What is Ecommerce, and How Can Your Business Adapt in Today’s Digital World?
By Kelsea Mann
Amazon.com. Warby Parker. Birchbox. Dollar Shave Club. What do all of these big names have in common? They are top examples of ecommerce businesses today. Ecommerce is changing the way we shop, and the way businesses interact with their customers. Keep reading as we breakdown what Ecommerce is, and why it’s so successful in today’s digital world.
The true beginning of ecommerce was in the early 1990s, when the online world first grew to household accessibility. By 1994, most common Americans were familiar with how to access the internet. Also at this time, many businesses began to make shopping for products easy through their new websites. Since then, ecommerce has only grown, rising fastest between 2016 and 2017.
The new definition of ecommerce, according to cloudways.com, is “a process of purchasing goods and services over the Internet by using an electronic payment service through protected connections. The best selling products are emerging from categories like music, books, computers, office supplies, and consumer electronics.”
There are four types of ecommerce business models you should know about.
First, Business-to-Business, commonly referred to as B2B. In this model, a business aims to trade goods or services to another business. For example, if a manufacturer were to sell goods to a wholesaler, that wholesaler would then need to sell the products to a retailer. The manufacturer and wholesaler in this case are following the B2B Model.
A second type is the Business-to-Consumer model, B2C. Amazon is a common example of a B2C ecommerce model. Customers log onto Amazon.com, and are able to purchase goods directly from the business. There are no businesses Amazon needs to sell product to in order to pass things to the consumer’s hands.
Along a similar line, the third model is called Consumer-to-Consumer, C2C. In this case, the customer selling acts like the business in the previous model, accepting payment from and selling directly to their customers. A good example of this type of model is Ebay, where customers can post an ad for their product, and other customers can buy it.
Finally, the B2C model is reversed in the case of the Customer-to-Business, C2B model. Someone who participates as a customer in this type of model could work in freelancing, or selling a trade. If they are a software engineer, a graphic designer or a blogger with their own practice, that customer would be able to sell skills online to business through networks like Fiverr or Upwork.
So, what can ecommerce offer today’s world? It allows customers to scroll through a seemingly endless inventory to find the product they’re looking for. Many ecommerce websites also utilize customer reviews. When shopping in a traditional brick and mortar store, customers have to guess whether they’ll like a product or not. In today’s digital world, customers will often pull up reviews on their phone, even for something they’re buying in person. Seeing reviews from satisfied past customers increases the likelihood that someone will buy a given product.
With ecommerce also comes a great level of globalization. Customers are no longer limited to products and services in the local area, and can access almost anything from around the world by opening up a web page. However, this also changes the way products move across the country and across the world.
Customers expect products to be at their doorstep within a few days of ordering; to be exact, 48% of online shoppers say they normally receive packages within 2–3 days. This places an expectation on any business that ships to move products faster from A to B. Check out our article Defining the ‘Amazon Effect’ for Modern Business for more on this.
In order to keep up with demand from your customers, consider using a partner like PartRunner. PartRunner is a tech-logistics platform with an interactive app and a network of delivery vehicles. Specializing in the bulky delivery category, PartRunner handles deliveries you don’t want to send a full shipment truck to. Whether it’s out of the way, end of the day, or otherwise, PartRunner is your partner for on-demand and scheduled deliveries.
Thanks to @cottonbro for use of images.