There is no doubt that we are living in an age with very different features from what was in the recent past, everything has become fast and easy. Innovative technological methods have replaced the old methods, the Internet really made the world a small village.
E-commerce is one of the most important landmarks of our time, which is the product of mating modern technology and the Internet with the idea of traditional commerce that is as old as ever.
Thanks to e-commerce, we have become consumers and we can roam among millions of products. We choose them for us with the push of a button.
Thanks to e-commerce, as business owners, we can reach our target customer at home, and our stores are open 24 hours a day, 7 days a year, at a lower cost and with more accurate and efficient systems.
“Amazon’s e-store reaches a market value of more than $1 trillion” Three days ago this news was published by the world’s most famous newspapers, announcing a new era coming from the dominance of e-commerce as a modern alternative to the idea of traditional trade.
This tremendous figure is the market value of an entity as young as 24 years old, but it is not any entity. It is the largest, most famous and most successful online store in the world.
Does this give you an idea of the importance of the topic we are going to talk about today (e-commerce)?
This topic is a contribution from the winners to clarify the idea of e-commerce in a simplified, easy and practical, and an attempt to open prospects for young people to take advantage of the opportunities offered by the idea of e-commerce.
What is e-commerce?
Ecommerce refers to every business that can be completed by relying on modern Internet technology. The business here is not only the purchase and sale of tangible goods and products, but also the purchase and sale of intangible services as well as products. Digital, which includes online auctions, booking of tickets and electronic banking.
Simply every business depends on the Internet in completing all or any of these tasks (reaching the customer, offering the product or service to the customer, completing the sales agreement, receiving the price of the good or service, etc.), it belongs to the idea of e-commerce.
But for the idea to become clear and easy to understand for everyone, let’s take it according to the idea common to all, which is the global electronic stores such as Amazon and eBay, which we have models in the Arab region such as Souq.com and Jumia.
E-commerce is represented in e-stores: they are websites where a variety of products are displayed, which the consumer can choose from, and by having a payment method accepted by the store can complete the purchase in a few minutes.
Referring to the idea that e-commerce is a product of the intermarriage of traditional commerce and the Internet, we can say that even the 20-year-old girl who has a free e-shop to sell make-up to her friends on Facebook is somehow engaged in e-commerce.
But today we want to deal with e-commerce in its professional concept, so we have to do anatomy of the idea of professional e-store as a model to understand the components of e-commerce and what it is doing, but before that let’s address some statistics on e-commerce.
Some statistics on e-commerce
96% of the US population has made at least one purchase online, and 51% of Americans frequently shop online.
The global total volume of e-retail sales is expected to reach $ 4.5 trillion by 2021.
The concentration of e-commerce growth has exceeded the West, and there is rapid growth in almost all countries of the world.
Most online shoppers tend to buy from sites in their own language and local currency.
The Middle East e-commerce market is expected to double in size by 2021 compared to 2014.
Egypt, Saudi Arabia and the UAE are among the fastest growing countries in the field of e-commerce in the Arab region.
Egypt is the largest Arab country in the number of Internet users, about 50 million Egyptians use the Internet, followed by Saudi Arabia.
By the end of 2015, there were about 18 million Egyptians making purchases through the Internet, making Egypt the first Arab in the number of buyers through the Internet, followed by Saudi Arabia 12 million buyers, followed by the UAE 7 million.
What are the components of e-commerce?
In this title we will address the components of e-commerce according to the dissection of a professional model of an e-shop, for example take a global e-store such as Amazon, and address the components and what exactly does:
– The Product
In our example here Amazon sells a lot of tangible products such as electronic devices (computer, camera, TV, electronic accessories … etc), and intangible ones such as electronic books.
However, like the real world, there is more than one strategy that can be followed in selecting a product, such as specializing in a particular type of product, specializing in a wide range of products, or combining many disciplines in one store.
The choice of the product here should be based on a well-studied basis, including: production versus resale, the ability to have a competitive advantage by reducing the cost of production or purchase from the source, the ability to provide the quantities required when needed, the size and strength of competitors, the level of demand, quality versus Price… etc.
It is worth mentioning here that you do not necessarily have to own your own product, there are methods such as Drop Shipping enables you to make an e-shop based on third-party products.
To start in the world of e-commerce you need to create a website, one of the functions of the website is that it represents the exhibition in which the products are displayed. In our example, Amazon has a website: https://www.amazon.com.
This site is supposed to contain a picture or images of each product sold by the online store, it should also provide buyers with all the data they need to make a purchase decision such as: price, color, size, size, weight, technical specifications, shipping price etc.
The website for the online store goes beyond being a showcase for products, but it is also the means and link between the consumer and the seller, in addition to being the interface that contains the system for the completion of the sale.
– Electronic payment method
There are a lot of online payment methods that enable the buyer to pay directly through the website, on top of these methods are credit cards and electronic banks such as Paypal. As an e-shop owner, you have to decide which payment methods are acceptable to you and have an online payment management system, such as contracting a payment gateways, which enables you to manage credit card payments.
– Stores to store products
Stores represent a very important element in the world of e-commerce. It is important to make the decision of the geographical distribution of the stores wisely and based on a study, this decision of course depends on the target customers to buy products, it is also important to study the expected demand accurately and prepare the stores to cover the rate of demand. E-stores must have a strong and intelligent inventory management system (this is what we will address in the next point)
– Intelligent system to manage the electronic business system
The system here is a vital and effective element in the success of the online store. The main function of the system is to connect the website to the stores and share the data between them to take the necessary actions in an organized and accurate manner.
A customer visits Amazon and buys an iPhone.Automatically contact the nearest store according to the address of the buyer, in order to begin the process of delivery of the product to the buyer.On the other hand, once the delivery process begins, the site is updated so that the arrival of the product is available to the buyer to view and follow up.
Of course, the system cannot be talked about here in a few lines, but it simply controls and manages everything in a clever circle of pre-set orders, which are more complex and intertwined than we have mentioned above.
Shopping Cart is a very important component of the e-commerce system, and is a program to track, save and manage the buyer’s selection of products before finalizing the purchase.
Marketing is essential to the success of any business, and because we are talking about e-commerce, e-marketing must prevail. You must have a strong marketing plan, and set an appropriate budget for paid advertising campaigns.
E-marketing involves studying the market to make the right decisions for the success and expansion of e-commerce. Email Marketing is one of the most important e-marketing channels for e-stores, as it represents a very effective means of communication with old customers, introducing them to offers and discounts, and providing them with lists of products they care about based on the date of purchase.
Way to send the product to the buyer
Although the electronic aspect dominates the scene here, there is a very important physical aspect that must be carefully planned to satisfy customers, namely the transfer of the product from the stores and delivery to the buyer, to complete the sale.
There are two basic options here: contract with independent professional shipping companies, or deliver the product to the customer under the management of the e-store itself.
In any case, it is very important to pay special attention to the stage of product delivery to the customer, owning or contracting with a strong and intelligent system, efficiency and punctuality, and the ability to face and solve problems, are the key elements here for the success of this stage.
Of course, e-commerce needs an outstanding team to carry out human tasks, manage and supervise the system. Although there is a major role in e-commerce on the automated and technological system, it is primarily the human element that makes and creates the system.
This point, like the previous points, contains many details, which are impossible to shorten in a few lines. But here I would like to say that for the success of e-commerce there must be a team characterized by innovation and creativity, here must be distributed tasks and separated with a thread of cooperation and communication between them.
Also important in this regard is the ability of the e-shop owner or manager to identify aspects of the project to be implemented directly, and aspects that should be outsourced to complete (such as the use of specialized shipping companies to deliver the product to the buyer).
Types of e-commerce
Here we will discuss the classification of e-commerce according to the parties involved:
In this type, e-business (e-shop, for example) sells goods or services to the consumer directly, and the sale here is a piece (retail), this type is almost the most famous in the world of e-commerce.
In this type, e-business sells goods or services for another type of business. In the first type, the sale is from the business to the consumer for direct consumption, whereas the sale is for another business to resell, or use the product or service to generate profits in some way.
In this type of e-commerce, the consumer sells a good or service to another consumer like him, and the buying and selling transactions that are made between consumers together, are managed by a third party that regulates and manages the subject and guarantees the right of both parties for a specific commission.
Participants in this type of e-commerce are both consumers and sellers. One of the most important examples in this genre is the famous eBay website.
There are a lot of advantages of e-commerce, which basically depend on the power and effectiveness of the Internet and modern technology, and here when we talk about the advantages of e-commerce we take it from the perspective of comparison with traditional trade.
Trading on the ground is limited by a lot of physical factors, such as opening times, limited supply to the buyer, etc. E-commerce is 24 hours a day throughout the year, and can be completed from anywhere, under any circumstances.
It also allows the buyer to browse a large number of alternatives in record time, and buy any quantity whatever size or number. In short, e-commerce is a genius model that is free from time and space barriers and offers unlimited selling opportunities.
Cost is crucial to the success of any business, and the e-commerce facilities and savings in many respects give great opportunities to reduce costs. The lack of a sales outlet, and the ability to move the product directly from the store to the buyer, is one of the clearest examples of the advantages of e-commerce in reducing costs.
Of course, there are many other advantages that contribute to the reduction of cost, including the reduction of the proportion of labor, and the reduction of the rate of depreciation of the existence of an intelligent inventory system linked directly to demand through immediate update.
Precision and system provided by technology
E-commerce as mentioned above is based on an intelligent and innovative technological system, the technology helps to save a lot of time and effort, and allows a high degree of accuracy, for example, the smart link between the website and the inventory management system, on the one hand reduces the incidence of damage to products due to increased storage period , On the other hand, ensures that there is enough stock for the expected requisition level.
Make the most of digital marketing
Digital marketing has become a very important element of every business, but when it comes to business based primarily on the Internet, digital marketing takes another dimension of importance.
Through the targeted system offered by digital marketing, impressive levels of sales can be achieved.
For example, after viewing a marketing ad, the buyer has only to make a few clicks through a computer or smartphone, and the sale is complete.
Speed and efficiency in management
Imagine with me there are two stores, one on the ground and the other letter, and here has come Valentine’s Day, and each of them prepare for an event that will raise the level of sales dramatically. The store on the ground may need days or even weeks to prepare and organize the store, so that it will be attractive to lovers.
The online store can only do a set of code orders to be ready, perhaps in one day (such as placing a red heart icon on all pictures of gift products with a 10% discount applied).
This is just an example to illustrate the idea and you can apply it to everything.
E-commerce is growing and it is a great opportunity for every aspiring entrepreneur, whether he wants to expand the business he already has on the ground, or start building an online store.
In this topic, I tried to put your eyes on a complete idea of e-commerce, as a contribution from the winners to the development of awareness among young people of the magnitude of opportunities that can be taken advantage of through the Internet in general.
I hope that the topic of the day will be useful to you, in which case I am happy to contribute to the arrival of this topic to someone else to benefit from.
If you’re really interested in entering the world of e-commerce, and want a free and easy way, try the Facebook Marketplace.