How the History of eCommerce Evolved to Help Home Businesses

The history of eCommerce began almost forty years ago but started gaining currency in 1991 when the internet was first embraced by commercial users. Ever since, businesses have taken permanent residence on the net and have opted to maximize the benefits that accrue from its use.

It was initially taken to mean the process of conducting transactions electronically by use of technology such as Electronic Data Interchange and Electronic Funds Transfer, which gained prominence in the 70s. The Boston Computer Exchange was indeed the first known example of eCommerce in the 80s. This perception changed in the year 2000, which is famously referred as ‘the year of the dotcom collapse’ when established businesses worldwide realized the potential of the internet and its prospects of serving a global customer base electronically.

It is becoming increasingly popular for people to shop on the web for the simple reason that it allows them to do their thing at their own convenient times as opposed to conventional ways that we know of in fact people can even shop in the privacy of their bedrooms thanks to the internet. Home businesses have gained tremendously as a result of the evolutions arising from this rich history of eCommerce.

Take the electronic data interchange for one allows home businesses to exchange important documents with their clients without the need to move around. On the other hand the electronic funds transfer have made it possible for home businesses in remote locations without spending an extra dime to obtain payment for services already offered. These two developments have therefore made the life of home business owners easy.

Most businesses in Europe and the US actually set up their first eCommerce websites between the years1998 to 2000 even though they were rather skeptical after the events of the dotcom collapse of 2000. Those who were courageous enough to stand up and take the challenges offered by the internet reaped its benefits when the following year business to business transactions online accounted for over $700 Billion in sales.

The history of eCommerce is therefore backed by tangible evidence in terms of revenues that can purely be attributed to its use. Home businesses too can improve their revenues by taking a permanent residence on the net. This way they would be able to net a wider variety of customer base and hence be poised to greatly improve on their return on investment.

The year 1994 was important in the history of eCommerce as it saw the introduction of security protocols and high speed net connectivity. This meant that connection speeds would improve tremendously and allow transactions to be effected on almost real-time basis. With faster online transaction capability, eCommerce grew rapidly. Home businesses are bound to greatly benefit from this phenomenon as it means their dealings with clients will now be prompt hence no question of time lags in between transactions. Service delivery will certainly improve hence leave most of their customers satisfied and definitely yearning for more. On their part, home business owners will not be put on hold waiting for feedback from clients. Most of the dealings will now be real-time meaning there will be an almost instant communication.

In conclusion, home businesses ought to take a leaf from established internet based companies that took full advantage of the internet and its eCommerce ability to grow into the world’s most respected corporations such as Amazon and eBay. Not that they did not have their fair share of drawbacks over the years. The important thing is that they had the temerity to fight back and just see where they are today. Home business owners should not be cowed by the length and breadth of their resources and have it as an excuse for not venturing out there and exploit this rich history of eCommerce.

Getting an Ecommerce Merchant Account!

E-business owners, who strongly wish to operate in the online world, need to adopt the only possible medium of payment today, which are credit cards. Though, the idea of credit card acceptance is not new, you might still be confused about making your payment system highly efficient and reliable.

If your business is still limited within the bounds of the conventional money orders as the most preferred payment mode, then you might just be losing out on some major business opportunities. Today, most of the customers prefer to make payments through credit cards, and therefore if your business isn’t capable of accepting credit card payments, then you are missing out majorly on these profit making opportunities.

If you wish to turn more efficient and expand your business applications, then simply get an ecommerce merchant account today. An ecommerce merchant account empowers you with the ability to easily process the payments made by the credit/debit cards. By opening up an account, you are subscribed to all the services offered by the e-providers or the merchant banks.

There are a large number of ecommerce merchant account service providers you can choose from including ClickBank, PayPal, etc. Each service provider has its own distinctive terms and conditions of services. Some are more extensive and offer international merchant account services, while on the other hand, some are limited within the bounds of the domestic services. However, most of them refuse to provide their services to those traders who have bad or highly risky credit history.

Some of the ecommerce merchant service providers charge nominal service fees while others offer it for free. The main difference in the subscription cost is defined by the level of security offered by the service provider. The service providers which offer better security standards, software tools, and applications might charge a little more. However, it would be wrong to relate the cost only with the security level of a provider’s services.

Hence, before opting for a suitable service provider, all features must be analyzed and options must be evaluated. Sticking to the old and obsolete payment methods will not only cost a lot to your business, but also may result in unwanted setbacks and inconvenience. Putting your business in the online world requires skipping of traditional payment methodologies.

By getting an ecommerce merchant account, you impart a secure and reliable payment system to your business with no processing limitations. Getting a merchant account is easy and fast. Just make sure you possess a sound credit history and your merchant account will get sanctioned easily.

The Stages of System Analysis and Design of an eCommerce Website

How to get started?

Designing an eCommerce website is certainly the best thing for the website designers, because it allows them to use their creativity to the fullest. Today, the eCommerce website has become the great trend setter and is more associated with the customer’s morals and emotions. Every eCommerce website has a USP and something that clinches buyers to visit the website.

Whether it is Amazon, eBay or Alibaba, history tells that every successful eCommerce website has written their own success stories at the time of designing only. All these websites are so popular among the users not just because of their services or the range of products they offer, but because of their great user interface and extremely friendly website design.

Even a person who doesn’t know much about the computer or the internet can spend hours on these websites simply because they provide a very friendly design and architect. This signifies how important is the designing and analysis of the eCommerce website.

How does it all start?

Getting started with the design of an eCommerce website is a big challenge for the designers and also for the people who have initiated this idea. Having your own eCommerce store sounds quite resounding, but it takes a hardcore approach to materialize the idea in the real world. Before you began with the designing of your own eCommerce store, you must have the answers of these questions ready, so that you will end up in providing a great product to your audience.

What is the objective of your store?

What would be your target audiences?

In which area or demographics you are targeting your customers?

What products or categories of products you want to sell through your store?

Which major brands you want to associate with?

What would be the initial budget of your store?

Site Architecture and Wire Frame

Now, since you have all the answers ready with you that means you can move ahead and get into the real part of the designing. The site architecture and the wireframe are the most critical part of the eCommerce store. How much you invest your brain and creativity in designing the site architecture will write your success story. History tells that even after investing millions of dollars, many eCommerce stores have failed to get attention from the customers because of their poor architecture and wireframe. Though, you could take every bit of the technology for designing a great friendly UI and website architecture, but your own creativity will be the key to success.

Some of essential and vital elements of a good wire frame and the site architecture

Site Navigation
Site Home Page Feasibility
Menus, Sub Menus and Product Pages
Shopping Cart feature
Secured and fast Payment Gateway
Bradcrumb and Side bars
Header and Footer structure

Visualizing the design

All the great programmers or designers always take the blueprint of their design and use their visualizing skills to create a replica of the design in their minds. This will give them the sheer thought in which way they are moving and isn’t they are moving in the right direction. Most of the occasions, during the stage of the wireframe and site architecture, people get diverted from their original ideas and objectives. Here, visualization helps them to end up in a mainframe design that resounds well with their initial idea.

Began with the programming

The zest of the entire design is the programming. Once you have the sound visualization about the theme and concept of your website design, then it’s now time to do some ground work and get started with the programming. Doesn’t matter which language or framework you are using like Php or.Net, but it is important that programming must go with your initial idea.

The most important part of the programming is the workflow and work management. Designing an eCommerce store is really a tough deal for the programmer because they have to create thousands of pages and embed tons of functionality for designing a great user friendly website.

CMS and Content Delivery Networks

The highly critical part of any website is its database. While designing the eCommerce store, you must give a thought of having a comprehensive and extended database to accommodate all the information on the website. If you don’t want to have a static Data Base then you can certainly go with the CDN’s (Content Delivery Networks), that will help you in providing an effective database with a good uptime on the server that means your users’ will enjoy browsing on your website.

Make precise and good CSS and Java elements

The Cascade Style Sheet or popularly known as CSS will help you in involving the great design elements that will really cherish your users. Every user wants to browse through the website and have their preferences for the various design elements. Be it the font colour, font style, or header colour or may be the colour of your main navigation menu, every CSS design element makes an impact on the users. Like CSS, the Java elements specially the flash images also make a positive impact on the user mindset, but make sure that you must not involve too many javascripts or flash because it may increase the website load time and user doesn’t like this.

Uploading products on the website

The products are the zest of every eCommerce store; therefore a special care should be taken while uploading the products on the website. It is really an exhilarating job for the designers, if you are uploading the huge bunch of the products under different categories. Here you should have the high definition images of every single product and those images should be fragmented and processed by a professional designer. Though, it is also important that every image should be compressed before uploading otherwise, it will increase the load time on the server and user won’t be able to see the product images properly.

Testing and Launching of the website

Now it’s time to launch the website, but before that you must consider your website for testing. Testing is often the final funnel through the website goes before going live on the web. The professional website engineers conduct various tests on the website and suggest better ways to improve the feasibility of the website for the users.

After your website successfully passed through the testing, then it’s now time to take your website live on the web for the users with a bang. Make sure that you must consider various display marketing, PCC and digital marketing techniques for promoting your website to the users.