Member since 2-Jul-08
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02-Jul-08, 06:21 AM (PST)|
"How to choose an ecommerce product?"|
What is ecommerce?|
Ecommerce can be described as a commerce conducted electronically. It is the whole process of being able to make a sale of the product over the World Wide Web.
Electronic commerce that is conducted between businesses is referred to as Business-to-business or B2B. B2B can be open to all interested parties (e.g. commodity exchange) or limited to specific, pre-qualified participants (private electronic market).
Electronic commerce is generally considered to be the sales aspect of e-business. It also consists of the exchange of data to facilitate the financing and payment aspects of the business transactions.
How does one go about choosing an ecommerce product?
It is my observation that while selecting an ecommerce product most of the customers seem to be asking themselves the following set of questions
· How will it appear on the customer side?
· Will it be an attractive website?
· Will it display all of my products?
· Can I use open source and do some developments specific to my requirement?
These questions are valid and are important but these questions should be asked only after the selection of product is done. It is very important for business, which are for a long haul to really look for ROI (Return of Investment) from their ecommerce product.
Before selection of any product, it is very useful to list down why you need a product or software, in this case ecommerce software?
Some of the answers will be/can be
· Increase presence in Online market and thereby have more sales
· Introduce a new channel of business- Have a new online channel for selling goods
· Establish Brand name, making future rollout of products/commodities easier
· Simplify management of all sales and inventories
· Increase productivity by integrating both Online and Offline model
· Increase visibility of the entire business operations by integrating both online and offline models together
· Be competitive, Just because a neighbor doing it!!!
I like the last one, because that way, one doesn’t have to really think hard but to follow his neighbor!!
Anyways, once one has his reasons chalked out, he would have also realized that this is a true line of business and needs much more investigation, investment and business initiative to make it a real success.
Online business can be only successful as successful as the tool is (the ecommerce product). To draw a comparison, one may want to travel 80 miles in an hr and may be really trying hard but that ain’t be possible with a bullock cart or may be even with a horse wagon. One would atleast need a car to make that happen.
Coming back to success, success of the ecommerce product would lie on how the product fares with all of the following aspects.
1. Ease of configuration
2. Ability to Scale
3. Useful latest features
4. Available marketing tools with the product
5. Ability to analyze data (analytics, not only google analytics!!)
7. Integration (with other modules, Like epos with near realtime online/offline synchronization of data and other packaged application )
8. Customer Service
9. Technical Support
10. Technical Implementation Aspects
11. Build vs Buy
Please keep watching for my second post on the same topic, where I will expand on each of above selection criteria’s. If you happen to take your decision before my next post, consider RiteCart ecommerce product software marketed by Palindrome Software Labs Pvt Ltd.
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