Winning over the competition with a solid E-commerce

January 31, 2021
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Introduction

Nowadays, internet is everywhere, on our pocket, on our home, on your television and even on your entertainment device. We are living in a world where in one click we can have what we want. If we have a question and we need an answer: we ask to google, if we need a driver or to order something to eat: we ask to Uber, if we need to buy quickly: we ask to Amazon. This is called electronic commerce also known as E-commerce, it is the fact of buying or selling services and products online, mainly, through the business model such as: B2B, B2C, C2C, C2B. Therefore, everyone can do online shopping by selling and buying easily and quickly in ‘online malls’ called marketplace such as Amazon or eBay. We have to make the difference between e-commerce and e-business: e-business is focused on all the activities and tools used online to run a business. In this post, I will focus on what is online shopping, the history of e-commerce, the terms to know, the pros and the cons of e-commerce.

What is online shopping (and Why Does it Matter)?

The last few years, more and more people tend to buy online rather than going to a physical store because of the rapid growth of technology allowing them to do some research on a product and buying it without moving out of their houses. The year 2020 with this pandemic and its multiple lockdown accelerate this phenomenon. With all of this, the internet is making businesses easier and faster and led to change is the buyer’s behavior and reinforcing the tendency of online shopping and e-commerce. 

With an online shop, it is possible to attract customers worldwide with an unlimited number that can visit at the same time, therefore, the profit can be also unlimited. Online shopping also allows shoppers to buy during time where a typical store would have been closed.

 

The History of e-commerce

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To understand our modern society, it can be important to know the short history of e-commerce that was born before the world wide web was created in 1989. The first e-commerce transaction was registered in 1972 through the Arpanet at Stanford. In 2017, the e-commerce industry passed $2.3 trillion of economy.

In its early years, Michael Aldrich laid the basis of e-commerce, in 1980, by selling his Teleputer, connecting telephone lines to multi-user transaction processing computers permitting simple e-commerce transactions. In 1982, the first e-commerce company called ‘Boston Computer Exchange’ was created and authorized buyers and sellers to purchase and offer computers and computer parts. With the birth of worldwide web and internet being public, by 1995, over 120,000 domain names were registered, by 1998, over 2 million.


Terms to Know

In the field of ecommerce, there are terms that is mandatory to know as:


  • Affiliate Marketing: “a business pays commission to one or more affiliates for each conversion achieved due to the affiliate's marketing efforts.”
  • Application Programming Interface (API): “set of protocols, specifications or instructions allowing two software applications to interact and exchange data.”
  • B2B (Business to Business): “In eCommerce, B2B is referred to as exchange of products and services between two businesses”
  • B2C (Business to Consumer): “Business to Consumer (B2C) refers to a business or transaction that is conducted directly between a company and consumers”
  • Bundling: “a marketing strategy wherein several similar products or services are combined together and sold as one package solution”
  • Comma Separated Values (CSV): “a comma-separated file is a file-type that stores data in a tabular form.”
  • Discount Code: “a discount code is also called as a Coupon code or Promo code”
  • Dropshipping: “type of eCommerce arrangement where the goods are directly shipped from the manufacturer to the retailer or customer”
  • Domain Name: “unique name which is a part of the network address that locates an organisation or other entity on the Internet
  • Fulfillment: “also called as Order fulfillment and referred to as a sequence of steps a company undertakes to process the order from the point of sale to the delivery of goods with customer satisfaction.”
  • Marketing Automation: “use of software to automate the marketing processes for effective marketing of goods and services on different online channels and automating repetitive tasks.”
  • Sales funnel: “the journey of your customers from their visitor phase to becoming the customers.”
  • Search Engine Optimization (SEO): “marketing discipline that focuses on getting traffic from organic search results on search engines”

The Pros and Cons of e-commerce

As every businesses’ field, e-commerce has some advantages and some disadvantages:


Advantages:


  • The buyers can purchase a product or a service at any time.
  • More product and inventory capacity than a physical store
  • Easy comparison of prices


Disadvantages:


  • Less customer experience as it is impossible for the customer to try the product and have a personal experience with it
  • Inefficiency of customer service as the customer service might be inefficient to fix the customer’s issue.
  • Less regulation, it is difficult to determine if a commerce is legit
  • The time difference between the purchase and the product delivery.


Closing

With the actual condition, online shopping and e-commerce are essential but it is not a recent phenomenon, ecommerce started before the worldwide web and has experienced major growth since then. Ecommerce has major pros but also many cons as it allows a connection between a buyer and a seller at any time anywhere in the world, it also permit to have access to product that is sell only in a different country but the cons are the wait between the purchase and the possession of the product, the system has default allowing some unscrupulous people to abuse the customer or less customer experience and service. As we have known many lockdown and physical stores have been closed for a long period, when they will reopen, will they be able to regain their customers that are now, used to online shopping?


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