There is no doubt that the ability to sell online has helped several companies earn more and thrive. Like any other business strategy, eCommerce (electronic commerce)has many positives and benefits that can help you to grow.
When you have physical stores, you are limited by the geographic area you can serve. However, with an eCommerce website, the entire world is your playground. In addition, the emergence of eCommerce eliminates any remaining geographic restrictions, and any business can open up an online store.
When a company introduces an eCommerce store, it can conduct online business, including placing orders, providing customer information and service. By automating your business processes, you can save costs to a large extent and increase the efficiency of your operations.
What is eCommerce?
eCommerce is the purchase and sale of goods or services through the Internet via online stores and through transferring funds and data to complete sales. It is all done on an eCommerce site. eCommerce and shopping online are usually used interchangeably. Still, at its core, eCommerce has a much broader scope and embodies a concept of online business that includes various services.
It is very popular due to the many advantages of eCommerce, including online marketing, electronic remittance, and mobile commerce. As a result, eCommerce businesses have become one of the most popular ways to make money online, and it is also a good opportunity for investors.
What are the most popular business models of eCommerce?
B2C – Business to consumer
B2C companies sell products to their end customers. The B2C model is the most common business model, so many unique methods are under this umbrella. As a consumer, all the goods you buy from an online store (such as wardrobes, household items, electronics) are part of the B2C transaction.
Any eCommerce business that is selling online directly to end consumers is a b2c business. Buying a smartphone from an apple store or purchasing a designer bag from their official websites are few examples of b2c businesses.
B2B – Business to business
In a B2B business model, one company sells its products or services to another company. Sometimes the buyer is the end-user, but usually, the buyer sells the product to the end consumer.
For example, a medical software development company provides healthcare solutions to many hospitals, clinics, and other healthcare organizations.
C2B – Consumer to business
C2B businesses allow people to sell their products and services to other companies. In this eCommerce model, a website will enable customers to post the work and get it done by someone who has experience and knowledge of doing it perfectly.
For example, Upwork and Fiverr allow freelancers to work for different businesses and companies. Also, other companies approaching bloggers or influencers to promote their products on their social media platforms exemplify the consumer business model.
C2C – Consumer to Consumer
C2C business refers to an online marketplace that connects customers together to exchange products and make money by charging listing fees. The main goal of the C2C eCommerce business is to bring buyers and sellers closer and ease their commerce.
For example, eBay is one of the popular eCommerce marketplaces that allow consumers to trade with each other at any time. Also, Amazon is another eCommerce platform that enables businesses to sell directly to consumers and consumers to sell directly to other consumers.
So, it is a mix of both B2B and C2C business models.
Essential Things to know before starting your eCommerce business
eCommerce has undoubtedly become one of the monster industries in the last few years. Since then, it has been constantly on the rise.
The new way of shopping has threatened offline stores as more than 50% of purchases are made using an eCommerce website to search and buy products.
Now, it has become necessary for all brick-and-mortar stores to create an online presence as people no longer want to take their time out and wander around the busy streets of the market to buy various products. Convenience is all that modern customers want.
So, if you plan to build your eCommerce store, you must understand every aspect of the eCommerce business to maximize your profits. It is not easy to hit it big online. So, you need to know the trade secrets well if you want to make it to the top.
Some of the essential things that you must know before starting your eCommerce business are:
eCommerce is similar to traditional retail store
While it is true that eCommerce has introduced tons of new features and tactics into the online shopping game, it is still quite similar to a physical store. Therefore, all the fundamental principles of a brick-and-mortar store apply to digital commerce as well.
Some of the essential similarities between eCommerce business and traditional retail store are:
- Storefront vs. website: A website performs the same functions as a physical storefront. It will give the first impression of your brand to the online shoppers and also let them decide which way to go.
- Extensive market research: Both types of businesses depends significantly on market research. Without market research, they will not be able to identify their target audience’s needs and desires.
- Different platforms for marketing: Ecommerce businesses and physical stores use the same marketing strategies and tools for promoting their products. Nowadays, every business is taking advantage of social media platforms and emails marketing to attract new customers.
- Incentives: There is no difference between selling online or offline to real-world customers as they all are fond of incentives. So, promotions, sales, and discounts are the way to succeed in both businesses.
An effective marking strategy is necessary
Once you have manufactured the perfect products to be proud of, you need to create an effective marketing strategy to drive more sales. It may seem like a daunting task. However, it will be easy if you break it down into smaller chunks.
First, you need to start by identifying your target audience. For example, are you trying to grab the attention of teen buyers or elderly customers? Are your products more likely to be purchased by women? Once you know your target audience well, you can tailor your marketing strategy accordingly.
SEO is of critical importance
Search engine optimization- You might have heard this term a million times, but still, its importance cannot be ignored. If you want your web pages to rank well on search engines such as Google, you need to optimize them correctly. Optimizing your web pages will help you in increasing traffic and get valuable clicks from your potential customers.
Reduce the number of abandoned carts
Unfortunately, many visitors will leave abandoned carts on your website without completing their purchases. Are you supposed to just and watch it happen again and again? Of course, not. You can do a lot to reduce the abandoned cart percentage, such as:
- State the shipping costs instantly. Most of the time, customers leave the website without making a purchase because of hidden shipping charges.
- Keep the purchasing process simple and easy.
- Don’t force the users to register themselves on your website.
- Give the customers more than one payment option to make the checkup process more convenient for them.
You can prevent a lot of abandoned carts using these simple tricks. It may take a bit more of your time and effort, but it will all be worth it in the end.
Top 5 Benefits of eCommerce sites for Business Owners
Some of the major benefits of eCommerce for business owners are:
Sell without borders
Location is the biggest drawback when running a physical store. However, with an eCommerce business, you can run your business from the comfort of your home and sell products to shoppers worldwide. So, the only limits for selling with an eCommerce store would be your resources, capabilities, and of course, the intentions for how big you want to expand.
Access to a large target audience
Thanks to the huge development of eCommerce, you can now sell your goods through different platforms such as a website, a mobile app, and marketplaces like Walmart, Amazon, or eBay. You can now reach new customers without waiting for them to visit your store like with physical stores.
Available around the clock
How many hours is a store opened for? For brick-and-mortar stores, their closing time can result in the loss of few customers. However, that is not the case with an eCommerce store. Customers can visit the eCommerce website and place their orders anytime. The 24/7 availability helps in reducing the loss of any customers.
Personalized customer experience
According to many reports, more than 70% of customers like to purchase from a company that provides personalized service to them. So, with an eCommerce website, you have a higher tendency to offer your valuable customers the personalized service they deserve.
Using personalized messages, loyalty programs, and offering discount codes can help accelerate your business sales and, of course, reputation.
Easier to scale up
Expanding a physical store may require more floor space, shelf space, and hiring more employees. However, an eCommerce store is much easier to expand. All you will need is more inventory, a few digital tweaks, more storage space, and you are all set to go.
Top 5 Benefits of eCommerce for customers
Some of the major benefits of advantages of e-commerce to customers are:
Easy and more convenient
With busy routines, increased workload, and personal commitments, it is hard for people to visit their favorite stores just to fetch their favorite shirt or a snack. However, with an eCommerce store, all your favorite products are one click away!
Because of convenience and time efficiency, eCommerce has taken over today’s retail world. Thanks to eCommerce sites, now you no longer have to venture out and wait in long lines to buy your favorite products, so it is one of the biggest benefits of e-commerce to consumers.
Wide variety of products
Now, with commerce platforms, consumers can buy electronics from China, beauty products from England, and books from Italy. All of them can be purchased from there comfort of your home. Isn’t it amazing?
Another benefit of eCommerce is that you can get your favorite products at lower prices. Also, eCommerce sites are able to offer more discount offers, sales, and promotions than the traditional store.
Therefore, shopping from ashop online is convenient and cost-effective too.
Informed decision making
With an eCommerce business, all the necessary information about the product is at your fingertips. You can easily access the following details:
- Product descriptions
- Usage instructions and videos
- Customer reviews
So, when shopping through an eCommerce store, you can compare products and brands based on price and quality standards. Once you have compared all your options, you will most likely make a confident purchase.
Eliminates travel cost and time
Usually, customers have to travel long distances to reach their favorite physical store. However, eCommerce allows customers to visit the same store virtually, with just a few clicks. Now, how cool is that?
Overall, it is easy for aspiring entrepreneurs to start their online business even with limited resources, especially when the advantages of eCommerce are really impressive. Also, an online store can be up and running in a short time. Therefore, selling online is certainly the way forward, but it does not mean that physical stores will disappear soon. If you are running a store, it is better to embrace a hybrid strategy. With the help of a hybrid strategy, you can allow your customers to shop both online or offline. If you plan to set up a new eCommerce, contact us – we will advise you at every stage.