The internet connects people and allows the sharing of information easily across great distances, so it was only a matter of time before business owners hit on the idea of using the internet to conduct business. Whether your goal is to sell paving stones or instruct screening to collect contacts who might turn into customers; your business activities online fall under the umbrella of ecommerce. To learn more about how to use the internet for business, here are more activities under the ecommerce umbrella you might want to try.
E-tailing is what most people think of when you bring up e-commerce. E-tailing stands for electronic retailing and involves the creation of online stores or malls where users can browse catalogs of products ranging from cookware to new cameras, order and pay for them without having to leave the house or pick up the phone. To set yourself up in e-tailing, you will need an interactive catalog site, a secure cart function, a secure payment method, and shipping connections that will get the products purchased on the way to their buyers.
EDI stands for Electronic Data Interchange and it is the method by which businesses exchange data. EDI is how stocks get traded online between brokerage companies and independent traders. EDI is also how everyone keeps up to date on the price of gasoline and other commodities. EDI is used to process electronic invoices (such as credit card transactions) and electronic transfers such as the ones you make between your bank accounts and the ones banks make between one another. EDI messages are not for humans, but are communications between computers.
If you want to start a service company but aren't quite sure whether there's a market for it or where your advertising should be targeted, you can collect demographic data through the internet that will help you make your decisions. Some businesses make their own surveys and distribute them among customers and potential customers to get their feedback while others may purchase the results of surveys done by other companies or consult government statistical information via the internet. Data collected this way helps business owners to be more efficient and effective.
And finally, e-commerce is often conducted through electronic communication methods like e-mail, text message, and fax. When you need to know how much product a certain store will need, you can email them and ask. You can also write and distribute e-newsletters to your customers to keep them up to date and set up e-mail or live chat accounts that customers can query if they have any problems or questions with your products or services.