What is eCommerce?

You’ve probably heard the term, but what does it mean? Simply put, eCommerce is the sale of goods and services online.

Is it new?

Not really. Today you can buy pretty much anything online. But back when the internet was first gaining traction, a lot of the technology for secure transactions had yet to be developed.

In fact, it wasn’t until 1994 that the first true online sale occurred. It was a Sting CD, “Ten Summoners’ Tales” purchased for $12.48 plus shipping.

What has changed?

Well for one, nobody is buying Sting CDs anymore.

But more importantly, the availability of online marketplaces and the security of credit card transactions increased.

Now you’ve got eBay, Amazon, Craigslist, and even Facebook Marketplace. There are so many places that you can sell your products and ideas.

Furthermore, online sales have become culturally more acceptable and trustworthy. Buyers trust that when they buy something online, they are going to get what they paid for. Plus credit and debit transactions are generally accepted as the norm over cash transactions today.

How do I get started?

Well, it’s easier than you think. If you’ve already started a business and you’ve been selling your product out of a brick-and-mortar storefront, all you need is a website.

If you are starting a new business, you’ve got a little work to do researching the market, building a business plan, and creating a product. But you still need a website.

Bottom line: you need a website.

But do I really need a website?

Yes, yes you do. Now I know I just told you there’s about a million different marketplaces out there, but if you’re serious about selling online, the benefits of building a website are huge and immediate. A website allows you to:

  • build a unique space for your business that you won’t get with a cookie cutter marketplace like eBay or Amazon.

  • open new avenues for marketing your business.

  • provide a central location for customers to find everything they need to know about your business and your products.

  • get discovered by search engines and find customers across the country and the world.

But isn’t owning a website expensive? Don’t I need to know how to code HTML and CSS?

Not with modern eCommerce website builders. Platforms like Shopify, Wix, BigCommerce, and Magento take all the guesswork out of running a website. With intuitive and easy to use UI, you can build a beautiful website from scratch and get your business online and selling.

These modern eCommerce platforms not only make it easy, but give you powerful tools to run your business including:

  • a wide range of analytic tools to help you analyze your finances, sales, conversion rates, bounce rates, and so much more.

  • live tips tailored to you and your store to help you along the way.

  • mobile apps that allows you to run your business directly from your phone or tablet.

  • the app and theme stores to customize your website and and make your business stand out.

  • 24/7 customer support by email, phone, or online chat to help answer any questions or issues you might experience.

  • communities full of fellow merchants working together to find success.

  • online learning academies and courses full of knowledge, tips, and techniques to improve your business.

So what are you waiting for?

Get started today with Vector Commerce. We design, build, and customize websites for clients to help you get started on the right foot.

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