How to start an E-commerce (most important questions you need about E-commerce)

How to start an e-commerce (most important questions you need about E-commerce)

 E-commerce entails   the buying and selling of goods, services, and information over the Internet and other networks, as well as the marketing and provision of related services. In this article, the concept of Internet commerce is initially introduced  , along with key considerations for its application in business .

How to start an E-commerce (most important questions you need about E-commerce)

The commerce mechanism, operation, and elements and types of online commerce  created to use this technology are discussed next. Finally, practical recommendations were made in the light of the information gathered in order to implement the best e-commerce profit gain.

What is e-commerce? 

Definition of electronic commerce  or e-commerce in English, which is the process of buying and selling products, services, or information between individuals and companies via the Internet, using modern technology in your store . 

Where e-commerce began to appear in the nineties when Amazon appeared in 1995 AD, and other large companies such as (e-bay) followed it and continued to grow, especially after the significant development of technology, until it reached the peak of e-commerce during the Corona crisis, as it led to an increase in the share of retail sales through The Internet, according to a report issued by the United Nations Trade Commission, said that total retail sales increased from 16% to 19% in 2020.

Let us understand the term e-commerce more, according to  Wikipedia  , as it is based on two very important parts:

  •  (Trade): It is an economic activity based in itself on the exchange of services and goods between governments, companies, and individuals, according to specific laws and regulations.

  • (Electronic): means the reliance of this type of trade on technology, the Internet and the sites based on it.

Of course, e-commerce is a wide sea that includes several types, so if you want to expand your business through it, you must follow this article, to learn more about its types, features and methods, in order to put you on the right path to take a new step forward with regard to your business.

Stages of e-commerce development

Initially launched in the 1960s with electronic data interchange (EDI) over value-added networks (VANs), e-commerce expanded in the 1990s and early 2000s with the advent of well-known electronic online stores. For example, Jeff Bezos started his book delivery company in his garage in 1995 before launching Amazon.   

Or EBay, which allows consumers to buy and sell online , launched online auctions to the world in 1995, and became very popular in 1997 with the massive popularity of Beanie Babies. Many people believe that e-commerce will quickly replace traditional business transactions as the number of Internet users rises.    

E-commerce has evolved over time, just like any other digital technology or consumer-driven business and services. The mobile phone industry has developed its own market as mobile devices have gained popularity. Social networking has grown into a major force in e-commerce with the introduction of websites such as Facebook and Pinterest. 

For example, space48 reported that as of 2014, 85% of shoppers who accessed Shopify's e-commerce platform via Facebook ads accounted for online purchases generated by social media marketing.    

Businesses have great specialization potential to grow their online marketplace and enhance consumer relations as a result of the market change in that trade. By 2013, worldwide e-commerce sales exceeded $1.2 trillion (1,000 billion), while mobile phone sales in the United States reached $38 billion, according to Statista 

One billion people, or more than 40% of Internet users, have made online purchase growth . These numbers will only increase as mobile phone and Internet usage rises in both developed and emerging economies around the world, including trade leaders in the United States.  

Learn about some e-commerce concepts

It is important to think about the essential parts of an e-commerce site while planning how you will create a Services site to market your product or service. Familiar e-commerce concepts with these items. We show you these definitions in the form of basic e-commerce site tools.    

  • Website : Your website is where you offer your electronic services and products. How well you design determines how well you convert web visitors into customers.

  • Product catalog : Where you present your electronic products or services.

  • Shopping Cart : Where customers store their purchases while browsing your site.

  • Payment Gateway : Allows customers to pay you instantly online.

  • Product Information : This is where you provide your potential customer with valuable product research.

  • SEO Search Engine Optimization : By using search engine techniques, you will attract more visitors on the internet to expand your e-commerce.

  • Frequently Asked Questions : Ensure online sales by answering customer questions about products.

  • Newsletters : a quarterly news subscription.

  • Privacy Policy : Earn the trust of customers by writing a privacy policy, it is one of the most important pages.

What is meant by direct sales in the Internet business network?

E-commerce , as explained above, is more specifically defined as the conduct of business and services through a network or the purchase and resale of goods and services from an online commerce store .  

All electronic, physical, service and distance learning items can be traded. Electrical items, information, news, audio, music, movies, databases, software, and other intellectual goods are examples of intangible goods, and this sector of the economy is constantly evolving. 

E-commerce is like shopping in a catalog or doing your shopping while watching cable TV at home.

What is meant by the e-commerce market?

E-commerce involves more than just the process of buying and selling goods online . Alternatively, you might open an online store and seek customers from all over the world, just like a neighborhood business.  

In addition, this store owner may conduct online searches for suppliers of electronic store supplies, accounting firms, financial institutions, government agencies, and competitor companies.

The electronic market space refers to an economic phenomenon where products, intermediaries, and customers communicate and trade electronically. Electronic markets are commonly referred to as online transactions and auctions, such as stock markets and online auctions 

The virtual representation of  real markets is the electronic market space. The electronic economy appears in general through economic activities in the field of electronic commerce . The electronics market includes the following steps: 

  1. Market actors: These are factories, traders, wholesalers, brokers, stores and customers.
  2. Goods and services.
  3. Supply operations, production, marketing, competition, distribution, consumption, etc.

How does e-commerce work? 

Since e-commerce is  the buying and selling operations that take place over the Internet  , customers perform these operations from computers, smart phones, and many other points of contact with dedicated websites and platforms.

The customer's web browser will communicate back and forth with the server, which is hosting the e-commerce website when the order is placed. The order manager, which is a central computer, will receive information about the order. 

It will then be sent to the databases that control inventory levels, the merchant system that controls payment data using tools such as PayPal, a bank computer, and a merchant system.   

It will then return to the Orders Manager. This is done to ensure that there is enough stock in the store and funds in the customer's account to fulfill the order.

After confirming the order information, the manager informs the store's web server , and a message will reach the customer of the success of the order process, then the order manager sends the order information to the store or warehouse, so that the order is shipped and sent to the customer, if it is tangible or digital products that allow E-commerce all of that.  

Types of e-commerce

There are several main types of e-commerce which we explain in the next section.

  • Business-to-business (B2B) business

  • Business to Consumer (B2C) Business to Consumer

  • Consumer to Consumer (C2C) Consumer to Consumer

  • Consumer to Business (C2B) Consumer to Business

  • Peer-to-peer (P2P) e-commerce

  • Seller works with B2A Business to Administration

  • Consumer Business with Consumer Administration (C2A) Consumer to Administration

1. Business-to-business (B2B) e-commerce

Used in business-to-business (B2B) transactions and is short for Business to Business , merchants must identify intermediaries in addition to consumers.  

This model includes all international trade and service partners, including suppliers, buyers, shippers, logistics (support), inspection services, marketing news, and electronic software applications that facilitate manufacturing, buying, and selling. They all gather in one area.

This company is employed when we want to make wholesale purchases and sales that are beyond the reach of e-commerce retailers.

Because online commerce has a number of risks. Because customers don't want to buy everything on the Internet, they only buy some products, and some are not interested.

2. B2C Business to Consumer

Retail sales account for the lion's share of B2C e-commerce . 

This form of electronic business has grown  rapidly with the development of the Internet, and it is now possible to purchase anything from candy to cars and computer software online. 

The manufacturer (the seller) of the product is on one side of the transaction in B2C e-commerce , and the buyer (the end consumer) is on the other side. The success of this model is determined by the experiences provided to the client. The consumer must be provided with the services to which he is accustomed under the old model, and create similar conditions.  

3. Consumer to Consumer (C2C) Consumer to Consumer

Consumer to Consumer  , auctions and tenders for products and services are conducted through the Internet under this e-commerce approach. The C2C concept is similar to the classified needs of a newspaper, a flea market stall, or a brokerage. 

The basic principle behind this approach is that customers buy and sell directly to each other.

The largest C2C prototype is eBay, the online auction center . eBay (the most popular e-commerce platform) does not sell anything and instead acts as an intermediary between buyers and sellers for offering items in online auctions. 

For example, eBay allows the seller to enter a starting price in the auction, and then auction participants can comment on the item up for auction before time runs out.

Other websites such as Autobytel and Carsmart are examples of the C2C type.

Due to the small cost of advertising on the Internet, netizens use the C2C model to sell the products they like.

4. Consumer to Business (C2B) Consumer to Business

Although the online consumer market is growing daily, many customers have discovered that the product selection process is quite lengthy and may be too much for them to handle.

Since it is sometimes difficult to locate the product itself on these sites and to determine the prices of the product, users often find sites linked to the sale of the goods they desire.

Therefore, there is a need for new online buying and selling strategies in commerce that will enhance the profitability of sales agencies to make buying simpler. The sales plan should be used as a result.

5. Peer-to-peer electronic commerce (P2P).

The P2P e-commerce model allows auction participants to settle with the seller, the most popular of which is PayPal. People can exchange money directly with each other in four ways using P2P trading.  

Face-to-face transfers represent the majority of monetary and trade transactions. More people can make face-to-face purchases thanks to mobile technology. 

6. Seller Business with Business to Administration (B2A).

All financial and commercial transactions between companies and government agencies fall under this category of e-commerce.

Among the items that might be included in this group are things like businesses that meet government demands and pay taxes.

B2A business is still in its infancy, but when governments take care of strengthening their connections, it will develop rapidly in the near future.  

7. Consumer Business with Consumer Administration (C2A)

The C2A e-commerce model is still in its infancy. But as B2C and B2A continue to develop, governments will likely use electronic exchanges to conduct various types of commerce with citizens, including collecting donations from the general public and paying taxes.  

Although e-commerce is a relatively recent phenomenon, it is evident that it is very active based on the experience and testing of all the online business models that have been mentioned up to this point.

For this reason, we at Marketing Arabia believe that this style of business is beneficial to all types of organizations. Industry experts say that identifying trustworthy sources of digital internet revenue simply requires trial and error.  

B2C and B2B models have received the most public attention recently, but other models are still growing their approaches and changing their strategies.

E-commerce applications

Many retail e-commerce applications use online marketing strategies to attract users to the platform. Email, online shopping carts and catalogs, FTP, web services, and mobile applications are some of these items.    

Both B2C and B2B operations as well as other forms of communication use these strategies. They include sending SMS messages to mobile devices and targeted emails with advertisements and electronic newsletters to subscribers.  

 Sending unsolicited emails and SMS messages is commonly referred to as spam. With the use of technologies such as digital discounts, social media marketing, and personalized advertising, more companies are now making an effort to attract customers online by providing the following:

internal payment systems

Content management systems are of great dimensions

Auction sites and group purchases

news sites

Electronic banking services

Electronic administrative offices

And several other things.

We add to you some applications that help you start e-commerce : 

  1. HubSpot
  2. Hootsuite
  3. Shopify
  4. Google Analytics or Google Analytics
  5. closeup

E-commerce platforms 

A tool to manage multiple online stores called e-commerce platform. The sizes of e-commerce platforms range from those of small businesses to those of giant corporations. 

These e-commerce platforms include online marketplaces such as Amazon Account and eBay, which only require user account registration and limited account IT infrastructure.

, which allows store owners to essentially rent space in a cloud-hosted saas service, is another approach for the Arabic-English e-commerce platform. There is no need for internal development nor on-site infrastructure with this strategy. 

Open source platforms are another type of ecommerce platform that needs to be implemented manually and maintained or hosted in a cloud or on-premises environment.

Example of online platforms:

  • WooCommerce : The best eCommerce website builder platform is WooCommerce. With the help of WooCommerce WordPress plugin, any website can become a powerful online store. In addition, plugins are available to combine social networking, email marketing, one-click purchases, and shipping with payment gateways.

  • Shopify : Shopify is the perfect choice whether you want to drop ship or sell stuff on Instagram, Facebook, or all three. Shopify is not recommended if you want to focus on SEO. Shopify is not for you if you have a large business with a lot of items.

  •  Magento : Magento is a content management system for storefronts. Nike, Procter & Gamble, and Cisco Magento are all grounded in commerce essentials. Coding is an essential component of every store. So, if you are a developer or can afford it and want something powerful and configurable, Magento is a great option.

  • Wix Stores : Over the years, Wix eCommerce has greatly advanced the ecommerce process. Wix is ​​already a big player in the e-commerce industry and provides incredible value to sole proprietors and small e-commerce businesses. The ecommerce tools on Wix have improved significantly over time; They now offer drop shipping, multi-channel integration, abandoned cart recovery, and print-on-demand capabilities.

Advantages of e-commerce for customers

It is characterized by availability : e-commerce sites are available with a number of open hours on all days of the week, where they can be browsed and shopped at any time you want, especially on really busy days when you do not have much time, unlike traditional trade, where they are restricted to certain days and hours. 

Speed : The same factor that e-commerce provides again, which is time, where you can open the site, shop and order within five minutes, unlike shops that are sometimes crowded at certain times of the year.

Extended inventory : Perhaps this is the most advantage that you can really benefit from as a brand, as you do not need an exhibition for your products and prepare it to display the goods, so this is less expensive, in addition to that you can provide a large amount of products only that are shipped from stores and warehouses after the customer completes the purchase process.

There is a wide range of different options : In e-commerce, the customer can easily compare products without having to go from one store to another and see which seller offers the best price in e-commerce for goods and has more options to choose from. In the real world, each store has limited space in the merchandise, but the same store can display the entire inventory online.

Easy access : Where customers can access the different products they want through the feature of searching in stores and the presence of many types of Arab and foreign products, perhaps in the same location, unlike the shops, where customers face difficulty in finding a specific product in certain countries, and the search appears in several shops for a product It's kinda stressful.

Expanding business internationally : where customers can shop from the commercial site even if they are in a different country. What really matters is the availability of storage and shipping for your products and bc device only in these countries, such as the famous Amazon store, where it has achieved a wide spread because of this matter, of course, unlike traditional trade that must Customers have to complete the sale process, in e-commerce things are simple.

 Low cost : E-commerce was a priority option for people who have poor capital, as creating an online store with professional marketing is enough to display your products and customers order your products through this site, and thus you have saved rent, bills and tax processing, but if you want to expand e-commerce later You only need a store and shipping costs.

 Product data and characteristics : Visitor data is used in online commerce, such as products that were searched for, browsed, and purchased to be displayed in the product reviews section and best-selling products, which is a very good feature, especially for the customer who will gain confidence in your store and product, and this is completely unavailable in traditional shops .

Just as we have shown the bright side of e-commerce, we must also show the dark side and the important word of it as well.

Disadvantages of e-commerce for customers

Less quality customer service : Shops, like the past, include a number of customer service supervisors who can answer any inquiry requested by the customer. In electronic stores, support is expected for certain hours, questions are delayed and some are not answered as well.

Poor evaluation of the product : which evaluates the processing of the product on the websites by displaying attractive images, sometimes it may be modified, and information about the products in the description. Too many returns for the website and it negatively affects growth.

Waiting for shipping : Many e-shopping customers suffer from waiting for the electronic product to be shipped, as the period varies from one site to another, and some sites now ship their products within two days or the same day, but it is not immediate as in traditional shops, so they need a new job to avoid mistakes.

Fraud : Have you been exposed to it before? It is very common and widespread for e-commerce customers, as it is possible to defraud the products themselves or steal electronic customer data, such as bank card information, by some hackers, so building trust between you and your customers is the most important point for the growth of e-commerce.

Thus, we have got to know together the most important questions that you need in e-commerce, its types, advantages and disadvantages, in simple steps.   

If you would like to start actually in the world of development and success, share your opinion with us in a comment and follow more articles in our blog (Marketing ) with everything related to e-commerce.

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