Why You Should Have an Ecommerce Website
With the current COVID crisis, everyone seems to be jumping on the ecommerce train, and for good reasons. It may seem that e-commerce is oversaturated, but there is still much more opportunity available.
If you have a retail B2C (Business-to-Customer) business, a brick & mortar operation, and are considering going to an e-commerce model of business, then pay attention.
Major Advantages of E-Commerce
Efficiency: increase business efficiency in several ways. Reduce search costs for online customers and provide them with detailed information along with their prices. Your customers are encouraged to do business by increasing transaction efficiency, security, and speed.
Cross-selling: increase value creation for products by pushing new products to current customers based on their past purchases. This increases customer’s dependence on your company and decreases the probability a customer switches to competitors.
Complementary offers: increase value creation by accompanying products with other products. Customers will buy more of the complementary products regardless of their prices if they buy more of the core products.
Also, you can bundle products with complementary products from other suppliers. Once a sale occurs, offer to the customer the complementary products associated with the purchased product.
Customer lock-in: keep the customer dependent on your company for a longer time by making the customer engage in repeated transactions.
Customer satisfaction: e-commerce increases the degree to which service offerings accommodate online customers. It increases the quality of service and the volume of transactions while decreasing the volume of complaints.
Speed: transactions are done almost instantaneously. There is no need to wait weeks for a money transaction or catalog to arrive by post.
Availability: online services are available any time of day or night and from any place.
Advantages of B2B e-commerce
While retail ecommerce is the most prevalent, the ecommerce model also works well for a B2B (Business-to-Business) operation. B2B is the exchange of products, services, or information between businesses rather than between businesses and consumers.
With B2N e-commerce, you can exchange products, services, and information with other businesses rather than customers, such as:
- Manufacturer selling to distributors
- Wholesaler selling to retailers
- The company providing services to other companies
Pricing is often negotiable to obtain lower prices on your supplies and minimum human intervention due to business systems integration. B2B is now growing exponentially, where companies of all sizes are buying and selling products and services over the Internet.
Businesses can make real-time transactions with other businesses to improve their efficiency and productivity. An example of B2B e-commerce model is e-procurement sites where a company purchasing agents can buy from suppliers, ask for offers, or bidding to purchase at the desired price.
Possible concerns for e-commerce
When the Internet was made available for the public in 1994, many analysts expected that e-commerce would soon be a significant economic sector. However, the major progress for e-commerce occurred when security protocols sufficiently developed and were widely deployed, which led to more secured transactions over the Internet.
Security is an important issue on the Internet where sensitive payment details such as a credit card number may be intercepted or stolen, which leads to the loss of customers’ confidence, especially if this information is used in illegal transactions.
Organizations conducting business online have many web applications in the form of shopping carts, submission forms, login pages, dynamic content, and a customized application.
In the B2C model, Web applications allow Web clients to access the Web server to retrieve, submit, or update data. These data may be sensitive such as user’s credit card data, user’s social number, user’s bank account details, or even user’s medical record.
To maintain high availability in cyberspace, the business website should be available 24 x 7, which invites hackers to launch attacks on the corporate backend database. If a hacker gained access to the organization’s sensitive data and got used to it, then the organization’s business will be in serious trouble.
The business will lose clients’ and stakeholders’ trust and eventually may be closed down. Business Web sites receive and send sensitive information to their clients. It is important to guarantee information integrity, which means that this information has not been changed during its transmission.
E-commerce websites use the Secure Socket Layer (SSL) protocol to protect their sensitive information. This technology makes it easier and safer for online customers to trust Web sites in three essential ways:
- Enables encryption of sensitive information during online transactions.
- Each SSL Certificate contains unique, authenticated information about the certificate owner.
- A Certificate Authority verifies the identity of the certificate owner when it is issued.
The SSL protocol is well designed to prevent eavesdropping and avoid successful man in the middle attacks. However, it is less concerned with the processes and procedures that a person or organization must go through to acquire a certificate.
Additional methods of Web security include:
- Restrict the number of users accessing the Web server as much as possible and limit the number of users with administrative rights.
- Keep a minimum number of open ports on the Web server.
- Remove any unneeded programs that automatically load when setting up the server. They may provide a hacker with the access desired.
Other essential elements of Web site security are firewalls and protection against worms and viruses. Firewalls protect the web Site’s servers against hackers, and the latest version of antiviruses protects data files from being corrupted by worms or viruses.
E-commerce website privacy and cookies
In the B2C models, companies collect information about visiting clients such as user preferences, shopping cart contents to use it later in marketing purposes, or running promotions.
An e-commerce Website should keep products placed in a shopping cart by customers; otherwise, they will be deleted when they log out.
When a browser receives the information, it saves it on a hard-disk. Each time a customer accesses your web site using their computer, the previously received data is sent back to the browser’s website server.
Cookies indicate to a website that a customer had been previously there and tell what parts of the website a customer had visited. It also records the customer’s habits and in what they are interested. This information can be used to tailor advertisements that suit customer’s interests.
Customers can remove cookies by allowing the computer to delete them when a browser starts up. A browser must notify the user or take permission whenever a cookie is written to the computer’s hard disk.
Personal data protection has become important enough that laws are now in place to ensure an e-ecommerce website securely and adequately handle data use. Laws include The California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) and Europe’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).
While not a personal data security regulation, another legal requirement for websites e-commerce or otherwise are the ADA, Americans with Disabilities Act.
E-commerce website personalization
E-commerce platforms such as Shopify, Magento, and WooCommerce can personalize their customers’ services according to their preferences, needs, interests, tastes, and wishes and organize them to be in easy reach. Personalization brings your brand and end customer closer than ever before and improves access to relevant products.
As a vendor, you can now personalize product messages for individual customers on a massive scale. User’s information is extracted from their profile when the user logs into the e-commerce website.
The website retrieval system can use this information to pursue one or more of the user’s goals. The information provided by the user is a list of attribute-value pairs where each attribute is assigned a proper value depending upon each user. Attributes can be divided into:
- Explicit where the user gives values
- Existing where values can be collected from existing applications, such as register systems (e.g., address, job).
- Implicit where values are collected from the user behavior and history of his navigation.
Personalization builds credibility, primarily when it traces the user’s behavior and selects new stories according to the customer’s preferences. Ads can be personalized as your e-commerce site gains credibility, and ads match the topic about which a customer is reading.
The need for a top eCommerce platform
Choosing an e-commerce platform is the first decision that needs to be made when opening an online store. A good e-commerce platform allows adding tools to help your business grow and release significant part during administration. Some platforms are designed to help an online store only up to a certain point. Once the user reaches this level requires a more advanced and flexible platform.
Some top ecommerce platforms such as Shopify or Magento allow the possibility of developing additional functions installed on the shop online. For some platforms, these functions are called extensions; for others are called applications. Elements of these functions are common regardless of platform or on their behalf that automates some processes, making use easier.
Professional e-commerce web design is key to success
In general, e-commerce websites provide tools to handle large masses of information with improved security, reliability, user-friendly, low costs, accessibility, and customizability, which help prosperous e-commerce.
Successful e-commerce companies understand the key determinants of success or failure are not just having a web presence or low price but delivering a high-quality website.
PrimeView develops and designs secure eCommerce websites that convert visitors to buyers. Our focus is to create online stores with enhanced functionality that generate sales for your brand. We design easy-to-navigate sites and provide a great user experience so people will purchase and come back again and again.
If you are ready to enter the lucrative field of e-commerce, why not contact PrimeView, and we can get you started. Follow through with it. Don’t get discouraged e-commerce success takes time. A successful launch can result in a long-lasting company that pays you for years and years.