As e-commerce software solutions make their way to the market, business enterprises are eyeing opportunities to tap the export market. The emergence of internet and the World Wide Web have been great drivers of globalization. This assumes a greater significance in the context of international trade. Given that the internet and the World Wide Web offer exposure of a business to a diverse global audience, there are latent opportunities to sell more and sell better not only in the domestic markets, but in the overseas markets as well. While there are legislative and regulatory frameworks that act as barriers to trade, technology drives free trade. E-commerce software solutions can enable companies to showcase their offerings and sell their products and services to an international audience and thus boost earnings. In fact e-commerce software development companies can open hidden gateways to the export market and enable business enterprises to consolidate their overseas business portfolio.
Bringing the Services Sector under E-commerce Model
While there are significant challenges faced by e-commerce companies dealing in merchandise, there are opportunities galore in the services sector. Given that services do not mandate supply chain management, inventory setup and last mile connectivity to the doorstep of the consumer enterprise in the verticals like travel and tourism, software, information technology, outsourcing and legal advisory can embrace the e-commerce model with ease. This calls for the harnessing of simple cost effective and feature rich e-commerce software development that can enable businesses to reach out to a greater audience and hit the target customer profile with a more customized and customer oriented face of business. There are a few factors that need to be borne in mind by both e-commerce companies and e-commerce software solution development companies in order to fulfill this agenda.
E-commerce Web Development for Multi Lingual and Multi Currency Support
For e-commerce business enterprises to successfully crack the code of international business, e-commerce web development must have to embrace multilingual proficiency. This enables consumers and institutions from across the world have access to information and participate in online transactions with the firm. Again the format of accepting payments in diverse currencies can enable firms to penetrate overseas markets with a firm footing. Not only is it in the best interests of customers but also enables firms to truly embrace the dimension of being a global citizen. Payment gateway development and integration for e-commerce that allows companies to accept payments in different currencies are likely to increase traffic to websites and also result in higher and better sales opportunities.
E-commerce Websites with Mobile Friendly Designs
Yet another step towards capturing the overseas market would be the embracing of e-commerce website development with responsive design. This would allow e-commerce companies to customize their offerings to targeted customers in different countries. Mature e-commerce markets witness a greater traffic in the personal device segment that consist of smart phone and tablet users in comparison to the segment of web. Even in other mature e-commerce markets like the where it is trendy for online buyers to research on shopping alternatives it makes enormous good sense to sell using an exclusively dedicated mobile commerce strategy.
E-commerce App Store Optimization
With thousands of e-commerce companies joining on the bandwagon of application development for web and smart phones, there is a teeming clutter of apps. How can a business enterprise get its app noticed by reducing the clutter of apps surrounding it? It is highly recommended that business enterprises check out for the leading mobile and e-commerce app stores in different countries and thus endeavor to get their respective apps optimized. The practice of app store optimization will enable companies to get a better grip of the market in mature markets where competition is cut throat. While this is a relatively new practice, it makes enormous good sense to suggest that this is the future in the fast growing world of applications that are invading the smart phones of users thick and fast. App store optimization will enable companies to market their applications and bring them to the forefront on app stores for higher downloads and usage by customers.
Social Commerce – The Evolution
Social commerce is different from traditional e-commerce, or more of an extension of e-commerce. Social commerce basically makes use of social media sites like Facebook and Twitter. The method that is employed in this type of commerce is rather simple in its essence. Business owners or people who are related to sales use these sites to interact with the potential and existing customers. They make use of several techniques to encourage online selling of their product or service. To simplify the concept, one can say that when e-commerce is conducted using social media sites, it is termed as social commerce. But what differentiates social commerce from e-commerce is commerce through social media evolves from a relationship basis where e-commerce is more transactional.
Social Commerce = Opportunity
There is a growing trend among businesses to use social media for commerce to increase their sales. This is without doubt a great opportunity for businesses. The system of social commerce is based upon interaction. This gives a business much better chance of increasing sales because through these sites they are actually able to convey their message and motto to their customers.
The question that now arises is what is the point of social e-commerce? Using these sites a business can create a platform where potential customers can get advice from other people. There are many products and services that are for sale today and this very large variety can be a source of confusion for the customer who can’t decide whether to go for the product or not. Using social media, the business creates an environment where the existing customers serve as an important tool in convincing the potential customers to buy the product there and then.
Relationships Matter in Social Commerce
This is done through a series of product recommendation and building relationships though customer interaction, after all social media drives relationships which breeds trust which enable social commerce. Using sites like Facebook and Twitter the business sets up its product or service for reviews or ratings. Through this system it is able to generate feedback about its products and this in turn serves as ‘trusted’ advice to the new client. When the client sees that other people are making use of product/service and are benefiting from it, they are encouraged to buy the product. Since commerce through social media is an extension of e-commerce, the product can be bought online.
When it comes to Facebook commerce or commerce through other sites, the product is sold using these sites. There is the facility of shopping carts available that allows the customer to buy the product there and then from the site without having to visit any other site. Facebook for instance uses Facebook Open Graph that allows the trade of goods to be carried on using Facebook. To help businesses, the site has also introduced tools such as I frames that allow businesses to learn more about their clients. Although the idea of social commerce is relatively new, there are many businesses that are currently making use of this service, and are benefiting from it. There are more firms that are taking up this concept and from the looks of it social commerce is going to get more developed as firms come to realize the fact that it has a lot of scope and potential.
You might want to create a website of your own, with a common example being a business or e-commerce website. E-commerce stands for electronic commerce, and refers to Internet sites that buy or sell products or services directly, including both physical products and services and virtual products and services. Exchanging financial data is also an important part of e-commerce in the context of online payments. E-mail and mobile phones are also often involved with e-commerce.
Aspects of E-commerce
E-commerce is made possible via electronic funds transfer, online transaction processing, electronic data interchange, automated data collection systems, inventory management systems, supply chain management and Internet marketing. Most commercial entities are at least somewhat involved in e-commerce today.
E-commerce transactions tend to be either business to business or business to consumer. There are many common e-commerce applications. These include supply chain and logistics document automation, enterprise content management, group or collective buying, domestic and international payment systems, instant messaging, newsgroups and automated online assistants.
More on E-commerce
Other aspects of e-commerce include online banking, online shopping, online order tracking, online office suites, teleconferencing, online tickets and shopping cart software. Some aspects of e-commerce tend to be regulated by governments. These often include online advertising, commercial e-mails and consumer privacy.
Some e-commerce practitioners exist only over the Internet, with an e-commerce website and perhaps other websites but not physical storefront or location. There are also more traditional commercial entities with storefronts or physical locations that also have a web presence that include an e-commerce website both for direct sales and for drawing more business to physical storefronts.
Making E-commerce Websites
Professional web designers can create e-commerce sites, but amateurs and laymen can use such applications as website builder tools, website design software and e-commerce software to do so as well. The best e-commerce sites are often simple and efficient in design, and it is generally not difficult to plan, build, launch and maintain an e-commerce website given the appropriate tools.
E-commerce and E-business
E-commerce is a subset of e-business, which is business conducted more efficiently with the use of information technologies. Internally within a business this can mean customer relationship management, human resources management, content management, enterprise resource planning, document management systems and communications systems such as digital audio, voice mail, e-mail, web conferencing and digital work flows.
Examples of E-commerce Products and Services
Software, electronic books and streaming media are some examples of online goods and services. E-commerce retail services can include travel, banking, food ordering, online pharmacy, online flower delivery and DVD-by-mail. Examples of mobile commerce include banking, ticketing and payment services. Some e-commerce marketplace services include advertising, auctions, online wallets, trading communities, price comparison services and social commerce.
E-commerce businesses are becoming a reliable way to buy products online. Branding plays a direct role in improving chances of e-commerce business success. An increasing number of global customers are switching to e-commerce sites to purchase everything from groceries to apparel, and electronics to lifestyle products. The e-commerce industry has completely transformed the way in which consumers around the world access products and services. It has suddenly brought a world of options to the fingertips of end users. The future seems bright for the e-commerce industry, with major players branching out into newer product categories frequently (thus setting the standards for smaller brands).
For e-commerce businesses, things are going well enough, but the competition is also fierce. New e-commerce brands are launching every day and persistently trying to get a foothold online. When it comes to branding, e-commerce companies are leaving no stone unturned. In this scenario, it is vital that you build and implement a high quality branding strategy for your e-commerce business.
Branding Strategies For E-Commerce Businesses
By having a result-oriented, effective branding plan for your e-commerce business, you can stand out amongst your competitors. To achieve that, you must determine what makes your e-commerce business a unique player in the industry. Are you offering high quality products at the best available rates? Do you organize regular discounts and offers for your customers? Are you adding new product categories to meet more customer demands? What are the factors that would convince customers to choose your brand against others? E-commerce business owners must strive to highlight the unique selling points of their brand. Only then can an e-commerce brand be boldly promoted to larger audiences.
As an e-commerce brand, you have to be at the forefront when it comes to attracting product vendors as well as consumers to your e-store. Vendors would be interested in using your marketplace, if it has a strong brand that keeps providing value to customers. The number of sellers and customers you bring in to your network depends on the strength of your e-commerce brand, and how well it delivers on its promises. If you are intelligent in your branding, and consistent in your service quality, your e-commerce brand can achieve considerable success.
E-commerce branding, like all branding, is influencing the perception of your brand and its services, in the eyes of the customer. Effective e-commerce branding will make marketing easier, retain more customers, drive up loyalty, and create better potential value for steady, long-term success.
The way you must approach an e-commerce branding strategy is by highlighting some key points. With branding, you must uphold your business’s core mission, the problems you aim to solve for your customers, standards that it adheres to, and proof of the quality of services you provide. What are the factors involved in business branding and their importance?
E-Commerce Branding – Methods and Importance
1. Your Brand Image – A stellar, uniquely identifiable brand image helps customers attach value to your e-commerce brand’s personality. This includes various things such as logos, banners, taglines, marketing captions, social content etc., which should always represent your brand the best. This is quite important if you want to create value for potential customers and convert them into loyal customers. A good brand image goes a long way in retaining customers, by continually generating interest for your e-commerce brand’s offerings.
2. Customer Satisfaction – Customers are everything, when it comes to e-commerce or any other type of business. You can actually enhance customer experiences and drive up satisfaction (and loyalties). This is a big part of establishing your e-commerce brand. Put your best foot forward while marketing, deliver on your promises you make, and provide unmatched service and support to enhance your brand’s potential value. Remember that satisfied existing customers can and will bring in newer customers to your e-commerce business. Maintain your integrity and keep reinventing to bolster your brand’s chances of business success.
3. Find Your Unique Selling Proposition – As an e-commerce business owner you must determine the USP of your brand. This will help you brand and promote it better to larger groups of potential customers. Think about what sets you apart from dozens of competitors vying for true e-commerce glory. Is it your service quality or support? Is it the trust of your customers and your track record? Do you provide innovative offers, discounts and promotions on special occasions? Do you house the widest variety of rare products? You must determine why customers would choose your e-commerce site. What extra value can you offer to your potential customers that convince them to use your platform again and again? Find your USP and use it to strengthen your brand.
4. Utilize All Channels – Technological advances in the past decade demand that your e-commerce business maximizes its presence on all social, web-based and mobile platforms. More and more potential customers buy and sell through handheld devices, and almost all of them are on social websites. All your competitors are doing it, and so should you. It will help you make your brand easily accessible to larger audiences, which in turn will bring more conversions and significantly better revenues. Social and mobile should be the front and center of your branding strategy.
E-commerce sites can benefit from the above mentioned branding strategies. By using the concepts provide here, you can establish your e-commerce brand and take your business to the next level.
Within a decade, the importance of e-commerce sites has increased 10 times. The hectic life, busy schedule, restless lifestyle, lack of commodity management &decrease of unemployment have actually cast a spell behind this sudden hike. People get less time to go out and shop and window shopping? Who has the time? Everyone is running behind money and once coming back to the home exhausted in the evening, turn on the desktop, PC, Tablet or mobile and order something from the e-commerce store.
This is somehow the daily routine of all the busy people out there? Isn’t it?
Well, the luxurious deals that the e-marts promote to allure us in the festive seasons are quite lucrative and unavoidable. Moreover, the discounts that they provide us simply help us to pick up some awesome products at a very cheaper price and that really works! E-commerce has mobilized business truly and has given it a new aspect from both the ends of the customers and the sellers.
What is an e-commerce site?
E-commerce sites simply mean shopping through the internet. The history of online shopping dates back some two decades ago in 1991 when commercial use was allowed on the internet. At the beginning, the term was used only for the implementation of the electronic commercial dealings via EFT & EDI. Later the coinage was changed in the presently used meaning, i.e. the e-commerce websites or the websites that deal with the retailed products or services.
History In Brief
It all started like this. In early 2000, a huge number of business organizations in the United States and the Western Europe started representing their business on the internet. This led to a revolution and people started to buy goods directly online. Even that time the term e-commerce development company didn’t exist.
The internet was also new that time and dot-com collapse had damaged a lot in the international market. But one of the retailing companies ‘Brick & Mortar’ stood irresistibly and utilized the benefits of the electronic commerce stratagems. Once the concept was established, the types of e-commerce, such as the Business-to-Business model or B2B, Business-to-Consumer model or B2C and other models started approaching.
A recent survey has revealed that within three months, the global e-commerce sites generate over $1,50,000 monthly revenue and approximately $3,30,000 yearly revenue. It is estimated that after few years the amount will rise up to $1 million, which means it will increase some 230% within the gap of 3 years.
Some E-Commerce Sites
Within the time span of 1971 or 1972, the ARPANET was executed to organize a cannabis sale among the students of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Stanford and the Artificial Intelligence Laboratory. It was an online seminar and is thought to be the first e-commerce sale activity of the world.
In today’s world, with the huge success of the Amazon and Flipkart, e-commerce sites have started popping up like crazy. The importance and convenience of selling products and services through just one click have approached many business people positively. So, as the consequence, thousands of e-commerce websites are mushrooming up almost every day. But creating an e-commerce site requires a good management skill, marketing knowledge and development caliber that can optimize your site in the crowd of other such online shopping sites.
So what to take care of? Let’s have a look-
Web Hosting Service
Hosting your website on the internet properly will help your customers’ to access your website easily. Choosing a good hosting service is, thus, so important for launching your e-commerce site. The best web hosting service uplifts your website loading speed, makes it secure and deteriorates offline going rate. Before you choose a proper web hosting service, check out its availability, reliability, proper uptime and authenticity. Jimdo, Weebly are some of the web hosting services that have the drag and drop feature that facilitates hosting e-commerce websites.
Mediators or not?
The term ‘affiliate marketing’ depicts the presence of a mediator between the vendor and the customer. It prevents them to interact and transact directly with each other. The entire task is managed by the mediators for which they receive commissions for each transaction. But it’s up to you, whether you want to keep a mediator between or not? Many e-commerce sites work via a mediator and sometimes, the businessmen want to become the mediator as it generates more profit than a direct sale.
There are some sites that directly sell the products or services without any mediator. Sites like e-bay, OLX interact the customers and the sellers directly without any kind of mediators.
Transforming your promotions into conversion for generating ROI requires a call-to-action strategy. Call-to-action is not only the button that your end users click on their purchase. It depicts the benefits that your clients get from you or want to get from you. Thus, the discounts or offers that they get can also be the call-to-action strategy.The margin cut for the products or services depends on the discount or deduction you are providing for its each sale. The availability of the products and the proper categorization also attracts the attention of the consumers.
Hiring an experienced e-commerce development company for creating your own e-commerce site provides you benefits from all the aspects. But do you know, there are many online e-commerce platforms that provide you the benefits of customizing your e-commerce site? Well, there are many to learn about. Let’s have a look on them.
Shopify delivers online e-commerce software for stores and retail sales.
You can easily add e-commerce functionality in the Wix.com, a cloud-based web development platform that permits its customers to create HTML5 websites and mobile sites by using online drag and drop tools.
BigCommerce creates e-commerce software in order to enhance your business.
There are some technical platforms too.
WooCommerce is the best of them, which is basically an e-commerce plugin for WordPress.
Magento is one of them. This open-source e-commerce platform is written in PHP.
So, if you are looking for creating an e-commerce site of your own, ask few questions. Determine the products or service you want to sell, the group of customers you want to target and make a thorough survey of the market and then try the tips given above.
Being the managing director of RL Infotechh Solutions, RL Ganguly has to deal with many e-commerce site owners and businessmen. This has helped him to gain profound knowledge about the e-commerce sites and e-commerce development company. Thus, he has penned down many articles on the similar topics to inform his readers.