Electronic commerce, or ecommerce website design commonly known as “e-commerce“, is defined in Wikipedia as a type of industry where buying and selling of product or service is conducted over electronic systems such as the Internet and other computer networks. Electronic commerce draws on technologies such as mobile commerce, electronic funds transfer, Internet marketing, online transaction processing, electronic data interchange (EDI), inventory management systems, and automated data collection systems. Modern electronic commerce typically uses the World Wide Web at least at one point in the transaction’s life-cycle, although it may encompass a wider range of technologies such as e-mail, mobile devices social media, and telephones as well.
So what does all of that mean? Essentially, it means… CONDUCTING MONEY TRANSACTIONS ONLINE.
Electronic commerce or ecommerce is a term for any type of business, or commercial transaction, that involves the transfer of information across the Internet. It covers a range of different types of businesses, from consumer based retail sites, through auction or music sites, to business exchanges trading goods and services between corporations. It is currently one of the most important aspects of the Internet to emerge.
Ecommerce allows consumers to electronically exchange goods and services with no barriers of time or distance. Electronic commerce has expanded rapidly over the past five years and is predicted to continue at this rate, or even accelerate. In the near future the boundaries between “conventional” and “electronic” commerce will become increasingly blurred as more and more businesses move sections of their operations onto the Internet.
The road to creating a successful online store can be a difficult if you are unaware of ecommerce principles and what ecommerce is supposed to do for your online business. Researching and understanding the guidelines required to properly implement an e-business plan is a crucial part to becoming successful with online store building. That is where Quik123 can help!
Shopping cart software is an operating system used to allow consumers to purchase goods and or services, track customers, and tie together all aspects of ecommerce into one cohesive unit.
While there are many types of software that you can use, customizable, turnkey solutions are proven to be a cost effective method to build, edit and maintain an online store. How do online shopping carts differ from those found in a grocery store? The image is one of an invisible shopping cart. You enter an online store, see a product that fulfills your demand and you place it into your virtual shopping basket. When you are through browsing, you click checkout and complete the transaction by providing payment information.
Although it is not a definite rule, to start an online business it is typically best to find a niche product that consumers have difficulty finding in malls or department stores. Also take shipping into consideration.
Building an online store and accepting credit cards is great, but are you ready to handle the rest of the responsibilities. Many people think that setting up and online store is time to relax, kick back and watch the sales pour in.. and never lift a finger. NOT TRUE! The shopping cart system will take care of the heavy-lifting and get the sales.. but it is up to you to fulfill every order. You must consider taxes, shipping providers (UPS, FEDEX, etc..), shipping costs, credit card fees and much more. For example, if you sell an item online and don’t consider every expense and what it means in the entire process, you may end up eating too many costs or not selling any products due to overly expensive surcharges. Pets.com found out the hard way: dog food is expensive to ship FedEx!
You need an ecommerce enabled website. This can either be a new site developed from scratch, or an existing site to which you can add ecommerce shopping cart capabilities. Quik123 will discuss all of your needs and determine the best solution for you. The most efficient and cost effective method is to use and existing off-the-shelf shopping cart that can be customized to suit your specific needs.
The next step, you need a means of accepting online payments. This usually entails obtaining a merchant account and accepting credit cards through an online payment gateway. PayPal is an option here, but Quik123 recommends getting a full-fledged merchant account. They are much more flexible and usually less expensive. See our Accept Credit Cards page for more information.
Lastly, you need a marketing strategy for driving targeted traffic to your site and a means of enticing repeat customers. If you are new to ecommerce keep things simple- know your limitations.
DO NOT OVERLOOK THE BASICS!! Using your own branded email address, getting business cards with your website name, adding your website name to your vehicle, etc… These are all ways to help get the word out. Don’t rely on the internet to do all of the work. You still need to take advantage of all of the low-cost methods of advertising before you start looking at spending a lot of money on an SEO package or Google Ads.
Ecommerce can be a very rewarding venture, but you cannot make money overnight. It is important to do a lot of research, ask questions, work hard and make on business decisions on facts learned from researching ecommerce. Don’t rely on “gut” feelings. We hope our online ecommerce tutorial has helped your business make a better decision in choosing an online shopping cart for your ecommerce store.