When I was at university, every time I found myself in Tesco on a Saturday afternoon, I couldn’t help thinking that my time could be better spent elsewhere. Enter the grand invention of internet shopping. The delivery man used to arrive at an agreed time each week (at one of the infrequent moments when I wasn’t at uni/at the beach/down the pub) and drop off an array of the supermarket’s finest (value) fare. I’d then head to the kitchen to unpack, happy in the knowledge that spaghetti hoops were back on the menu for that evening.
Unbeknown to myself I was actually playing a very small part in the ever growing phenomenon of ecommerce. The term has come to define any kind of business or transaction which is made through the web. Internet shopping is just one example of many.
Internet banking is another big player in the world of ecommerce. Billions of pounds are moved between accounts every day just at the click of a button. You can pay friends, pay bills and businesses anytime, anywhere.
Whenever you purchase something online, you have to enter your card details into a payment processor. Electronic payments are an efficient alternative to writing and posting a cheque, and funds usually leave your account straight away.
Addicted to eBay? Online auctions are one of the most popular forms of buying and selling over the web. Their popularity has grown out of austerity, where participants are hoping to drop on a bargain or make some quick cash.
Think of all the things you’ve ever pre-booked online. Train tickets, plane tickets, concert tickets – the list is endless. Nine times out of ten, this method saves you from joining horrendous queues before events or prior to travelling.
Ecommerce is based on the types of participants in the transaction:
Business to Business (B2B) – transaction between two companies, e.g. manufacturers, retailers, traders.
Business to Consumer (B2C) – transaction where a business sells electronically to end-consumers.
Consumer to Consumer (C2C) – this type of ecommerce defines the online auction market, where individual sellers are presenting goods for other individuals to purchase.
Mcommerce is a sub-branch of ecommerce. Millions of people access the internet through mobiles or tablets every second. Transactions conducted over these devices come under the ‘Mcommerce’ label. To facilitate transactions over small hand-held devices, companies are developing websites which are better adapted for a smaller screen. If customers find a website easier to navigate on their mobiles, it is more likely that they’ll browse and hopefully purchase the services or products on offer.
The most wonderful thing about buying or selling things online is that you can do it from the comfort of your own sofa. Ecommerce is a convenient and cost-effective way of spending and earning money. It negates traditional problems of geographical distance and time limitations.
If your company is thinking about selling products or services online, it’s important that your website is up to scratch. For help and further information contact The Studio 4 on 01952 234004.