Here is a question a lot of you might be asking yourselves. Is my business going to benefit from ecommerce? With a lot of people confused about what ecommerce actually is, that question can be very hard to address. So, let’s clear up a little bit of the mystery surrounding it.
The term Ecommerce refers literally to electronic commerce and, quite simply, is any form of business conducted electronically. There are a lot of options from electronic payments to email marketing to SMS messaging. However, the one that pops into most peoples minds when they hear ecommerce is online stores (websites that have a shopping cart function).
I think we all know what a website is, but what is a shopping cart exactly?
It is, in very simple terms, a series of scripts (computer codes) that make a list of what the customer chooses to buy until they have spent all their money and “checkout”. The shopping cart has the appearance of completing the whole transaction for the customer. The truth is that it just takes the order and passes it on through a secure connection (a separate service) to a payment gateway (another service). The payment gateway then transfers the details to an internet merchant account with your bank. Finally, the shopping cart receives confirmation of funds (or denial) and responds accordingly.
Now, that was supposed to be a simple explanation, but it still looks pretty confusing. The truth is that setting up all of that yourself can be very confusing and costly. The good news is that there are companies that will do it all for you, and being in the flower business, there are a few choices. With a little bit of research, you will find an option that works for your business.
Before investing in a new form of ecommerce, it is worth asking yourself a few questions:
1. Will it help me sell more?
2. Will it take up more of my time or, hopefully, free it up a little?
3. Is it going to reduce my costs in some way?
If your answer is yes, or even maybe, for any of those questions then It’s probably worth a try. Imagine where your business would be if you didn’t use the most common form of ecommerce: EFTPOS and credit card processing?
Of course, that is just the tip of the ecommerce iceberg. If you want to know more about it then give zFlowers.com a call and one of our friendly staff (super ecommerce nerds) will answer your questions and offer solutions. I will also revisit and address other aspects of ecommerce in future issues.