What is e-commerce? Is it for me?
Definition: E-commerce is commercial transactions conducted electronically on the internet. We need to ask question to our self do we just leave it to web designers & developers and focus on our own common sense to simply how to get a payment provider on the website that would be a mistake.
It crucial that you both know and understand the e-commerce to maximizes the effectiveness as an online marketer.
You can spend years in this area to become specialist and we will see how to start it. Moreover to immediately start benefiting from this crucial area.
If you google E-Commerce definition you will get great definitions but there is not one definition. E-Commerce is simply doing business online. Business can be done business to business (B2B) level or business to consumer (B2C) level and regardless of which type of merchant you are it is human beings that make the purchasing decisions.
It’s a complex field bringing together aspect of several fields:
- Traditional business management
- Digital marketing
- Web design & development
- Analysis & transaction management
There are many example but I will share some of them, have you heard boo.com? I’m 90% sure you don’t know yet. This was launched in 1999 and investor are confirm to invest $130 million in the company, boo.com management team were able to revive revenue forecast but were unable to answer the fundamental questions for modeling the potential of the business such as how may visitor you are aiming and what kind of conversion rate you are aiming and how much does each customer have to spend and what’s your customer acquisition cost. When these figure obtained analysts can identify the week areas. So the end of boo.com is May 2000. So the famous saying that the road to hell could pay attentions and not defining your market correctly can lead to catastrophic e-commerce failure.
So just goes to show if you don’t have the correct figure the correct data and ask the correct questions then you are not gone make the money and you potentially go out the business.
E-commerce market size
According to market survey e-commerce sales is growing day by day worldwide. You have to have your share. More and more people coming online special in the new markets. Asia pacific and Europe has little bit big market comparatively
E-commerce growth BRICS
BRICS is a new marketing terms.
- South Africa
Its worlds the emerging markets, this now the focus the top 5 emerging markets. That’s why Alibaba is so popular on yahoo, you need the local director for local operation if you are based outside.
M-commerce where it’s at!
M-commerce is mobile commerce according to STATISTA surveys 30% of the e-commerce transaction is happening from mobile phone & tablet devices now. So we all know how important is mobile in e-commerce now, we all know because data drive everything.
Another thing we need be consider with m-commerce with designing for thumbs we need to be responsive better design given optimal viewing experience across all devices that facilitate both mobile transaction and mobile purchases decision making for later purchases. So we need simple navigation we to able minimize scrolling and keep vertical only, you need use clear hierarchy in the navigation and of course we have to take thumbs into account because that’s how most people is actually doing scrolling on their mobile device, so we use large center button we give them breathing space to reduce the accidental clicks.
If they have decided to buy, don’t make it difficult for them reduce the number of steps to conversion. User click to call functionality for any phone numbers, just make it easy for consumer as much as possible. Keep the forms short and use the minimum fields as much as possible. Don’t ask them to fill which you don’t need because it really frustrating to fill the form.
E-commerce as an industry
- 81% of the Internet Population made a purchase online in 2014.
- 71% of shoppers believe they will get a better deal online.
- Increases at around 13% between Q1 2013 and Q1 2014.
- In the US there were 191 million online buyers last year.
- In the UK 13% of the entire economy comes from online buying.
Do you need shopping cart or not?
If you are selling hundred and thousands of products then you need the shopping cart and all other services with the team, and if you selling a handful of main product then you don’t need the shopping cart and you don’t need to involve your bank, merchant account you can talk to a gateway provider and web developer. Shopping is sound like amazon, ebay where huge amount of information has been processed with huge amount of products.
Full service integrated payment solutions
Paypal owned by ebay is just like your bank and trusted recognized brand and good enough to gain faith of your customer, they provide easy to use buttons and quickly put on your web page without any high level programming knowledge required where the user goes to buy a click to the paypal button and it take to the paypal page hosted at paypal website and this is the added valued as a payment processor.
Skrill formerly know Moneybookers widely used as online payment method. It has great tab functionality to make purchase easier obviously it’s bigger as paypal but the reliability of the service, it’s not that far behind pretty much equally safer and reliable.
These are not only the two server there are penalty of server out there I’m just giving examples. Don’t be afraid to do your own research.
E-Commerce platforms – Hosted solutions
Shopify is one of the most popular e-commerce platforms it is very popular in designers, developers and end users easy to use with the free and of course premium template options available and some of the benefits is that shopify it has its own hosting and security pricing includes hosting.
And there is BIG Commerce it has their own hosting prices includes hosting again also free and premium templates. They have list of recommended designers available for custom designs, they have marketing functionality and customer order management from the dashboard.
VirtueMart, zencart PRESTASHOP, opencart and so on there are a lot of options and these are just some examples. I can’t tell which the best is, it purely depends on what you need.
E-Commerce platforms – Enterprise level
When you get into the enterprise level, Magento, Oracle, cementum & oxid eshop, so there are just some examples of very very large enterprise level ecommerce hosts.
E-commerce and content
- Around 46% of internet users read reviews and blogs about a given product before purchasing online.
- Blog postings and social content influence purchase with 13% of user surveyed in this study reporting they influence purchase.
- 84% online shoppers refer to at least one social media site for recommendations before shopping online.
- No e-commerce venture can succeed in the long term without a well-managed social media presence and sound online reputation.
- This is why big brands spend millions on social media management, content creation, and work to build partnerships with blogs.
Customer purchase journey
The first thing that customer has to come to or to be referred to the website somehow.
Then the second thing they do considering and researching and evaluating what they found in front of them. The first 5 seconds of human introductions are the most important. Customer scan and decide quickly we all make fast and quick decisions, If the visitor is existing customer he is more in comfort, and if they have been referred by another person that is the next best thing.
The decision stage is that crucial movement where a person decide that they are going to buy, this is as much as psychology technology. The next stage is action, action is the process of actually making the purchase. Enjoy period is starting from thank you page and confirmation emails and delivery of the purchase on the due date, and if the customer has positive experience, then they will go on to share this experience on social channels, and he will make repeat purchases and if expectation has been met means you have well functional e-commerce website and business will be growing. And that is the aim we are looking for. And the other hope is they refer to a friend.