Tutorial: e-Commerce Dissected


There are more than 1.5 billion people that are using the Internet. This essentially means that at any given time someone somewhere is actively looking for a light fixture. The trick for you is to reach that person who is looking for that light fixture intelligently. Everyone is talking about going online these days, especially in this tough economy. However, very few people talk about what it takes to be online. With all the hype that is going on out there, a lighting showroom owner finds himself/herself lost and often confused.

Too many website design companies using technical jargons that leave the retail shop owners unprotected and less informed about the strategies required to maintain a thriving online business and sustain a brick-and-mortar operation. The fact of the matter is, the Internet market is a growing field that is inevitable in modern business operation. Internet business is an integral component of any business, and its mere existence is a great survival mechanism for that business that faces fiercely competitive forces in an open, cutting edge market.

We are here to explain to you in very simple terms what it means to be online. You can use our language word for word and sit with your internet consultant in your office and have a productive conversation about “online business” and its facts and overcome the unfounded myths that usually surround this subject matter.

E-Commerce has various components to it and each component needs ample and equal attention. Although an e-commerce website may generate money after you close your door at the store each day, it may also require more attention than your brick and mortar operation. Knowing the components of e-commerce will help you allocate appropriate resources and hence get you closer to success.

Demand Generation

This is the most important component of  e-commerce. After your website is up, your primary mission is to find ways to generate visitors to your website (aka web traffic). This may seem like putting the cart before the horse, but you truly ought to think about generating traffic way before you assign someone to develop an e-commerce site.

Store Front Design

This is where you build your image; that is, your brand recognition. Your online customer meets you here for the first time. You have to impress him/her and entice him/her to make a purchase after establishing trust. Be very delicate as to how you would like to merchandise your products.

Checkout Process

Accepting payment on your website or having a customer call with their payment methods essentially would mean you are involved in e-commerce. You need to make the customers feel that you are real and can be trusted. Your site must have built-in fraud protection.

Your customer information such as (but not limited to) name, address and credit card number needs to be encrypted while being transmitted online. You need to have an easy-to-use checkout process and must accept VISA, MC, AMEX and Discover cards on your website.

      


Order Fulfillment

This topic deals with what happens once the order is placed. You will integrate your existing PO, product inventory, white glove delivery and installation into your web order. If your site calls for integration with your inventory management or financial software, by all means, go for it. You must ensure your e-commerce site factors in both the “landed-cost” and the “retail price” in every fixture in order to keep yourself in the black.

Supplier Management

Suppliers need to be managed for your products, credit line, PO and order processing. You also need to be aware of pricing rules set by the manufacturers / suppliers. Keep your eyes on any specials or co-op programs that suppliers run on a periodic basis. Many manufacturers offer a drop ship method that is extremely well suited to e-commerce type business.

Customer Service Management

Whether it is during the visit of your website, purchase or after placement of order, you must have a good customer method to care for your prospects and customer base. Shipping and tracking information along with live support are among some of what a typical ecommerce site will have to be successful.

Cataloging and Content Management

What your Web visitors see is what they will want to buy. Your online products must have visually appealing pictures and descriptions. Rich content sells more. You must also ensure that you have updated products, prices and discontinuations.

Performance/Analytics/Reports

You cannot manage what you do not measure. There are numerous tools and reports that you can use to measure items such as conversion ratio, order fulfillment, web traffic, sales and product popularity.

FazTrack's e-Commerce Projects

FazTrack's e-Commerce Platform can be used for various types of retail products.  Since 2005, FazTrack e-Commerce has serving industries such as Residential Lighting, Sporting Goods, Apparel, Decorative Items, Auto Parts, etc.  FazTrack e-Commerce service includes the following:

Web sites integrated with front- and back-office management tools:
  • Customer self-service centers for viewing cart, orders, tracking packages, and managing support issues
  • Dynamic, database-driven Web sites with point-and-click site updates
  • Site analytics tools that measure traffic, revenue and opportunity
  • e-mail capture on site and marketing tools
  • Up-sell tools that recommend items based on other customer’s lookup and purchases
  • Purchase Order and Return processing tools to keep track of your fixture movements
  • Automatic Inventory Update on your website from participating manufacturers
  • Social Media such as Facebook, Google+, Pinterest.
  • Data Processing for your Point of Sales (POS) system


Customer Google Analytics Website Report:
You will be able to view your visitor’s Web activities. These records detail how the customer found your site (referrer and search engine keyword), which pages they have visited, which click-paths they navigated, when their visits took place, which locations they visited from. 

Detailed Visitor Reports Sent to your Inbox automatically every 24 hours:
Visitor detail reports allow you to see exactly what visitors performed on your website. For instance, you can see exactly which  pages, search words, products, categories your website visitors looked up.  You can also see exactly what is in their shopping carts, what items they printed, eMailed or compared with, giving you assistance in closing the sales.


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