12. What is eCommerce?

E-Commerce is the shorter and much popular version of electronic commerce referring to commercial activities conducted online. The process of buying and selling of goods and services on the Internet is therefore e-Commerce. E-Commerce, therefore will include online shopping, banking, stock trading, auctions, train/airline ticket bookings, renting movies etc. Almost everything that results in a transaction and exchange of money for products/services is e-Commerce.

How much does an e-commerce website cost?

Just like websites, e-commerce or transaction websites can be built at variable costs. These costs will depend on the features required in the website. We offer simple e-commerce websites from Rs.10500 onwards. If you require a solution, contact us.

A typical e-commerce website needs to have appropriate sections for product display and information, a shopping cart to buy multiple products and a smooth payment mechanism. In some cases, you may wish to have a product comparison tool as well.

What kind of products and services sell online? How should I start selling online?

As you are reading this, hundreds of people are turning to the internet to sell their products and services online. Not only is it easy to set up but the great advantage is that your market can be the world. Online transaction processing makes payments easy and reliable, courier services make delivery more dependable. And if you are offering services like consultancy then your delivery of services is also immediate using the internet. Here are some products and services which can be sold online:

  1. Design work
  2. Web Development
  3. E-Books
  4. Reports and Statistical analysis
  5. Legal Services
  6. Software Services
  7. Tutions
  8. Copy Writing Services
  9. SEO services
  10. SEM Services
  11. Tutoring
  12. Screencast/Video Content
  13. Photographic Prints
  14. Flowers/Florist
  15. Marketing Services
  16. Skincare Products
  17. Handmade Soap
  18. Clothing AND Accessories
  19. Toys
  20. Paintings/Art
  21. Fitness Program
  22. T-Shirts
  23. Jewellery

This list can go on and on. It's up to you to decide. If you have a product or service which has a demand or which will benefit the buyers then go on, make the most of it. Online shopping is growing very fast and will become a leading revenue generating model for some business categories.

How does online payment work? What is the process?

Simply put the process really involves 2 parties, a gateway provider who takes the encryped transaction data and sends queries to the appropriate provider (Visa/Mastercard etc) to validate the transaction. Post validation, the results are sent to your website.

The next step involves the transfer of funds from the cardholder's account to the sellers account and for this you need an account called 'Merchant Account' with a bank. There are hundreds of different banking companies offering merchant accounts and their fees vary considerably.

Of the different types of online payment methods, the most common online mode of payment no doubt, is the credit card. In order for a credit card transaction to get processed and your payment to be confirmed there are a number of steps with different parties involved which must be completed.

The first step is "Registration". This is done using a secure web page, so the consumer's personal information is encrypted. The registration request is compiled into a format which is required by the card processing company.

The data thus formatted, is transmitted to the credit card processing system also known as the payment gateway. Here the information is checked for accuracy and authenticity to continue processing the transaction. Then a request for charging the credit card is sent to the company which manages the consumer's credit card account.

The next step is the validation of the card and the account. The credit card company sends an acknowledgement back to the card processor, that the amount requested can be transferred and the card processor or payment gateway tells the user on the website whether or not the transaction was successful. Funds transfer process is initiated by the payment gateway. The merchant/seller receives the funds and makes a scheduled delivery of the products/services paid for by the buyer.

What is a payment gateway?

A payment gateway is a software that facilitates transfer of information between a transacting website and the processing bank. When a customer orders a product from a payment gateway, it performs a variety of tasks to process and enable a secure transaction of online payments between the internet customer and the seller or merchant. The payment gateway handles the verification and transfer requests and ensures that the processing of the payment is smooth for both merchant and customer.