Trade has been a prevalent practice for centuries. Be it barter exchange or buying and selling of goods and services, trade is an important aspect of human life. No one comes to this life and becomes self-sufficient in all ramifications, hence, the need for transactions stemming from demand and supply of goods and services. Today, transactions take place all over the world, within a locality and across locations.
This same transaction, demand, and supply have, in recent times, expanded beyond what man has ever imagined centuries back. Trade has taken to the electronic transaction; it is now conducted virtually via the internet across the globe. Hence, the invention of the term “eCommerce and the eCommerce website.”
Meaning of eCommerce
Ecommerce or E-business (as it is alternatively called) has the prefix ‘E’ to mean ‘electronic’. That is, ‘electronic business’. It simply means the purchase or sale of goods and services via an electronic medium, i.e. ‘the internet.’ Ecommerce also involves the transfer of data and monies electronically between two or more persons or parties.
Simply put, do you know your online shopping? That is the eCommerce or E-business we are talking about.
Ecommerce began as far back as in the 1960s. Today, it so easy to operate and convenient for users that if there should be a mere suggestion to stop it now, that will brings about a global war.
Anyone can shop for anything without having to go anywhere now via the internet right from his living room or anywhere he is at all, just with a few clicks of buttons and so on.
Meaning of eCommerce website
If you know what a website is, then you would not have trouble understanding the meaning of an eCommerce website. An eCommerce website is a website that provides you with the service of buying and selling tangible goods and digital products and services via the internet.
Before now, online transactions (eCommerce) were done via emails and phone calls only, however, now it has taken the form of any online portal that contains and can execute anything and everything that a transaction needs.
ECommerce websites are online portals that allow online transactions of buying and selling of goods and services by the transfer and receiving of information and funds over the internet.
Different types of eCommerce website
An eCommerce website will be referred to being a particular type base on the services it executes or the functions it carried out. The different types of eCommerce websites are:
- B2B: this means ‘Business-to-Business.’ This is a type of an eCommerce website that carry out the electronic transaction of goods and services between companies. For example, a company website that sells goods to other companies.
- B2C: That is a business website that offers The transaction of goods and services between companies and the final consumers. For example, Konga, Amazon, etc.
- C2C: ‘consumer-to-consumer.’ That is, a business website that offers the services of allowing electronic transactions between consumers. How is this? For example, when an individual sells his old Smartphone to another individual (consumer) via a business website. i.e. eBay,
- C2B: the ‘Consumer-to-Business’ electronic business website. This offers an electronic transaction of goods and services between individuals and companies. That is, where individuals offer services or products to companies. For example, where a social media influencer offers exposure to the products of a company in exchange for a fee.
Basic analysis of an e-commerce website
Ecommerce is nothing different from our ordinary physical day-to-day businesses. However, the one difference is that, unlike the brick and mortar retail stores, the entire process of an eCommerce takes place online.
The journey of taking your business online and become an electronic trader starts with the building of an eCommerce website. An eCommerce website is built with plugins like WordPress, woo-commerce or you can contract some website builders (i.e. Shopify, Wix, Magento, etc) to help build your eCommerce site for a fee. Next, you start displaying products, with their descriptions and price tags. To make it easy for your customers to navigate through the website, you should provide a button, then click on which will take the customers to where they can purchase the product interest.
Having clicked on a product of interest, customers are usually if not always required to fill up a form providing all necessary details for a completed transaction to take place. Such details as delivery address are always provided. Also, about the issue of payment for a particular product. There are different methods of payment used on different eCommerce websites. Buyers can either be required to pay through a gateway like ‘PayPal’ or through the use of credit cards. Another method of payment is what is called ‘COD’ meaning ‘cash on delivery.’
By cash on delivery, payment is only made when the item purchased is delivered to the personal address of the buyer. In addition, the buyer can either pay in cash or through credit cards or other ways like Google pay.
In case the item purchased, when delivered is defective or the buyer is not happy with the quality of the product or a wrong product has been delivered, there is what is called the ‘reverse logistics system’ that can be used. This is by simply notifying the company that you want to return the item you ordered (while providing a cogent reason) and get your money back. The company representative will come to your address and take back the product and then your money will be refunded back to your account.
Ecommerce also promotes their products digitally. Such as, through digital advertising and email marketing, and some other means of product promotion. I.e. social media platforms. Ecommerce websites usually ask visitors to provide their emails, through the emails collected, emails and notifications are sent to the users.
Legal requirements in building eCommerce websites
With the whole world going online now, there is a need for a more stringent data privacy law, and such is as has been put in place. Example, are GDPR and CCPA regulation that has a direct impact on data collection, use, and storage. Thus, before anyone or a company ventures into creating an eCommerce website, he has to be aware of the legal policies required for building the eCommerce website.
Before launching an eCommerce website, users should be sure the website is legal in terms of the data privacy laws that are very much applicable to the audience and the general public.
Why you need an eCommerce website for your product
In this contemporary age, almost every consumer looks online for information about a particular product before deciding to buy it either from an online shop or from a brick and mortar store.
Therefore, if you are akin in the success of your company in this modern world and in the modern world’s marketplace, you need to build a website for your business. Nowadays, most often than not, having an eCommerce website for your business will be the backbone of your business to help in your digital marketing efforts. Sit tight as we delve into details on the importance of an eCommerce website for your business.
- Enhancement of content marketing: an important aspect of promoting your product online is having a unique digital marketing strategy. You need to share some information or piece of content about your product online, an advertisement that pulls customers to your website, hence, the issue of content marketing. This is what tells consumers what they need to know about your products or services.
Therefore, how does building a website for your product concerns content marketing? It does concern it in the sense that, even though you may use third party social media platforms or sites to reach your customers, what if you have capture their interest, where do you send them to learn more about your product and more desirably to make order or make purchase of your product. Yes, you will need a business site to which they will be directed.
Aside from where to send your consumers, ecommerce website is where you will house your contents, your products’ description, or blog post, as in, just somewhere your prospective customers can find information of interest and patronize you
- Wider outreach and increase in sales: what make a business are sales. It is what keep any industry up and running, thus, increase in sales is what improve the success of every business. As such building an ecommerce website for your product is very important.
Taking your product online by building a website for it will help you reach more customers. Moreover, the more customers you are able to reach out to, the more likely you will have the opportunity of making more sales. Although, building a website for your business does not mean you will automatically have paying customers to your site. However, when you optimize your site, the more chances of bringing in leads that are likely to make purchase.
Having a website for your product, keeps your products and services availability around the clock
In addition, contents you provide on your site, i.e. product description, serve as sales person available to customers at any time they visit the site and helping them with the information that will allow them to make an informed purchasing decision. I.e. convincing them of the benefits, they gain from purchasing your products or services.
- Provides products and services accessibility around the clock: that is, customers can always have access to your products and make purchases at any time of the day and without you, the product seller, having to give up your sleep to reach out to customers 24 hours 7 days.
- Your product has gone global: the physical business setups are always bound by location. However, the eCommerce website makes your business accessible globally and also expand your products’ awareness.
- Lower costs in management: online business tends to carry lower cost than the physical storefront setups. Such features that contribute to the lower cost operation of the online business are digital advertising etc. You spend less on advertising digitally compare to what you will spend through the traditional channels of advertising.
- Broaden your product/brand: eCommerce is just another to way expand your brand or products, a convenient one at that. With an online presence 24 hours a day, you can afford to bring in more brands or products and house them on your website. You need not worry about having to move locations to the effect that you want to expand your business, you can run a business from anywhere. You just need to bring in all of your products to one website, which is within the reach of your customers wherever they are.
Tips on how to have a profitable ecommerce website
Know your products and know who your customers are
The first step to take when you want to create an ecommerce website, is to know what line of business are you involved, what are the products you want to sell and then identify the your potential customers, that is, your target market. When you know your target market to which you believe the product you are bringing to the market is fit for, then you have the chance of not wasting your time but making the most out of your product.
Make sure your website is user friendly
Next is to think carefully and design a user-friendly website for your customers. Design a website that your customers can easily navigate to get what they want. Designing a website is no so difficult now as there are now extensive collection of website template present online. Alternatively, you can get some companies that offers website building services to do it for you, however, giving them the instruction of creating a user-friendly website for you.
What do you have on your website?
You may have a beautifully designed website and easy to navigate, but without contents, it will amounts to nothing. Build quality contents on your website for the visitors to consume. For an ecommerce website, your contents are the products you have to sell, their descriptions, some other valuable information you have to feed to your customers.
Promote your products on other social platforms
To drive traffic to your eCommerce website, you should promote your products on social media platforms. This you do by sharing information about your products or better still sharing your contents to social media and other bookmarking sites or to news websites and so on and so forth. Alternatively, more effectively, you can create social media pages in which you promote your products and then, link the pages to your eCommerce website. In addition, you also encourage visitors of your pages to help you share your contents on their own social media network etc.