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Ecommerce definitions and advantages : Guidelines for choosing the best ecommerce service provider.

Ecommerce - is the technical term for buying and selling things though the electronic media. The concept of ecommerce has come a long way to mean much more than simple buying and selling. Ecommerce, in the 21 st century means the presence of a complete shop online with advanced functionalities enabling easy shopping.

The building blocks of ecommerce are the following, which systematize convenient business transactions online.

Web Site: Website is the only tool for creating web presence of your business. This is the gateway where shoppers come, choose from the products catalogue, place order, and make payments for the product they want to buy. Without a website, ecommerce is not just incomplete, but also impossible. Learn more...

Shopping Cart Software : This is the most important component that allows shoppers to select products from a list, place an order for them and also make online payment. Not long ago vendors used to hire programmers to develop customized shopping cart software for their ecommerce sites, but now it has become all the more easy. Ecommerce service providers offer ready shopping cart software that you can plug and play, making it easy for merchants to launch online business sites. Learn more...

Payment Gateway: Did you ever wonder how you could make online payments so easily, when you go for e shopping? The answer is simple. Payment Gateway is the connector between the buyers and the financial network. It helps to process the online payments and credit card processing made by the customer, with utmost speed and accuracy. A third party like Verisign or Paypal often provide this service. The correct choice of payment gateway that suits your ecommerce needs is crucial and this is where the role of an authentic ecommerce service provider comes in. Learn more...

Merchant Bank: Merchant banks are financial institutions. Whenever a person clicks on the checkout page and puts in the credit card payment details, the merchant bank processes and verifies the credit card details and gives instant notification to the customer as well as to the merchant. This component is inbuilt within the Payment Gateway. Merchants need to open a Merchant Account to avail this service. Thorough knowledge of Merchant Bank and Merchant Account is thus needed to make your ecommerce a success. Learn more...

SSL: Secure Socket Layer provides the security factor in payment transaction. With the help of a private key for data encryption, SSL transmits confidential user data, like credit card information, over the Internet. Use of SSL in your site assures the customer that their credit card and other personal information are NOT being made public or being misused by the merchant. Learn more...

Ecommerce – advantages over offline business:

  1. Saves the cost and time of setting up and maintaining a physical store
  2. Provides customers the convenience of shopping from anywhere, anytime
  3. Maintains every business transaction detail, even the smallest one
  4. Makes the shop accessible to customers from all over the globe
  5. Many customers can be simultaneously attended to
  6. Checks fraudulent transaction attempts
  7. Helps take business beyond the borders of your country or locality, offering you the potential for exponential growth
  8. Helps the merchant to offer a competitive price to the buyers, by giving discounts and other lucrative offers
  9. Provides money back guarantee for ensuring customer satisfaction
  10. By linking to other affiliate sites, helps Customers to find related things of interest

Before setting up your own ecommerce, bear in mind the following points:

  1. Your ecommerce site should be user friendly
  2. The products on sale should always be featured with a short, but explanatory description.
  3. The site should clearly state the shipment policy of the products.
  4. Instant email notification should be sent to the buyer, once the payment is received.
  5. All modes of communication should be kept open, to ensure a personalized service to the customers.

There is no denying the fact that ecommerce is beneficial and attractive. But its success depends on the design of the web page and the smooth functioning of the ecommerce systems you implement. Your choice of an ecommerce service provider should be based on your business needs. Don't forget to study and compare the different ecommerce packages before making a choice. As you pledge to give your best to your customers online, look for authenticity, reliability and comprehensibility while choosing your ecommerce Service provider.

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