How e-commerce makes life easier
Since the beginning of the internet, most businesses have been trying to have and build an online presence. And it has been a hard but surely rewarding process, being able to shift an entire physical business to one completely different platform involves a change of marketing strategy, an update on payment methods, change of clientele and a whole different way of client communication.
e-commerce, as the name implies, is electronic commerce meaning it provides a way of buying and selling goods and services through the internet. There are many websites and apps that focus on providing a way for connecting businesses and customers: Shopify, Squarespace, Etsy, Wix, Big Commerce, even Instagram can be seen as e-commerce because it allows having a shop for your business.
Definitely, the latter one is the most used, as it is one of the most popular social media platforms at the moment, but Shopify and Etsy are both great options for selling physical products, while Squarespace is more focused on educational programs and courses; there’s also Fiverr that offers virtual services, like design, music production, content creation and even virtual therapy.
There is some variety when it comes to types of e-commerce: B2B or business-to-business, which consists of both small and big businesses buying from each other – this is mostly to resell the items bought to an individual person – and B2C, which is the most popular among customers as it is the business to consumer model and it’s based on a business providing items and/or services to a customer.
There’s also the consumer-to-consumer (C2C) and consumer-to-business (C2B) model; the first one is mostly applied online and it consists of individuals selling other individuals through a third-party or platforms specialized in this type of business, these platforms usually charge a fee. The last one is used when individuals like freelancers or influencers sell their services to businesses. It’s important to know these differences as a customer or business owner because it allows you to choose which type of business you want to take part in.
Payment methods with these kinds of apps are very useful due to the fact that they can be easily used everywhere and at any time. Most of these sites accept PayPal, credit or debit cards, bank transfers, E-Wallets, cryptocurrencies and some even accept payment in cash with the previous arrangements between buyer and customer. In fact, some of these payment platforms are considered e-commerce because they provide a service that can be accessed through an internet connection.
The main advantage of using e-commerce sites is definitely the convenience it carries, you can do some online shopping 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, unlike physical stores that have a specific schedule they must follow. These types of businesses usually offer more variety than common retail stores, that’s why when in search of something, more customers search online first to directly buy it, or to make some comparisons. This leads to one kind of obvious pro: it offers faster price comparisons, a customer can search for items and services in various sites at the same time, this allows comparing prices and even features and descriptions of the product or service, that’s definitely way faster than going to various stores to do some comparisons and decide where to buy, right?
Now for the cons, the wait time is usually very long, although the client makes its purchase quickly with only a click, there’s still a wait time between the date of purchase and the date the products arrive, it has a limited customer service due to the fact that it is not personal, this also makes client-seller communication harder and also means that the customer won’t see the product before buying it which can lead to scams and frauds.
Because the way to showcase products on an online store is through photos, they must cause a good first impression on the potential client; these photos are taken with usually great quality and some are edited and, because of this, the customer might be disappointed if the product doesn’t look like on the picture. These types of situations can lead to fear of buying online.
As the buyer-seller transactions are made online instead of in a physical location, these businesses don’t have the same regulations as an on-ground business would, the lack of these regulations and safety comes with a lot of room for scammers to make fraudulent transactions and sell low-quality products with little consequences.
Some other ways a customer or seller can get scammed is by the use of stolen or fake credit cards, some people might use a false identity making it harder to recognize the scammer and by this making it harder to catch them. Some scammers might even try to steal your personal information and data, including phone numbers, addresses, and banking information. Not even retailers are safe, when a client engages with a scammer in their store, they get a bad reputation and sometimes they need to compensate for the items or money the client lost when buying.
Due to this, it is important to keep some things in mind when buying online: first, you have to be aware of the people you’re buying from, there could be some people that are trying to scam you. To avoid this, you need to carefully check reviews and comments of other people that previously buy from them. Second, you need to know that you should not give your personal information to a seller; most of e-commerce sites don’t allow this or the making of outside-platform transactions in order to protect both the buyer and the seller.
To create an account, at least for the previously named sites, you need to enter your phone number. If you don’t want these sites to have that information about you, it’s best to get a virtual number that allow you to have a completely functional account without putting your personal information on risk. To get one of these you’ll need a good provider, like us, Major Phones. We have a great variety of US and UK numbers to choose from based on your needs.
Go ahead and try us out! Sign up now.