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What are the Key Factors in Making E-commerce Work?

Aug 18, 2007
There are lots of factors in order to make your e-commerce business work. You need an efficient customer assistance service and a working system for organization and technical aspects.

E-commerce or electronic commerce has dramatically changed its meaning over the last 30 years. E-commerce originally meant any transaction like invoice or purchase order that was sent trough electronic means i.e. transactions through ATM machines and telephone banking.

Today, e-commerce is synonymous with any online business transaction. There are now billions of Internet users worldwide and the potential market base is astounding. That is primarily the reason why many businesses become online. Many types of transaction can be done over the Internet, with a vast range of products and services up for grabs. Unfortunately, there are also a great number of failed online business ventures who are being swept by the current.

So, how does one make e-commerce profitable? What are the key factors in making e-commerce work?

A great online business company must employ a competent Internet management team, efficient post-sales services (i.e. product tracking, delivery, etc.,) well-organized business and network infrastructure and a working website. This may sound a bit overwhelming to home business entrepreneurs who may be working on very limited resources. However, this can be oversimplified to just having an efficient customer assistance service and a working system for organization and technical aspects.

If the budget for your online business is permissive, you may want to seek the aid or advice of an Internet marketing business. An Internet marketer or e-marketer can provide valuable information about market trends in the e-commerce world. If resources are tight, however, you can make e-commerce work for you by simply following these:

Customer Assistance Service

One way of getting a good objective look at your online business is to see or experience it through the eyes of your prospective market.

For example, your home business is a bookseller business; obviously, the first thing you have to promote is your book collections. You have to make sure that your working website has all the books that you offer. Updating your website about what new books have just come in and what items are out of stock will make your customers feel up-to-speed with new releases and wont be disappointed if ever they order the out-of-stock book.

This is a value-oriented service to your projected market. It shows that you are providing personal attention to your clients even though there is no face-to-face transaction.

If your website is interactive (with chat rooms, customer feedback, discussion boards, etc.,) then you can offer a responsive and user-friendly purchasing experience to your clients. You can also offer coupons, discounts and special offers to your customers as a way of enticing them back to your business.

Some Internet aficionados prefer e-shopping on their own. In which case, your (secure) site could offer complete transparency when it comes to products and services offered. This might entail more time to create, and a lot of Internet marketing research. This gives your customers a sense of control by being able to cross reference information, packages and prices with other online business ventures like yours. You could also offer alternatives to your products that will link them to other trustworthy sites.

In other words, make your home business customer-friendly by offering assistance without seeming to.

A system for organization and technical aspects

Like any form of business, your home business should have market research and analysis. Knowing your target market is important; knowing what your target market wants at the moment is more important. Trends change. Your bookseller home business may be doing well with one title at the moment. Next thing you know, nobody wants it anymore.

Make sure that your company has devised a way for secure and reliable transactions that is not only convenient to you but also to your potential customers. Credit cards accounts for 90% of all purchases in online business ventures. If however, is of no service to you, there are other software and / or sites that may help you like Paypal or money order.

Budget permitting, aside from hiring the services of an Internet Marketing business, your management team should be well versed with Internet protocol. Designing, updating and upgrading a website is important; because this is the face your customers can see. Also, should technical difficulties arise, your team should be able to deal with it promptly. A down site means a loss of revenue for your company.
About the Author
Stephen C Campbell (MBA, MSc, MCIM) is a business consultant who has conducted business throughout Europe, Far East & U.S. He specializes in helping businesses use the new technologies as a part of their business strategies.http://www.onlinebooksellingbusiness.com
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