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Ecommerce: Here to Stay
As ecommerce grows up and overcomes some of the concerns people still have about it, it will become more and more essential that you web development plan includes an interactive, easy and fast shopping experience for your customers. Whether you want to generate website sales, allow digital delivery, track your advertisements , enable credit card processing, set-up recurring billing, operate an affiliate program, simply take orders online, or any ecommerce activity, it is essential that your internet business is ecommerce enabled. Your internet shop can be a sideline to an existing business, or a new venture.
Simply put, ecommerce is here to stay, because it makes life generally easier for the majority of people using it. Ecommerce is still young. But it is continuously growing. More and more consumers go online every day, and most of them have more money to spend than the average consumer.
It is predicted that soon almost everyone will be doing it. But even today hundreds of millions are doing it worldwide. As ecommerce grows, more and more people are enjoying the convenience of shopping in their own time from home, at any time that suits them. For example, elderly persons or someone who is housebound; an executive with a busy lifestyle; or someone looking for a product that just can’t be found in the local shops.
The weekly shop is so much easier. Instead of getting into the car and battling through traffic, noise, queues at shops or supermarkets, more and more people log on to the Internet at home, order what they need and have it home delivered.
Today, information pages are not enough. When someone has searched and found a website which has the product they were looking for, they demand instant acquisition, ease of use, security of data and payment, and fast, if not instant delivery. In the same way as if they had found a physical shop, seen what they want, paid for it over the counter and taken it away with them.
A real Internet shop is interactive, allowing customers to easily navigate through your product information pages, to search for specific products and to preferably get more information than they would for example get from newspaper advertisement, magazine or catalogue.
Making the process of buying products from your website as simple as possible, preferably with one click, is essential. A virtual shopping cart allows customers to click on buttons to add products to their ‘basket’ which then remembers which products a customer wants to purchase, calculates total costs payable, including tax and delivery costs, and sends the shop owner the orders from his Internet customers. For the customers it makes the shopping experience interactive, easy and fast.
Internet browsers such as Internet Explorer and Netscape Navigator support a special encryption method. It ensures nobody can read an order, while it is being placed on the Internet. This encryption method is called SSL. Because SSL is widely known and accepted, you should always use it when accepting orders online, to make customers more comfortable. Also tell them right on your home page that your shop is secure. The more you inform them about security, the better they will feel about buying in your shop.
Integrating the shopping cart with an automatic responder to send thank you emails from you, can be the start of effortlessly following up sales and leads, manage your mailing lists, and build repeat customers. Email marketing is the most beneficial and profitable method of building lifetime relationships with your customers, providing you with feedback, identifying trends amongst your target market, and many other benefits, if approached correctly and ethically.
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