E-Commerce and Business Today

Many small holder traders in the world of business are considering options available to them that can enable them increase profits. The case of Annette Jackson, a small crafts store owner that is located in central Missouri is not any different. The need to increase profits and reduce inventory is important for the flourish of her venture. The consideration to sell online is undoubtedly the best and most viable in the quest to reach more people outside of her physical location. The moving of a business to the online marketplace has numerous advantages, but there are challenges too.

E-Commerce is the name coined for business and transactions that are done electronically over a network, mostly the internet (Korper, & Ellis, 96). The business transactions in the online market place are as diverse as the traditional modes of business. They include, but are not limited to; business-to-business, consumer-to-business or consumer-to-consumer. In this scenario, the transactions will be two dimensional. First the business-to-business transaction between Annette’s business and the e-commerce service provider to be hired, and then the ultimate business-to-consumer transaction to be carried out between the online store to be developed and the clients.

Before making the bold step to move a business to the online space, there are a number of things that the business owner needs to know. First, the site developed should be easy to navigate for everyone and more importantly the target market. Secondly, the products should always have short descriptions and lastly, the shipment policy of the products should be clearly stated (Plant, 163).

The service providers researched offer basic commerce and mall style services as requested. They are pitted against each other in the table below.

Consideration Yahoo small business Wix.com
Costs ( Initial set-up fee, monthly fee, and transaction fees) Set up is free. A fee of 26$ /month and a 1.5% transaction fee. Free set-up and trial for 14 days. A fee of 19.90$ per month and 2% on transactions.
Amount of disk space for 100 items 50 giga bytes but can be upgraded to suit needs 40 gigabytes
Search engine within each store Yes Yes
Customer communication capabilities, like automated mail confirmation of orders yes yes
Shopping chart or other order entry mechanism Shopping chart Shopping chart
Storefront building wizards for creating a new store 100+ templates to be used Available customizable templates
Security provisions for transactions Two step verification process for payments by credit cards. Secure transaction accredited site. Paypal connection to secure payments made
Nature of the domain names available (subdomain of the site or not) The site gives the business name a subdomain of the merchant website. Subdomain of the site, but can be changed to be just the business name and hosted separately. This will cost more.
Upload capabilities for product names, descriptions, images, and costs (can they be
uploaded from files or databases, or must the merchant enter each item individually?)
Upload can be done by the business and not restricted to the merchants. No costs associated with the process. The upload can be done from a database that the merchant only has control over. There are no costs involved in uploading of descriptions and images for products.
Existence of an online user manual for the merchant There is a user manual available online to help the customers get acquitted with the process. No user manual. But, there is a FAQ section that covers most of the concerns that clients have together with a 24 hour online customer support.
  • Korper, S., & Ellis, J. (2001). The e-commerce book: Building the e-empire. San Diego, CA: Academic Press.
  • Plant, R. T. (2000). eCommerce: Formulation of strategy. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Financial Times/Prentice Hall.