What you should know about e-commerce

What you should know about e-commerce

What you should know about e-commerce

There’s no doubt that access to high speed internet has changed the way we do just about everything. But most of all, this new type of communication has changed the methods of retail. New possibilities completely exploded usual set of business rules and turned retail paradigm upside down. Retailers acquired amazing possibility to be in contact with customers 24/7 regardless the distance. But such ability is a two-edged sword. Today retailers don’t have any choice but to meet the new standards and expectances of customers, or they will be pushed out of the market by their competitors.
So, it is not surprising that electronic commerce (e-commerce for short)an industry where the buying and selling of products or services is conducted over Internet is one of the most fast-growing and lucrative economic sector. According to the research made by agency Invesp.com, in 2011, sales in e-commerce in the world were 680.6 billion U.S. dollars. Some forecast agencies say, this amount will only increase, and by 2015 will reach up to 1.5 trillion USD.  
E-commerce offers enormous advantages to companies of all sizes and fields, but it also has changed consumers – they set the rules of play now. They determine what information they need, what offers they are interested in and what price they are ready to pay. This often completely changes traditional marketing practice. This is why many companies, which try to implement e-commerce in their business without thinking, end up with a lot of trouble instead of profit.
And, on the contrary, companies which follow new rules and invest time and money in building good strategy, usually get amazing ROI.
One of the main pillars of e-commerce is a software system known as e-commerce platform. Such systems provide everything a retailer needs to create and keep an online store.
Online store is very important. It is the key point of interaction between retailer and customer; the place, where a customer will make the final decision about a purchase. So, it’s also very important to choose suitable platform for your shop/shops. To do it right, a retailer have to answer myriad of questions and take into account multitude of factors.  For example:
— What functionality do I need? What hosting service is the best for this platform, and how much it’ll cost me? Will I able to expand this platform? Can it be integrated with software that I need in my work? How comfortable this platform is for end user? Is it popular among add-on developers? How difficult is technical support for this platform?
And so on, and so on. It is indeed very tricky and time-consuming to choose the ideal platform, but this is a task that can’t be neglected. Your shop is the face of your business, and there is nothing worse for an online shop than a not suitable or badly built platform. A sheer amount of available platforms also complicates the choice.
But still, there are several leaders in the market, which provide optimal solutions for most e-commerce business. One of such leaders is Magento, the most popular platform for e-commerce in the world.

Magento was launched in 2008, and already became the leader among e-commerce platforms by 2011. In the same year, eBay Inc., a global leader in commerce technology, acquired Magento because of its huge popularity and potential. And that wasn’t the end of Magento growth.
According to Alexa’s top 1 million eCommerce websites, a full 26% use Magento. That’s three times more than results of platforms on the second and the third places. Worldwide, Magento dominates the market, though their biggest users are based in North America. Such fast growth is not coincidental: Magento puts a lot of effort to be very approachable both for shop’s clients and admins.
Magento has a lot of advantages, but the most obvious are:
Versatility. Most of platforms usually developed for specifics tasks and business, and, as a result, can be pretty constrictive. Magento works differently. It allows user to configure a shop according to any needs, and for any business.
Flexibility. Magento is built on open-source Zend Framework, so Magento's code provides flexibility for the development of numerous modifications. Scalability is another benefit that Magento offers through its Zend framework. Using Magento allows your online store to handle massive volumes of traffic to prepare for those peak seasons when there are many shoppers visiting your e-commerce store.
Zend also has a wide community of users and developers, so if you are looking for community support then you will find plenty of documentation and assistance.
— Fast and simple way of working with templates and themes. With Magento’s fully object-oriented programming, you can update the look and feel of your store in the category and product level, giving you greater marketing and promotional power as well as a store with endlessly unique design. Magento gives you the ability to load multiple themes at once, allowing you to swap between a default store design and temporary event/season-specific ones.
Feature rich. Magento really has the most impressive set of features right out of the box among of all the e-commerce systems. Few key features such as multi-store functionality, multi-language, multi-currency supports, Search engine friendly and mobile compatible designs are few great treats available for free. Also there are extensions that are available for very specific requirements, otherwise you can get help from community/ developers and get an extension designed for you.
— Technical support and constant updates. Keeping online store up and running is very important for consistent success. Every minute the website is down equals lost revenue. Magento’s team of support experts is always available 24 x 7 for global support. They are prompt on responses and resolve issues as quickly as possible. Also, with Magento, you can confidently expect regular updates, packed with bug fixes and new features, every few months.
— Powerful SEO and marketing tools. Most ecommerce platforms claim that they support SEO but none of them deliver as many features as the Magento eCommerce platform Ability to create fully compliant and validated sitemap, SEO-friendly URLs, page optimization – here are just few of many advantages of Magento SEO. As for marketing, Magento designs give the site owner the freedom to create and manage different promotional campaigns easily. Whether this is BOGOF on selected items or 10% off on all ranges, Magento has specific promotional tools to help you encourage sales and action your campaigns.
— Comfortable for users. Magento’s developers are making this platform comfortable not only for admins, but also for users. Therefore Magento has a lot of small details that make shopping process much easier. For example, a user doesn’t have to register for buying, and isn’t being showered with additional services or merchandise. And the whole purchasing process is very simple, fast and intuitive.

All these advantages combined make Magento what it is – a universal and very popular platform with incredibly rich feature set. As for now, about 125000 companies that range from small start-ups to global corporations use Magento. For example, such giants as Lenovo, Nestle, Nokia, Olympus, Samsung and Skype trust their sites to Magento.
With Magento, small companies get a chance to greatly expand their reach, and large companies can improve loyalty of their existing clients and find new ones. But the most important is that in Magento you’ll find a secure and reliable partner that will be keeping your shop afloat even in wild waters of modern e-commerce.

Find out how bricks-and-mortar bookstore Chytayka built up one of the leading online shops in the region