E-Commerce has been around for far longer than you might think. Today, a lot of business is dominated by the Internet, and many people view E-commerce as buying, selling, or trading goods and services online. In reality, anything that involves electronics (the “E” in E-Commerce) to assist a retail transaction is E-Commerce. This includes anything that isn’t the traditional way of purchasing something; for example: going to the bank, receiving money from a teller, and travelling to a physical store where you exchange cash for a good or service.
Anything that involves ordering or processing over the phone, using an ATM, or paying with a credit card counts as E-Commerce, but we are so used to those things now that they seem quaint in comparison to the power of the mighty internet. So many customers find it easier to purchase goods online that business must maintain a strong online presence if they wish to compete.
The days of the friendly mom and pop shop that relied on friends and neighbours for business are almost gone. Although you can still find small, primarily brick and mortar stores, even small businesses usually have some way for a customer to place an order online, or at the very least they have a website. Any time a business uses electronics to market their goods, or advertise their services in any way is engaging in E-Commerce. So, you might not be able to book a massage with your favourite therapist online, but if she has a website explaining and advertising her services she in engaging in E-commerce. And of course, any store that takes credit cards as a form of payment is using E-Commerce too. E-Commerce is everywhere, and is good for your business.
Obviously no business today can thrive without some form of E-commerce. Just try to imagine a business who tried to avoid E-commerce. They would not be able to accept debit or credit cards as a form of payment. Obviously doing this helps a business because many customers prefer these methods, and are likely to spend more. This business would not be able to advertise online, or offer any advice or help over the phone either. Any customer who had a question would have to physically come to the store. How many customers would you lose if you did that? And don’t forget, you wouldn’t be able to order any of your products online, pay for them with a credit card, or have invoices sent to you electronically. You would have to go to your supplier, order your items in person, pay with them in cash, and keep a large back room of paper files to keep track of orders and purchases. Doesn’t sound very efficient, does it?
No one is saying that you have to start shipping orders to New Zealand from your tiny brick and mortar store in Arkansas in order to be successful. But E-commerce is faster and more efficient that trying to live without it, so all businesses have embraced some form of it. E-Commerce is good for your business as you will have access to more customers, bring in more revenue, and be able to keep track of your transactions more quickly and easily.