How E-commerce Works

Building an E-commerce Site

The things you need to keep in mind when thinking about building an e-commerce site include:

  • Suppliers - this is no different from the concern that any normal store or mail order company has. Without good suppliers you cannot offer products.
  • Your price point - a big part of e-commerce is the fact that price comparisons are extremely easy for the consumer. Your price point is important in a transparent market.
  • Customer relations - E-commerce offers a variety of different ways to relate to your customer. E-mail, FAQs, knowledge bases, forums, chat rooms... Integrating these features into your e-commerce offering helps you differentiate yourself from the competition.
  • The back end: fulfillment, returns, customer service - These processes make or break any retail establishment. They define, in a big way, your relationship with your customer.

When you think about e-commerce, you may also want to consider these other desirable capabilities:

  • Gift-sending
  • Affiliate programs
  • Special discounts
  • Repeat buyer programs
  • Seasonal or periodic sales

The reason why you want to keep these things in mind is because they are all difficult unless your e-commerce software supports them. If the software does support them, they are trivial.