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What's Involved With E-Commerce: A Basics Overview

John Britsios

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As you likely already know, e-commerce has been exploding. People visit online shops more and more, for a host of different reasons.

E-commerce (electronic commerce for the uninitiated) is far more convenient and gives a lot more options for purchases than driving out to find the bricks-and-mortar stores is. No more waiting in line, that's for sure! It often saves you money as well.

What this all means for you if you are in business for yourself is that you need to set up online shops, even if you have a physical offline store that people can come to. It also means that if you want to get into business for yourself, setting up websites with e-commerce capable online shops is exactly what you need to explore.

To become profitable by doing business online via electronic commerce, you must select niche markets to target. This is important for you because you'll want your online shops to reflect your chosen niches. You don't want to design an online storefront around the theme of frogs if you are going to deal in numismatics, now do you?

But needless to say, once you've got your niche markets selected, e-commerce becomes about a lot more than just having an attractive online storefront, as important as that is. Perhaps the most important aspect of getting involved with electronic commerce is making it both secure and easy for people to do business with you on the Internet.

You need to design a website that guides and leads people right from the home page through your product offerings and on to the electronic shopping cart, ultimately to arrive at the electronic checkout. When people arrive here and are ready to buy, you have to have the right software in place to make sure that their transactions are highly secure.

At the same time, you need to offer them as many payment options as you can. This should include all major credit cards (including those that are pre-paid), bank account debit cards, e-Check, and PayPal.

You can also offer to allow them to pay via e-Gold if you really want to get a step up over your competitors, who likely don't offer that. When you set up your online shops, people need to see clearly and openly what options for payment they will have and that their transactions will be as secure as possible. It should also be easy for them to fill up their shopping cart before they get to the checkout.

Their chosen items must be logged accurately and clearly for them, and they need to have the option of easily putting items back if they change their mind or find they made a mistake with selection. And, you have to have things set up so that they will automatically receive an e-mail receipt of their purchase.

You can see that it's really not too difficult to get set up for big money with e-commerce, which is just going to continue to grow and expand relentlessly over the years. But never lose sight of the e-commerce basics and fundamentals when setting up your online shops.

Sloppiness with ecommerce solutions leads to law suits, flagged websites, and lots of lost revenue.


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