Do you wish to start your own eCommerce business? Do you know what is required to build your own eCommerce business? In this article, we will highlight the most important things you need to know about eCommerce.
Overview of eCommerce:
In simple plain English, eCommerce is the process of buying and selling products and services, or making commercial transactions through the Internet. Also, the term “eCommerce” is used for the process of searching and selecting products and services in online directories using the Internet, and then paying for buying them through an online payment gateways using a credit card and encrypted payment process.
With eCommerce, businesses and consumers can sell and buy virtually anything they want without the need to build/visit physically the store or even touching the product. All what is needed for consumers is an internet connection to search for the product or service they are interested in from a variety of online stores created by businesses and an online payment gateway connected to the online store that consumers want to buy this product or service from using their credit or debit card.
On the ground, eCommerce is more than just selling/buying goods and services electronically. By using eCommerce, both businesses and consumers will gain huge benefits such as efficient, accurate and personalized communication with each other, reduce businesses operational costs, better prices for consumers, convenient shopping experience for consumers, larger geographical reach for businesses and much more.
Types of eCommerce:
- B2B eCommerce: B2B stands for Business-to-Business. B2B eCommerce is conducted between companies who sell their products and services to other companies, like manufacturers are selling to distributors & wholesalers, wholesalers are selling to retailers and so on.
- B2C eCommerce: B2C stands for Business-to-Consumer. B2C eCommerce is conducted between companies who sell their products and services to consumers. B2C eCommerce allows Companies sell their products and services to the consumers directly. B2C has grown into the most popular and prolific form of eCommerce.
- B2G eCommerce: B2G stands for Business-to-Government. B2G eCommerce is conducted between companies who sell their products and services to government organizations.
- C2C eCommerce: C2C stands for Consumer-to-Consumer. C2C eCommerce is conducted between consumers who sell their products and services to other consumers. eBay is one of the most widely used C2C eCommerce.
Applications of eCommerce:
The widespread use of mobile devices among consumers has completely changed the game of eCommerce industry. Organizations from all sizes who adopted or implemented B2B, B2C & C2C eCommerce in their daily core businesses realized the importance of making their eCommerce stores or Apps to be mobile friendly. Some of the most widespread eCommerce applications are:
Internet banking or e-banking is one of the most widespread B2B & B2C eCommerce Applications. Businesses and/or consumers can conduct financial transactions online on their bank accounts, credit cards, or debit cards through their e-banking account 24/7 and without the need to be physically on their bank’s premise. Through their e-banking account, they can have a 360-degree view of their account details, conduct transfer funds between their different bank accounts or even to other people accounts, produce and print their account statements, request their check books, pay their bills and much more.
Also, most of e-banking platforms nowadays are mobile friendly that enable businesses and consumers to access their e-banking account and conduct all e-banking services from their mobile devices from anywhere 24/7/365.
Conducting successful purchase transactions via eCommerce stores, require gathering vast amount of data about the consumers who are conducting such purchase transactions. Data such as personal information, contact information, geo information, points of interest information or what is known history of products purchased, spending behavior information and much more, are all entered by the consumers themselves and accumulated & manipulated for businesses from their eCommerce stores. This data goldmine if Analyzed in a well-structured key performance indicators (KPI’s) approach, will provide businesses a 360-degree view about their consumers’ purchasing behavior, preferences, their requirements and needs. Accordingly, businesses will be able to create well informed Marketing campaigns and activities such as price fixation, negotiation, and product feature improvements as well as building a unique and successful customer experience.
Electronic auction is a widespread C2C eCommerce implementation nowadays. Its gives people an opportunity as buyers and sellers to bid online and trade in a wide range of products. These electronic auctions are web-based sites and allow all registered members to bid online on a single product or multiple products in a specified time.
Benefits of eCommerce stores:
- Are open 24/7/365. They never close
- Increase customers’ reach through well-structured online marketing campaigns
- Provide highly engaging platform with consumers
- Increase customers’ satisfaction through proper pre-and-post-sales support
- Increase customers’ loyalty and retention by having satisfied customers
- Collect & manipulate customers’ data fully automatically.
- Increase online visibility through search engine marketing
- Huge Reduction of conventional marketing and advertising costs.
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