What is eCommerce?
Who hasn’t heard about eCommerce and online shopping? What is eCommerce? And more importantly, how can you use it to do business securely?
eCommerce, electronic commerce, online selling or online shopping, call it what you will, it is the trading or support of trading of good or service using the internet. However you look at it, this is the fastest growing means of buying and selling in the world, and the greatest challenge in network security. In general, it is cheaper for the consumer and more profitable for the sell because of reduced overheads, and transactions can be facilitated faster and with greater reliability, but also the most secure was of transacting business. On the other hand, people are often afraid of using eCommerce because they can’t put a human face on the transaction, look a person in the eye, so they fear being cheated. The challenge today is to reach and reassure the consumer, put a human face on the transaction and provide them with quality service, security and products, all through an online interface.
Lets start with a scenario; you have a bunch of woolly jumpers that you want to sell to people on the internet and you want to learn how to do it. That is eCommerce. The simplest answer is that you find yourself a hosting service – with an obvious plug here for Critical Web Solutions – and you get them to take all the hard work out of it.
But you have to know that there is more to it. The eCommerce exchange has hidden depths which guarantee the security and reliability of the transaction. In common practice, the seller will be provided with only the pertinent details of the buyer by the eCommerce platform, and not sensitive data such as card numbers.
But wait… there’s more!
There are the other, more practical matters in eCommerce. Have you considered territorial taxes? Australian GST needs to be reported, and it can get very messy. And then you need a list of what stock you have, and what stock you’ve already promised, geo-location for shipping costs, working out where your products shouldn’t try to ship to, and so on. What provisions have you made for security? On top of that, there the question of how do you manage your shopping carts, how do you have your site something people want to use, and finally how do you identify your customer?
Basically, the simple question of how do you sell your woolly jumpers has become the much larger question of how do you take your woolly jumpers to market?
The Critical Web Solutions way
Critical Web Solutions has solutions to these eCommerce questions.
- You need a place to be found. Critical Web Solutions will provide your with a web domain tailored for your business as a part of their premium ecommerce package.
- You need security for your customers so that they can be sure that your site is safe. Critical Web Solutions provides you with an SSL certificate from a a highly reputable signing authority.
- You need your website style. Critical Web Solutions uses WordPress. The growing movement towards WordPress for shared hosting websites means that there is an incredible ground base of thousands publicly supporting it. That means thousands of plugins and services, thousands of beautiful themes, and and also infinite variety of looks and service combinations that you can provide your customers.
- You need your email address attached to your domain. Critical Web Solutions will provide you with that as well.
- You need a way to perform the eCommerce exchange. Critical Web Solutions encourages you to use WooCommerce, which provides card services (through PayPal or others), stock control, geo-location control (including shipping costs), a extremely high level of security (card and account numbers cannot be accessed by unauthorised people, even you), reliability, and it even figures out and reports on the taxes payable for you. More than that, it tracks your stock and makes sure you can’t sell what you don’t have, and can even tell you when its time to start knitting more woolly jumpers.
- You also need a way of managing your shopping cart. Critical Web Solutions provides X-Cart for that, so you can always track you orders before they get placed, and remember where customers are up to.
- You will also need to monitor your business. All of the above provides you with reports, and a simple control panel to control your site and see how business is going.
Critical Web Solutions Will provide you with one of the soundest foundations for your business, with a fantastic availability record of only one hour downtime in the last two years (as at the end of 2016), but you are the business man so it is up to you and your hard marketing work to bring it all together and make it work. You need to know who your customers are, how to reach them, what they want, and how to communicate to them that you have the product that they want and need… in woolly jumpers.
So… what do you think? Do you have what it takes to make your business work?
If you want to know more, contact us. We’ll be glad to help you.