In the age of globalization, technology has played an important role to our society. New media technology has generated massive social changes in the behavior and lifestyle patterns of the consumers especially in the way that people use it as a business channel: e-commerce. E-commerce, also known as electronic commerce or internet commerce, refers to the buying and selling of goods or services using the internet. It also mean that social media regarded as a medium of marketing by many businesses. The process of buying and selling produce by electronic means such as by mobile applications and the Internet: social media have changed the ways in which businesses communicate with their customers. E-commerce refers to both online retail as well as electronic transactions. Moreover, small and medium-sized enterprises are now considered as one of the keys to the progress and improvement of any society. Gradually, more and more e-commerce for SMEs are increasing through new media; social networks in the day, but still have doubts as to whether they provide benefits or not.
In the time of technology combine with the behavior of society, there is a tool call new media for businesses, e-commerce. E-commerce has hugely increased in popularity over the last decades, it’s replacing traditional normal brick and mortar store. Furthermore, e-commerce enables you to buy and sell products on a global scale, twenty-four hours a day without incurring the same overheads as you would with running a normal store. According to the history of e-commerce, it begins with the first ever online sale: on the August 11, 1994 a man sold a CD by the band Sting to his friend through his website NetMarket, an American retail platform. This is the first example of a consumer purchasing a product from a business through the World Wide Web — or “ecommerce” as we commonly know it today. Since then, e-commerce has developed to make products easier for searching and purchasing through online retailers and marketplaces. Independent freelancers, small businesses, large corporations, and also consumers have all benefited from e-commerce, which enables them to sell or buy goods and services at a scale that was not possible with traditional offline retail. From the history, global retail ecommerce sales are projected to reach $27 trillion by 2020. In an era of globalizing economies many markets become increasingly international and competitive. Technological progress in logistics and distribution enables nearly every business to buy, sell and cooperate on a global scale and even smaller and locally oriented businesses are forced to see themselves in a global context to survive in this new challenging business environment.
In today’s world, the number of SMEs, a small or medium-sized enterprise, is increasing in both of traditional in-store sales and e-commerce. However, e-commerce is growing nearly five times faster than a normal brick and mortar store, with that growth being led by consumption on mobile devices. People tend to buy products or services via the internet like social media. Social networks can be an essential element in the marketing strategy and play a very important role, as long as we take good management and professionals, helping the brand positioning and differentiation. Consumer habits are shifting to digital, driving massive changes in how people access media content as well as how they shop for products and services. Social media and internet have proven to be the most powerful tools in directing the mindsets of customers. There is a large number of social media that SMEs can use to interact with their customers. The most popular social media platforms are Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube and Blogging. SMEs should use social networks as an essential tool to grow their businesses. The results according to a study by Wildfire, who asked about 700 companies in the digital world on social networks, shows: 88% – Boosting your brand, 85% – Encourage dialogue, 58% – Increase sales and alliances, and 41% – Reduce costs. Most SMEs nowadays will usually have a Facebook business page. Because the average Internet user spends the majority of their time on social media, especially on Facebook, it makes sense for businesses to create a page on social media separate from their business website. Moreover, e-commerce is not only providing the advantages to seller but also gives many benefits to the consumers too. Even though many buyers and sellers prefer to consume online SMEs instead of normal store, e-commerce of SMEs also has disadvantages as well.
Nowadays every business organization is looking for an online store where they can sell their products and services. With the increasing demand for online purchasing, more and more business are moving to e-commerce . E-commerce consists of online shopping, online banking and e-learning. E-commerce is becoming increasingly popular since the spread of the internet. To begin with, e-commerce offers consumers speed and convenience.The invention of faster internet connectivity and powerful online tools has resulted in a e-commerce. E-commerce allow companies to process different tasks simultaneously, such as: online sales, orders, deliveries, and payments. It offered many advantages to companies and customers but it also caused many problems. The advantages of ecommerce is that customers can easily select products from different providers without moving around physically. Whether you are sitting in Bangkok or Singapore or Japan, you can view the website wherever and whenever you want. Customers find it very easy to browse and e-commerce website. They have all the time that they need to make a buying decision. They are not pushed and forced into buying anything. A customer saves time and money because he/she doesn’t have to visit the stores personally. If the store is far from where the customer is, it could be a hassle to travel all the way and not find anything worth buying.
E-commerce increases the speed in which transactions take place. Customers no longer have to wait in line to purchase items but can now securely complete transactions online. Another advantage of e-commerce is the ability to comparison shop. E-commerce enables the customers to compare the prices among several providers. In the end, it leads you to smart shopping. People can save more money while they shop. In addition, customers can put the review comments about a product and can see what others are buying or see the review comments of other customers before making a final decision. Consumers can also get description and details from an online product catalog. For your customers, it is very much important to get information about the product no matter whether the time of day. Through information, your customers and prospects are making decision to purchase your products or not. Furthermore, online retail can attract more customer than the physical retail because of its convenience, customers can see the advertising through the internet and social media. More than that, E-commerce helps organizations to provide better customer services and to simplify the business processes and make them faster and efficient. It also reduces paperwork a lot. However, e-commerce has a lot of advantages but we cannot neglect the disadvantages of it. For example , It takes time before the goods ordered for are delivered. Sometimes the delivery delays and this inconveniences the customer.Even though e-commerce offers a lot more information about a product or a service than the traditional retail, but it does not allow you to experience any of it before buying. Sometimes you find an image of the product very attractive but the product you received might not match with the image you actually viewed on the website. Moreover, no one can buy from your store if your site crashes. That’s why it’s important to ensure your website is hosted on the right platform. More than that, any one, good or bad, can easily start a business. It is difficult to know when an online site is safe to use. And there are many bad sites which cheat customers’ money.
To conclude, social media is a powerful tool for e-commerce. The ability to not only direct shoppers toward a new product or an attractive deal, but to engage with them and create a sense of community, is incredibly useful. Integrating your ecommerce business with social media isn’t an option anymore, it’s a necessity — new media and ecommerce can and should live together. Digital platforms have totally transformed the shopping process — from discovery to conversion, each stage can now be facilitated from your phone, via a wide range of apps and tools. E-commerce has undeniably become an important part of our society. Today, e-commerce has made a world into a market. One can order anything from any corner of the world just by a click. It is a helpful technology that gives the consumer access to business and companies all over the world. E-commerce is continuously progressing and is becoming more and more important to businesses as technology continues to advance. However, the sellers and buyers need to be aware that as much as there is a major benefit from ecommerce, there can also be disadvantages as well, the choice is yours.