Definition of the term online merchant / online trader
Online merchants, also Internet merchants, are operators of web stores and Internet platforms through which goods or services can be ordered. This can be a “pure” online business that sells and markets the goods, digital goods or services exclusively via an Internet portal; the best-known examples are Amazon and Notebooksbilliger.de. Among online retailers, there are also so-called multi-channel retailers who, in addition to online sales, also offer stationary retail (such as Conrad, Bonprix, MediaMarkt) and / or classic mail order via catalogs (examples are Otto, Baur Versand, Weltbild).
Local stores are also increasingly deciding to open an online store in order to be able to address customer groups outside the local catchment area in a simple way. Other retailers use their online store for internationalization without investing locally abroad. Particularly in the eurozone, this is easy to do because there are no customs duties, conversion problems or import restrictions for the customer. E-commerce therefore enables the store operator to enter the market quickly without location disadvantages and with less capital.
Online retailers face various legal, logistical and technical challenges. In addition, there are important aspects of security, user-friendliness, payment processing and customer loyalty. To increase customer trust in the store, many stores carry seals of approval from Trusted Shops, EHI or TÜV Süd Safer Shopping. In addition, customer reviews of the store increase the confidence of (new) store visitors in the online store. In many areas, the online retailer can rely on various service providers in order to concentrate on the core business. Relief can be provided, for example, by payment providers for e-payment and risk management, shipping processors for logistics, or IT service providers for the web infrastructure.
The biggest advantages of an online retailer over brick-and-mortar retail are the savings in store space and on-site personnel in one or more stores. It can ship to any corner of the country or even worldwide without a presence with a retail store and its own infrastructure. Depending on the size of the online retailer, goods can be shipped directly from its own warehouse or via a large logistics center.
Customer-friendly store design and return conditions are also crucial to success. Since online retailing does not involve direct customer contact, payment is often a sensitive issue for the store operator. It quickly pays off for an online merchant to cooperate with a payment service provider who, with expertise in payment processing and fraud prevention, reduces the risk for the merchant and increases sales through a wide range of payment methods.
- Payment Processing
- Marketplace & Affiliates
- Automated Invoicing
- Membership & Subscriptions
- MOTO & Pay-by-link
- Instant Plugins