Ecommerce and Its Evolution Into Mobility

Ten years ago ecommerce was still a cool buzzword that everyone wanted to try, but at that early point it was largely limited to the Business-2-Business world. The use of personal computers, mobile phones and the internet was still experiencing its first period of growth, so the average person sitting in front of their behemoth CRT monitor hadn’t grasped the potential of the web quite yet.

It didn’t take long though. Soon dot.com companies selling anything from sock puppets to toothbrushes at unbelievably low prices were popping up all over the place. Beady eyed investors saw the potential in dot-coms: little overhead and massive profit. The credit industry chimed in with low interest rates and blanket application acceptances, knowing there was money to be made. Unfortunately and predictably, the house of cards fell. Dot-coms were collapsing by the dozens and investors saw billions of dollars seemingly evaporate into thin air within a very short period.

Since that dark period in the early history of ecommerce, there have been countless research studies conducted in an effort to answer the desperate whys and how’s being screamed from bankruptcy courts around the nation. By now we have all heard the answer explained in long winded speeches about boom and bust cycles etc. In the end the collapse of the dot.com bubble was the inevitable outcome of greed on a massive scale, more specifically, unchecked greed with few security protocols and no governing body.

The birth of the 1990’s brought a wider availability of personal computers and the internet, but the 21st century brought mobility to the internet. According to CTIA the Wireless Association, there were just over 109 million mobile phone users in the US in 2000, that’s 38% of the population. Of course at that point the smartphone was clunky and fairly unusable so few people owned one. Eight years later the number of mobile phone users more than doubled to 262 million, 85% of the population. Now the Neilson Company predicts by the end of 2011 at least 49% of Americans will have a smartphone and 51% will still be using their feature phone (out of the 96% of the population that uses a mobile device).

Between 2000 and 2011 there has been an about-face on the part of ecommerce. Security platforms have become more stable and widely used so trust has now been built. User interfaces evolved into dynamic places where visitors felt both stimulated to buy, yet secure in handing over credit information. Mary Meeker of Morgan Stanley has amalgamated data from Japan that shows online commerce and paid services accounted for a whopping 32% of mobile revenue in 2008. We all know technology progresses faster than the Roadrunner, and we are equally aware that Japan and China are usually the first to set trends in technology. That begs the question, has the west fully realized the potential of ecommerce yet? Or are we still remembering the chaos of the 90’s?

The same report by Mary Meeker, dubbed the Queen of the Internet by Baron’s magazine in 1998, shows North American and European nations use of ecommerce on a mobile platform accounts for less than 14% of mobile revenue (2008). Are we still scared? No, we are being gouged. North Americans have some of the highest mobile phone bills in the world. Canada in particular generates an average of $55 revenue per user per month; the US isn’t much better sitting at $48. India is the most fortunate; making the phone companies about $5 per user per month.

Mobile ecommerce is the future; there is no doubt about it. For the average North American the ability to buy almost anything with a smartphone is far too convenient to give up simply because our data plan sucks. We may not spend as much as the Japanese, but we sure know the value of ecommerce. Then again, as humans we are cursed with the innate habit of reacting to the here and now. The bill is out of sight, and therefore out of mind. We are also experts at rationalization. The value of using an internet fax service to send a document to a client via your smartphone far outweighs the value of physically delivering it. The flexibility and potential of the smartphone and ecommerce has placed a much higher value on time. What we choose to do with that time saved is the subject of a whole other article.

Weighing the Differences Between eCommerce and Traditional Commerce

Due to the increased popularity and availability of Internet access many traditional small business are considering eCommerce as a valid and profitable sales channel. However, eCommerce and traditional commerce are very different, and it’s important to weight carefully the differences between eCommerce and traditional commerce in order to decide if it would be a good fit for your business or just a costly mistake.

Direct Interaction

Traditional commerce is often based around face to face interaction. The customer has a chance to ask questions and the sales staff can work with them to ensure a satisfactory transaction. Often this gives sales staff an opportunity for upselling, or encourage the client to buy a more expensive item or related items, increasing the shop profits. On the other hand, eCommerce doesn’t offer this benefit unless features such as related items or live chats are implemented.

Lower Costs

eCommerce is usually much cheaper than maintaining a physical store in an equally popular location. Compared with costs such as commercial space rent, opening an online store can be done at a fraction of the price for less than $50 per month. This can prove invaluable for small business owners who don’t have the startup capital to rent prime retail space and staff it to be able to sell their goods.

Reach

With an online shop you can do business with anybody living on a country you are able and willing to send mail to, unlike traditional commerce where you are restricted to people who actually come to your shop. This also opens the door to many other forms of marketing that can be done entirely online, which often results in a much larger volume of sales and even foot traffic to the store. An online store has no capability limits, and you can have as many clients as your stock can serve.

Returns Rate

In a traditional store, the customer will be purchasing the product in person, which has some benefits for both the him and the store. The customer will be able to touch and check the items, to make sure they are suitable, and even try them on, which reduces the number of returned items or complaints due to an item not being as advertised on a catalogue. or promotional leaflet. Expect a significantly higher rate of returns if you start trading online, as many will just order and try the items at home, and won’t hesitate to return them as they can do it by post without having to talk with anybody in person.

Credit Card Fraud

The remote nature of ECommerce makes much more difficult to detect fraud, which means stores can lose money due to fraud. While traditional commerce is not totally secure, it’s easier for a sales attendant to verify that the person buying something is actually the owner of the credit card, by asking for photographic ID. However, the fight against card fraud is well underway and banks and responsible eCommerce owners work together to verify that all card use is legitimate.

The Essentials Of Web Development And Internet Design

The main focus of web development and internet style is having a setup plan and understanding the purpose of the task at hand. A good developer will have an understanding of both internet development and web design. The first thing they should take into consideration is the audience they want to attract. Then they can apply the technical side to what it takes to put those kinds of attracting components onto the site. This is known as technical communication. There is always necessary analysis and good planning involved for a developer to do their job properly.

Good developer will have a feel for just what the site users will be looking for and will be drawn to once they arrive at the site. A good strategic plan should be created before the project begins as far as implementing the technical necessities. They need to be innovative in their approach to holding the interest of the audience.

They also need to keep in mind that there can be a wider scope of visitors to the site than just ones for the specific product. If you want a site for selling computer parts, you could attract visitors from many other types of audiences. So the developer needs to careful not to alienate any other potential buyers when they develop the site.

They need to have the specific goals and objectives of the site clearly defined in their minds. They would then have to research and find the proper domain information for the site. The domain is how people will find the site once it is up and going. It should be relevant to the subject matter of the site. And the developers should develop the site around this subject matter and create a style that will make this attractive to the projected audience.

Once the design is finished, the developers need to install all the boundaries of the technical structure they have mapped out for the site. It should have specific and well established boundaries. They may take their first project prototype and use it for analysis and testing before they decide to make it available to the general public.

A net developer may utilize such technical applications as Java scripts, applets, CGI, or HTML. These would correspond with the software used for creating the hypertext structure of the site. Then once the site goes public, it can be advertised and begin the job of drawing traffic. This can be done by posting on other sites and linking to forums and blogs.