The Advantages Of Ecommerce Platforms
Electronic Commerce (EC) is the interchange of information and data via electronic means, including email, instant messaging, intranet, and computer networks. E-commerce is the act of selling or buying of goods over the Internet or via electronic channels, over a network or intranet. In business terms eCommerce is synonymous with online retailing and shopping. It is popularly known as Web shopping.
As ecommerce made its way into the world’s marketplaces, major retailers saw an opportunity to increase their customer base and cut costs by conducting their transactions online. Major players in the industry such as Amazon, Hotmail, eBay, Yahoo!, and The Chicago Board of Trade embraced eCommerce full-force. This was primarily due to the fact that the business model provided substantial cost savings. Ecommerce platform and infrastructure became extremely affordable, especially for mid-sized companies with limited IT resources. Ecommerce software and systems became a logical solution for small and mid-size retail businesses. And just as the mid-1990’s technology has made way for powerful and attractive user interfaces, so too has eCommerce made way for powerful and efficient eCommerce shopping and selling platforms.
The basic difference between traditional websites and ecommerce is that traditional business models have a web browser application and eCommerce has a client-server architecture. The difference lies in the fact that eCommerce sites require more than just storing of product information and inventory; they need to ensure smooth and seamless integration with corporate data as well. The client-server architecture of the client-server business models allow for greater customization and security features.
Ecommerce solutions and software have evolved since its inception. In the beginning, ecommerce websites were constructed using simple text-based applications, which limited the available storage space and bandwidth for selling products. Today, eCommerce websites have advanced features such as inventory management, advanced marketing tools, catalogs, and payment gateways. As technology improves, these features become essential to an e-business model. These advanced features are what separate eCommerce from other forms of online commerce.
Ecommerce has a stronger business model than traditional businesses, as it enables a retailer to reach out to a larger consumer base. Traditional businesses typically only target a local market or a small group of individuals, whereas eCommerce websites can easily attract consumers from all over the world. Through eCommerce, one can easily sell to the international market, as well. Consumers from around the world will always be able to avail products available from this specific market, as the demand for international products will never be neglected.
Aside from being a platform for consumers, ecommerce can also help a retailer to increase their sales. With eCommerce, one is not locked into the usual retail sales procedures wherein they will have to promote their products to prospective buyers through various marketing means. Through commerce, a retailer will only have to provide marketing materials, such as brochures and catalogues. They do not have to worry about sending out flyers, making expensive commercials, or having to hold events to promote their products. With commerce, a retailer will only need to invest on the cost of their shipping services and handling costs for their customers.
Ecommerce businesses are capable of providing their clients with different types of services. For instance, if one’s client is selling their products through online stores, eCommerce can provide them with product catalogs, search tools, and the ability to handle payments and account details through different types of online stores. Ecommerce businesses are also capable of offering a platform where consumers can be granted access to different types of information. This allows consumers to find the information they need, whether it is regarding prices, specifications, or other relevant information.
Aside from these benefits, an ecommerce platform offers a more convenient way of conducting business, as it eliminates the hassles that come with traditional methods of selling products through retail shops. Consumers will be able to place orders through the Internet and receive them through different online stores or retail outlets. Furthermore, they will be able to track their orders using the online tracking system provided by the platform provider. By eliminating these hassles, ecommerce platforms are very advantageous in terms of productivity and efficiency.