The sale of products and services has been facilitated by the Internet as early as the 1970’s. The visual format for stores that we’re all familiar with now, only became possible after Tim Berners-Lee created HTML in 1990. HTML coding made possible web browsers such as Internet Explorer, Netscape, and later Google Chrome and Firefox. By 2000 companies such as Ebay, Amazon and Alibaba used this new format and changed the face of global commerce.
In the intervening years, the speed of the Internet has increased, and so has the easy access to products with speedy delivery. Now, two decades later, the success of electronic commerce has turned traditional business models on their head. Local brick-and-mortar delivery of standardized products to a homogenous customer group is history. It’s been replaced by dynamic online delivery of customized products to an international customer base.
Companies who have acknowledged this change have stayed ahead of the curve and added online access, to their on-the-ground services. Retailers in the USA which have not adjusted, have sadly been added to a growing list of iconic, but bankrupt, businesses. These include such household names as KMart, Sears, and Radio Shack. The surviving corporations have realized that they must develop an online website presence, or cease to be competitive or relevant.
Business Models for Commerce
One group that has tracked the growth of ecommerce with interest, is the small entrepreneur. For them there is now the attractive possibility that operating an online business website will level the competitive playing field. They now have ‘a seat at the table’ with access to financial success.
In 2002-4, while teaching a web design course in post-Soviet Ukraine, it was clear that university students there understood that in their evolving socio-economic world, a small business was the only avenue to financial independance. As the global economic system has grown increasingly unsteady since then, this reality is even obvious to entrepreneurs in ‘first-world’ economies.
The evolving nature of ecommerce is a creative challenge. Building an online ecommerce website requires, fluency in visual design and site construction and usability. It’s critical to understand the customers psychology, SEO and traffic generation, and competitive product sourcing and delivery.
Some of the Marketekom sites which have taken on these challenges are linked from this site. An example of ecommerce is posted below. I invite you to visit and imagine how we can assist you in your next ecommerce project.
Chillware.biz is built on the Shopify platform and markets clothing and household gear. Store platforms like Shopify, OpenCart, etc. provide the benefit of being integrated, and externally hosted to the home website. Critical issues such as product database integrity and payment processing security, are managed 24/7 by an external team of experts.
Other Marketekom ECommerce Sites
The stores on the Marketekom sites Fine Cuisine of Kyivska Rus, and, Marketwisetrader , are built using the WordPress plugin WooCommerce. The benefits of using the WooCommerce plugin are that it allows the privacy of self-hosting store content data, and, store pages can be easily integrated into the visual style of your WordPress based website.
The disadvantages are that WooCommerce, like all WordPress plugins, generate regular version updates. This requires regular service support to keep it running smoothly. We can however provide this maintenance if a limited scale of ecommerce functions are needed.
The WooCommerce store option is best reserved for small online stores. The externally managed store services of Shopify, BigCommerce, or OpenCart, may better serve the needs of larger stores with a significant volume of traffic and quantity of products sold.
If you’re interested to have Marketekom build your store, please contact us and we can discuss what combination of hosting, site style, and ecommerce functions best match your goals.