They say love makes the world go 'round,...
...but for those who live in the world of business, money is the real world spinner. And the Internet is no different. E-commerce, or Electronic Commerce, is the selling and buying of services or products over electronic systems like the Internet.
Whether you live in Singapore or California, you have probably seen advertisements for the countless things you can buy with your hard-earned money. You have seen firsthand the consumer side of e-commerce.
But the selling end of e-commerce can be a bit more complicated. Unlike the consumer who has the fairly easy task of finding what they want, business owners must fight endless competition to sell their wares. That's why strategies such as Consumer Research, Website Design, Search Engine Optimization, and Search Engine Marketing are so important for online business owners.
E-commerce is generally divided into:
- Electronic Data Interchange (EDI), which is businesses exchanging data. This means that the Singapore website with the discounted videogames might exchange data with your Paypal account when you pay, Paypal will exchange data with eBay since they are connected, and so on.
- Demographic data which is gathered and used via social media and Web contacts. In a nutshell, this is all the tech stuff that tells business owners what consumers are looking for so they can advertise accordingly.
- “Virtual Storefronts”, or e-tailing, where companies use online catalogs or even a fun “virtual mall”. This makes buying easier and more fun- which equals profit!
- Businesses buying and selling supplies and products from each other. Pretty straightforward.
- Business transaction security: Because getting hacked is bad for business.
- E-mail communications with potential customers and current customers. When this is done wrong, it becomes inbox spam and will generate general hatred of your “spammy” brand. This can include advertising emails, newsletters, product updates, and much more.