Ecommerce or Online shopping has been taking out the physical market with a great pace and has started consuming it to a great extent. There may be a day in the near future where most sales will happen online. You can choose all what you want to buy from your living room and get it delivered at your doorsteps at your convenience. If you have the ability to work like a middle man, establishing a forum similar to olx.com, you can attract bulk of visitors each day. Even sites like craiglist.com have made a good buck here. This is definitely one of the most interesting topics and also one of the most popular blogging topics.
Online shopping/online retailing is a type of electronic commerce allowing customers to directly buy goods or services from a seller over the Internet using a web browser or a mobile application. Alternative names include but are not limited to : web-store, e-shop, e-store, Internet shop, web-shop, web-store, online store, and virtual store. An online shop evokes the physical analogy of buying products or services at a bricks-and-mortar retailer or shopping center; the process is called direct business-to-consumer (B2C) online shopping. In the case where a business buys from another business, the process is called direct business-to-business (B2B) online shopping. Some of the largest of these online retailing corporations are eBay and Amazon.com, both based in the United States. Retail success is no longer all about a chain of local branded stores, this is very evident because of the increase in retailers now offering e-store interfaces for customers. With the growth of online shopping, comes a wealth of new market footprint coverage opportunities for businesses that can appropriately cater to the ever growing offshore market demands and service requirements.
A successful web-store is not just a good looking website with dynamic user interface and technical features, listed in many search engines but is also about building a relationship with customers and making money in addition to disseminating necessary information.
Most Businesses often try to adopt online shopping techniques without understanding them and/or without a sound business model; at times, businesses produce e-stores that support the organizations' culture and brand name without satisfying any kind of customer expectations at all. User-centered design is very critical in having a good site. Understanding the customer's needs is very very essential. Living up to the company's promises often gives customers a trust in the brand and a strong reason to come back and meeting their expectations gives them a strong reason to stay. It is important that the website very effectively communicates how much the organization values its customers and the business they bring in.
Customer needs and expectations are not always the same for all customers or markets. Age, gender, experience, country and culture are all very important factors and critical. For example, Japanese cultural norms may lead users there to feel privacy is especially critical on shopping sites and emotional involvement is highly important on financial pensions sites whereas it may differ with users from some other country. Users with more online exposure often focus more on the variables that directly influence the task and compare it with the experience on competitor sites, while novice users focus on the basic understanding the information at hand.
It is always a huge effort and often pays off to maintain the e-store well. To increase the amount online purchases, businesses must expend significant time and cash flow to define, design, develop, test, implement, and maintain the web-store. It is often easy to lose one or more customers than to gain one. Even a "high-rated" website will never succeed if the company fails to practice common etiquette such as returning e-mails in a timely manner, notifying customers of problems, being honest, and being good safe-keepers of the customers' data. It is so important to eliminate common mistakes and be more appealing to online shoppers, many web shop designers study research on consumer expectations and implement them.