What is E-commerce?
E-commerce also known as electronic commerce or internet commerce refers to the buying and selling of goods or services using the internet network. The payment is also done through the transfer of money and data in order to execute the transactions.
E-Commerce has become an integral part of the business in the present market. And in the present scenario, half of the world prefers buying and selling of products and services online at their convenience. E-commerce is a great platform to make money through the online space. The E-commerce has revolutionized several businesses by creating an e-commerce market place as well as a platform of communication for consumers and the business itself. There is a growing awareness among the business community in India about the pool of opportunities available in e-commerce market.
- Consumer to Consumer (C2C): C2C e-commerce includes the direct sale of goods or services made from one consumer to another. Such a type of transaction emerges on platforms such as eBay, Etsy, Fiverr, among others.
- Business to Consumer (B2C): B2C e-commerce is the most extensively acquired model. In B2C transactions, a business sells products or services directly to potential consumers. An example would be buying a rug from an online retailer.
- Direct to Consumer (D2C): D2C is an advanced present-day e-commerce model which allows a brand to sell its products or services directly to end customers, bypassing intermediaries such as retailers, distributors, or wholesalers. Popular D2C commodities involve subscriptions, and social selling on platforms such as Instagram, Pinterest, Facebook, Snapchat, etc., has become a widespread approach for direct-to-consumer sales.
- Consumer to Business (C2B): C2B talkies place during the time when an individual sells their services or products to a business organization. Such categories include influencers granting exposure, photographers, consultants, freelance writers, and identical service providers.
- Business to Business (B2B): B2B e-commerce includes businesses selling off goods or services to other businesses. Examples involve transactions among a manufacturer and wholesaler or in between a wholesaler and a retailer. Dissimilar to B2C, B2B e-commerce is not consumer-facing and typically deals with products that are raw materials, software, or combined goods. Manufacturers may also work in direct sales to retailers through B2B e-commerce channels.
Here are 6 reasons why you should invest in E-commerce
- Make money 24/7
Every business is set up with the prime agenda of making money i.e, profits. And e-commerce stores are one of the best platforms to make money 24/7 because online stores are open always. There is neither time constraints nor geographical limitations which makes it easy for consumers to reach out easily. More of all, the traffic in search engines helps you gain new customers and thus results in the increase of sales. It also improves up-sell and cross sell of products.
- Cost effective
For a physical store you need to spend more on various factors like electricity, water, maintenance, decor and other equipment etc. But when it comes to an online store you just need to manage a readymade solution that lets you to create an online store with low cost. Thus, maintaining a physical store is much more challenging than maintaining an online store.
How e-commerce is cost-effective?
- Advertising online is much more cost-effective than traditional marketing.
- In an ecommerce website there are no middle-men or merchants to provide merchant commissions.
- If you wish to expand your business, you just need to invest in one website that can cater to multiple markets.
- Make use of a cost effective Customer Relationship Management software to manage automation of inventory, billing, payments and field service management etc.
- The expenses incurred on coupons, rate tags and pamphlets are eliminated. Instead they are available with just a few mouse clicks.
- Improves brand image
Brand image is not something that reaches the peak overnight. This image takes time to build based on customer experiences,beliefs and impressions. And in the present market, the existence of online stores is one of the key factors behind gaining reputation and identity in the market. You may have a well-acquainted physical store but if you do not have an ecommerce store you are possibly losing on something in the market. Not having an ecommerce store can also be a competitive disadvantage for your business.
Thus, the ecommerce stores will help you improve brand image in the long run and provides benefits like – customer retention, customer satisfaction and brand identity.
- Easy to start and manage
It is easy to start and manage an e-commerce store because –
- There is no need to focus on geographical location, infrastructure, maintenance etc.
- If you plan your business in an organised manner, it leads to higher profit margins.
- All you need to focus more is shipping and customer service.
- Choose the right e-commerce software and evaluate things like speed, features, compatibility with payment gateways, business structure and most importantly SEO friendly features and more.
- Track target customers
Setting up an online store is not a difficult task but how many customers you attract in the long run, is what matters. Basically marketing is a business process of creating relationship and also enhancing the satisfaction of the customers. At present marketing is one of the most trending factors which helps to fuel the growth of your business. It is difficult to decide which marketing strategy works good for your business. The marketing strategies used in 2009 are not the same in 2019.
Let us know more about a few marketing tools which helps your e-commerce site to track the target customers –
- Cloud based e-commerce Solution.
- Social media marketing like – whatsapp, instagram, facebook, twitter, pinterest and Linkden etc.
- Personalized marketing through SMS and email campaigns.
- Visual marketing through video clips, ads etc.
- Make use of artificial intelligence which target and track leads, analyze data. It also focuses on understanding consumer preferences in real time and also helps you to understand your competitors.
- Influencers are individuals who create high impact conversations with the potential target customers. Few years ago the influencers were celebrities but the present trend has changed from celebs to common people who have become influencers. These influencers are common people with large followings on the web and social media. These influencers can connect easily to the common people and also help you to market your products or services easily.
- Blogging is one of the trending marketing tools that helps create traffic in the search engine, convert traffic to leads, connect with large group of consumers and create brand identity.
Read our blog – Latest Marketing Trends 2019
- Gain customer feedback
Focusing on your customer needs, trying to satisfy them and eventually trying to retain your loyal customers is what you plan and try to manage to the fullest. You might be having the best product or service in the whole market. But until and unless you don’t put in efforts to know what your customers actually think, you cannot provide them the best customer service and support. The benefits of gaining customer feedback are –
- Customer feedback helps to improve products and services
- Customer feedback shows how much your customer values your product or service
- Customer feedback helps you to improve customer retention strategies
- Customer feedback improves up-sell and cross-sell
- Customer feedback helps you in further decision making
- Customer feedback can be a reliable source of information for other customers
The e-commerce site allows you to gain customer feedback from various sources like website reviews, surveys, live chats and social media platforms etc. Always be thankful for your customer’s feedback and try to fulfill their needs and expectations as soon as possible. And understand the fact that, you are not the only product or service available in the market. If you do not focus on your customer’s suggestions there are more chances that the customer tends to find another company that may do it even better than you.
After demonetization in India, the role of cashless economy has increased significantly over the time. And the role of internet network has also played a vital role in setting up e-commerce business stores.
Though there are certain disadvantages of e-commerce stores like – consumers have concerns with regard to the security and privacy of the purchases, added operational costs and chances of fraudulent activities, the benefits of investing in an e-commerce store is higher and profitable. See to that you are planning your business activities in an organised manner and your ecommerce store will lead towards success in the long run. Invest in the best tools which provide ample features and functionalities to maintain your online website in a standard pattern.