Electronic commerce or e-commerce is the most convenient tool for shopping from the comfort zone of one's home. The practice is facilitated by internet and various web portals residing on it. These online merchants have loads of products from different categories to be offered to the customers. So, what is the whole procedure behind e-commerce or e-shopping, making it a popular trend for buyers as well as sellers?
Terms associated with e-commerce
Merchant website: With each and every product finding its existence on Internet, the sellers or the merchants are coming up with dedicated web spaces in the form of web portals to offer these products. A merchant website provides detailed information about products, prices, ordering details, shipment and all other procedures.
Merchant account: It is the business account possessed by the seller or the merchant in a particular bank. The money earned on each purchase is credited from customer's account to the merchant account.
Customer account: It is the account held by the customer, used by him or her to make the payment for a purchase made by him through e-commerce.
Transaction server: It is the intermediary between customer and merchant, which rules the process of transaction of product and credit between two parties.
Processing server: It is responsible for verifying the customer's account and interacting with Transaction server to allow or decline the sale of a product to the customer.
Shopping cart: Shopping carts are virtual carts, which perform the function similar to carts available on land-based shopping stores. One may add his or her products of interest in these carts for placing the order at a later stage.
Understanding the whole procedure
The procedure of online shopping is no different from that followed at land shopping stores, but what is different is the easiness and comfort added for the modern day consumers. Here are various steps of e-commerce:
- Visit the merchant's website in search of your products of interest and make an account, if you don't have one already.
- Add the products to shopping carts provided by the website.
- Place the order after navigating through various pages and selecting the products.
- The merchant website notifies the transaction server to watch the process.
- The transaction server contacts processing server, which contacts the customer's bank to verify the existence of sufficient amount of money.
- The allowance of declination of the process is decided by the processing server, once it confirms the available customer funds.
- The funds are credited to merchant's account from customer's account and sale is confirmed to the customer.
- Finally, the product is shipped to the customer and it reaches the customer, depending upon the shipment services of the store.
Security is the most significant aspect of e-commerce and thus, it is important to choose a website with efficient security and privacy tools. A little awareness may enhance the goodness of online shopping manifolds.
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