Tuesday, 27 September 2011

E-commerce – Helping Make The World A Little Better

E-commerce, otherwise known as electronic commerce, refers to all business done through the web, basically purchasing, selling, trading and any transfer of information and data such as advertising.

There are numerous business applications done thru the web - but here is a list of some of the famous or common ones.

Electronic funds transfer (EFT) – this refers to the electronic transfer of currency from one account to another using the worldwide web, also referred to as online payments. This method is very convenient, most especially if you have clients abroad who are making payments for certain purchases.

Internet marketing is the general term that refers to the purchasing and selling in the internet also known as e-marketing, web- marketing or online marketing. Some of the most famous examples of online marketing websites are Amazon.com and Ebay.com.

Electronic Data interchange (EDI) – this is the transfer of data between two parties by electronic means. Transmission of electronic documents or archives or other business related data from one computer to another computer is much faster and much cost effective compared to paper mails.

If you want to send orders or purchases abroad, all you have to do is send an order thru the company’s website or thru email - and in less than a few hours your order will be placed. Another example is when a sister company wants to have a copy of the contracts made to clients. So, instead of having things printed out and sent thru paper mail - all you have to do is send a soft copy to his/her office. Almost all companies are already using EDI technology - from healthcare, auto industry, sport goods, real estate, and publishing and even government offices.

Logistics – this refers to the management of the traffic of goods from the point of origin to the point of use of the client according to his demands.  Logistics actually involves the process of documentation of information, inventory, packing, transportation, warehousing, product safety and handling and security.

Nowadays, airlines, shipping and train companies are using the web to facilitate and monitor the time of arrival of packages, and also to determine which containers contain a specific package or packages.  Documented information can also be sent thru email to costumers for them to be aware that their packages are on the way or which flight is carrying their items.

Telemarketing - is a method of direct sales marketing wherein a sales agent calls up  potential customers to sell products or offer services, usually over the phone or through email or other web messaging applications.

In some companies, telemarketing is done through a recorded sales message that is played over the phone via automatic dialing using a call list.  However, it must be noted that Telemarketing has lately been getting a bad impression since others consider them as a nuisance and little annoying.  But then again, if done right, this can be a very effective marketing strategy for some companies.

Shopping cart software – this is a system used in online marketing designed to assist customers in making online purchases. The system allows customers to come up with a list of items that he wants to purchase, click the “put items on the basket” option as if placing the items in the basket. The system would then calculate the amount of the order that was “put in the basket” for payment.

E-ticketing – this is the latest method in getting your ticket, which is actually very simple and convenient. In here, all you have to do is go to the airline or shipping website, search for your departure date, then look for your desired accommodations. You then pay the airline/shipping company online, either thru a credit card and that is about it!

Currently, E-ticketing is already replacing the traditional ticketing process in most countries. A lot of people prefer this process among others because it eliminates the discomfort of travelling to the ticket outlet and falling in very long lines.  Plus, consumers can also save a little bit of money - because through E- ticketing, you will no longer be charged with the processing fees which ticketing outlets are charging.  Upon your date of departure, all that you’ll need to do is have a printed copy of your E-ticket which contains your reservation number and other details – and you can just fly away.

Online advertising – this is a general term of all kinds of advertising done in the Internet.  Currently, most advertisers and businessmen take advantage of the World Wide Web to introduce their products - paying highly visited websites such as search engines and social network sites to have their ads attached to the website.

From these, it can be gleaned that E-commerce has indeed already gone a long way.  It has made doing business a lot easier, more convenient and a lot more affordable for all.  In short, E-commerce has made the world a lot better.

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