There were approximately 2.14 billion online shoppers in 2021, that’s roughly 25% of the world’s population. Ecommerce websites are at the center of this enormous market.
What is an E-Commerce Site?
It is a digital replacement of a brick and mortar store that allows you to browse through products, order items, pay for them, track the orders and interact with brands. The concept of e-commerce has been there since the 1990s.
In the last few years, it has become the mainstay for shopping at all scales. From bulk orders to buying a single object, e-commerce works for everything. Then there are the service providers like Urbanclap and Gomechanic that offer personal services through e-commerce sites. IT service providers and freelancers can also have e-commerce sites.
Different Types of E-Commerce
We can classify e-commerce in a number of categories based on the categories of buyers and sellers.
It stands for business to consumer. When you buy books from Amazon for yourself or as a gift for someone, that’s an example of B2C e-commerce.
Business to business e-commerce is when two businesses make a transaction over the internet. For instance, if you are a seller of wooden goods and you buy timber from an online wholesaler, that’s an example of B2B e-commerce.
B2A stands for business to administration. It refers to the transaction between a business and a public sector authority. For instance if a business offers IT services to a municipality, that’s B2A.
When a consumer buys and sells goods or services over the internet from other consumers, it is called C2C e-commerce. An example would be Ebay.
Ever paid traffic fines or parking charges to a government body through an online portal? That is an example of consumer to administration e-commerce.
What should an E-Commerce website include
E-commerce websites have come a long way from simple portals to AI powered platforms with sentiment analysis capabilities. Nevertheless, the basic requirements are pretty straightforward. There are certain things your customer should be able to do on your e-commerce site.
Just like a brick and mortar shop, your online shop should have all the products you have on display. They should be neatly categorized and easily searchable. You can achieve that by building your shop on well established e-commerce templates.
Your site should be in sync with your physical inventory so that it does not show products that are sold out.
If the consumer has a seamless experience browsing through your shop, it will enhance their chances of making a purchase.
Placing an order
The consumer should feel confident and comfortable while placing an order from your site. Design the experience in a way that it can be accessed by even a five year old. Keep the reviews and ratings handy for the customers. Reduce the loading time of the payment gateway.
Paying for a product
Your e-commerce site should be connected to a payment gateway through which the customer can pay you with ease in a number of different ways.
You have to make sure that the payment gateway is secure whether it is built into your site or outsourced to a third-party vendor.
Make it super easy for your customers to track their orders – their status, delivery time, etc. Keep them informed in case of any delay or changes in schedule.
Swiggy had nailed the order tracking mechanism, for instance. It boosts the customer’s confidence in your online store when they can see the product arriving.
This is one of the most important areas of competition among e-commerce websites. The easier it is for a customer to launch a complaint or claim a refund the more confident they’ll be about making purchases from you. No-question asked refunds and easy returns are what made Amazon the go-to e-commerce site for so many millions.
Tips to improve your E-Commerce Site
- Track your customers’ behavior on your site. Find out where they spend the most amount of time. Identify the pages from which the customers bounce out of your site.
- Use these insights to enhance customer experience. For instance, if your customers are filling their carts and then abandoning them right before checking out, it may indicate that your prices are too high.
- Discounts and cashbacks are very important in terms of getting new customers.
- Reduce your site’s load time. It is observed that longer load times can easily send your customer to a competitor.
Running an e-commerce website is a pretty busy job. You have to look after inventory, logistics, customer satisfaction, and set up secure payment methods. Be thorough about your processes and pay attention to your customers’ needs and you should be good.