E-Commerce is the act of electronically selling or purchasing goods over the Internet or via online facilities. An e-Commerce transaction is a transaction in which services or products are exchanged between two or more parties. In the past, e-Commerce involved transactions between people who communicated directly with one another by phone or personal visit. With the advent of the Internet technology, business transactions are now conducted through electronic forms of communication such as e-mails and chat rooms. E-Commerce websites are an effective method to market and sell products or services by allowing customers to order online, have the goods shipped to their doorsteps and pay later.
This fast-growing global industry has many benefits over traditional business transactions. The need for e-Commerce websites is no longer limited to domestic consumption. Many companies are now exporting their goods and services online. Moreover, international trade has been becoming increasingly important in the modern economy, leading to an increasing demand for electronic commerce worldwide.
E-commerce websites allow consumers to easily compare and contrast prices. This facilitates competition among companies to attract consumers. Consumers can also make secure purchases online, unlike in the real world, where they may be required to provide credit card information. Moreover, online businesses can be operated at a lower cost than traditional businesses that involve physical stock.
E-commerce businesses are able to increase their customer base by offering merchandise in different locations. This enables the company to expand its operations beyond the boundaries of its physical plant or offices. Through electronic commerce, buyers and sellers can conduct business in other countries and use the international mode of payment. Some e-commerce companies even provide their services in foreign languages.
The growth of e-commerce can be attributed to the growing trend towards outsourcing some of the non-core activities of businesses. E-commerce businesses use sophisticated software systems that enable them to process invoices and generate reports. Consumers can also be involved in the process of buying goods and services through online transactions. A major benefit of online transactions is that the number of fraudulent transactions that occur when compared to traditional sales transactions is negligible.
E-commerce businesses are able to increase their customer base by providing goods in different locations. For instance, e-Commerce sites such as Amazon have an extensive network of warehouses and suppliers located in countries around the world. The ability to accept payments in a wide range of currencies makes it an attractive option for consumers. Furthermore, consumers who shop online can avoid spending time, energy and money traveling to a particular location to purchase items. For these reasons, more people are using their personal computers to shop for goods over the Internet rather than walking into a store.
Apart from the obvious advantages of e-commerce transactions, another important consideration for sellers is the need for efficient payment processing. Merchant Accounts from top providers such as Amazon, PayPal and MoneyBookers enable smooth processing of all electronic commerce payments. They allow consumers to make purchases from the seller’s website without the need to provide any credit card details. The online payment systems to ensure secure transactions and are capable of delivering the goods to the consumer’s location. They usually charge the seller a fee, which can be conveniently paid using one’s credit or debit card.
The popularity of e-commerce has resulted in increased competition among the providers of merchant accounts. However, many of them offer attractive schemes to attract more customers. These schemes may include reduced transaction fees, free set up and delivery of goods. To attract consumers, many e-commerce platforms provide special discounts on the purchase of goods. In addition, consumers can pay for products in cash, using debit cards, electronic checks and other methods. Online shopping continues to remain an exciting and rewarding experience for buyers and sellers.