Thanks to the Internet, many organizations are able to take advantage of the electronic commerce, or “ecommerce,” storefront model for conducting business transactions online. Ecommerce is handled completely over the Internet and is most often based on a website which features products, services and other commodities that can be provided to customers. In addition, most ecommerce storefronts include images and descriptions of goods or services offered, pricing information, a shopping cart feature, payment processing system and customer service contact information for the benefit of customers.
There are many advantages of using an ecommerce storefront as a way to do business globally. An ecommerce storefront is a low cost way for businesses to sell services or merchandise using a completely web-based system. This is especially helpful for a small business or virtual company that wants to do business on an international level without requiring an actual physical storefront or full staff.
In addition to being a low-cost option, an ecommerce storefront can be operated around the clock to better provide information and access to resources for customers. In contrast to a regular storefront, a web-based storefront can be accessed outside of regular standard business hours. This increases the chance of making more sales and attracting customers from around the world.
Another interesting feature of ecommerce is that the web “store” can be customized to create a specific branded image of the organization. Over time, this Internet storefront can be adapted as the organization changes or as new products or services are added. It is also much easier to promote an ecommerce storefront by placing Internet advertisements in online publications, running social media marketing campaigns and networking with other online entrepreneurs.
Oftentimes, the ecommerce storefront allows organizations to sell products without having to maintain an actual physical inventory. This is referred to as drop-shipping, and it is becoming a cost-effective way to sell a wide range of merchandise online. This type of virtual business helps to promote seasonal or specialized products that are popular with consumers or can be linked with online auction websites to bring in more business.
Many businesses that have traditionally done business using physical storefronts are now also using a virtual store to attract business from the millions of consumers who now do a great deal of their shopping online. In addition to seeing many more virtual stores being created, ecommerce allows even the novice entrepreneur to offer something for sale quickly and inexpensively online.