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E-commerce websites have been around for over 30 years since CompuServe launched its e-commerce website Electronic Mall in the USA in 1984. Most people think of e-commerce in the B2C context, and often limit the definition to online vending giants such as Amazon, eBay, Ocado, and high street retailers or supermarkets who also offer an online sales service like M&S and Tesco. And of course all of these are e-commerce websites.
But an e-commerce website can be any online surface that delivers itemised products or services in a digital setting. So topping up your mobile phone credit through your service provider’s app: e-commerce! B2B exchanging of data as part of their commercial platform: e-commerce! Cataloguing products, services or events, even if you cannot purchase them through the website: still e-commerce!
You see, money doesn’t have to actually change hands for a website’s e-commerce aspect to be highly profitable to a business, particularly a small business. All it means is that your online presence forms a tangible part of your commercial enterprise.
Here at Yellow Moose we work with lots of SMEs and organisations that can benefit from having a technically strong and efficient e-commerce website to increase their output. By enhancing your website to incorporate a strong e-commerce presence, even if you are only supplying to a defined location or demographic, you can utilise your website to effectively become an additional member of staff.
From bookings for beauty treatments, dental consultations or after-school childcare to regular time-slots with a personal trainer, an e-commerce website doesn’t need to be restricted to just sales of goods. With the right integrated e-commerce plug-in for your website, you can deliver a whole host of products and services effectively to your customers. What this means for customers is that it’s an extra avenue and less hurdle for them to be able to part hands with their money and give you their business.
And of course e-commerce can be utilised effectively for any B2B or B2C business wishing to sell tangible products to their customers in the traditional sense – complications such as variable tax rates or delivery surcharges don’t need to be a hindrance!
Yellow Moose have found that e-commerce is a tremendously useful tool not just for financial transactions but also for product cataloguing. Perhaps your prices are on request or vary due to the bespoke nature of your product. Perhaps you are not yet delivering at a scale to warrant processing financial transactions through your website. Or maybe you want to retail an element of exclusivity and encourage your customers to pick up the phone.
Well an e-commerce website can still be an excellent, and for customers a very familiar, platform for displaying your products or services. It can allow you to add products to your portfolio to display in a very navigable way, and you don’t have to integrate the finance section if you don’t wish to.
In our experience of building e-commerce websites for a variety of clients, we always favour WooCommerce. This e-commerce plug-in for WordPress websites is specifically designed to allow a modular build of the e-commerce extension to the website. This means that it can be scaled up or down with different elements (such as transactions or shipping etc.) as necessary. It is very simple and easy to use, and adaptable around different products. It is used by both large and small scale enterprises and as of 2015 was thought to be active and in use on over 30% of all e-commerce websites across the globe.
Here at Yellow Moose we are always keeping our eyes peeled for new, exciting and improved plug-ins and extensions for our preferred CMS, WordPress. However in our experience we are still delighted to be able to offer WooCommerce to our clients who are in need of an e-commerce website. We find it to be adaptable, scalable, flexible and easy for clients to manage within the CMS. This means that with a little training from the Yellow Moose team, our clients find adding and managing products to their e-commerce website becomes intuitive and an easy everyday part of running their business.
If you’ve found anything in this blog helpful, useful or interesting, and would like to find out more, the Yellow Moose team would love to hear from you. Every e-commerce website we build is unique to its owner, and we’d love to help find the right fit for you, to transform your online selling presence and boost your business through the power of e-commerce.