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What is e-commerce and is now the time to start selling online?

We're sure you're all aware of the current state of the world and as a business you're probably thinking about what you can do to make the most of this strange time? Well, it is vital that you have a website for your business now that the world is spending more time at home and online. Now that many businesses have had to close it is a good time to look at e-commerce and how it can transform your business for the future.

What is e-commerce?

E-commerce refers to the purchase of goods or services over the Internet and the transfer of money and data to execute these transactions. It is often used to refer to the sale of physical products online, but can also describe any type of commercial transaction that is facilitated over the Internet. There are different types of e-commerce models for the transaction that takes place between businesses and consumers.

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There are four e-commerce business models:
Business to Consumer (B2C): When a business sells a product or service to an individual consumer.
Business to Business (B2B): When a business sells a product or service to another business.
Consumer to Consumer (C2C): When a consumer sells a good or service to another consumer.
Consumer to Business (C2B): When a consumer sells their own products or services to a business or organisation.

There are many examples of e-commerce businesses and e-commerce can take a variety of forms involving different transactional relationships between businesses and consumers, as well as different objects that are exchanged as part of these transactions.

Retailing: The sale of a product by a business directly to a customerRetail: The sale of a product by a company directly to a customer.
Wholesale: The sale of a product in bulk, often to a retailer.
Dropshipping: The sale of a product, which is manufactured and shipped to a consumer by a third party.
Crowdfunding: The collection of money from consumers before a product is available in order to raise the money to bring it to market.
Subscription: The automatic, recurring purchase of a product or service on a regular basis until the subscriber decides to cancel it.
Physical products: Any tangible good that requires inventory to be replenished and orders to be physically shipped to customers as sales are made.
Digital products: Downloadable digital products, courses, templates and courses or media that can be purchased for consumption or licensed for use.
Services: A skill or set of skills provided in exchange for compensation. The service provider's time can be purchased for a fee.

Regardless of the e-commerce model your company follows, it can be really beneficial for your business to sell your goods or services online. Especially during the current situation the world is in, it is a good time to consider e-commerce for your business because more consumers are relying on online services.

How to transform your business with e-commerce

There are many advantages of e-commerce for your business:
Convenience: It is a convenience for consumers because it does not require much effort. The ability to browse and shop from the comfort of your home at any time of the day makes it the easiest option for many.
Easier and cheaper inventory management: E-commerce is also an easier and cheaper inventory management system. Using a web-based management system means that the operational costs associated with managing the inventory of goods can be greatly reduced.
Monitoring consumer buying habits: Another benefit is the ability to monitor consumer buying habits. Being able to track the visit history and orders placed by customers allows companies to tailor their offerings to customers' needs and requirements.
National or global coverage: With an e-commerce website, businesses will be able to offer goods and services nationwide and even internationally.
No limit to opening hours: One of the main benefits of an e-commerce shop is that there are no closing hours. This is beneficial for customers to be able to order day or night and will also never miss vital income.
Reduced operating costs: Businesses that choose to open an e-commerce shop have the opportunity to employ fewer staff to assist customers with their shopping experience. Lower advertising and marketing costs mean that opening an e-commerce shop is a sensible option for those looking to reduce their expenses.

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Here are also some e-commerce marketing tips and ideas to take your business to a new level of success:

Make your e-commerce website mobile friendly: To maximise conversions then, you need to provide the best mobile experience possible. In today's world, a responsive and mobile optimised website is a must for any business.
Add live chat: It is a good option to consider using live chat on your e-commerce website. This is because customers can ask questions or voice their concerns before making any purchase decision. Offering live chat on your site helps you discover common problems your customers experience. Resolving those issues helps improve your conversions.

Use optional pop-up offers to convert users: With an e-commerce website, pop-up offers can improve conversion rates. They can encourage visitors to sign up for your mailing list, newsletter or loyalty programme.

Offer free shipping: There are many benefits to offering free shipping on your website. Customers are more likely to buy if there is a free shipping promotion, rather than other types of promotions or discounts.

Email marketing: Email marketing can be the key channel for lead generation. It is worth the effort to be more proactive and automate your email marketing campaigns to make the process smoother and more effective.

How to choose the best e-commerce platform for your online shop

Choosing the right e-commerce platform is a critical decision to make. At Gekkota, we recommend two different e-commerce platforms for your online business. We have helped several companies with e-commerce development for their websites.

WooCommerce is a popular and highly customisable Content Management System. With its great features that are easy to use, WooCommerce works within the WordPress interface and is suitable for small and medium-sized online shops.

VirtueMart is considered as the pioneer of e-commerce extension in Joomla. Although Virtuemart took time to adopt new technologies, but it has been captured the heart of Joomla developers for a decade, the reason is simple. Virtuemart is open source easy to customise, comes with clearer architecture, more stable interface and effective performance.
Is now the time to start selling online?

Due to the current situation in the world, most people are isolated at home and are turning to online services. This is a good opportunity for you to consider e-commerce to transform your business. With the dynamic situation, companies need to plan their next marketing moves intelligently to mitigate the risk of loss or capture all possible advantages. We cannot guarantee or predict the future of the economy but as a business, now is the time to act and future proof your business by selling online.

At Gekkota we offer e-commerce development to clients who are looking for a way to maximise sales by creating enjoyable online experiences for their customers.

If you would like Gekkota Studio to design a website for you or convert your existing website into an online shop, please contact us. Or you can view our portfolio of work here.

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