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Online Shopping Assessment: Evaluation of Characteristics

Info: 2880 words (12 pages) Essay
Published: 18th Oct 2021 in Ecommerce

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Executive Summary

 Over the past decade, the Internet has been the fastest growing media. Online shopping is especially a fast-growing area of e-commerce. Online stores are usually available 24 hours a day and many users have access to the Internet both at home and at work. A popular web store is not just a good-looking website, listed in many search engines, but diverse technical features. The purpose of this study is to establish a preliminary assessment, evaluation and understanding of the online shopping characteristics. Though the advantages of online shopping are considerable, it can create a thorny situation when the process goes poorly. A few issues to consider include security, mobile trade, and spyware accumulations, as well as the precautions to be taken in this paper are studied.

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1.0 Introduction

E-commerce also known as electronic commerce which is the purchasing and sale of goods and services through an electronic network, primarily the Internet, or the transfer of funds or data. Such transactions occur either as Business-to-Business transactions (B2B), Business-to-Consumer transactions (B2C), or consumer transactions. The e-commerce and e-business terms are used interchangeably in many situations. The term e-tail is also sometimes used for transactional processes of online shopping. Modern electronic commerce typically uses the World Wide Web for at least one aspect of the life cycle of the transaction, though other technology such as email may also be used. According to Rouse (2018), a typical e-commerce transaction include online book purchases such as Amazon and music purchases like music downloading in the form of digital download, such as iTunes Store and, to a lesser extent, customised online liquor store inventory services. There are three fields of e-commerce which involves online retail, electronic markets and online auctions.

2.0 Type of E-Commerce

Business-to-business (B2B) e-commerce Refers to the exchange of goods, services or information online between companies, rather than between businesses and consumers. For examples online product, supply exchange manuals and websites can allocate on searching for goods, services and info through e-procurement interfaces. 

Business-to-consumer (B2C) is a business model focused on transactions between a company that selling products or services and individual customers end-users. B2C concept of e-commerce implies a trade transaction through a company website featuring an online catalogue.

Consumer-to-Consumer (C2C) is a type of e-commerce in which consumers trade online products, services, and information. These transactions are usually carried out through a third party offering an online platform which the transactions are performed. There are two most common platform for C2C sites are eBay and Craigslist.

Consumer-to-business (C2B) is a form of e-commerce where customers make their products and services available online to bid and buy companies. This is the reverse of the conventional B2C business model. Rouse (2018) mentioned that a popular example of a C2B platform, such as iStock, is a market that sells royalty-free photos, pictures, media and design elements. Another example would be a board of jobs.

Business-to-administration (B2A) refers to online transactions between businesses and public authorities or government bodies. Many government branches rely on e-services or products in one way, especially the legal documents, registers, social security, taxpayers, and employment are concerned. Organizations also can supply those electronically.

Consumer-to-administration (C2A) refers to online transactions between individual consumers and the public or governmental bodies. Government rarely buys products or services from residents, but in the following areas people frequently use electronic means: education:

-          Knowledge dissemination, distance learning / online lectures, and so on.

-          Social security: information being transmitted, payments being made, and so forth.

-          Taxes: the preparation of tax returns, payments etc.

-          Health: making appointments, providing information on conditions, making payments for health services, and so forth.

3.0 Advantages of E-Commerce

3.1 Easy and Convenient

Because of the ease and convenience, e-commerce has become one favourite ways for peoples in nowadays to shop because they in love online shopping. They are allowed to buy goods or services from their homes at any time of the day or night. The best thing about it is purchasing options which are easy, convenient and user-friendly with the ability to transfer funds online. Henceforth, consumer can save both their time and money by searching for their products easily and making purchases online.

3.2  Cost Reducing

One of e-commerce's most measurable benefits cost reduced. A part of these lower costs could be passed on in the form of discounted prices to customers. The following shows how e-commerce can cut costs:

-          Advertising and marketing: Some cost-effective advertising channels include organic search engine traffic, pay-per-click and social media traffic.

-          Personnel: Routing checkouts, billing, purchases, inventory management and other operational processes reduce the number of employees needed to run an e-commerce programme.

-          Real estate: An e-commerce retailer lacks a popular physical location.

3.3 Build Focused Contact

Using the information in the registration form provided by customer and putting cookies on the computer of customer, an e-commerce merchant can access many customers information. It may be used to communicate related messages, in effect. For instance, if organizations are searching for a particular product on Amazon there will automatically show listings of other similar products and may also receive emails from Amazon regarding related products.

3.4 Selling Goods to Worldwide

When business has a physical store, it will serve a specific geographic area, but with an e-commerce website, it can offer products and services worldwide. The whole world is a marketplace where businesses can market their entire portfolio of goods without any geographical limitations. Additionally, trade also known as mobile trade removed the remaining geographic restriction.

3.5 Open 24* 7/365

Shop timings are now 24/7/365 because e-commerce websites can run all the time, one of the most critical advantages e-commerce merchants can enjoy. They'll increase their profits by increasing the number of orders from the client. Nevertheless, it's also helpful to consumers, as they can buy products whenever they want, whether it's early morning or midnight.

4.0 Issues to Consideration when Developing E-Commerce

4.1 Security

All e-commerce sites have to support secure layer of sockets (SSL) to encrypt information that needs to remain secure. It refers to credit card and payment details and customer information such as location, telephone number, email. Customers expect their personal information to remain secure when making an online purchase, so ensuring that SSL is absolutely essential to keeping customers confident that their information will remain secure. Therefore, security is required for any company that accepts payments by credit card to fulfil PCI compliance requirements.

Organization need to aware that credit card numbers are not kept on the network in the database. While having card information on file may seem make shopping easier for customers, but storing this information on servers is a huge security risk and if the database is compromised, and company will be responsible for that loss.

4.2 Take care of the needs around data migration.

It refers to companies that already have a platform for e-commerce and want to switch to another. Migration of data can become extremely complex and challenging, so it is important to make progress in the migration plan.

4.3 Aid Checkouts for Visitors.

Business with e-commerce sites will require users to create an account to make a purchase, this allows for a follow-up interaction that encourages future sales, as well as tracking consumer demographic information to determine sales. Nevertheless, it is important to remember that not everybody wants to purchase a product through the account creation process. Since the company will still try to encourage users to create an account, they may try to design the purchase process to allow users to complete a guest checkout and, once done, enable them to create an account using the details they just entered.

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4.4 Capabilities of mobile commerce

The next thing to consider is the mobility features of the e-commerce system that organization want to use for website. Company have to be able to sell via mobile devices to get ahead of rivals. ABI Research expects shoppers worldwide to spend $119 billion in purchases of mobile phones by 2015. In addition, consumers are increasingly adopting mobile lifestyle and they enjoy researching mobile devices and making purchases about a product (Dains, 2014). So, organization should have the e-commerce programme that pick ready for mobile use. Having a mobile version of company e-commerce site or a mobile optimised version would help on extend customer scope and drive more traffic to the website. Additionally, ensure that the e-commerce solution has mobile marketing features such as:

-          cause SMS and MMS messages when visitors sign up for special deals or take any action on your site

-          preview of page templates on mobile screens

-          workflow alerts to accept and publish site changes from smartphone on the go

5.0 E-Commerce Case Studies

5.1 How a Small E-Commerce Platform Drawn 293,000 Facebook Fans?

Diamond Candles is a company that sells soy-based perfumed candles with a ring in the middle. Instead of buying ads online to drive sales of their companies, their main marketing strategy has been to use referrals and social media. The key strategy behind their success was customer content generated by their client base. Such photos increased the company's Facebook Fan Page to 469,661 followers by spending a single cent on ads, according to senior reporter Adam Sutton, Diamond Candles, while also increasing the conversion rate of their product page by 13 per cent.

Sources refer to:

https://www.marketingsherpa.com/article/case-study/social-media-small-ecommerce-facebook-fans

https://diamondcandles.com/

Knowing that more pictures shared by customers essentially made them more successful, they created an environment to allow their customers to send more pictures.

The following are what they did:

-          a call-to-action that was found on the candle asking customers to take a selfie with the ring and share it on social media, introducing their brand to even more potential customers (free of charge)

-          gifts that inspire customers to create and share photos for a chance to win free products, build customer loyalty

-          share all pictures taken on social media, create an impression

5.2 How One Ecommerce Entrepreneur Explored New Channels of Sales and Taking Income From $8,000 to $96,000 per month

Healthy eating is somewhat of a problem. Everybody knows they need to eat healthier, take more sleep and work out, but they don't. Since people are too busy in nowadays. So Raw Generation is a firm that makes consuming raw, unpasteurized juice from fresh fruits and vegetables more convenient. Since initially promoting on social media and getting no traction, Jessica, Raw Generation's CEO, was introduced to Lifebooker, a deal website. Raw Generation, after being promoted on Lifebooker, hit a home run. Raw Generation's majority sales come from deal sites like Groupon, Gilt, and Rue La La, yet in recent years Raw Generation no longer uses Glit and Rue La La. If businesses find a marketing strategy that works for them, don't go looking for new marketing outlets. Double on it, and make it work for company time and again.

5.3 How to Built a T-Shirt Business Online and Made $1,248.90 in 3 Weeks?

Shopify's core value on their site is "do something, tell people." Obviously, it promotes its own company. Shopify employee, Tucker Schreiber took on the task of building a T-shirt project in a month. ThinkPup, the store they set up had produced sales of $1,248.90 in less than a month. An summary of the performance shows the following:

Tucker sought to get consumers through a multiplicity of online marketing platforms and noticed that Reddit and Instagram had the most transactions. It shows that the marketing networks need not overthink Shopify. Posting on sites like Reddit where people are already gathered will sometimes help to make great sales. The secret to enterprise products is always testing new methods of marketing. While it may think that's the way to go because that's how people did it, and organisation will never really know for which channel it will be profitable. Reddit and Instagram website shows the following:

Thinkpup account in Instagram

The best way to find unique Instagram followers is simply to search for hashtags relevant to demographics, and to like, follow, or comment on their accounts. Here's what Tucker was searching for hashtags:

6.0 Conclusion

Generally speaking, businesses in nowadays must always strive to create the next best thing consumers will want because consumers continue to want their products, services and so on to be better, faster and cheaper on an ongoing basis.  Businesses need to accommodate the new types of consumer needs and developments in this new technology environment, because it will prove crucial to the success and sustainability of their business.  E-commerce is constantly progressing and is becoming increasingly important to businesses as technology continues to advance and is something that should be exploited and put into practise. From the inception of the Internet and e-commerce, the possibilities for both businesses and consumers have become endless.  It also can create businesses with more opportunities for profit and advancement, while creating more consumer options. 

References

  • Dains, M. (2014). Things to Consider Before Building an E-Commerce Solution. [online] Insights - Web and Mobile Development Services and Solutions. Available at: https://www.netsolutions.com/insights/10-things-to-consider-before-you-plan-to-build-a-new-e-commerce-solution/ [Accessed 29 Jan. 2020].
  • Fernandes, J. (2014). Types of e-commerce | BloomIdea. [online] BloomIdea. Available at: https://bloomidea.com/en/blog/types-e-commerce [Accessed 6 Feb. 2020].
  • Hassan, A. and Campbell, J. (2019). The 10 Most Common Challenges Faced by eCommerce Businesses. [online] eCommerce Training Academy. Available at: https://ecommercetrainingacademy.com/ecommerce-business-challeges/ [Accessed 29 Jan. 2020].
  • Ong, S. (2019). A Full List Of The Best Ecommerce Case Studies (63+ Examples!). [online] Word-of-Mouth and Referral Marketing Blog. Available at: https://www.referralcandy.com/blog/ecommerce-case-studies/ [Accessed 29 Jan. 2020].
  • Rouse, M. (2018). What is e-commerce (electronic commerce)? - Definition from WhatIs.com. [online] SearchCIO. Available at: https://searchcio.techtarget.com/definition/e-commerce [Accessed 29 Jan. 2020].
  • Schreiber, T. (2015). How I Built an Online T-Shirt Business and Made $1,248.90 in 3 Weeks. [online] Shopify. Available at: https://www.shopify.com/blog/50559813-how-i-built-an-online-t-shirt-business-and-made-1-248-90-in-3-weeks#overview [Accessed 6 Feb. 2020].
  • Wilks, A. (2018). What are the different categories of e-commerce?. [online] Numinix Blog. Available at: https://www.numinix.com/blog/2018/11/05/what-are-the-different-categories-of-e-commerce/ [Accessed 29 Jan. 2020].
  • Wills, B. (2014). 18 Major Benefits of e-Commerce Business for Retailers & Customers in 2015. [online] Medium. Available at: https://medium.com/@briannawillsss/18-major-benefits-of-e-commerce-business-for-retailers-customers-in-2015-63c5fc87f679 [Accessed 29 Jan. 2020].

 

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