E-commerce is taking the world by storm. More stores, both big and small, are setting up shop on the internet. With offline shopping failing, companies everywhere are looking for ways to bolster their web presence, and, in many cases, constructing an entire e-commerce website in less time than they believe. But, what exactly is e-commerce, and why is it such a success? Is it something that you should consider doing, as well?
E-commerce, short for electronic commerce, was born out of the Internet’s early stages, around the mid 1990s. Online shopping emerged as a revolutionary concept, as customers were instantly able to find whatever they were looking for. In no time at all, this phenomenon became one of the most popular online experiences, and it wasn’t long before the idea took off nationally. It exploded into full-fledged, revolutionary culture and turned everything that was previously available through offline means into an easily accessed online experience. Everything from bookstores and apparel shops to banks and doctors’ offices opened up online, allowing customers to do everything from research and actual buying to complete their transactions from anywhere they happened to be located. By taking advantage of this seamless interaction between the customer and service provider, an e-commerce website made everything easier, while improving the customer’s experience.
This is the basic premise of e-commerce, and it is the basis of almost every e-commerce venture. Without an easy, intuitive interface, there’s little point in having a website if your customers are going to be frustrated by it within minutes of browsing through it. In fact, some studies have shown that e-commerce websites with poor customer experience ratings spend more time on fixing issues than those that score well in customer satisfaction surveys. An e-commerce website is judged solely on its response time when it comes to transactions and orders, and this is the most important quality. If an e-commerce web developer can’t make an e-commerce website that gives customers the time of day, they will quickly lose customers.
When a person browses for an e-commerce solution, they’ll see many different facets to consider. Each facet is designed to fill a specific need, whether it be in the area of shopping, ordering, researching, purchasing or marketing the product type. The facets all fall under the umbrella of the product type ecommerce, and this is what determines the quality and overall effectiveness of the site. In order to choose the best possible ecommerce site for your needs, it is important to think about these five general aspects of the product type:
Design The design of an ecommerce business website is the first thing a new customer sees, and the layout is extremely important. The design should be clean and user-friendly, but it should also provide adequate amounts of space for content. Most ecommerce sites use large, white pages that provide plenty of content, but it is important to keep the content simple so that new customers don’t get lost. Look at your page full screen instead of mini screens to read information. Many customers will spend a few minutes trying to figure out how to navigate the online store before deciding on a purchase.
Social Impact is the ability of users to interact with other people in a positive manner online. Ecommerce sites build communities around common interests, products and goals, which can lead to high retention rates among consumers. If a company has an ecommerce platform designed well, it can increase the number of visits by creating a sense of community. The same holds true if consumers are able to interact with one another on the platform and share ideas and concerns. The ability to create customer reviews and post suggestions on social networks helps to build consumer trust in the ecommerce platform and can lead to increased sales.
Ease of Access Another advantage of integrating social media and ecommerce is the ease of access to content and information. Consumers like to be able to search products, reviews and trends by entering keywords. When searching through a single site, a consumer can easily find what they’re looking for without having to go through search engine results. This provides a faster way to find the information they need and allows them to move through the site quicker. This also helps to improve customer service by improving the flow of information and increasing customer satisfaction.
Knowledge Base An e-commerce platform should include a knowledge base. It is an accessible database that helps shoppers quickly find answers to frequently asked questions. When a shopper is researching a product, they want to know more about it, the manufacturer and what the warranty offers. Having a comprehensive knowledge base available at their fingertips allows online shoppers to make informed decisions and gives the company an opportunity to gain more insight into their customer’s needs.