E-Commerce in the Philippines

Having witnessed and participated in the online-commerce craze currently happening here in the Philippines, it’s no secret that there is niche market whose attention has been captivated by this relatively new approach of buying consumer goods and services.

Realizing that this practice of buying is relatively new to this country, I am compelled to share my experiences and insights. Living in Northern California for 30 years, in the heart of Silicon Valley, I can confidently say that the Philippines is where the US was back in 2006-2007.  Knowing that, it is obvious that we are seeing the start of e-commerce in the Philippines.

What is E-commerce?
Electronic commerce or e-commerce refers to the process of marketing, buying and selling of products and services online. During recent year, the country has seen a great uprising in such practice. The need for security systems to become more intricate and with more consumers developing a preference for online purchases, it’s time for banking institutions and businesses to recognize and develop online options to capture these new types transactions.

E-commerce transactions are classified into three types: Business to business transactions, the largest type, involves the manufacturer issuing products to the wholesaler or retailer, as in the case of Cisco dealing computers and related accessories online.

On the other hand, business to consumer transactions involves the direct online trade of products to consumers, such as e-tailers offering goods to buyers.

In consumer to consumer transactions, major parties are not required to fully seal transactions, however a program is provided by the online dealer, such as eBay, to deal goods among consumers.

How does E-commerce work?
The process starts when a consumer enters a merchant’s website. Once he’s decided to purchase a product or service, he is taken to an online transaction server, where all encoded data during the transaction will be encrypted. Once the order is placed, the information gathered by the server moves through a secured and confidential gateway to a Processing Network, where the consumer’s issuing bank either approves or denies the transaction – a process which takes no longer than 7 seconds.

Presently, payment schemes and systems providers are few. I project that industry will grow to accommodate the rising needs for merchants to provide these options to their customers. Soon merchants will have the option to choose from just a few daily transactions to millions.

What are the components of an online store?
Whether you’re targeting a business-to-business or a consumer-to-consumer website, all online stores are comprised of similar elements. The software used for online operations consists of these vital components:

The Online Catalog
The most vital of all the elements, a product catalog is at the forefront of e-commerce websites and determines what type of consumer a business is going to attract. The catalog is where a business introduces his merchandise to the consumers,

and from where consumers select their orders. The catalog is a quintessential tool in a customer’s decision to go from simply browsing to buying a product.

Therefore, like printed mail-order catalogs, the online catalog must be persuasive enough and packed with the basics: the seller’s goods, its corresponding pictures and prices. To create a more interactive and fun shopping experience for consumers, sellers also sometimes incorporate sound and videos to their respective catalogs.

The Shopping Cart
Similar to a grocery cart, the online shopping cart serves as a “basket” where the items accumulated by the shopper are placed for purchase. As he shops around your store, all the products he selected from your catalog are collected in the shopping cart for proper calculation, and are still eligible for cancellation.

Transaction Security and Payment
Because online transactions are risky and impersonal, security is an utmost priority between consumers and businesses. Online stores must be able to provide a range of payment options – including credit cards (the most typical), electronic cash and purchase orders – for customers. The purchase then goes through a simple verification process that confirms the buyer’s ability to pay. Many online payment providers require a special bank account to handle your company’s online transactions, though, and this is something worth looking at prior to establishing an e-commerce website.

Thanks to technology, establishing security during Internet transactions has been made easy and sweat-free through secured payment gateways, credit authorization and reliable payment schemes. Secure Socket Layer technology is an e-Commerce feature that ensures a safer and enjoyable way of fulfilling everyday transactions.

Order Processing
During online transactions, cart selections are safely stored in a database for the consumer’s review and final decision (whether to proceed with purchasing an item or to discard it from the list). Upon checkout, the store, with its transaction software, creates an inventory of the items and calculates the total price of the order including appropriate taxes, shipping fees, and handling fees (postage and packing, if applicable).

Combined together, these four components lend an air of reliability to your store and a pleasant and unforgettable shopping experience for consumers.

You have a store in mind, what now?
Now that you’re plans for a store are all straightened out, the inevitable is, what’s next? Like all businesses, the way a store is maintained plays an important role in its success.

Part of a safe and successful e-commerce operation is ensuring that your store efficiently manages customer information. It would be wise to choose an e-commerce solutions provider that offers comprehensive packages for customer data management, including consumer statistics and website analytics that are translated to analytical reports. Another nice addition would be a feature that utilizes customer data in customizing page contents that will suit their tastes and satisfy their needs.

9Dot Strategies

www.9DotStrategies.com

Many business solutions provider such as 9 Dot Strategies provide extensive e-commerce packaged that include these wonderful features without burning a hole in your pocket.  Contact us now at jonathan@9dotstrategies.com for an in-depth, no-commitment discussion about e-commerce. We love to help you implement and accomplish your e-commerce store.

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