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Ecommerce captures global shopping mall

Ecommerce or Electronic Commerce is conducted when people buy and sell their products or services through the Internet.

Businesses aspiring to be successful should be available to their customers at all hours throughout the year.

Amazon, eBay, Trade me and MightyApe Consumers are among the companies that have become global giants offering a veritable platform for buyers and sellers.

Everything from groceries, books, DVDs, computers, electronics, clothes, office products equipment and even cars and boats can be sold or bought online. This process is becoming increasingly popular not only because it offers the convenience of shopping from home or office but also because in most cases, it costs less than showroom prices.

Ecommerce has bridged the competitive gap between large companies and small and medium enterprises (SMEs), which do not have huge marketing budgets. However, by investing effectively online, they can now have the competitive edge.

Online strategies

It is imperative that businesses implement online strategies including Ecommerce into their mix. The world has shrunk into a huge shopping mall, offering customers wider choice on goods and services offered by companies across the Continents.

Ecommerce eliminates the need for people to visit shopping centres but compare costs online and make their choice.

SMEs should conduct a proper cost-benefit analysis and realise that the cost of setting up a good Ecommerce system will be cheaper in the long-term.

Smart New Zealanders

A recent Survey revealed that 54% New Zealanders use a smartphone, which has changed their thinking and approach as shoppers.

“Smartphones have become shopping tools, with 74% of users researching a product or service on their mobile handsets, influencing their decisions on purchases. About 33% of smartphone users have made a purchase on their phone,” it said.

Having a mobile-optimised site is therefore critical and a cross-channel strategy is needed to engage consumers across the multiple paths to purchase, it added.

Technology has evolved, bringing down costs considerably and allowing online businesses to function more efficiently.

Ecommerce websites have become effective research and marketing tools. Companies that have had an early start have a better chance of success and prosperity than their other counterparts.

Increased visibility

Ecommerce websites also need visibility and be available through search engines. Businesses and retailers mostly distribute brochures or promotional literature to attract customers, which, apart from adding to environmental pollution, also results in wastage and recurring costs in reprints.

Online advertising presents clear return on investment, meaning that you can ‘see’ how the marketing dollar is working. In addition, businesses can build their databases and conduct email marketing, onsite promotions (coupons, discount cards, specials, and featured items) on their site and make changes

Online payments, through direct credit or credit card payments have also become simple and safe. There are many economical options available now.

Some companies may need customised features but for most others standard features would be sufficient.

Sriram Gudipoodi is Managing Director of Auckland based Inmedia Limited based in Auckland. He can be reached on (09) 6262413 or 021-832328.

Email: ram@inmediaconcepts.co.nz; website: www.inmediaconcepts.co.nz

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