E-commerce is the act of electronically selling or purchasing of goods over the Internet or on online virtual services. It includes the retail sales of a product, services and digital content to the end user who typically accesses the web from his office or home. The online business is characterized by the use of technological infrastructure such as electronic commerce platforms, shopping carts and software interfaces. The end users may visit an e-commerce website in order to make online purchases or may also be conducted in a series of other ways, depending on the nature of the online transaction.
An example of e-commerce transaction is a visitor to an e-commerce website makes a purchase, places an order or simply browses through some product information, takes a quick look at some pricing data and decides to place an order. What happens next is an e-commerce transaction. Such a transaction usually involves a wait time between the consumer’s request for service and the service provider’s response.
An alternative approach to e-commerce is electronic commerce or e-business. In this type of business online, there is no physical store and there are no real interactions between the seller and buyer. Instead, the seller creates and manages a virtual storefront on the Internet where he can display and promote his wares. This is usually done through a web browser or through proprietary software. Customers typically transact business online and their transactions occur entirely in the virtual world without any need for interaction or human intervention.
There are many benefits to using e-commerce strategies in the Internet. One of the most important advantages of e-commerce strategies is that consumers can shop from the comfort of their homes, at any time of day or night. This is especially true for the Internet-based brick and mortar businesses. Internet based businesses are not limited to particular hours of the day, and they can remain open all hours. Online vendors can also work with their customer base around the clock.
E-commerce has opened up opportunities for traditional brick and mortar businesses to expand and be more accessible to consumers. Online e-commerce sites can offer a wider selection of products and services to consumers. In some cases, consumers can buy from these stores using credit cards, making electronic commerce an even more viable option for consumers. Many consumers prefer to transact their business online, because it is easy and convenient. E-commerce sites generally have more secure connections to financial information than do regular brick and mortar stores.
In addition, e-commerce sites do not require as much overhead and labor for the owners than it does for the traditional brick and mortar stores. A good e-commerce site will have no rent on space, staff needed to operate the website, security concerns such as firewalls and fraud protection, inventory, and the costs associated with marketing and advertising. The website and its content are generally owned by the seller. This allows for the flexibility in pricing a product, changing the content to accommodate any needs, and creating a streamlined shopping experience that customers appreciate. There are even sites that let you sell your products without having a physical store.
For businesses that do not have an e-commerce website, there are still other options available for them. One of these options is the use of online shopping carts. These carts allow customers to make purchases through an online shopping cart, without having a physical store. Using this method can help businesses that do not have a web presence but still need to have a way for consumers to make purchases without having to leave their homes.
The emergence of e-commerce has given businesses new options for making sales. While not all businesses may be able to take advantage of the opportunities that e-commerce presents, many will. This is especially true since it presents new methods for conducting business that give consumers a greater choice and allow businesses to reach new markets that would not previously have been attainable. Businesses that do not embrace e-commerce will miss out on new opportunities to increase their profits and reduce their expenses while also reaching more consumers who are willing to buy their products online.