E-commerce or electronic commerce is commonly known as the online selling or purchasing of goods through online platforms. Broadly it can also cover the transfer of data or transition of money through the internet is also termed E-commerce. In short, we can be defined as anything we can transfer or receive through the internet called E-commerce. When you buy something online, you’re participating in the e-commerce economy.
Furthermore, to purchase or sell products, laptops, computers, tablets, or mobile phones can be used. E-commerce changed the dynamics of the business, the person who has the skills to properly present their product, the whole world is now their market. It is a little bit tricky in a sense of research, before selling the product you must research the market. Furthermore, study the competitors, your supply chain, and your payment method.
In today’s world, thanks to technology almost everything is available on E-commerce platforms. New brands prefer to establish only their online shops but the already established brands maintain their physical as well as online shops.
“E-commerce platforms like Amazon and eBay have driven significant growth in online retail over the last two decades. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, e-commerce made up 5% of retail sales in 2011 and had risen to over 16% by 2020, due in part to the start of the COVID-19 pandemic”.
How does E-commerce work
The important thing for E-commerce is the internet. Customers search the product in online stores through web browsers and place orders when they choose any specific product or service. After the placing of an order, the e-commerce website server receives the message from the customer’s browser.
After that, the server sent the order information to the central computer known as the order manager. The order manager will first verify the inventory in the warehouse. To check the product availability as per the customer’s requirement. After confirmation of inventory, the system then verifies the payment that the customer has paid the bill. For e-commerce, most of the payment methods used are Pay pal, Payoneer, and can also be through direct banking.
After the confirmation from inventory and the finance department. The order manager sent a reply to the customer through email that your order is confirmed and will be shipped shortly.
Meanwhile, the central computer also shares the order details with the warehouse for the shipment of orders to the customer’s address. Some marketplaces like Amazon or eBay required sign-up for E-commerce.
Types of E-commerce
E-commerce can be categorized into several types, based on the service or goods that the company provides. Some of the popular types of E-commerce are discussed below.
Business to Business (B2B)
Business to business or commonly known as B2B. it is a type of e-commerce, in which the seller and the buyer both are companies or industries. Furthermore, in B2B the order quantity is very large, so it will also take more time to manufacture the product. Therefore, the lead time is high in the case of B2B e-commerce.
Business to consumer (B2C)
It is also similar to B2B, but here the buyer is the end consumer instead of the industry. Therefore, the order quantity is low in terms of B2C e-commerce. The lead time is very short. For most people when hearing about e-commerce, the first thing that comes to their mind is the B2C approach.
Business to Government (B2G)
The type of e-commerce in which the buyer is the government organization, while a seller is an e-commerce company. In the B2G e-commerce type, there are certain government requirements that you must fulfill before going to bid in the B2G e-commerce.
Consumer to consumer (C2C)
C2C is a type of e-commerce in which the buyer and the seller both are the end consumers. Some of the platforms such as Olx where the seller and the buyer both are consumers. In C2C the products are mostly used. Which are commonly known as 2nd products.
Consumers to business (C2B)
The type of e-commerce where individuals can offer their services to companies for short-term contracts. Some of the examples of C2B are the freelancers. Who offer their services in terms of gigs or upload projects through Upwork. Where the companies interview the individuals and hire them for the Job for specific periods.
Consumer to government (C2G)
Consumer to government is the type of e-commerce in which there is no exchange of products. It is the type of sharing information or transferring the fee online to the university or any other government organization. For example, if you fill the tax returns online then it is the C2G type of e-commerce or paying the university fees online.
Advantages and disadvantages of E-commerce
E-commerce offers several advantages, including:
Many stores offer a greater variety of products online than in their physical locations. Online-only stores may even offer unique inventory not found elsewhere.
Facilitating customer retargeting:
Browsing a digital storefront makes it easier to draw customers’ attention to advertisements and targeted marketing campaigns or pop-ups.
Lowering start-up costs:
E-commerce companies may need a warehouse or manufacturing site, but often don’t require a physical storefront. Operating digitally often costs less than paying for rent, insurance, building maintenance, and property taxes.
E-commerce operates 24/7, allowing you to generate sales while you sleep or earn revenue when away from your store.
Expanding international sales:
E-commerce companies can sell to anyone in the world as long as they can ship to the customer, without being limited by physical geography.
Disadvantages of E-commerce
The disadvantages of e-commerce include:
Overdependence on technology:
If your website experiences a crash, high traffic, or temporary shutdown, your business will be unavailable until the e-commerce storefront is restored.
The low cost of entry is an advantage, but it also means many competitors can easily enter the market. E-commerce companies must have effective marketing strategies and keep up with SEO optimization to maintain a strong digital presence.
Reduced customer service:
When shopping online for a computer, you can’t physically ask an employee to show you the features of a model. Although some websites allow online chat with staff, this is not a common practice.
You have to wait for shipping when buying items online, although some e-tailers like Amazon offer same-day delivery for select products to ease the wait.
Lack of product tactile experience:
Online images may not fully represent an item, leading to dissatisfaction when received products do not match expectations. For example, clothing may be made from lower-quality fabric than indicated in its online image
E- commerce applications
To encourage users to use the platform, several retail e-commerce apps employ online marketing strategies. These consist of email, web services, file transfer protocol, EDI, online shopping carts and catalogs, and mobile applications.
In addition to other forms of outreach, these strategies are employed in B2C and B2B interactions. They include delivering SMS texts to mobile devices and emailing customized advertisements and e-newsletters to subscribers. Spam is typically understood to be the sending of unsolicited emails and SMS. More businesses are now making an online effort to attract customers by employing techniques like targeted adverts, social media marketing, and digital coupons.
E-commerce enterprises are focusing on security as a major issue. Developers and administrators must consider consumer data privacy and security, regulatory compliance with data governance, privacy laws for personally identifiable information, and information protection measures when creating e-commerce systems and apps. While some security measures are built into the application architecture, others require frequent updates to address evolving threats and vulnerabilities.
E-commerce platforms and vendors
E-commerce platforms have revolutionized the way we do business. With the increasing popularity of online shopping, it has become imperative for businesses to have a strong online presence. Choosing the right e-commerce platform and vendor can make or break your online business’s success.
Shopify is one of the most popular e-commerce platforms in the market, with over a million businesses relying on it for their online presence. It’s a user-friendly interface and extensive app store make it a great choice for businesses of all sizes.
WooCommerce is another popular e-commerce platform, specifically designed for WordPress websites. With its flexible and customizable features, it’s a great option for businesses looking for more control over their online store.
BigCommerce is another top e-commerce platform that offers robust features and tools to help you grow your online business. Its seamless integration with popular payment gateways and shipping providers makes it a convenient choice for businesses.
In addition to these platforms, there are also many reliable vendors that can help you set up and manage your online store. From website design to product photography, these vendors can provide the support you need to succeed online.
To make the most of your e-commerce platform, it’s important to choose a vendor that aligns with your business goals and needs. Whether you’re looking for a simple and user-friendly platform, or a highly customizable solution, there is an e-commerce platform and vendor out there for you. In conclusion, e-commerce platforms and vendors play a critical role in the success of your online business. By choosing the right one, you can set yourself up for success and grow your online store for years to come.
How to Start an E-commerce business
Before starting your business, make sure you do your research. Determine the goods and services you’ll offer, and research the market, your target market, your competition, and the anticipated costs.
Next, choose a name, a business structure, and gather the required paperwork (taxpayer numbers, licenses, and permits if they apply).
Prior to beginning your sales, choose a platform and create your website (or have someone do it for you).
To ensure that your business can expand, keep things basic at first and be sure to sell it through as many channels as you can.
Types of Ecommerce Revenue Models
A company must choose its method of revenue generation in addition to deciding what kind of ecommerce company it wants to be. Due to the distinctive features of e-commerce, the company has a few alternatives for how it wants to handle orders, maintain inventory, and dispatch goods.
White label e-commerce
E-commerce businesses that offer white-label products take advantage of the popular offerings from other companies. Upon receiving an order from a customer, they receive the product, repackage it with their own label and packaging, and then ship it directly to the customer. Despite having limited control over the products they receive, these businesses often face few manufacturing restrictions.
Private label e-commerce
Private labelling is a more suitable ecommerce strategy for businesses that can lack significant upfront capital or do not have their own factory facilities to produce items. The product is made by a manufacturer under contract after receiving plans from private-label e-commerce businesses. The manufacturer might also be able to ship orders straight to customers or to the business that is receiving the order. Businesses that can’t handle the necessary capital expenditures but may occasionally receive on-demand orders with short turnaround times are most suited for this type of e-commerce.
In wholesaling, a more capital-intensive way to do business online, e-commerce businesses manage inventory levels, track client orders, store shipping information, and often own the warehouse space for storing goods. They may receive unit prices from wholesalers or bulk pricing. The goal is to connect with either large buyers of a similar standardized product or multiple smaller buyers.
With drop shipping, businesses can establish an online store, generate revenue, and rely on a supplier to handle product delivery. When a sale is made using a credit card, PayPal, bitcoin, or another digital currency, the e-commerce business collects the payment. The supplier then receives the order from the online store, manages the inventory, packages the goods, and ships the final product to the customer. Regarded as one of the easier e-commerce models, drop shipping streamlines the sales process for businesses without the need for extensive inventory management or product storage.
E-commerce is the online purchase and selling of goods and services. It can further divide into several types based on the type of business. The market share of online business is increasing day by day. Due to busy life peoples prefer to purchase the things online rather than physically visit the stores. In the developed countries the growth rate is much higher than underdeveloped countries due to the availability of high-speed internet and other facilities. it also provides opportunities for young entrepreneurs rule the world by providing the quality product.