eCommerce refers to any scenario where financial transactions take place over the internet. eCommerce began from virtually nothing in the 90s to a juggernaut today, and its growth shows no signs of stopping. In Australia alone, $20.6 billion was spent online in the previous year as of August 2016.
Just about anything that can be sold in a physical store can be sold via eCommerce. We list just some of the things you can sell on our eCommerce services page. Additionally, eCommerce websites have a few important advantages over physical stores for both customers and merchants. These advantages include:
- eCommerce shops never close, as staff are not needed to man the till.
- eCommerce shops are cheaper to run, as staff are not needed to man the till.
- An eCommerce site has the entire internet as it’s footprint, while a physical store has only a local footprint.
- Customers save travel time shopping at an eCommerce store.
- Customers can quickly compare prices between different eCommerce stores or between similar products.
Creating an eCommerce Website
To allow eCommerce to take place on your website, you’ll at the very least need an account with a payment gateway or third party payment processor, and some code on your website to connect to it. In most cases, you’ll want a lot more functionality than that. Some of the functionality an eCommerce shop typically includes:
- Cart functionality, analogous to a physical shopping trolley.
- Order tracking, stored in an online database
- Price calculations for taxes and shipping.
- Stock management as either a standalone database or integrated with the physical store’s stock management.
- Reviews system, allowing customers to write product reviews.
- Coupon system to provide discounts or bonuses to customers.
- Customer management system.
There are hundreds of solutions for setting up an eCommerce website. We usually choose to use the WooCommerce plugin for WordPress. WooCommerce is the most popular eCommerce software on the internet, free and open source. Some other popular eCommerce solutions are:
No out-of-the-box solution will meet everyone’s needs, so eCommerce software is frequently extended to meet individual business needs. We love eCommerce and solving interesting problems, so don’t hesitate to contact us.
Read more about eCommerce at the Wikipedia eCommerce article. Find out the state of play of the eCommerce sector of the Australian economy at NAB’s business blog.