We are living in an era of computers, where all our personal and professional activities are highly dependent on the Internet. Internet based software and websites have given us the provision to spread and share our information worldwide just with a click, and have facilitated storing, centralizing, processing and generating data for our business, educational, personal and many other purposes.
From needy to rich, young to old, student to professional, everyone is now connected with the Internet through different online based social media, websites and applications/software. Thus the Internet has become the biggest media through which one can reach a larger audience. Such growth of the Internet and Internet based services have created a great opportunity for doing businesses online, which is widely known as E-commerce.
E-commerce businesses have some wonderful scopes that a physical business can’t create.
Low running cost
To do business online, an entrepreneur doesn’t need to setup an office, or have huge human resources or even a large shop space. As in the case of online shopping, all transactions take place through a website, running such online businesses need less investment than establishing a business physically.
Uninterrupted availability to customer
Your E-commerce website serves as a shopping mall, and your customer can view your products and order anytime. Therefore, unlike physical stores, clients don’t have to worry about when your shop is closed.
There are different features like “Discount on Purchases,” “Reward Point per Purchase,” etc, that you can setup to attract more customers to your online store. You can launch event-based promotions and offerings for your customers from your online shop.
You may have some hot deals (special offers set by you), best-selling products (the products that people are purchasing most), event based discounts (discount that you are providing for an event), or simply some discounted products that you want to promote. If you have an E-commerce website, you can easily present your products on the basis of different promotional categories.
Marketing without much effort
An E-commerce website can be linked with Facebook and other social networks that can further help promote your products online. There are some automated features. For example, when you update or add information of a new product, it will be automatically submitted on your other social media sites linked to your website. Therefore, such automation is reducing the hassle of doing social media marketing.
Keeping customers connected
Once a customer is registered on your website he or she gets connected with you online. You can send newsletters, discount offers, etc, to all or selected groups of customers with a single click from your website’s controlling panel anytime.
Business analysis and decision making facility
An E-commerce website provides the ability to track and generate chart, graphs and reports of sales and customer flow on your website. This helps make decisions regarding your business easier.
Easy and secure payment option
Online based stores are really convenient in both paying and receiving payments. Currently in Bangladesh, there are many payment gateways that are really strong and secure in receiving customer payments for E-commerce websites (SSLCommerz.com). Such payment gateways are connected with banks and other mobile banking services legally and have many features to prevent fraudulent activities, therefore both clients and entrepreneurs can safely do businesses.
Because of the increasing number of entrepreneurs online, training on E-commerce is also highly required before launching an online store these days. Otherwise, the business may not survive long enough. Many training institutions are now working in Bangladesh (example: www.piit.us) to provide special training on E-commerce entrepreneurship and E-commerce website development/management.
Newspaper: DhakaTribune.com; 16th February, 2016