What is ecommerce? Ecommerce is essentially the process of buying & selling through electronic transactions – on the internet, through mobile apps & other devices. Whenever you buy or sell online, you’re involved in the ecommerce transaction.
Ecommerce in the retail sector is growing at a rate of over 20% year-on-year and accounted for 11.5% of total retail sales in 2018. It is no surprise to see so many businesses emerging from the traditional bricks & mortar stores by offering online sales across a range of platforms.
What Platform is Best For My Business?
Typically, when you think of e-commerce, you probably think of a website with it’s own online store. It may suit a lot of businesses but may not be the “right” solution for your business. The following will give a good overview of the options available.
Creating your own website & storefront is one of the most straightforward ways to conduct e-commerce. It gives you full flexibility to change the features & design of your website from how store looks to the the facets & filters to optimise the search functions & usability of your store. Below are just some of the Storefront Solutions available:
Considered by many as one of the most flexible e-commerce solutions in the market, Magento offers powerful features right out of the box. It gives merchants the ability to customise just about aspect of their e-commerce store, and you have complete freedom over the look, feel, and functionalities of your site. If you need to further extend the functionality of Magento, you can always use add-ons to enhance your site.
WooCommerce – 4.5/5
WooCommerce is an open source e-commerce platform for WordPress. It comes with standard features such as analytics and reporting, shipping options, and mobile-friendly functionalities. Built specifically for WordPress, WooCommerce seamlessly connects with the platform. This makes it a very attractive choice for existing WordPress users. We love WooCommerce and the easy to use nature for developers & businesses alike.
Oracle Commerce – 3.5/5
This enterprise ecommerce solution can be implemented on-premises, or it can be hosted by Oracle or a third party. It has features that can benefit both B2B and B2C merchants, and it comes with powerful functionalities that enable you to sell more complex merchandise and data-rich offerings. This is more for e-commerce selling with complex functionality.
Shopify – 4/5
A popular choice among many SMBs, Shopify has features that let you sell online, on social media, and in-person. It lets merchants build and customise their e-commerce site through easy-to-use interfaces and templates. And it has features such as inventory management, reporting, buy buttons and more. It also has social selling functionalities for those who are active on sites like Facebook and Pinterest. Shopify is fully hosted, which means merchants won’t have to worry about maintaining the platform or using their servers.
There are many more storefront solutions available but these are amongst the most popular solutions. We can recommend the right solution for your business and provide a no obligation quote to help make your transition to an e-commerce storefront as easy & seamless as possible.
Marketplaces are usually a website that allows merchants to upload & sell on their platform to customers browsing the marketplace. Many online marketplaces don’t own inventory; rather, they just connect buyers and sellers and give them a platform on which to do business.
Amazon is one of the world’s largest online marketplaces, offering extensive selections of books, electronics, apparel, accessories, baby products, and pretty much everything you could ever want or need.
As of 2015, there were more than 2 million third-party sellers on the site, and according to Amazon, these sellers sold 2 billion items in 2014.
eBay is another popular online marketplace that connects merchants and buyers, facilitating B2B, B2C, and C2C e-commerce. eBay offers products in several categories, including electronics, cars, fashion, collectables, and more. eBay merchants can also hold auctions that let buyers bid on products. This allows the possibility of selling items above (and below) market value.
A “freelance services marketplace” that connects people (mostly entrepreneurs) with service providers who offer anything from graphic design and online marketing to translation and video development.
Social media can pave the way for e-commerce in two ways: social sites can facilitate a sale by directing shoppers to a merchant’s e-commerce site, or they can allow users to buy something directly on the platform.
In many cases, social networks such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Pinterest aren’t used as e-commerce platforms. Rather, merchants use these sites to showcase their merchandise. When shoppers come across an item that they like on social media, they are directed to the merchant’s e-commerce site.
For instance, many retailers who show off their products on Instagram use solutions such as Like2Buy to enable customers to purchase the items. Here’s how it works: when a user sees a product that they like on their Instagram feed, they can click the merchant’s Like2Buy link so they can view the item’s product page.