E-commerce, which stands for electronic commerce, is a kind of business model in which commercial transactions are carried out electronically. In most cases, this means doing business on the Internet. Put simply, e-commerce refers to any business activity that occurs online.
Thousands of people try to jump onto the online business bandwagon every week. If you are one of these people, the first thing you need to do is set up your business’ website. However, you need to make sure you do it properly if you want a good chance of success.
According to Multi-Programming Solutions, an e-commerce web development firm based in London:
“A successful e-commerce software should be super fast, fluid smooth, feature a full suite of SEO features, rich third-party integrations, lend itself to easy migration, and improve purchases organically.”
Some components of eCommerce
If you want to be part of the process of doing business, you must have an Internet presence. Many e-commerce development companies, especially in India, offer a wide range of services to help your website operate effectively. They are also experts in search engine optimization (SEO) and Internet marketing.
Open source e-commerce platforms
There are many open source e-commerce programs or platforms on the market. If software is ‘open source,’ it means that it is free, and anybody can use it. You can also modify it, use it as a component for something bigger or different, and even redistribute it.
Open source software offers the following advantages:
- It is free.
- The user has total creative control over it.
- They are usually regularly updated with new or improved features.
- The user can control things like themes, hosting, and plugins.
- Open source, unlike software that you have to pay for, has been developed by communities. Communities are developer friendly. You can easily find support from other developers.
Online management software – Zen Cart
Zen Cart is a good example of an open source online store management system. It uses a MySQL database, is PHP-based, and has HTML components. Users can get support in many different languages.
Zen Cart was developed by a team of like-minded programmers, shopkeepers, retail consultants, and designers. They all believe that e-commerce web design can and should be done differently.
Unlike other shopping cart software, users with just basic computer and website building skills can install it and set it up.
The software has many useful features such as a voucher/gift certificate module. It is full of components that will help your online business thrive.
Best choice of services
Choosing the right e-commerce development company is not easy. Check out how much experience each firm has and what its specialization is before moving forward. What platforms and modules did they use when creating websites? What type of sites have they created? In other words, check out their portfolio.
Is the firm easy to talk to and get hold of? A good development company should be accessible 24 hours a day during working days.
A good developer should be able to provide references, i.e., satisfied customers or testimonials. Check them out. Ask their past or existing clients if they worked within their budget and kept to promised deadlines.
Your e-commerce website developer should be ready and willing to provide post-deployment support. This is extremely important because you may need their help after your site has gone live. Nothing kills an online startup’s chances of success more than downtime.
The Internet – a huge milestone
Since the advent of the Internet at the end of the 20th century, how we work, study, rest, play, shop, etc. has changed dramatically. How business is conducted is very different today compared to thirty or forty years ago.
The Internet has allowed small businesses to become international players as soon as they start trading. This was not possible before. Having a state-of-the art website today is not just a useful benefit for your business, it is a basic requirement.