Electronic commerce over the Internet is growing at an ever-increasing rate, with on-line sales already heading for several billion. Many companies are using this new sales channel, and a few retailers now have established major on-line sales sites. If your company is a retailer or a wholesaler, an Internet business with a Shopping Cart is the commerce solution for marketing products on the World Wide Web. A Shopping Cart lets customers (visitors) easily browse products and services 24 hours a day 7 days a week.
Creating an Ecommerce Website
Planning is a very important part of e-commerce, as with any business venture. Here are three stages to conceder:
Make sure you understand the market, and that you understand the business processes that you need to implement. Select a project manager and ensure that project disciplines are in place. Produce a first-cut budget.
Identify the technical requirements you will need to satisfy. Draw up short lists of products and services. Refine the budget.
Selection / Procurement
Select the products and services you need to start the project. It is important to procure products and services only after the business and technical investigations have been complete.
Selling on the Web
Most companies with an Internet presence have a straightforward marketing site. The objective of the site is to supplement traditional marketing activities, perhaps give additional information, and generally promote the company. There is often a reluctance to give complete product details because the objective is to induce visitors to call or write to the company for more information and thus establish contact. A selling site is very much different. The objectiveis to close the sale electronically with payment made over the Internet. This type of site will be designed to include comprehensive product information, as visitors will be expected to make a purchasing decision based on the information presented.
Such sites generally have three sections
- Marketing and added value information. This is aimed at attracting customers, giving them a feel for the contents, and giving them confidence in the retailer.
- The catalogue. Detailed information on product benefits, specifications, and pricing. Order processing. This will include a method for specifying and paying for the order.
- More advanced systems may have a method for the customer to go back into the system to check progress and delivery of the order.
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