Electronic Commerce, also known as e-commerce, is essentially the buying and selling of products or services over the Internet. The last decade has witnessed an explosion of e-commerce websites with many small businesses selling their products online via their own websites. Well over 70% people in the United Kingdom shopped online in 2015 making us the third largest e-commerce market in the world.
What is an e-commerce website?
From a business perspective an e-commerce website can either be a website which is primarily used to sell goods or services, though it may have some additional pages, information about the business, terms of service, a contact form, or a website where only a small section is dedicated to online sales.
How easy are they to use?
Very easy. Once the system is in place adding products is a simple matter of uploading a photograph, setting a description and deciding on postage rates. Most e-commerce systems will even manage stock levels and let you know when levels run low.
How are payments taken? Are they secure?
Payments are usually made through a payment gateway such as PayPal or SagePay. The advantage of this is that it handle the customers details as well as the financial transaction via a secure connection. This makes buying and selling on line very secure for both buyer and seller.
How much do they cost
E-commerce sites are more expensive that a traditional website simply because they require more set up time. That said, many of the systems are ‘open source’ meaning there are no software licence fees and modular, allowing additional features and functionality to be added as required, which streamlines the development process vastly reducing the price.
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