eCommerce refers specifically to buying or selling products or services over the internet. eBusiness encompasses eCommerce, but also includes all other business processes conducted online, such as customer service, managing production control, recruiting and more.
Increasingly people are turning to the internet to buy products. Accepting payments online through eCommerce can include:
- online donations
- invoice payments
- gift certificates
If you're looking to sell products online, you need to choose the right eCommerce platform for your business.
What is an eCommerce platform?
eCommerce platforms provide businesses with software allowing customers to:
- see and select products for purchase
- place these products in a wish list or shopping cart
- order the products in the shopping cart and provide delivery instructions
- pay for these products through an online payment facility using direct debit or credit card
Cyber security aware consumers are becoming more reluctant to give businesses credit card details online, and prefer to utilise secure online payment facilities (such as PayPal and SecurePay – a business of Australia Post), where money is transferred from customer to online seller without the need for the customer to provide credit card details.
Both of these facilities can be linked to your business website for customer payments.
An introduction to eCommerce
An introduction to social media for small business
eCommerce platform tips
When you're deciding which eCommerce platform is best for you, consider the following:
- How do your customers typically like to pay and what platforms might they be familiar with?
- What fees are charged, and do these fees include ongoing monthly fees and per-transaction charges (flat rate or a percentage)?
- How easy is it for you to set up the platform on your existing website, and what it will look like?
- Will the platform offer service and support to you when you need it?
- Does the platform integrate bookkeeping, point-of-sale, inventory and order management, client service, marketing, financial, and marketing functions?
- Does the platform support SSL authentication and PCI compliance to keep your business and customer data safe? Your other security needs might depend on your store's current and future requirements, as well as your budget.
Selling without a website
Want to sell online but don’t have an existing business website? Australia Post's eCommerce is a step-by-step product for setting up an online store. Your business will need to be registered with SecurePay to accept credit card payments. Payments can also be made via PayPal, direct debit account and cheque.