The term ‘eCommerce’ stands for Electronic Commerce. It involves the sale, purchase and trade of items or services on the internet through a virtual system. E-commerce is the act of electronically transacting or purchasing or selling goods on the internet via electronic means, usually via the internet or an intranet. Many websites use eCommerce as their main method of transaction and also for business promotion.
An online marketplace is the place where buyers and sellers meet and make transactions that are done by a business without having to leave its premises. Online retailers have the opportunity of reaching out to millions of consumers all over the world through the help of the World Wide Web. There are many advantages of using this type of transaction, and it has been a preferred choice among consumers, especially those who prefer to buy their necessary everyday commodities online. This type of online shopping is actually referred to as eCommerce, and it serves as a convenient way for consumers to purchase or sell a wide range of goods ranging from electronic appliances to clothing, from groceries to jewelries.
One of the major advantages of eCommerce is that consumers shop from the comfort of their home or office. They do not need to travel anywhere, and the payment transactions can be made by simple clicks. With eCommerce, consumers shop in the comfort of their home, and do not even need to leave the property. Furthermore, with eCommerce, payments can be made through social media such as Facebook and Twitter. ECommerce allows consumers to shop from the comfort of their home and make payment transactions through these social media.
Ecommerce allows companies to compete effectively in the global marketplaces. With eCommerce, retailers can provide their product to the global marketplaces free of cost. In the global marketplaces, the buyers can search for the required product and choose to purchase it through any of the retailer’s outlets. As such, eCommerce proves to be an excellent source of cost effective marketing and businesses can take advantage of the same. eCommerce offers another consumer-friendly option, where the retailer can manage the business without having to put out a separate investment in advertising and other marketing tactics.
eCommerce has further eased the management of the business by offering a set of standard features and functionalities to the websites through which the businesses can attract more consumer traffic. For example, most eCommerce websites provide catalogues with product details, which is an important tool for eCommerce businesses. Another important feature provided by eCommerce websites is payment gateway functionality, which is another way of making the process of payment simpler for both the merchant and the buyer. Businesses can use shopping carts for accepting various credit cards and can also offer online forms for customers to fill in to place their order. Moreover, merchants can also use drop shippers to deliver the ordered products to the consumer directly to their homes.
The advantages of eCommerce in terms of small business marketing are very much noticeable, as this method enables the small business owner to get a good number of consumers for his business. Online sales are thus promoted in a cost effective manner, and the competition among the marketers increases, resulting in improved market share. The other benefit is that with eCommerce, the costs involved in running the business can be reduced considerably. The online sales are thus promoted through a well designed marketing strategy, and the marketing budgets of the retailers also tend to get reduced.
There are some disadvantages of eCommerce too, and the two major aspects include the absence of good customer service and poor website design. The eCommerce business model is based on the concept of electronic commerce, and there are limitations in this field. This means that the consumers cannot have control over certain aspects of the business model. For example, the selection of payment gateways may not be given to the consumers, and the quality of the electronic commerce transaction may not be 100% guaranteed.
There is however an alternative method to those who do not wish to run their business under eCommerce conditions, and that is through the concept of dropshipping. Dropshipping simply means that the retailer takes care of the inventory, the packing, and shipping of the product directly to the buyer. This is a much easier and faster way to set up eCommerce businesses, but the downside is that you have to take care of all the costs involved.