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Ecommerce services are as diverse and numerous as services offered in common retail brick-and-mortar stores. The wants and needs of consumers are the focal points of both types of commerce; happy consumers translate into high sales and more profit. Ecommerce services include customer options for payment and shipping as well as merchant options for business management and promotion.
For customer convenience, ecommerce payment choices often include more alternatives than offline purchases. In addition to check, money order, credit card, and debit card payments, ecommerce sites often accept funds transfers from online payment systems. These systems provide consumers with an online account that securely accepts deposits and enables quick, secure, and easy payment processing to purchase goods and services online. The fees for transactions are usually minimal or free to the consumer. Online payment systems can offer free processing as they profit from other services provided on their sites or through service and product links.
Another payment option not readily available in regular retail stores is deferred payment. Ecommerce services sometimes offer a buy now, pay later option for a small fee. The buyer agrees to payment terms and provides a credit or debit card number or bank account information for the seller to access at a later date.
To provide a sense of security and gain customer trust, most ecommerce sites guarantee protection of customers' personal information such as credit card and bank account numbers, social security numbers, addresses, and phone numbers. Third-party companies provide these services through encryption of sensitive information. This encoding helps prevent identity theft and invasion of privacy.
In addition to secure payment options, retailers regularly offer other ecommerce service options to appeal to their customers. Easy site navigation is often customers' top priority, followed by being able to change their minds during the shopping process. Ecommerce services can provide one-click options for changing order quantities, sizes, colors, and styles, as well as exploring and changing shipping options.
The merchant can also choose ecommerce services to evaluate a site's progress and problems, and incorporate solutions or upgrade consumer options. These include inventory tracking, cross-selling icons and links, order and shipping notifications for customers, and automatic notifications to follow up with customers to gauge their satisfaction and suggest additional products or services. Advanced features often include a search feature to find specific items within a website and links to price/name brand comparison sites. These options are commonly offered as part of the shopping cart software utilized by the merchant or webmaster to make the website a viable retail entity.
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