How ecommerce works

Preliminary information

How ecommerce works

Let's start answering basic questions about the nature of a e-commerce: what it is and how it works. Well, it is a website with an integrated product sales system, which users can buy by browsing online.

One of the most popular methods of setting up and running an Internet shop is to rely on a CMS, acronym which stands for Content Management System and identifies a fairly easy-to-use system (even for those who have no knowledge of programming and / or Web design) to set up and manage all parts of a site. There are many CMSs to choose from, some of which are focused precisely on the creation of online stores: in this regard, I suggest you read my guide on the best CMS in which I have dealt with the subject in great detail.

With an ecommerce site you will be able to sell products and, depending on the type of clientele you are targeting, you will have to develop a different online project, focused on certain objectives. Here are the main types of ecommerce.

  • B2C (Business to Consumer), is perhaps the best known sales system, that is, the one between a company and a consumer.
  • B2B (Business to Business), is a sales channel between two companies or two professionals.
  • C2C (Consumer to Consumer), these are sales between subjects considered consumers. A classic example of C2C commerce is auctions or ad sales.
  • C2B (Consumer to Business), that is when subjects who mainly have the role of consumers, offer services to companies or professionals: it is an uncommon type of e-commerce.

In addition to this, a list can also be drawn up of the different methodologies with which the exchange of items for sale on ecommerce can take place, between consumer and seller. Therefore an ecommerce can be so distinct.

  • Direct, that is, associated with the sale of online services, where everything happens online (for example the purchase of a webinar or a video course, a TV on demand service and so on).
  • Indirect, when the seller gives the consumer a physical good, which is shipped to him. A variant may be indicated in a mixed system, in which the payment for an item is concluded online and then it is collected at a point of sale.
  • Cybernetics, that is when the seller, in fact, is a software and the purchase contract is concluded on the Web. A typical example of this variant of spending is the telephone top-up.

In addition to opening a "classic" ecommerce, in which you sell your products or services, you must know that you also have other possibilities. For example, you could organize a third party sales system where, in fact, you do not have the goods in stock, but you simply provide your website with e-commerce to buyers, within which they can place an order. Once received, you will have it shipped directly from the original supplier and you will be able to keep a percentage of the sale. This online sales system is called dropshipping and it is, in general, less onerous and risky than that in which the storage of the goods at one's own is foreseen magazzino.

Today there are many people who, for various reasons, shop online: this is why it could be a big advantage for you too to understand how an e-commerce works and open one. You will not need an additional sales license: you just have to evaluate if, in fact, you think you have time to dedicate yourself to its management and evaluate the costs related to the latter, for example that of the domain and hosting, the subscription with a courier who will take care of the shipments (if you sell physical goods), the banking service for online transactions and so on.

How an ecommerce works

How ecommerce works

Once you are able to identify the type of sale that best suits your business, you will also need to know the fundamental aspects that regulate online buying. Read on to understand how an ecommerce works also from this point of view.

Surely, browsing online, you will have perceived the presence of some pages (erroneously) considered "minor", within the Web sites. Generally you can find them in the lower part of the home page, in the so-called footer, and in all the other sections of the site: they contain in effect the regulation of a site and are even more important when it comes to an ecommerce. Here are which pages I'm talking about.

  • Privacy e Cookies policy, summarized in a single page, or two separate ones, have been a section for some time now compulsory on any type of website. Its function is to inform you about how yours will be treated personal data, when accessing and using the site itself, on which tools such as Google Analytics, the login system, the registration of information for shipments and payments, a possible subscription to the newsletter and so on can be integrated.
  • Shipping and costs, that is, the page where, if you sell physical goods, you will need to specify how much is shipping to the user who will receive a product, the geographical areas in which the courier in charge of shipments can make deliveries and delivery time themselves.
  • Terms of Payment, this is the page where all the methods of receiving money that you accept on your ecommerce, with which the user can pay for his purchases. The most common are the credit card o Prepaid, PayPal, Bank transfer and sometimes the mark. The possibility of integrating electronic payment systems such as Saispay and technologies such as Apple Pay linked to payment systems set up on smartphones and smartwatches is also very interesting.
  • Conditions of withdrawal and return, where the consumer has right, according to in your languagen law, of terminate the contract with the seller, by returning a product within 14 days from the online sale, without motivation and with full refund of the money spent for the purchase of the product. Different from the reso, that is, one faculty given by the seller to the customer, who may wish to return goods that, for example, have proved damaged, or after the time limit of the right of withdrawal or, again, because it is excluded (only some categories of products can be excluded from the right of withdrawal, such as perishable ones such as food). Typically the Shipping Cost of the return is borne by the consumer.
  • Terms of Sale, or Terms and conditions, perhaps the most important page of the site, where all the opportunities and obligations of the parties involved, that is, the seller and the buyer, are regulated. Keep in mind that if you wish sell abroad, you should also inquire about the laws in the States involved, to draw up such a page correctly, avoiding encountering serious inaccuracies.

If you consider the content of all the pages just described, you can easily understand how an ecommerce works. Since they must necessarily be present and well formulated within a website, reflecting the real mechanism, if you have any doubts about it, have a lawyer or an expert in the sector follow up for their realization. Also, if you want to learn more about building an online shop, read my guide on creating ecommerce.

How to structure an ecommerce

How ecommerce works

Now that you have reached this point, you really start to get into the mechanism and understand how a site for the sale of online products works: you just have to dedicate yourself to how to structure an ecommerce, that is, to outline the necessary pages that will be part of it.

In the meantime, for everything concerning the technical aspect of your ecommerce and the regulation of the various aspects in which the seller and the buyer are involved, I refer you to the previous chapter of this guide. You will find the list of all the fundamental pages that you will need to enter to be in compliance.

After that you will need the "classic" pages on each website: first of all, one Home page, within which your logo (if you have one), information on what you do and the services you make available to users and a "summary" of the contents of the site, transposed through areas connected to some link, which refer, for example, to the best-selling products, the news of the moment and the offers of the period.

It will be very useful to define a named page as well About us, to let users know your biography better and give value to the activity, as well as a said page Contacts, which allows communication and exchange of information.

Then there will be the heart of ecommerce, that is the actual online store. Inside will be present the Catalog of products and filters which will help the user find what they are looking for.

As for the definition of the Shop and product data sheets, may vary depending on the tool used to set up the site (you will see examples in the next chapter) but, in principle, you should have a control panel, which allows you, in fact, to carry out the Catalog management,insertion and modification of products, as well as the Payment management and user data.

In this regard, if you enter the subscription to the newsletter or the form of login on your site, you must abide by the rules of GDPR Compliance and take care to keep the information that consumers leave, by filling in the appropriate forms, with the utmost respect for their confidentiality and at the disposal of any checks on the Privacy Guarantor.

Finally, try not to neglect the aspect ofoptimization for search engines, essential to try to be first on Google and, consequently, try to increase your business. Also, monitor the user behavior who use the ecommerce site, then create a sales link with the major social channels, such as Facebook e Instagram (on this topic, read my guides on how to create a Facebook Showcase and how to use Facebook to sell).

In any case, I recommend that you also carefully read my guide on how to structure a website: inside you will find many useful details also for the creation of the pages of your ecommerce.

How to create an ecommerce

Very well: the time has come to "get your hands on it" and move on to the practical side of the matter, that is how to create an ecommerce and use the best tools. I will describe some of them to you in the following paragraphs.


How ecommerce works

If you are looking for a really easy to use service to bring your shop online, I can only recommend you Shopify. It is a configurable and manageable platform from both desktop that smartphone e tablet, intuitive and with economical access plans.

With Shopify you will be able to make your ecommerce operational in a few clicks even if you do not have skills in the field: the system is able to manage the entire sales apparatus, as well as the aspects related to marketing, allowing the insertion of tools to monitor the user flows, proposed by Google e Facebook, as well as connecting the created web shop with social commerce features such as Facebook Shop e Instagram.

To create an ecommerce with Shopify you have the possibility to start by connecting to the official website or use the app, downloadable from the Google Play Store for devices Android, (or from an alternative store, if you don't have the services of Google) or from the App Store, if you use a iPhone or iPad.

By choosing to use Shopify, you can also purchase unlimited secure hosting and bandwidth, a domain name or take advantage of the possibility of using an existing free one. You will then have to select which plan to join, knowing that you can also take advantage of one first free trial period of at least 14 days: eg Basic ShopifyCoast 29 $ a month and includes the structure of the ecommerce website complete with blogging, the ability to enter an unlimited amount of products for sale and 2 staff accounts. Then there is the simply called plan Shopify that for 79 $ a month offers you an ecommerce website with blog, access to reporting and discount codes, as well as 5 staff accounts and, finally, the option Advanced Shopify, at the cost of 299 $ a month which, in addition to what is present in the plans already mentioned, offers access to advanced reports, the possibility of seeing the shipping costs calculated at the time of purchase and as many as 15 staff accounts.

To get started with Shopify, just create a account on the platform and, from the side menu that you will have available, choose the different options to manage the graphic appearance of the pages, the insertion of products, orders and anything else related to your virtual store. To know all the steps required to set up your account, read my guide on how to create an ecommerce with Shopify.

WooCommerce Aruba Managed Hosting

How ecommerce works

If your experience with the web is moderately advanced, you might want to consider WooCommerce. What is it about? In short, it is a freely usable plugin, to be associated with WordPress, the most used platform in the world for the creation of websites, capable of making it an equally valid ecommerce. What I recommend you download is the version WooCommerce Aruba Managed Hosting.

Basically, by purchasing Managed WooCommerce hosting with Aruba, a well-known in your languagen company that operates in the fields of Web hosting, cloud and online practices, you will pay € 124,50 + VAT the first year (to the renewal the price will become € 249,00 + VAT) and you will get many facilitated and advanced features.

Among them, there is the domain included, automatic functionality monitoring, such as the correct execution of the control panel and orders and DV SSL security certificates also included, essential to protect the site from malware attacks and not to affect your online sales.

For more information on Aruba Managed WooCommerce hosting and to purchase it, connect to the official Aruba website and click on the button Buy Now. After you have filled in the forms with your details and those of the store you want to create, you will be able to access yours Dashboard (o Dashboard) and start configuring ecommerce through the side menu items. For all the detailed steps in the process, read my guide on what Aruba Managed WooCommerce Hosting is and how it works.

Other solutions create an ecommerce

How ecommerce works

If you want to expand your choice and learn about new platforms for creating an e-commerce in addition to those already described, here are the other solutions that I can offer you.

  • Magento - if what you need is a highly professional and customizable open source CMS in every aspect, Magento is the ideal solution, as long as your Web experience is not a beginner. With this system, it will be possible to independently manage the product sheets and the SEO optimization of the site.
  • PrestaShop - in case you need to manage multiple ecommerce, PrestaShop is another freely usable CMS that allows you to do it easily. In general, all the use of the platform is quite intuitive, albeit a bit rigid as regards the SEO aspect and with paid extensions.
  • Joomla - it is once again an open source service, simple and intuitive to use, which allows you to translate the ecommerce site into different languages ​​and to devote yourself to SEO optimization, however sometimes its extensions can present malfunctions and slow down the whole site. More info here.

To know more details on these proposals and more, read my guide on the best e-commerce platforms.

How ecommerce works

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