Hi everybody. Today I am going to blog about ecommerce and how you, as an individual, can use it to your advantage, in a DIY fashion!
E commerce has existed since the very launch of the world wide web. It is essentially commercial transactions carried out digitally on the internet. Initially, it was only possible for big companies with lots of money to invest to use the internet for e commerce purposes. Such was the cost of building a website or webshop. But in recent years it has become much easier for a small business or individual to create business online and sell goods or services. (You can learn more about the history of ecommerce here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/E-commerce) This can literally be done now with as little as a laptop computer and internet connection.In this post I am going to discuss some of the the more popular services or web products that have helped facilitate this shift.
Ebay provides an individual-to-individual to business-to-individual internet sales service, meaning both individuals and businesses can sign up for an account and sell their products directly to other entities. Most products are delivered by post although a collect only option can be selected. Items can be sold using either an auction, buy-it-now or classified ads template. Ebay was the first big shake up in the ecommerce world opening up internet selling to the masses.
This is an open-source website building service that is free of charge to use. In conjunction with private website hosting and a domain name, early internet marketers were able to quickly build websites using Wordpress and quickly get them ranked in the search engine results for their chosen product keyword using SEO techniques. This meant that thousands of potential leads would find their website and be converted to customers. This worked particularly well with digital information products that could be downloaded although physical products were also sold. This method of selling online became even more popular with the introduction of Google Adwords and Google Adsense. Adwords allowed businesses to use paid advertising within the search results to promote their website and service/product. Adsense was a form of affiliate advertising that a website owner could embed within their website, creating a revenue stream from their site visitors clicking on the served ads. Many billions of dollars were made using these two systems in their heyday although they are now largely too expensive to be effective for the average individual.
Although Amazon was initially a business-to-individual entity only, (Amazon was essentially just an online shop), it has since remodeled itself to allow business and individuals to use the Amazon infrastructure to sell their own wares, very much like eBay. No auction service is provided, but for the more canny and experienced seller, Amazon can take care of storage and processing of the user's goods for an extra fee, allowing the individual seller to maintain an essentially hands free business. It also supports the sale of secondhand and used items.
Shopify is an online service that easily allows sellers to create their own ecommerce shop for a yearly or monthly fee. It is an excellent service for those who are unfamiliar or unsure about the technicalities of coding for the web, and provides a straightforward drag-and-drop service. It has many contemporary template designs to choose from and also provides hosting services if required. It can be integrated merchant system and now also supports selling via Facebook, Pinterest and mobile apps.
Paypal was the first successful online merchant services provider and is still used by billions of people and businesses to this day. It allowed individuals/businesses to transfer or pay money to each other far quicker than by bank transfer and with a level of guaranteed buyer/seller protection. It was paramount to the success of eBay as a company and service and the two companies were such a good fit that they later merged. They have since gone their separate ways but still operate in conjunction with one-and-other. Although there are now far more flexible and comprehensive merchant services available (allowing for unbranded options) Paypal is still the biggest and most widely used.
Of course, even with all the services available, no ecommerce venture is possible without access to the internet by way of a computer of some variety. As ecommerce affords the individual seller location independence, I personally feel that a portable laptop computer is the best choice for any potential online businessman. I found this great website in the United Kingdom for checking out and comparing the best laptop computer bargains online!
Anyhow, I hope you have found this useful. If you want the freedom to run your own business from anywhere in the world. I’d certainly be doing some more research into modern day e commerce and the services that I have mentioned. Good luck!