[caption id="" align="alignright" width="224"] Online commerce, global dollars | Image Credit: donkeyhotey[/caption] It's no secret that e-commerce is booming, with ease and efficiency being the driving force behind growing consumption online.When you consider the advantages of automated billing and one-click buying to customers it becomes clear just how important it is for businesses to adapt to this way of working. What's more, these savings are being passed all the way back down the supply chain. Automatic billing of the customer proves to be far more efficient, whether the transaction is B2C or B2B. Reducing time taken at both the initial invoice creation stage and subsequent rework is streamlining a process that has traditionally required an entire department. Cash flow is another area that can benefit, as customers enrolled in scheduled billing tend to be more reliable, especially if the payments themselves can be automated. Every day that an invoice runs past its due date is cash that isn't on the books of the creditor earning interest. Offering a "fire and forget" payment option can help to overcome this, not to mention the resources saved in not having to chase overdue accounts. Back with the end customer, and efficiency is again the name of the game, but this time the focus is on making the transaction itself seamless. One-click purchasing, pioneered by Amazon but subsequently released to the wider retail environment by court order in Europe, remains a primary reason for the company's ongoing online dominance in the U.S. Here Amazon has so far managed to retain the patent to claim '1-Click' for its own ends, giving it a billion dollar advantage. That distinction will continue to come under fire from competitors as e-commerce becomes the main way we shop, especially with the advent of mobile wallets and other payment systems facilitated by a smartphone or tablet. Facebook is in the early stages of testing a single click mobile checkout option, which could give even the Amazon juggernaut pause for thought. The upshot of all of this is the potential to greatly increase consumer demand and drive efficiency through the order fulfillment process. From transaction to billing, e-commerce solutions are transforming not only the way we buy, but the way we do business as a whole.
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