E-commerce means doing financial transactions on the Internet

Can your clients buy your products online? Do you want them to?

E-commerce is online shopping, both wholesale and retail. Every day, more people gain access to the Web, and every day, more of them are shopping online. It provides a level of convenience they want, need and will soon demand.

The Census Bureau of the Department of Commerce announced that the estimate of U.S. retail e-commerce sales for the fourth quarter of 2007, was $36.2 billion, an increase of 4.6 percent (±1.8%) from the third quarter of 2007. Total retail sales for the fourth quarter of 2007 were estimated at $1,030.7 billion, an increase of 0.9 percent (±0.3%) from the third quarter of 2007. The fourth quarter 2007 e commerce estimate increased 18.0 percent (±2.1%) from the fourth quarter of 2006 while total retail sales increased 4.7 percent (±0.2%) in the same period. E-commerce sales in the fourth quarter of 2007 accounted for 3.5 percent of total sales.

E-commerce is a unique opportunity for businesses of any size. And for those who automate their supply chain, the opportunity for business-to-business e-commerce is even greater.

E-commerce can expand your marketplace and consequently, your customer database. By linking your Web site to your database, you can track visits, sales, buying trends and product preferences all at the customer level. You can then present your customers with products they're most likely to buy on an individual basis. It's the ultimate direct marketing tool.

In order to sell your products and services on the Web, you will need a foundation built on scalable, reliable and secure offerings. Don't be fooled - running an online business takes just as much work and dedication as a brick and mortar store - having the right tools can mean all the difference.