Expertise

e-Commerce Websites

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.

Technologies Used*

HTML5, CSS and JavaScript for the user-interface; a database such as MSSQL or MySQL to record stock, purchases and customer information, etc; a Web programming language to access the database and print reports to the screen, such as ASP.NET or PHP; a CLI programming language such as C# or Java to manage the more complex operations in the backend; and SSL to ensure sensitive information like credit card numbers are transmitted securely.

*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.

Other Types of Website

E-Commerce sites are not the only type of Website. See our pages on Brochure sites, Rich Content sites and Web Applications.