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E-commerce Business plan – The Way of the Future

Unless you have been living under a rock for the past 10 or 20 years, you’ve probably heard a thing or two about E-commerce. But, do you know exactly what E-commerce is?

Before we get into the nitty gritty, lets look at commerce. According to the Merriam/Webster Dictionary, commerce is “the exchange or buying and selling commodities on a large scale involving transportation from place to place”. E-commerce is defined as “commerce conducted via the Internet”. Now that you understand the terms commerce and E-commerce, lets get to the good stuff!

Almost any kind of commerce, from banking to shopping to real estate to purchasing a pedigreed cat, can be done online, and companies are profiting from this in a huge way. You can even find a number of personal services available online, and if you want, you don’t even have to pick up your phone to book a hair or nail appointment, or order your beauty products to have delivered directly to you. E-commerce is a fast, easy, convenient way to do business.

I’ve heard a lot about identity theft. Is E-commerce really safe?

The simple answer is yes. As long as your computer has a great anti-virus/anti-spyware program, and a firewall, you are relatively safe. And, as technology improves, so will safety. Never do any E-commerce on a public computer where your information could still be there for the next person to see.

The convenience alone of using E-commerce makes it worthwhile. Taking advantage of E-commerce can save a lot of money and time. When you do your business online, you don’t have to worry about running from store to store, standing in long lines at the bank, or not making it to a business before they close for the day. By using E-commerce, you have the luxury of doing everything from the comfort of your own home.

Not only is E-commerce an excellent way to shop and do other business, it is also a good way for people to earn extra income, and in many cases, a full-time income. If you have a product or service to offer, you can set up an online store with minimal investment. Take a look at a few of the E-bay stores someday, and you will see how popular and profitable E-commerce really is.

When you set up an online store with such hosting services as Yahoo or E-bay, you also have the peace of mind of knowing that help is always just a click away. Also, by using these services, you have the options to have certain tools available in your store, such as a shopping cart, payment options and sales logs. If you are inexperienced when it comes to doing things like this online, these services will walk you through the set-up process step-by-step. Once you get your account set up, and have listed your inventory, you just have to sit back and wait for the sales to start rolling in.

If you are interested in starting to earn money through E-commerce, you can get started by using one of these hosting sites or if you want to tap into an existing E-commerce Business plan then Dubli is an excellent business with global opportunities.

How a Virtual PBX Can Help Grow Your E-commerce Business plan

Simply put, an E-commerce Business plan relies on communication. Not surprisingly, in today’s age, communication management and efficiency is an important part of any business plan. Confusion, inefficiency and lost time and money resulting from a communication strategy that is not up to par with today’s technology and market demands can weigh heavily on an E-commerce Business plan’s profit margin and bottom line. From dealing with manufacturers to consumers on a daily basis, an E-commerce Business plan depends on reliable, streamlined processes that help, not hinder, the transfer of information. New strategies that enable an E-commerce Business plan to effectively manage and implement new models of communication are vital to gaining a competitive edge. A virtual PBX is a way in which e-commerce businesses can transfer information seamlessly and employ a reliable and flexible communication strategy.

The need for reliable communication is not only present in dealing with consumers, but also manufacturers and suppliers. One challenge for an E-commerce Business plan is the presence of multiple locations for sales, shipping, and support. The lines of communication often overlap and can become tangled quickly if a process is not clearly defined and centrally connected. To solve this problem, a virtual PBX phone system can facilitate and streamline internal and external corporate communications. Multiple locations can be connected to one central phone system, a virtual PBX, which allows callers to reach different locations off of the main menu, and transfers callers to different departments or locations while the customer is still on the phone. A virtual PBX can be extremely effective in managing calls for an E-commerce Business plan by directing manufacturers to the appropriate customer service managers; leading sales representatives to the appropriate buyers and marketing teams; and putting customers in contact with service representatives that can properly and efficiently help them with their purchase.

A second challenge for an  E-commerce Business plan is the fact that start-ups consistently juggle information from manufacturers and suppliers. Some of these pieces of information include inventory and stock updates; lead times and shipping estimates; consumer inquires and urgent requests; and product marketing updates, including new collections as well as new and dropped products. Untangling these lines of communication is a priority for any company that relies heavily on information management and communication. New strategies that implement a virtual PBX system, however, empower an E-commerce Business plan to use tactics and technologies they have a foundation to build upon.

A virtual PBX system takes information that an E-commerce Business plan has in their database or file management systems and leverages that in automated recordings to let consumers know about limited-time discounts or unique promotional opportunities. In addition, automated recordings can be used to highlight particular brands or products, recently added lines, or new and updated products or product categories. The benefits for an E-commerce Business plan are two-fold: first, by becoming more efficient by repurposing content that has already been created; and second, by saving time and money through the use of a virtual PBX to advertise instead of traditional channels that often deliver mixed results.

A virtual PBX also simplifies communication, allowing for a better customer experience. Since it allows for multiple and specified extensions, this ensures that consumers are directed to the appropriate employees or departments. For a company building brand awareness and brand identity, ensuring a more simplified and user-friendly caller platform boosts customer retention rates and consumer loyalty. Including a toll free number with your virtual PBX can help eliminates arguments against trusting an online business because consumers see a company with a toll free number as more reliable and established. While some customers may be wary of doing business with online companies, a toll free number and virtual PBX system convey an image of trustworthiness. These elements often function to demonstrate that a business is established and professional.

The heart of any sale is communication: between consumers and employees, and employees and manufacturers/suppliers. Making an efficient and streamlined communication strategy a part of an E-commerce Business plan’s foundation can result in immediate dividends. From saving time and money associated with multiple locations and missed opportunities in misdirected calls to positively boosting brand awareness and loyalty, a virtual PBX phone system improves a company’s communication management. Ensuring that calls are routed to their intended destination, that customers are informed and targeted with discounts and available promotions, and the simplification of communications in general will help grow an E-commerce Business plan faster than if these issues are not addressed.

Importance of Branding for E-Commerce Businesses

E-commerce businesses are becoming a reliable way to buy products online. Branding plays a direct role in improving chances of E-commerce Business plan success. An increasing number of global customers are switching to e-commerce sites to purchase everything from groceries to apparel, and electronics to lifestyle products. The e-commerce industry has completely transformed the way in which consumers around the world access products and services. It has suddenly brought a world of options to the fingertips of end users. The future seems bright for the e-commerce industry, with major players branching out into newer product categories frequently (thus setting the standards for smaller brands).

For e-commerce businesses, things are going well enough, but the competition is also fierce. New e-commerce brands are launching every day and persistently trying to get a foothold online. When it comes to branding, e-commerce companies are leaving no stone unturned. In this scenario, it is vital that you build and implement a high quality branding strategy for your E-commerce Business plan.

Branding Strategies For E-Commerce Businesses

By having a result-oriented, effective branding plan for your E-commerce Business plan, you can stand out amongst your competitors. To achieve that, you must determine what makes your E-commerce Business plan a unique player in the industry. Are you offering high quality products at the best available rates? Do you organize regular discounts and offers for your customers? Are you adding new product categories to meet more customer demands? What are the factors that would convince customers to choose your brand against others? E-commerce Business plan owners must strive to highlight the unique selling points of their brand. Only then can an e-commerce brand be boldly promoted to larger audiences.

As an e-commerce brand, you have to be at the forefront when it comes to attracting product vendors as well as consumers to your e-store. Vendors would be interested in using your marketplace, if it has a strong brand that keeps providing value to customers. The number of sellers and customers you bring in to your network depends on the strength of your e-commerce brand, and how well it delivers on its promises. If you are intelligent in your branding, and consistent in your service quality, your e-commerce brand can achieve considerable success.

E-commerce branding, like all branding, is influencing the perception of your brand and its services, in the eyes of the customer. Effective e-commerce branding will make marketing easier, retain more customers, drive up loyalty, and create better potential value for steady, long-term success.

The way you must approach an e-commerce branding strategy is by highlighting some key points. With branding, you must uphold your business’s core mission, the problems you aim to solve for your customers, standards that it adheres to, and proof of the quality of services you provide. What are the factors involved in business branding and their importance?

E-Commerce Branding – Methods and Importance

1. Your Brand Image – A stellar, uniquely identifiable brand image helps customers attach value to your e-commerce brand’s personality. This includes various things such as logos, banners, taglines, marketing captions, social content etc., which should always represent your brand the best. This is quite important if you want to create value for potential customers and convert them into loyal customers. A good brand image goes a long way in retaining customers, by continually generating interest for your e-commerce brand’s offerings.

2. Customer Satisfaction – Customers are everything, when it comes to e-commerce or any other type of business. You can actually enhance customer experiences and drive up satisfaction (and loyalties). This is a big part of establishing your e-commerce brand. Put your best foot forward while marketing, deliver on your promises you make, and provide unmatched service and support to enhance your brand’s potential value. Remember that satisfied existing customers can and will bring in newer customers to your E-commerce Business plan. Maintain your integrity and keep reinventing to bolster your brand’s chances of business success.

3. Find Your Unique Selling Proposition – As an E-commerce Business plan owner you must determine the USP of your brand. This will help you brand and promote it better to larger groups of potential customers. Think about what sets you apart from dozens of competitors vying for true e-commerce glory. Is it your service quality or support? Is it the trust of your customers and your track record? Do you provide innovative offers, discounts and promotions on special occasions? Do you house the widest variety of rare products? You must determine why customers would choose your e-commerce site. What extra value can you offer to your potential customers that convince them to use your platform again and again? Find your USP and use it to strengthen your brand.

4. Utilize All Channels – Technological advances in the past decade demand that your E-commerce Business plan maximizes its presence on all social, web-based and mobile platforms. More and more potential customers buy and sell through handheld devices, and almost all of them are on social websites. All your competitors are doing it, and so should you. It will help you make your brand easily accessible to larger audiences, which in turn will bring more conversions and significantly better revenues. Social and mobile should be the front and center of your branding strategy.

E-commerce sites can benefit from the above mentioned branding strategies. By using the concepts provide here, you can establish your e-commerce brand and take your business to the next level.