Introduction to Ecommerce and Online Sales
We’re all very familiar with eCommerce and online sales, mainly as customers. The comfort and satisfaction to instantly buy what you want with just a couple of clicks is a nonpareil experience. However, you can be sure that this isn’t all there is to it.
What Exactly Is eCommerce?
In general, one could state that eCommerce refers to any commercial transaction conducted online, “electronically”. This way of doing business has become very popular in the last years, becoming normal and an “every day” shopping method. One of its advantages is that retailers can widely distribute their products: the restriction of people going physically to a store to buy merchandise is fading.
Also because of lower maintenance costs, many businesses tend to begin their work on the internet. But how do eCommerce businesses approach the masses?
Online eCommerce Marketplace
A lot businesses and most of today’s online retailers fall into this category. Yes, you’ve already guessed them: Amazon and AliExpress, just to name some. You may also know that all of these marketplaces are a combination of smaller pieces: the products sold are managed and sold by other smaller retailers.
Since managing and organizing an online marketplace requires a lot of investments and things to take care of, smaller merchants rely on bigger names such as Amazon to sell their products to the consumers.
Many businesses have begun like this, and then reached the point where they could manage and create their own eCommerce solution.
The virtual version of the physical stores in town. This is what attracts the customer and it’s the tool through which you sell your products. Creating your store and managing it, however, requires time, patience, and in most cases even some money.
An eCommerce solution requires you to have a working website with some additional features. The most important are SSL encryption, payment gateways and a functional shopping cart. Most of today’s eCommerce business owners rely on software that will do all of the work needed for a (generally) monthly fee.
Mobile stores, also known as micro stores, don’t have many requirements are relatively simplistic. However, this is what makes them profitable and convenient, since they are supported by bigger and more complex websites.
Mobile stores, in fact, are often supported by social networks. Through them, the messages you have replied to, the pictures you have liked and the ones you have disliked are easily accessible.
Using this very principle, when you purchase something from a mobile store (implemented in the social network you’re in), others can see your action. This results in a very subtle way of advertising, which benefits both the mobile store and the social network.
This is the last way of doing business online, which may sound much easier than the one mentioned above. Drop shipping doesn’t have any of the requirements of the other eCommerce methods and consists in advertising and negotiating between the retailer and the customer.
Profiting and making some actual money off of it, however, isn’t as easy as it sounds, but it can work as a way to generate additional income.
A new way of doing business, but certainly not an easy way of doing business. Don’t magically expect money to appear in your bank account: eCommerce isn’t that different from a physical store after all. Maintenance and consistency are required in both, just in a different way.