E-commerce business in Ghana
Technology has not only affected our mode of communication, transportation and education. It has also given businesses (buying and selling) a touch of the magic wand. Technology has made it easy for people to conduct businesses from the comfort of their mobile devices. Some buy whiles others also sell online to a vast number of customers worldwide.
Therefore if you are thinking of starting a business in buying and selling (without using the Kantamanto approach) but rather do it online, then you would be joining millions of entrepreneurs worldwide who have carved a niche for themselves in the world of E-commerce.
WHAT IS E-COMMERCE ?
Electronic commerce or better still e-commerce refers to any type of business or transaction that involves the transfer of information across the Internet. E-commerce covers a wide range of businesses ranging from retail sites, music sites, auction sites or the exchange of goods and services between corporations.
[Tweet “E-commerce offers consumers the opportunity to undertake business transactions by purchasing goods and services without barriers over the Internet.”] This helps saves time and money and also helps cater for more customers at a go.
CATEGORIES OF E-COMMERCE
Before setting out a business, one needs to know his target audience or market. This same principle goes with e-commerce business. There are four categories of e-commerce namely B2B, B2C, C2B and C2C.
B2B (Business to Business): Just as the name implies, this is a transaction between a business and another business entity. For example, mobile phone manufacturers selling to wholesalers and retailers.
B2C (Business to Consumer): This refers to businesses selling to the general public via e-commerce websites with the help of shopping cart software. This is done without physical contact between the business and the consumer. A typical example is Amazon.
C2B (Consumer to Business): With this category, consumers post projects, and proposals online together with budgets for businesses to bid. The consumer reviews the bids and picks a winning company.
C2C (Consumer to Consumer): This kind of business takes place via online classifieds, forums and marketplaces. Individuals are given the opportunity to showcase their goods and services for other consumers to purchase. A typical example of a C2C e-commerce is Ebay.
HOW TO GET STARTED
If you have any hopes of starting an e-commerce business for your product, there are a few tips you need to help set your e-commerce business rolling.
The first requirement is an e-commerce website. This will serve as your online shop where consumers and businesses can visit to see the goods and services on display. As a shop owner, you need to collect the data of your clients online when they make payment for products. VISA and Mobile Money or any third-party electronic payment services are popular ways of collecting and managing online payments.
In the case of selling physical goods online, one has to consider ways of shipping them to the customer. There are many shipping merchants such as UPS, FedEx and DHL to help get your products to the doorstep of the required customer.
In addition, running a successful e-commerce business requires that you have a basic understanding of e-commerce law. Online sellers and buyers have different legal and financial considerations worldwide with regards to privacy, security, copyright and taxation. Having firsthand information on such laws and legalities is very important.
IMPORTANCE OF E-COMMERCE
- IT SAVES TIME AND EFFORT
Consumers in modern times appreciate the value of time. Instead of driving or boarding a bus to the market or mall, they rather would spend less time in buying online. They can do this anytime and anywhere. This helps saves time and effort for other important needs a client has to attend to.
- IT IS VERY CONVENIENT.
People live a very hectic and busy life; doing household chores, picking the kids from school, working on documents in the office and a whole lot. E-commerce helps fit shopping into their busy schedules by affording them the opportunity to get the products they want when and how they want them. This they do at their own convenience without having to rush through traffic to get them from a shop.
- THERE IS FREEDOM OF CHOICE.
E-commerce offers multiple options for a consumer by giving consumers much information about the products they want to buy. This helps the customer to make rationalized decisions on products and services. Customers can also compare products by their quality, price and method of payment. All these factors go a long way to help customers make right choices before purchase.
- IT ALLOWS FOR ELECTRONIC EXPERIENCE.
E-commerce allows customers to exchange experiences and views among themselves online. E-commerce sites establish forums for its members through which they can express their opinions about a particular product or service and how to use them. These reviews are made available to other customers who want to purchase the product. Before customers buy a product, they become familiar with them before they buy and also can consult other customers who have tried the product.
- E-COMMERCE HELPS BROADEN YOUR PRODUCT OR BRAND
E-commerce can offer opportunities that a physical shop cannot. The internet is a very big market place for business. Instead of selling to a few hundred people, why not rather sell to millions. Having an e-commerce business can help reach millions of customers worldwide. This will also go a long way to give your brand or business great recognition on the e-commerce market.
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e-commerce can be a very rewarding venture, but you cannot make money overnight. It is important to do a lot of research, ask questions, work hard and make on business decisions on facts learned from researching e-commerce. Don’t rely on “gut” feelings. We hope our e-commerce article will help your business make a better decision in choosing an online shopping cart for your e-commerce store.
EXAMPLES OF E-COMMERCE BUSINESSES
If you ever wanted to start an online store but didn’t know where to start, we hope this article will help you make an informed decision . You can contact us for further consultation on setting up your online business or leave a comment about your experience with e-commerce.