What is an e-Commerce Site?
An e-Commerce site is an online shop. Almost every high-street store now also sells its products over the Internet, while many businesses choose to sell only online (and of these, Amazon is probably the most well-known.)
e-Commerce sites do a lot behind-the-scenes, too. In addition to the functionality provided to the end-user (or customer), a fully-featured e-Commerce site will:
- manage inventories and notify appropriate contacts if stocks become low; handle transactions and process payments securely; produce reports on target achievement, trends and tax-related issues;
- create invoices and receipts to send to customers; track returns and keep customers informed on the status of their account; and
- integrate with customer databases so as to provide recommendations and remember delivery addresses and payment details.
*The technologies used in any project may vary considerably. This estimation is used purely to illustrate the complexity involved in projects of this type.
The Benefits of E-Commerce Sites
An e-Commerce site for your business provides an opportunity to sell products to a much wider audience and to even sell globally.
e-Commerce sites don't have to adhere to any set opening times - in fact, it's uncommon for an online shop not to be open 24/7. This means that while you're asleep, you're still open for business (important when you consider the time-differences across the world; at any given time half the global population is likely to be awake).
e-Commerce sites enable your business to run more efficiently and be more profitable.
The running and maintenance costs associated with an e-Commerce site is a fraction compared to how much it would cost on premises and salaries in a real-world shop.