For entrepreneurs in 2020 and the years to come, e-commerce is the golden pot of opportunities needed for a successful business.
It has grown to be invaluable for businesses today. With digitization spreading and new technologies emerging, entrepreneurs need to invest in e-commerce development to survive the competitive market.
It is essential for a positive ROI and will help in acquiring not just local customers but also individuals on the other side of the world. Plus, with the increasing use of smartphones, tablets, laptops, and other portable devices, an e-commerce website is immensely beneficial for your marketing and branding.
Additionally, in current pandemic times, where social distance is vital, online businesses can operate from the safety of one's home. So, you don't need to invest in an office space or make arrangements for employees' workspaces, saving your time and money.
That said, if you want to know more about e-commerce and its importance today, then you’re in the right place. In the blog, we’ll discuss what eCommerce is, its role in the present-day market, its types, benefits, and more.
What is eCommerce?
In 1994, the first online transaction took place, signaling to the world that the internet was open for business. It was the first step towards opening up shop online. Amazon and Alibaba capitalized on the growing digital marketplace in the mid-1990s, to become the retail giants we know today.
E-Commerce is an umbrella term that includes all business or commercial transactions. It defines the exchange of goods and services across the internet, without time and distance as barriers. Online auctions, payment gateways, internet banking, and online ticketing also come under e-commerce.
With technological innovations making internet transactions more secure and the convenience of online shopping, consumers are turning to the web for all their daily shopping needs.
That means e-commerce is here to stay and will only grow to be indispensable for businesses in the years to come.
Types of E-Commerce Businesses
We discussed that e-commerce is the online purchasing of goods and services. But it can be further classified by the type of transaction and parties involved.
Here are a few types of e-commerce businesses in 2020:
· Business-to-Business (B2B)
B2B eCommerce is the transaction of products or services between two companies. It’s usually to help small-scale or large-scale enterprises boost the efficiency of their company processes, improve productivity, and customer satisfaction.
For example, Slack is a communication tool used by many leading companies for internal communications. Alternatively, Skype is used for internal and external communications between companies and their clients.
Producers of these communication tools are classified as B2B businesses.
· Business-to-Consumer (B2C)
B2C businesses are everyday transactions that occur between companies and average consumers. It is the most explored business model between online and physical retailers.
With an e-commerce website, B2C companies can build a more personal connection with their customers. Contrarily, users can explore different e-stores for the best prices, find products that are usually unavailable in brick-and-mortar stores, and read up on product reviews before purchasing.
B2C transactions include the exchange of all kinds of physical and digital products as well as service providers for wall painting, renovations, food delivery, for example.
· Consumer-to-Consumer (C2C)
Consumer to consumer e-commerce involves two average consumers trading with one another. These transactions are supported by online payment portals like PayPal and conducted over platforms like Craigslist or eBay.
It’s like an online version of a yard sale, where users can exchange new or used items with each other as means of earning quick cash or as a starting point for their small-scale business.
· Consumer-to-Business (C2B)
C2B is a relatively new form of eCommerce where individual consumers offer products or services to companies. Using their professional skills, they provide value for businesses, instead of the traditional business model, where companies serve people.
Consumers may help companies with logo designs or provide photographs as visual elements on their website. Services may also include cooperating on projects, project management, writing services, and more.
Freelancers and freelancer platforms like Fiverr are examples of C2B e-commerce.
· Business-to-Administration (B2A)
Business to administration e-commerce refers to the online transactions that involve companies and public administration. It includes the exchange of various types of services and products, including security, employment, and legal documents.
· Business-to-Government Agencies (B2G)
Alternatively, government agencies also conduct online transactions with businesses. They can be considered the most significant of B2B buyers, exchanging services and products, from security software to medical services, weapons, fuel, and more.
· Consumer-to-Administration (C2A)
It includes online transactions between individuals and public administration offices. Tax offices and online healthcare service providers are types of C2A e-commerce businesses.
· Government to Business (G2B)
Another type of e-commerce transaction is between government agencies and businesses. Here government agencies provide value to businesses, in terms of products and services, like data centers, e-learning, government procurement, and more.
Benefits of eCommerce for Your Business
E-Commerce has been around long enough for the online market to grow just as competitive as the traditional marketplace. So, if you’re not on the web, it’s not merely challenging to survive the market, but near impossible.
Plus, e-commerce offers businesses many advantages. So, there’s no reason why you shouldn’t invest in a website. Here are some ideas that will help in understanding the importance of e-commerce today:
· Alternative Marketing Channel
An e-commerce website or mobile app is fundamental for your marketing strategies. Whether it’s digital marketing or email newsletters, content marketing, or social media, you need an address on the World Wide Web where your visitors can engage with your brand.
A website will allow you to build an email subscribers’ list where you can share weekly newsletters to attract, engage, and delight your customers.
Digital marketing involves search engine optimization and paid ads. Effective digital marketing will raise your website’s ranking in search results and help people find you.
It will boost your marketing strategies, providing greater visibility, locally and globally. With more people turning to the web for all their queries, an e-commerce website, with the right conversion strategies, can convert visitors to leads and sales.
Additionally, with a blog section on your website, you can educate your readers on new products, how to use your products and services, and improve your SEO. It will also boost social shares and increase visibility on social media platforms.
Setting up a website is more cost-effective than finding a physical location to set up shop. Thus, e-commerce is a much low-risk investment than opening another branch for your business. Here are some reasons that contribute to e-business being cost-effective:
- Cheaper mode of advertising and marketing
Digital marketing is much more budget-friendly than traditional modes of advertising. SEO is an entirely free source to bring in organic traffic via search engines, whereas email marketing tools and paid ads cost less than billboard adverts or telemarketing.
With a mix of traditional and digital marketing, you can have a cost-effective marketing strategy that brings more global and local traffic than using conventional advertisements solely.
- No need to hire employees
To maintain and update your website, you don’t need to hire additional staff. Plus, if you integrate AI-powered chatbots on your website, you won’t need people to handle customer service 24/7.
- Save on rent
Web hosting and maintenance is less costly than renting out space for your new store. With platforms like Shopify, Magento, BigCommerce, and others, you can also access a variety of tools for marketing and management of your e-store.
So, not only can you save on rent, but you also get help with maintaining and managing your business.
A website is something you can conveniently update and optimize to keep up with your growing business. You can integrate new features or optimize your marketing and advertisement campaigns to better suit changing market trends and customer behavior.
- 24/7 customer service
You don’t need to shut down a website after office hours. With chatbots handling your customer service, you can serve global customers without any restrictions like time or location.
- Better targeted marketing for relevant traffic
With an online presence, you can work on more targeted marketing than traditional advertisements allow. Targeted marketing, SEO, and paid ads will bring in relevant traffic, which is visitors looking to purchase your services or products.
· Global Reach
The internet opens a world of opportunities for businesses, quite literally. Unlike brick-and-mortar stores that are stuck in place, the World Wide Web gives your business a global reach. Even if locals are your primary source of revenue, going online will help in exploring new opportunities, like other facets of your business.
For example, if you provide services to your local consumers, your online website could be where they can purchase products that align with your business. A groundskeeping or property maintenance service provider, for instance, can offer lawn maintenance products to the consumers.
Additionally, with digital marketing tactics in place, you can raise awareness around your business among both a local and global audience.
Dive into the World of E-Commerce with Your Business!
I hope the blog helped in understanding the importance of e-commerce in 2020. With advancements in technologies, e-commerce will continue to grow and expand.
Additionally, in light of the current Corona pandemic, an online address is essential if you want your business to survive the resulting economic downturn.
So, the next step is to look for an e-commerce development firm and launch a website that helps you reach your business goals.