E-commerce: Definition, advantages of online sales and tips for getting started
The majority of traders or future entrepreneurs plan to start or expand their business online. It is a high growth sector. E-commerce has completely changed the situation compared to traditional commerce, without cannibalizing the latter. On the contrary, we are now talking about an increasingly connected business where the synergy effects between the two are numerous. The temptation to start selling online is growing for many brands!
If you want to be successful, it is necessary to know the meaning and definition of the word e-commerce, have the right information and know what to expect.
The definition of e-commerce
To define the term e-commerce, we can say that it represents the different commercial transactions that are done remotely on the internet. It is also known as e-commerce. The action of buying on the internet is done through digital and digital objects.
The purchase can be made through different channels and media: computers, smartphones, tablets, consoles, TV. E-commerce is tending more and more towards m-commerce.
With the evolution of e-commerce, mail order sales have now become distance selling.
The advantages of e-commerce
Online commerce opens up great opportunities for traders. It allows:
To expand its catchment area
To hit a larger target
Add a distribution channel
To sell 24 hours a day
To present its products in a different way
Reduce its fixed costs (and therefore improve its margin)
Take greater advantage of Internet-related technologies
Better understand your return on investment
To develop its customer relationship
To facilitate the purchase
To collect various data on its customers
To track products before buying in store
To find the best product
It saves time for the consumer and is convenient. They can have access to more offers, at lower prices and take more time to get informed.
New e-commerce practices
To become an e-merchant, it is important to know the e-commerce trends.
First of all, m-commerce is ubiquitous today. Your store should be optimized for mobile as most customers will buy through their phone.
Then, the advances in virtual reality and augmented reality. Consumers will be able to analyze products on the web much more easily.
Voice search is also a big trend in online shopping ksa sales. Mobile integrations will greatly facilitate shopping for Internet users and make it possible to find a product very quickly.
Another trend is the personalization of the product. Unlike physical stores, consumers are increasingly looking for the possibility of personalizing their product online on a commercial site. Shape, color, inscription, size, you must leave a large choice to your potential customers!
With the growth of data, merchants will be able to target and perfectly adapt their product to their audience. The advertisements will be ultra-precise. It’s high time you put your products in the spotlight at the right time.
E-commerce is above all a market to be found
There are many advantages to being an e-merchant. But to become so and succeed in distance selling, you must first find a market where demand is strong enough.
In e-commerce, more particularly when you are starting out, it is important to position yourself in a niche. That is to say specialize in a field that you master (this is preferable) and which is likely to attract a sufficiently large number of e-consumers.
Unless you have substantial budgets, it makes more sense to tackle an area in which you can easily stand out. Attacking generalists, the “big guys” in the sector, risks being very complicated and costing you dearly. Specializing in a field also allows you to better estimate the attractiveness of your offer, the added value that you will be able to bring to your customers because it is a consumer segment with more homogeneous and distinct expectations.
If you don’t have your own products, you’re going to have to find the suppliers. We will have to negotiate the prices. You will have to anticipate fluctuations in demand, anticipate human and material needs.
E-commerce requires resources, anticipation and ambition
Once you have the offer, you have to be able to afford it. That is to say the budget and the skills (internal or external) to realize, manage, maintain and promote its e-business.
It’s about gauging the scope and specifics of your project, seeing what you can do and what you need to delegate. You can ask yourself several questions (non-exhaustive list):
What financial contribution can I bring? How to find outside contributions?
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What features or developments do I need?
What design and what logo on my e-commerce site to build my visual identity, be ergonomic and highlight my offer?
Will I sell internationally, sell in Europe?
What merchandising will I apply?
What technical support and advice will I have?
What short / medium / long term vision?
What are the weak points of the project?
What are the key success factors?
How important is competition?
What communication needs will I have?
What professionals should I surround myself with (consultant, SEO, etc.)?
Among the key points to obtain a functional e-commerce site, you will have to imagine the most suitable delivery methods (according to weight for example), their prices and whether you can offer delivery (which is in great demand).
In internet sales, you will also have to determine the means of payment that you will set up, the most advantageous and the most used. Try to be as wide as possible. At least set up payment by credit card with Stripe for example.
The most important thing is that it results in an estimate of your profits. There are many costs to anticipate: the purchase price, the cost of delivery, the cost of the e-commerce solution, the amount of hosting, various taxes and charges, service provider commissions. You will thus be able to determine a threshold for the sale price and the quantity in order to be profitable.
There is no shortage of questions to ask you, answering them requires a little patience and perseverance!
E-commerce requires certain legal procedures and obligations
Determining your business model and anticipating the vagaries of your project generally involve drawing up specifications (even in a very simplified version) where the main questions to ask are: What do my future clients want? What do they expect from my products and / or services and how I will sell them? How can I be profitable? Once again, you have to know them well. Imagine several scenarios for your project, an optimistic and a more pessimistic one.
You can take inspiration from this article on the business plan to answer the important questions and know the viability of your e-commerce project.
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