Buyer Guide to E-Commerce

How to Choose an E-Commerce Company for Your Website

When it comes to e-commerce, your first thought is Amazon or Zappos where you can purchase books or a great pair of shoes. Electronic commerce is when buying and selling of products or services happens over the Internet or other computer networks. Amazon and Zappos are just two of the well-known sites where business-to-consumer transactions occur. However, there are many of other exchanges online for business-to-business commodity exchanges, and almost all large retailers now have an electronic presence online.

In the 1970’s, businesses used an Electronic Data Interchange technology to send purchase orders and invoices electronically. This began what is now known as online shopping, an industry relied on heavily for manufacturers, wholesalers, retailers and businesses combined. In 2008, manufacturers alone accounted for $2,154 billion of total e-commerce shipments (U.S. Department of Commerce).

This same report shows that from 2002 to 2008, retail e-sales increased at an average annual growth rate of 21% compared with 4% for total retail sales. Purchasing products online from manufacturers to brick and mortar stores is here to stay.

Whether you are starting an e-commerce site to compliment your brick and mortar store, or you are strictly an online company there are many factors you need to consider before you are up and running. There are laws and regulations you need to adhere to, as well as safety precautions to keep your customers safe from security fraud. This buyer guide will outline the ins and outs of the e-commerce world, and help you figure out where to get started.

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