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How e-commerce works: the complete guide for those who export

How e-commerce works: the complete guide for those who export

In an increasingly digitalized world, knowledge how an e-commerce works it has become essential for any company that aspires to grow in new markets and maintain its competitiveness.

Creating and managing an online store is far from simple, as it requires the consideration of numerous factors and goes beyond the adoption of "turnkey" platforms, requiring an in-depth commitment to obtain significant results in terms of sales. 

For those working in the industryexport, it becomes crucial that e-commerce is able to extend sales beyond national borders, in order to guarantee a global presence and impact for the lasting success of your business.

In this article we will explore in detail the salient elements to consider when creating an e-commerce, also analyzing the most common mistakes to avoid in this journey.

How e-commerce works


Understand how an e-commerce works: strategy and management 

Technically, an e-commerce is based on four main systems connected to each other: a web server for managing the site and purchases, a database for monitoring the items in the warehouse and checking their availability in real time, a shipping for the delivery of the products, and a system that allows secure and immediate transactions, offering one or more payment methods.

Compared to a physical store, it offers greater convenience to buyers, allowing them to make purchases from anywhere and at any time. 

Its immediate strength therefore lies in reaching a vast pool of potential consumers, however it must compete in a global market crowded with numerous competitors, where digital marketing strategies play a crucial role.

Every aspect of e-commerce requires attention to detail, from order management to logistics, from customer relations to promotional activities.

The importance of correct catalog management

Effective catalog management represents a fundamental step for the success of an e-commerce, especially if you want sell abroad

In case you are planning to open an online store with global expansion prospects, and wondering how an e-commerce works, it is necessary to keep in mind that to make it truly competitive it is essential to make a careful selection of the products to offer, taking into account their suitability for the online market of foreign countries.

Once you have chosen the products, pay attention to their visual presentation, making sure that the images are detailed and engaging, allowing a complete vision that enhances their characteristics. 

How to achieve effective order and warehouse management

Managing orders and inventory is crucial to the success of a business, especially in an e-commerce context. In fact, rough management can lead to financial losses and a loss of trust on the part of your customers.

It requires detailed assessments and constant commitment to guarantee the same efficiency and precision over time, always considering crucial factors such as:

  • the need to be able to count on qualified personnel
  • accurate documentation
  • the optimization of each phase of logistics


For an e-commerce that sells outside national borders, it is necessary to carefully evaluate the available shipping methods, estimated delivery times and additional costs associated with export, in order to guarantee an efficient and satisfactory service for end users. 

This process can be complicated, as exporting involves the need to comply with foreign regulations that are often not easily understood. 

In these circumstances, the presence of a e-commerce manager is essential to ensure optimal management of all these activities. 

It should be emphasized that the warehouse not only optimizes daily operations but also plays a key role in determining the overall success of an e-commerce business.

understand how e-commerce works


The marketing strategy behind the success of an online shop 

We often find ourselves having to answer the following question: "What marketing strategies could I adopt to promote my business?" by customers interested in internationalizing their business and consolidating in the digital world.

Advertising platforms like Facebook Ads and Google AdWords, along with niche ones like LinkedIn and Twitter, offer promotion opportunities, but the strategies aren't just limited to paid ads. There are also techniques such as search engine optimization (SEO), email marketing and influencer marketing.

However, choosing the right strategy depends on various factors, including the budget available for advertising campaigns. If resources are limited, focusing on a single platform to test performance may be a wise choice before expanding.

Before making a final decision, it is important to look at the different marketing options available, such as:

  • PPC (Pay Per Click): This strategy requires payment only when a user clicks on your ad, offering precise control over costs.
  • Content Marketing: creating valuable content, perhaps through a company blog, can attract the public and improve the visibility of the brand.
  • SEO (Search Engine Optimization): optimizing your site for search engines is crucial to improving online visibility and overcoming the competitor.
  • Google Shopping: This platform allows merchants to present their products and consumers to compare prices directly on Google.
  • Facebook Ads: using sponsored ads on Facebook allows you to reach a specific audience based on interests, age, and geography, with an easy-to-use interface and low costs.


However, promoting e-commerce is only part of a winning strategy. Customer management is equally crucial to the success of your online sales business, so it is essential to focus on this aspect as well.

Customers come first 

Once an e-commerce has been launched and a marketing plan leading to the first sales has been outlined, it becomes essential to adequately manage customers, supporting them not only during the purchasing procedure but also in the post-sales phase.  

Managing customers and building trust depends on many factors beyond simply responding to support emails or social media questions. For those who sell abroad, it becomes essential to interact with customers of different languages and cultures, making the presence of multilingual e-commerce essential, also in providing support.

To get started, it's crucial to be ready to find solutions for every problem your customers may encounter. Creating a FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) section can be helpful, presenting canned answers to the most common problems.

Furthermore, it is essential to learn how to deal with negative comments and reviews. Constructively addressing these situations, rather than hiding or eliminating them, can transform a negative situation into an opportunity for improvement.

Social platforms, push notifications and personal support channels such as chatbots and WhatsApp are effective tools for keeping communication with customers alive and solving their needs in a timely manner.

In fact, ignoring their questions and criticisms represents one of the most common mistakes in e-commerce. Avoiding this behavior, and addressing problems openly, can help you build a solid and lasting relationship with customers.

How e-commerce works: the most common mistakes to avoid 

What are the mistakes to avoid when managing an e-commerce site?

Choosing the wrong platform

The selection of the e-commerce platform is fundamental, as it determines the methods of presentation and sale of products, and impacts on related marketing activities. It is important to evaluate factors such as the products offered, the expected expansion, the desired control over the website and the available budget.

Failure to define the target audience

Neglecting the identification of the target audience is a serious mistake. It is essential to conduct market research to ensure that there is actual demand for your products and that your marketing strategy is aligned with it.

Poor user experience 

The website must be functional and aesthetically pleasing. Complicated navigation or hard-to-find content can frustrate users and lead them to look elsewhere.

Content not optimized for search engines (SEO)

The contents of the site must be optimized for search engines, in order to attract organic traffic. Using the right keywords and writing persuasive content can increase your site's visibility and generate more sales.

Complicated checkout

A complicated checkout process can lead to users abandoning their cart. Simplify the payment process as much as possible and make sure it is as immediate and simple as possible. 

Avoiding these mistakes can help you manage your e-commerce effectively, creating a loyal customer base and driving your business growth. 

Octagona can support you in understanding better how an e-commerce works and what are the best strategies to adopt to establish your business in the digital field, thanks to our skills and experience in digital export.

Don't hesitate to contact us for further information.








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