The last decade or so has seen businesses—large, medium, and small—brandish the “e-commerce” tool and wield it to potent results. Their success stories in turn, have inspired more businesses to follow suit. But as a prudent entrepreneur, it is perfectly acceptable for you to enquire into the whys and the wherefores of e-commerce before deciding to jump on to the bandwagon.
What is E-Commerce?
In a nutshell, electronic commerce, or e-commerce for short, refers to any type of business or commercial activity involving the exchange of goods and services that is carried out over the Internet. It refers to business activities ranging from consumer-facing retail portals to auction sites and from business exchange sites where large corporations trade goods and services to trading sites where individuals trade in stocks, bonds, shares, equities, and commodities.
What are the Business Benefits of E-Commerce?
Conducting business electronically provides numerous competitive benefits. The principal benefit of e-commerce is that it enables businesses to carry out transactions much more cheaply and faster than traditional means. What is more, relying on e-commerce solutions lets businesses tap into client bases scattered geographically and across different time zones. The latter is a unique advantage of e-commerce over traditional means of conducting business.
The cost-efficiency derived from implementing e-commerce solutions enables organizations to channelize their resources to fulfill their core business objectives. These solutions also enable businesses to respond to their customers’ needs, address their queries, and deliver goods and services promptly and effectively. These in turn, increase customer satisfaction and make it possible for a business to retain existing customers and attract new ones with the goodwill thus achieved. These benefits synergistically add to the revenues of an organization and thus enable it to gain competitive advantage.
Why Do Businesses Need Integrated E-Commerce Solutions?
The most effective e-commerce solution is one that can seamlessly integrate with the existing IT solutions of a business to enhance the efficacy of the latter and increase return on investment. Service providers thus combine their knowledge of e-commerce solutions with their expertise in advanced Web-based tools and technologies like application programming interfaces (APIs) and XML to create a host of integrated solutions. In this way, online store fronts can be blended with CRM and ERP software, cloud data storage servers, supply chain and call center systems, social networking sites, accounting and/or inventory management systems, and POS data devices.
Such integrated e-commerce solutions automate workflows, reduce duplication of effort, and thus increase worker productivity without you needing to recruit additional workforce. Integration of e-commerce solutions with Web 2.0 applications in particular, helps businesses of all sizes exploit the advances in Web technology and transform sales transactions into engaging experiences for their customers and thus decrease abandon rates.
The above-mentioned benefits of implementing e-commerce solutions and integrating these with existing IT systems make clear the significance of putting in place sophisticated IT systems to help your business grow. Alliance IT Solutions is an expert in implementing a host of customized e-commerce solutions that seamlessly integrate with and help you maximize the benefits from your existing cloud-based IT services and enable your business to prosper.