Today, customers across the world prefer to shop from the convenience of their homes. eCommerce has made buying and selling of different products easy. All they need to do is visit an eCommerce website. They can select the products of their choice, pay for it online, and the products are delivered to their homes.
eCommerce has revolutionized the world of business. This article explains what eCommerce is and how it works.
What Is eCommerce?
eCommerce or electronic commerce is carrying out commerce or business using electronic media. It refers to the buying and selling of products and services over the internet. Whether it is buying groceries, electronic products, medicine, clothes, or food, eCommerce allows customers to buy goods of their choice through an eCommerce website.
There are different types of eCommerce businesses that you need to know about. They include:
- B2B business: Here transactions are done online between two businesses. For instance, a laptop manufacturer buying hard disks from a website.
- B2C business: It is the most common type of eCommerce business and involves businesses selling products to customers. For example, a customer buying grocery products online from a website.
- Online gaming: These websites let users pay a subscription to play games online.
- Online auction: At these websites, products can be purchased through a process of bidding, with the item going to the highest bidder.
- Affiliate marketing: Here, website owners can promote products sold on other websites and earn a commission on it.
How eCommerce Websites Actually Work
If you are interested in starting your own eCommerce business, then you need to understand how eCommerce works.
Products For Sale
An eCommerce website offers different products for sales. The top websites like Amazon offer thousands of products, belonging to different categories. Products sold on a website can be of one particular type or different categories. Apart from physical products, music, games, e-books, and even services are sold online, using eCommerce websites.
The essence of a website is the virtual shopping cart. Just like in a real store, customers can look for products on the website and select the products of their choice, which are then added to a virtual shopping cart.
Once their shopping is done, they can place an order by checking out the contents of the cart. Once the order is placed, they can choose their mode of payment, which can be credit card, debit card, e-wallet, cash on delivery, etc.
Payment is an important aspect of online shopping. Websites use a payment gateway to enable online payment. It makes the process of buying on a website secure, easy, and convenient.
There are many supporting processes involved in an eCommerce website. They include:
- Creating an order database with orders received from customers
- Generating invoices for orders
- Forwarding orders to the warehouse or suppliers for processing
- Packing of goods and verification
- Dispatch of goods to the customer
- Adding products to the website, classifying them, and updating product details
- Collecting feedback from customers
- Mailer campaigns to customers
It is one of the most important aspects of an eCommerce business. Logistics involves the following:
- Having a steady stock of products in the warehouse or with the supplier, ready for delivery.
- Updating the inventory to ensure the latest stock is shown on the website
- Storage of products in the warehouse and managing the inventory
- Sending products from the warehouse to the dispatch section and updating the stock
- Packing of the product
- Delivery to the customer’s premises through courier or another mechanism.
- Ordering new products for the warehouse from suppliers
- Managing documentation including invoice, tax reports, etc.
- Ensure analysis is done to understand which products are selling more and which less.
Creating A Website
eCommerce happens over a website. An attractive and easy-to-use website must be designed, developed, and used to carry out the eCommerce business. It can be done by taking the help of a professional website designer.
An alternative is creating an online store using a service like that of Shopify. This eCommerce platform allows you to create and run an online store easily and effectively. Shopify also offers several free and paid themes to help you customize your website.
It is necessary to provide support to customers. This support could include replacement of defective products, refunds, guidance on product use, repair, and maintenance, etc. Online chat with customer representatives and a helpline need to be put into place to ensure your customers have a way to contact you.