Building Up E-commerce
Firstly, Electronic commerce or you can say E-commerce is a term for any type of business, or commercial transaction, that involves the transfer of information across the Internet.
Business Managers of today are living in challenging times. Business targets had never been stiffer or work pressure and managing the complexities of competition is keeping them on their toes all the time. Today, success or failure of a business and the Organisation is dependent wholly upon the Organisation’s ability to be flexible and to respond to the external changing environment. Only those who are able to adapt to the changes and those who are able to assimilate and learn from tomorrow’s technology are able to run the race. Digital technology has changed the rules of business game.
Let’s take some example of e-commerce, let’s take Shopify,its one of the popular e-commerce sites , its a choice among many SMBs, Shopify has features that let you sell online, on social media, and in-person. It lets merchants build and customize their ecommerce site through easy-to-use interfaces and templates. And it has features such as inventory management, reporting, buy buttons and more. It also has social selling functionalities for those who are active on sites like Facebook and Pinterest.
Shopify is fully hosted, which means merchants won’t have to worry about maintaining the platform or using their servers.
Today, individuals have the power of internet in their hands. If one wants to book an airline ticket, it is pretty easy to do so online and it takes only a few minutes to complete the entire transaction of looking at the options, selecting the best priced deal, making an online payment and printing the confirmed ticket. As compared to talking to a travel agent for an hour and several calls, online booking is definitely a better deal. Take the case of courier industry. One can book a consignment to any location in the world and you can use the track and trace feature on the web to track the status of your parcel at any time. This feature makes a huge impact to a business which is sending some important and time bound cargo or document to another location. Look at how easy it has become to configure a computer that you want and order it online in an instant.
Organisations were traditionally product oriented. With times and changing environment they grew to understand and appreciate the need to be Customer centric and Customer relationship management became a key focus area. Being customer centric meant orienting the entire organisation and all its functions and divisions to be responsive to the internal and external customers. With the advent of E Commerce the Organisations have got to understand the Customers and their needs, preferences and buying behaviour in new light and from the perspective of electronic and digital media.
So how can we classify on what e-commerce sells us,
1. Stores that sell physical goods
These are your typical online retailers. They can include apparel stores, a homeware businesses, and gift shops, just to name a few. Stores that sell physical goods showcase the items online and enable shoppers to add the things they like in their virtual shopping carts. Once the transaction is complete, the store typically ships the orders to the shopper, though a growing number of retailers are implementing initiatives such as in-store pickup.
Some examples of these ecommerce stores include eyewear retailer like Lens kart.
2. Service-based e-tailers
Services can also be bought and sold online. Online consultants, educators, and freelancers are usually the ones engaging in ecommerce.
The buying process for services depends on the merchant. Some may allow you to purchase their services straightaway from their website or platform. An example of this comes from Fiverr.com, a freelance marketplace. People who want to buy services from Fiverr must place an order on the website before the seller delivers their services.
Some service providers, on the other hand, require you to get in touch with them first (i.e. book a consultation) to determine your needs. Web design company like Almamater, a site made by youths is one example of a business that does this.
3. Digital products
Ecommerce is, by nature, highly digital, so it’s no surprise that many merchants sell “e-goods” online. Common types of digital products include ebooks, online courses, software, graphics, and virtual goods.
Understanding the why, how and what of E Commerce and orienting the entire Organisation to be customer centric in the new environment calls for re-inventing the business model where technology becomes the driver and the key differentiator. The entire Organisation needs to elevate itself and graduate to new web enabling platforms where speed, information, visibility and co-ordination of multiple transactions, seamless working of applications connecting different business processes form the components of the business chain.
Speed is the essence of E Business. Organisations have no time to learn all about the new technology, analyse, understand and then make their decision to embrace and grow into the E Business. Time and speed will either make or break the businesses today. Therefore the Managers and Management have got to work and migrate their businesses to the E Business platform at the speed of thought and it has got to be done now.
And there you have it. I just discussed what ecommerce is, the types of merchants that do business online, and the biggest success (and failures) in the industry. What’s next?
Wherever you are right now in your ecommerce journey, we hope this post gave you some insights that you can apply in your venture. If you’re just starting out and need help picking a platform or deciding on your target audience, go back and read the section on ecommerce types and solutions. Already running a business and want to ensure your success? Read through the ecommerce stories above.
By Isa Taariq Mutaliph