Weighing the Differences Between eCommerce and Traditional Commerce

Due to the increased popularity and availability of Internet access many traditional small business are considering eCommerce as a valid and profitable sales channel. However, eCommerce and traditional commerce are very different, and it’s important to weight carefully the differences between eCommerce and traditional commerce in order to decide if it would be a good fit for your business or just a costly mistake.

Direct Interaction

Traditional commerce is often based around face to face interaction. The customer has a chance to ask questions and the sales staff can work with them to ensure a satisfactory transaction. Often this gives sales staff an opportunity for upselling, or encourage the client to buy a more expensive item or related items, increasing the shop profits. On the other hand, eCommerce doesn’t offer this benefit unless features such as related items or live chats are implemented.

Lower Costs

eCommerce is usually much cheaper than maintaining a physical store in an equally popular location. Compared with costs such as commercial space rent, opening an online store can be done at a fraction of the price for less than $50 per month. This can prove invaluable for small business owners who don’t have the startup capital to rent prime retail space and staff it to be able to sell their goods.

Reach

With an online shop you can do business with anybody living on a country you are able and willing to send mail to, unlike traditional commerce where you are restricted to people who actually come to your shop. This also opens the door to many other forms of marketing that can be done entirely online, which often results in a much larger volume of sales and even foot traffic to the store. An online store has no capability limits, and you can have as many clients as your stock can serve.

Returns Rate

In a traditional store, the customer will be purchasing the product in person, which has some benefits for both the him and the store. The customer will be able to touch and check the items, to make sure they are suitable, and even try them on, which reduces the number of returned items or complaints due to an item not being as advertised on a catalogue. or promotional leaflet. Expect a significantly higher rate of returns if you start trading online, as many will just order and try the items at home, and won’t hesitate to return them as they can do it by post without having to talk with anybody in person.

Credit Card Fraud

The remote nature of ECommerce makes much more difficult to detect fraud, which means stores can lose money due to fraud. While traditional commerce is not totally secure, it’s easier for a sales attendant to verify that the person buying something is actually the owner of the credit card, by asking for photographic ID. However, the fight against card fraud is well underway and banks and responsible eCommerce owners work together to verify that all card use is legitimate.

How Customers Can Help Improve Your Ecommerce Site

Getting people to visit your ecommerce website is always good; but translating these clicks into sales is even better. When it comes to promoting your ecommerce site, creating traffic is always important. Even if you have a good ecommerce web hosting plan for your site, if you are not significantly turning these clicks to sales, then it could be a huge problem for your online business. In this case, you need to improve your ecommerce site. Other than a reliable ecommerce web hosting plan, you can improve your site’s usability by knowing exactly what your customers want. You may not know it, but other than the right ecommerce web hosting plan, your customers just may be the very people who can help make your ecommerce site achieve its goals.

For one, customers want you to be specific. For instance, if you offer free shipping for orders, then your customers expect that their purchases will be shipped to them for free wherever they may be located. Unless your free shipping features are limited to selected locations, you need to be specific about it otherwise your customers will feel that you are ripping them off. Point out whether you offer free shipping for selected location or free shipping to anywhere and be clear about it. Customers always want to get what they expect from your ecommerce site. If you fail to give them what they want, then they will definitely leave.

Also, keep in mind that a customer’s time is precious, so you don’t want to waste his/her time taking interest in your product that is not available. When a customer sees a product on your ecommerce site, then s/he expects that it is available. Nothing can be frustrating or disappointing than for a customer to be informed that the item is not available just when it has already been dropped into his/her shopping cart. Always inform your customer beforehand that the product is unavailable. You would not want to waste your customer’s time, much less, confidence in your service.

To give your customers a better shopping experience at your ecommerce site, you may want to allow them to back-order a product once it is available. Several ecommerce web hosting packages come with a back-order feature so you might want to take advantage of that. If, however, you are unable to provide this feature, then get your customer’s contact info, at the very least. This way, you can make for a potential sale in future time.

Customers also do not like too many distractions especially when shopping online. You may offer cross-selling to your customers in your ecommerce site, in which you give recommendations or suggestions on related products. However, cross-sell items that are only related to what your customers pick. Suggesting items off their choices is not only an improper selling technique but can be very annoying for your customers as well.

Cross-selling should also stop once your customer checks out products from the shopping cart. The next thing that your customer wants is to close the sale, so avoid directing them to unrelated links. These unwanted links are not only unhelpful but they may change your customer’s mind about purchasing the item/s in his/her shopping cart. You would not want this to happen if you aim to make your e-commerce site profitable. This should also apply to window-shoppers on your ecommerce website. Avoid unnecessary pop-ups or advertisements as much as possible. The right ecommerce web hosting plan can help you avoid this from happening.

A customer’s attention span tends to be shorter especially when shopping online. Even in just a split second, they decide whether or not your ecommerce site can give them what they are looking for.

Moreover, you want to convince your customers that shopping in your ecommerce site is just a click away. If they have to click through your site so many times just to get to what they are really looking for, then they are more likely to abandon your ecommerce site. Customers also get annoyed with broken links and pages that load too slow as well, so avoid them as much as possible. To avoid this, get an ecommerce web hosting plan that allows superior usability.

Your ecommerce site should also pay a premium on customer’s privacy and do all means to protect it. Ask information that is only needed to close the sale. Asking too many questions may only draw suspicion among your customers. Your ecommerce site should provide your customers a safe and secure environment for giving out sensitive information.

You might want to get live chat software for your ecommerce site to better promote your products and provide maximum customer support. Although this may apply to bigger ecommerce sites, it can significantly boost sales. Many ecommerce web hosting providers offer this feature in their packages.

What You Need To Know About Ecommerce And The Future

Buying and selling over the Internet is a large part of what makes up ecommerce trade, but it’s only part of the story. This business is actually made up of all “transactions” conducted electronically. This includes exchange of information, online banking, emails and, of course, buying and selling products and services. Since this form of communication has connected the world on a global scale, ecommerce and the future look very bring.

Just within the past few years, business over the Internet has grown at an amazing pace. Many businesses have gone 100% virtual today and it appears that this trend will continue to grow. Although some of this is due to the need for ever sophisticated software and hardware, many retailers are now jumping on the bandwagon as the lower costs of running a business offsets the startup costs and higher cost of postage.

Business-to-business and business-to-customer forms of transactions are also increasing, but it should be remember that it takes time to establish. For example, Amazon was transacting business for 10 years before they began to see a decent profit. For those unfamiliar with this type of business, ecommerce is the sales part of the transaction and includes data exchanges which allow financing and payment for goods and services.

Many transactions include such things as meta-services that allow other forms of commerce to be conducted electronically. Digital content for immediate use and the buying and selling of traditional products and services are also included. For those who order from home over the Internet, they are also part of the ecommerce world. They may be doing online banking in the evening, looking for the best buy on college textbooks, or supplementing their income by selling on eBay. They are the newest members of this world.

Of course, security has always been an issue that companies take seriously. However, there are ways for individuals to protect themselves. One is to ensure that a fully protected payment system is in place before entering credit card information. One of the most common ways is to ensure individual computers used for this purpose utilize a SSL (Secure Sockets Layer). When inputting information on websites, one will be prompted to enter an encryption code which ensures a private link.

Ecommerce and the future look bright as trends continue to expand the use of the Internet for various types of transactions. For those getting into the field they must realize that it often takes years to recoup start-up costs and see the type of profit visualized. For those utilizing the Internet for the purpose of transacting business, security should be at the forefront of everyone’s minds. This type of business offers many more options than land-based businesses do, but it is growing at such a pace that caution must be taken in order to protect those conducting business through this means.