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E-commerce economy

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Three years ago, the concept of e-commerce was relatively new ground for Caribbean businesses and although access to the Internet is still cost prohibitive for some businesses, it’s still important to understand how e-commerce can change your business and strive to be included in this new economy.

E-Commerce is basically doing business over the internet and payment is received through secured websites that process the payment by credit card. {{more}}

There are many credit card processing companies that will integrate with your website for a fee but Paypal.com is common among small business and more cost effective.

Just about every kind of company can participate in this new economy, insurance, banks, clothing, books, toys, food and even medicine are all bought and sold via the internet.

This presents tremendous opportunities for companies and customers worldwide.

Companies are no longer limited to their immediate geographic customer base. They can potentially have the world at their feet if the company knows how to attract and keep this new form of business and coordinate an effective shipping strategy. The possibilities are endless.

Carnival visitors can visit a website where they are able to choose and buy their costumes before they even come to St. Vincent or Vincentian artists can make their work available not just to Vincentians but to the world on a 24 hour basis. Graphic designers, printers and other types of industries can market themselves via the Internet and compete for contracts in other islands all via the Internet.

It is not a get-rich-quick mechanism and time must be spent strategizing how to advertise your website and draw business to your site and keep that business as repeat business.

Careful consideration must also be given to the design of the website as putting up a website does not guarantee you will get visitors; you must still promote the site.

For any company to be successful as an e-commerce business, research must be done to make sure that they are positioning themselves strategically to reap all the rewards.

• Karen Hinds works with companies and professionals to develop their competitive edge through effective communications, image management and customer service. Send comments and suggestions to Karen@KarenSpeaks.com

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