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What is eCommerce?
Electronic commerce is a rather broad topic. As the name suggests, it is commerce, or business, by electronic means. That does not exclusively mean business done on the Internet. Nonetheless, as a web design and development company, we will stick to what we know and focus on ecommerce and its relationship with the Internet.
Ecommerce has changed the world. An enormous statement no doubt, but the evidence is resounding. Prior to the Internet boom of the late 90s, the Internet, or World Wide Web, was really just a huge information resource - 'the information super-highway'. However, business-people soon began to foresee the immense possibilities of doing business online. Money began to pour into the development of these hubs for business, or ecommerce websites as we know them now.
So, why does ecommerce matter to a start-up or small to medium business like yours? One word: money. Small to medium businesses do not have much money to spend on enlarging their market through expensive advertising. Nor do they have much money to spend on hiring extra salespeople or opening new stores to sell their products and services in multiple geographic locations. However, with an ecommerce website you can achieve all these things with a return on investment that blows out any other form of marketing. But an ecommerce website is more than just marketing. It is a sales channel. It is your store, or salesperson, to the world!
Ecommerce with Get Started
Our focus with ecommerce websites is two-fold. Return on investment; and your customers. You need your ecommerce website to make you more money and to do that it needs to appeal to your customers. It is no different to designing and building a new store, or training and developing a salesperson and pitch.
Our experience in developing online product catalogues, shopping cart systems, online ordering websites, and stock / inventory management systems should give you confidence that we will deliver an ecommerce website that will grow your business.
Product Catalogues are one of the oldest forms of sales material in business. Over hundreds of years they have changed very little: basically a list of products broken down into different categories, then for each product there is a product name, some relevant specifications or options, perhaps a description and then the price of the product.
Despite some highly publicised failures, a great number of businesses have found the Internet a tremendously successful place to publish a product catalogue. Many have added online payments to their catalogue, thereby enabling customers to pay immediately online and sometimes have their product delivered the next day!
In comparison to printed catalogues an online catalogue is very inexpensive. Also, a printed catalogue can sometimes be out of date before it is even in the customer's hand whereas an online catalogue can be updated at any time, ensuring your customers always have access to the latest information. With Internet access becoming nearly universally available in the industrialised world, many businesses have scaled back or cancelled their printed catalogues and are focusing on their online catalogue.
As you would expect, the secret to a successful online product catalogue is to not challenge the format that has been successful for so long. Having said that, the Internet is probably the biggest development ever seen in this area of sales. This is because a web environment is interactive and offers the user new ways of navigating. A customer can search a large product catalogue for their product rather than trying to find it. Perhaps they can choose to sort the product catalogue by price or name, or see only those products in their size. The possibilities are many and varied.
At Get Started we take your Product Catalogue very seriously, we know it is not just a web page but a crucial sales channel that can be a cornerstone of success in your business.
As it suggests, the term online payments refers to the ability to make or receive payments via a facility on a website. This is the most common form of 'ecommerce'. Integration of online payments can bring great benefits, often enabling customers to purchase goods or services in an 'online shopping' experience or to view and pay invoices online.
Usually, an online payment is initiated by the payer, who completes a form, or series of forms, on a website. There are a number of different payment methods that can be facilitated by an online payments solution - including pre-paid debit account systems like Paypal and Yahoo! Wallet - but the most common and popular is payment by credit card. All credit card providers (VISA, Mastercard, American Express, Diners Club, etc.) and all major banks support online payments.
If you are considering implementing an online payment solution in your web site your most important considerations should be security, usability and reliability. Perhaps the most important single feature for addressing these considerations is real-time processing - the transaction should take place instantly when the user requests it. For instance, if your solution accepts credit card payments then it should be capable of transferring funds from the payer's account into your account as soon as the payment is requested and authorised.
Get Started is an experienced and responsible developer of online payments solutions and has enabled some of Australia's successful and long-running ecommerce businesses. Get Started has implemented dozens of payments solutions of many different types and functions ranging from simple payment forms to complex finance and order management systems integrated with a central accounting package.
Security is the most important element of any online payments solution and Get Started employs a number of techniques including password protection and database security. Most critically, however, Get Started is an authorised provider of Thawte and GeoTrust security certificates and is thereby able to offer the highest standard in digital encryption technology in each and every payment solution. We can ensure that your customer details are safe and secure.
To achieve the most reliable and fast payments processing available Get Started maintains a partnership with Camtech and SecurePay, who are Australia's leading online payment gateways.
The needs of your business may be very unique and this is where Get Started's broad experience is most beneficial. We can build a solution for your web site that utilises almost any software and any number of functions such as foreign currency conversions and transactions, and services such as Paypal, Yahoo! Wallet and Authorise.Net. The possibilities are limitless.