E-COMMERCE WEBSITE DEVELOPMENT
E-commerce refers to businesses and consumers buying and selling products online. The majority of e-commerce website design on the internet are retail stores selling products directly to the public. However there are also a proportion of online stores dedicated to business-to-business (B2B) sales or wholesale activity. E-commerce does not only refer to the selling of physical products, it can also refer to the selling of services where payments for the services are made online. As a general rule an e-commerce website development is a website where a transfer of funds is completed electronically.
E-commerce can provide the following benefits over non-electronic commerce:
- Reduced costs
- Reduced time
- Flexibility with efficiency
- Improve relationships with trading partners
- Lock in Customers
- New Markets (expand your business into wider geographical locations)
Categories of E-Commerce
As with traditional commerce, there are four principal categories of e-commerce: B2B, B2C, C2B and C2C.
1.Business to Business Ecommerce (B2B Ecommerce):
In this type of e-Commerce, both participants are businesses. As a result, the volume and value of B2B e-Commerce can be huge. An example of business to business e-Commerce could be a manufacturer of gadgets sourcing components online.
2.Business to Consumer Ecommerce (B2C Ecommerce):
When we hear the term e-commerce, most people think of B2C e-commerce. That is why a name like Amazon.com pops up in most discussions about e-commerce. Elimination of the need for physical stores is the biggest rationale for business to consumer e-Commerce. But the complexity and cost of logistics can be a barrier to B2C e-Commerce growth.
3.Consumer to Business Ecommerce (C2B e-Commerce):
On the face of it, C2B e-commerce seems lopsided. But online commerce has empowered consumers to originate requirements that businesses fulfil. An example of this could be a job board where a consumer places her requirements and multiple companies bid for winning the project. Another example would be a consumer posting his requirements of a holiday package, and various tour operators making offers.
4.Consumer to Consumer E-Commerce (C2C e-Commerce):
The moment you think of C2C e-commerce eBay.com comes to mind. That is because it is the most popular platform that enables consumers to sell to other consumers. Since eBay.com is a business, this form of e-commerce could also be called C2B2C e-commerce (consumer to business to consumer e-commerce).
E-Commerce Website Development Platforms
Shopify is a complete e-commerce solution that allows you to set up an online store to sell your goods. It lets you organise your products, customise your storefront, accept credit card payments, track and respond to orders.
Magento is an American open-source content management system for e-commerce web sites developed with assistance from volunteers.
EPages is a fully integrated e-commerce software package that gives the website owner control of ALL aspect of the web site, not just a product catalogue. It is however proprietary software and therefore monthly license fee is required. It integrates with Ebay and Google's shopping portal, Froogle.
OSEcommerce is an open source ecommerce software solution. It covers most of the basics and is free, but there is no support other than documentation and forums. Many php developers are available for customisation.
Eway offers "real time" payments from your web site to your bank account - the "glue" if you like between between your web site and bank. Let's say you have a website that can take secure orders over SSL, you get the credit card number and put through a manual debit. Eway takes away the manual debit part of the circle.
Mals-e.com offers a free shopping cart with customisable freight and payment options. Great for small stores.
On the Internet, security is handled by passing "keys" between Internet server and client browser. When entering a secure site your browser is passed a public key by which transactions between you and the web server are encrypted. The server's key is always kept private.
On your web site security can be handled two ways - depending on your budget. You can "piggyback" on someone else's "key" or you can register and pay for your own key or SSL certificate at Thawte / Verisign.
Generally today businesses who host web sites offer access to a secure server and you can use their server and secure certificate for less than if you registered and paid for your own key.
However the person browsing your site will notice the URL change to one they do not recognise - or trust. This may put your customers off (although there is no evidence of this). Therefore one of the advantages of buying your own key would be to have a URL for your secure pages that is consistent with the rest of your site.
Presently, in Australia, Verisign may sell you a key for over $800 while foreign e-commerce providers like Instant SSL can sell it for $150. Although Verisign will argue that their key comes with a range of value add benefits, the bottom line is the product, i.e. the key, is the same.
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