Electronic commerce is also commonly referred to as eCommerce. It is considered as the e-business sales aspect and the exchange of data that occurs online, which facilitates the payment and financing of business transactions. It is an industry that mainly involves selling and buying services and products through online eCommerce websites. Some of the technologies used by complete eCommerce websitesinclude electronic data exchange (EDI), electronic funds transfer (EFT), automated data collection systems, mobile commerce, internet marketing, inventory management systems, supply chain management and online transaction processing. With the currently widespread use of the internet, the revenue generated online has continued to grow and increase tremendously.
Complete eCommerce website functions may be subdivided into the following:
- Customers purchasing products or services online.
- Buying and selling from one business to another.
- The processing of orders, updating inventory and shipping.
- Acquiring and using data of a demographic nature through social media and web contacts.
- Ensuring that business transactions are secured.
- Reaching out to established and prospective clients through the use of online tools like newsletters and email.
- The exchange of data from business-to-business or Electronic Data Interchange (EDI).
Some of the benefits of complete eCommerce websites include:
- Greatly reduced overhead. The cost of maintaining an eCommerce website is trivial compared to that of a brick and mortar store.
- Greater exposure and reach. An eCommerce website is accessible 24 /7 by anyone with an Internet connection. eCommerce websites enable merchants to have a wider range of customers than the physical stores. The whole world is literally a market to anyone selling products online. Since clients from every part of the world can make purchases on their eCommerce website, it will lead to a higher income generation in a shorter time than for physical stores.
- Customer convenience. Instead of having to go to a physical location, wandering through a store trying to find an item, a customer can easily search or browse for a particular item or types of products and be presented with an extensive selection of items, complete with features, cost comparisons and reviews at the click of a button. Customers are provided with all the information they need concerning the products being offered online; therefore they are able to make informed decisions before making a purchase.
- Every part of the transactions taking place are handled in real time, so all details regarding invoicing, shipping are well defined and pricing errors can be eliminated.
- Transactions carried out enable both the customers and the seller the convenience of operation from the comfort of their homes or anywhere there is Internet connection. Customers simply purchase goods online, pay for them and wait for them to be delivered.
- An eCommerce website’s functions can be completely automated, including direct connections to suppliers and shipping services via API Integration.