eCommerce (electronic commerce or EC) is the buying
and selling of goods and services on the Internet, especially the
World Wide Web.
can be divided into:
- E-tailing or "virtual storefronts" on web sites with online
catalogs, sometimes gathered into a "virtual mall"
- Electronic Data Interchange (EDI), the business-to-business exchange
- E-mail and fax, and their use as a media for reaching prospects
and established customers (for example, with newsletters)
- Business-to-business buying and selling
- The security of business transactions
No Rent There are hosting and setup fees,
but these are minimal compared to that monthly rent check, or the payroll
checks to employees you're paying to sit in your store waiting for business.
Don't wait for customers to come to you, with your own web site on the
Internet, you can go to them.
An Ever-Changing Catalog A great benefit
to the web is that you have the ability to alter, adjust and manipulate
the site every day. You can change a price, add a style, substitute
a color, anything you need without the hassle of reprinting catalogs
or newspaper ads. Depending upon inventory situations or selling
patterns, you can finesse the site so it stays as current as possible.
You can't even do this easily with a local daily newspaper ad, let
alone a catalog or brochure.
Low Inventory Needs You don't need to have
a huge inventory to impress the on-line buyer. A scanned photograph
and some text do the selling job. Some companies don't even have inventory
in stock; they simply buy as the orders come in.
Customer Tracking The web provides great
tools for finding out where, when and how a customer comes to your
site. We have the ability to furnish our clients with a detailed
tracking log of each hit, or visit, to the website. This information
will be priceless when it comes to identifying your target market
and further tailoring your strategy.
Building the Target Market Base After
a surfer finds your site, a common practice is to ask them to register.
This means having the customer fill out an on-line form to include
such information as name, age, zip code, preferences, etc. Make
it free to the customer and offer an incentive for signing up such
- a 5% discount on a purchase
- automatically putting them on your catalog mailing list
- a free copy of your newsletter
- an option to receive special "private" offers via email
Before building your presence on the Internet, there are
many things you need to consider. Below are some of the more important
areas to focus on before pursuing an eCommerce site.
- Determine how the Internet can help your business
Will you use it to: Inform? Sell? Promote? Communicate? You
need to find out what your business needs, that the Internet
has to offer. Is this something that is more economical to obtain
from the Internet or by more traditional means? And, what does
the Internet offer that you may not know about? For answers
to these questions and others, our staff of experienced professionals
is here to help.
- Look at other web sites and see which ones you like best
Many very successful web sites have already been built;
use them for inspiration to build your own successful site.
Surf the Net via search engines like Yahoo or Excite. Check
out your competitor's websites and those not related to your
industry. Try Amazon.com, Carpoint.com, and Gap.com for starters.
Look at weekly "cool sites". Be mindful of sites that are quick
loading, easy to read and to navigate. Customers will quickly
click away if your site is too small or too complex to move
- Find someone to help design and operate your site
While there are a number of progams available today for web
design, many of which are very good, there is more to building
a successful web site than just publishing the pages. This is
an area where ETI excels. Use our experienced staff of programmers,
graphic designers, and web developers as if they were your own.
Work closely with them to build a site that suits your needs
and your businesses needs. To get an idea of what ETI can do
for your site design, visit ETI's web design portfolio.
- Get the word out While having an impressive
web site can help you build your online revenue, it does very
little for you if people don't know if your site exists. There
are many ways to gain exposure for your site such as: advertising
on other sites, putting your website address on all company
literature, advertising and PR efforts, making the site available
to the many search engines like Yahoo, Excite, Lycos, developing
reciprocal links to other sites.
The business potential of the Internet still remains largely
untapped. Those who are innovators and make the leap into new and
exciting eCommerce areas on the Internet are the ones who reap
the most benefits. Success stories such as Amazon.com, Yahoo, Ebay,
and others, serve as inspiration to the entrepreneurs and business
people around the world. Don't let your Internet opportunity slip
by. Take advantage of the fastest expanding medium in history and
put your eCommerce site up now. Let ETI help; we are here to help