Are you thinking about starting a business where you sell your products online? If so, then you’ll be joining the millions of entrepreneurs who have carved out a niche in the world of e-commerce.
In simple terms, E-commerce is a transaction of buying or selling online. Electronic commerce draws on technologies such as mobile commerce, electronic funds transfer, supply chain management, Internet marketing, online transaction processing, Electronic data Interchange(EDI), Inventory management systems, and automated data collection systems. Modern electronic commerce typically uses the World Wide Web for at least one part of the transaction’s life cycle although it may also use other technologies such as e-mail.
Applications of E-commerce
- E-commerce is conducted using a variety of applications, such as email, online catalogs and shopping carts, EDI, File Transfer Protocol, and web services. This includes business-to-business activities and outreach such as using email for unsolicited ads (usually viewed as spam) to consumers and other business prospects, as well as to send out e-newsletters to subscribers. More companies now try to entice consumers directly online, using tools such as digital coupons, social media marketing and targeted advertisements.
- The benefits of e-commerce include its around-the-clock availability, the speed of access, the wide availability of goods and services for the consumer, easy accessibility, and international reach. Its perceived downsides include sometimes-limited customer service, consumers not being able to see or touch a product prior to purchase, and the necessitated wait time for product shipping.
- The rise of e-commerce forces IT personnel to move beyond infrastructure design and maintenance and consider numerous customer-facing aspects such as consumer data privacy and security. When developing IT systems and applications to accommodate e-commerce activities, data governance related regulatory compliance mandates, personally identifiable information privacy rules and information protection protocols must be considered.
Categories of e-commerce
As with traditional commerce, there are four principal categories of e-commerce: B2B, B2C, C2B and C2C.
- B2B (Business to Business) — This involves companies doing business with each other. One example is manufacturers selling to distributors and wholesalers selling to retailers.
- B2C (Business to Consumer) — B2C consists of businesses selling to the general public through shopping cart software, without needing any human interaction. This is what most people think of when they hear “e-commerce.” An example of this would be Amazon.
- C2B (Consumer to Business) — In C2B e-commerce, consumers post a project with a set budget online, and companies bid on the project. The consumer reviews the bids and selects the company. Elance is an example of this.
- C2C (Consumer to Consumer) — This takes place within online classified ads, forums or marketplaces where individuals can buy and sell their goods. Examples of this include Craigslist, eBay and Etsy.
E-commerce employs some of the following
- Online shopping web sites for retail sales direct to consumers
- Helps a company participate in online marketplace
- Gathering and using demographic data in social media
- Business to business(B2B) electronic data exchange
- Online financing exchange and trading
- Engage in pretail launching for new product and services
- Direct and effective marketing
E-commerce strategy As in any new venture, the first step in succeeding in e-commerce is to set goals. Do you plan to increase revenue from existing customers? Gain new customers? Increase the average order value? Sell through new channels? Lower prices? Once you have figured out your goals, it’s time to set a plan. A SWOT analysis can help you assess the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats of your company’s current environment. What does the market look like? Where does your business excel, and where does it falter? Review your entire business, not just segments of it. Evaluate external opportunities, because this is the often the primary place to invest time and money. Be honest with yourself when analyzing weaknesses and threats, or else the analysis will not be helpful. After the SWOT analysis is done, see how it fits into your overall vision. Where do you see your business in five years? In 10 years? This will help you set business objectives for the current year, where you set objectives for sales, profits, customers, traffic, new systems and new staff. After the objectives are set, you can set a strategy into place yourself, or hire an e-commerce consultant to help you. Other tools that can help you determine how to best grow your company into a new segment include PEST (Political, Economic, Social and Technological), MOST (Mission, Objective, Strategies and Tactics), and Porter’s Five Forces analyses.
E-commerce is a powerful tool in the digital industry, and we at Netchronix a web design company and digital marketing firm help facilitate E-commerce, to make business simple for you. Netchronix facilitates custom web designs with user friendly interface products.
At Netchronix we offer a full suite of integrated, interactive services geared at effectively boosting your business, boosting your bottom line with integrated interactive services, can facilitate online transactions which helps make businesses move with ease. With the outline of perfect ecommerce website design, website traffic increases along with a significant boost to transactions. And this can be taken to next level with supporting mobile app design.