your customers to purchase from your store online. Today, millions of businesses are linked online and it has proved to be very beneficial financially.

Take these statistics: 57% of consumers are likely to take action based on the information from a brand representative, and 62% of consumers have indicated that information from a brand representative would be more valuable than advertisements or promotional materials. Shoppers can visit the Web site at their convenience to find the information they need to purchase a product. An e-commerce web site can actually provide a way through which these shoppers can research a purchase. Once the shopper or client has completed the buying process and is ready to pay, the Web site proceeds to request the customers personal information, such as his name, address, phone number and credit card number. These days the biggest challenge for data-driven organizations is the management of secure information from the inside out. Many people don’t want to give out any credit or personal information over the web. This can be addressed by installing a VeriSign Secure Server ID on your server, so you can securely collect sensitive information on-line. By doing this, it may increase business by giving your customers confidence that their transactions online are safe. When a customer makes a purchase, the company receives the information through the e-mail or by fax. Customers will submit information via the Web only if they are confident that their personal information, such as credit card number or financial data is secure.

When starting your own e-commerce business you must consider all aspects, including but not limited to the planning of your website, design and implementation, ISP evaluation, security measures, enterprise/customer interaction suite, accounting/business management software and marketing. If you’re looking to make money online and start your own business, e-commerce is one of the greatest ways to do so. Just make sure to educate yourself in all areas of setting up and running your business.

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