E-Commerce is one of the most important aspects of the Internet. Under this umbrella we have websites with shopping cart functions, marketplaces and shopping comparison sites.
Ecommerce allows people to carry out business without the restraint of time or location. A traditional website can serve anywhere in the world that can log on! The cost per sale is reduced when youâ€™re talking about e-commerce. No human interaction is needed, and errors are reduced as the customer provides all the information.
Customers can search for niche products in an instant, and if you are a seller of niche product, reaching out to the world can increase your sales volumes thus decreasing the cost of the item for you, the business.
The customers experience can be streamlined, they will spend less time over order discrepancies and there is an increased chance of cross selling as the products are just another click away.
So when as a business would you choose a marketplace such as eBay?
Marketplaces are great for customer acquisition; a marketplace such as eBay will spread your branding across the web quicker than any pay per click scheme. Marketplaces have high velocities, great for brand new stock and finishing lines. Marketplaces can also be places to test ideas or new products, you will soon know on whether a product is not going to do well or fly off the shelves.
Protecting your bricks and mortar:
Many traditional companies are afraid of marketplaces and the fierce price wars between competitors. They are afraid of a detrimental effect to the brand, their brick and mortar shops not being able to match the prices and keeping up with the demand of a high volume marketplace. Fear is a great controller, and you must know your enemy. Many high street businesses trade under a pseudonym, access to the product, but it causes no cross over in their high street stores.
As for prices, well the competition for the product types are already there. Many will browse shops muttering that they can get it cheaper on eBay. I know I do. You have to join the race, not shy away from it to stop your competitors getting ahead. Brands are more dilute when it comes to e-commerce; smaller brands come into their own. This trend could start creeping into the high street as broadband gets faster and cheaper and the payment gateways more secure.
Protecting your brand!
As with any new route to channel, you have charlatans to go with it! Is someone trading as you? Using your brand awareness to gain sales? Even if you are not e-commerce active you need to make sure you regularly check your brand on the internet. Reputation is everything to a business and with the anonymity of the internet is easy to impersonate a leading brand.
Advertising on the Internet
Back in the days of the dot com boom all you needed was a website and the traffic was yours. But the giants like Google and Yahoo forced us to search their ay and the fight for natural search was on! To fund their world domination these two titans have their own search marketing schemes or pay-per-click advertising to drive traffic using keywords. Large advertisers can spend thousands on pay per click advertising (probably wasting a lot of it due to bad management) Marketplaces are an active way to do this. For instance on eBay you are advertising as well as physically selling an item. The marketplace has done the hard work for you!
Elizabeth Kidson – Frooition Support