4 Categories of Ecommerce

Ecommerce or electronic commerce is transactions or other terms of sale that are performed electronically. This involves purchasing, selling, and exchange of goods or services for the exchange of money using computer networks such as the Internet. Opposing to the popular belief, ecommerce does not only exist on the web. In fact, ecommerce already existed and do well in business-to-business transaction since the 70s via EDI (Electronic Data Interchange) through VANs (Value-Added Networks). Ecommerce can be further broken into four main categories B2B, B2C, C2B, and C2C.

• B2B (Business-to-Business)

B2B definitely deals with companies who are doing business with each other. An example of this is manufacturers who are selling their product to distributors, and the wholesalers are selling it to retailers. Thus, the pricing can be based on the number of orders and is frequently up for grabs.

• B2C (Business-to-Consumer)

Business-to-consumer typically involves selling products and services to the general public or consumers through the use of catalogs utilizing shopping cart software. B2B can easily earn a lot of money; on the other hand, B2C is what really in mind in an average customer when it comes to the ecommerce as whole. With the help of ecommerce, you can easily purchase many things at time without having human interaction. An example of these if you are having hard time finding a book, when you need to purchase a customized, high-end computer system, or finding a first class, all-inclusive trip to a tropical paradise island. Thus, ecommerce can help you purchase the products all at the same time.

• C2B (Consumer-to-Business)

An example of C2B is when a consumer posts his projects or assignments in the Internet and web site. The consumer sets a budget online where within hours many companies reviews the requirements needed by the consumer and then bid on the project. It empowers the customers around the globe by providing the meeting ground and platform for that certain transaction.

• C2C (Consumer-to-Consumer)

A very good example for C2C is the eBay. It is where consumers sell their products to other consumers through bidding. Thus, the one who bids the highest can buy the product. Another example is the sites offering free classified ads, auctions, and forums where consumers can buy and sell products to other consumers. They use PayPal as a tool for online payment system where they can send and receive money with ease through online.

There is another form of ecommerce which is the B2E or Business-to-Employee ecommerce. Here, companies are using internal networks to offer their employees products and services online. It may not be necessarily online on the Web.

The other forms of ecommerce are the G2G (Government-to-Government), G2E (Government-to-Employee), G2B (Government-to-Business), B2G (Business-to Government), G2C (Government-to-Citizen), C2G (Citizen-to-Government). These transactions involves mainly with the government, from procurement to filing taxes to business registration to renewing license. There are still plenty of other categories that exist but then they tend to be superfluous.

Unique Features of E-Commerce

Nowadays E-Commerce is the buzz word. Although it is omnipresent but we never realize its importance primarily because it is known by different names. People do site promotion, SEO, affiliate marketing, and many other things but the goal is same i.e. to get clients and sell the products or services of the company. ‘E’ is just a medium to transact online. I will be listing some peculiar features of e-commerce which makes it considerably appreciable.

Ubiquity – In traditional commerce, a marketplace is a physical place we visit in order to transact. For example, television and radio are typically directed to motivating the customer to go someplace to make a purchase. E-commerce is ubiquitous, meaning that it is available just about everywhere at all times. It liberates the market from being restricted to a physical space and makes it possible to shop from your desktop. The result is called a market space. From consumer point of view, ubiquity reduces transaction costs – the cost of participating in a market. To transact, it is no longer necessary that you spend time and money traveling to a market. At a broader level, the ubiquity of e-commerce lowers the cognitive energy required to complete a task.

Global Reach – E-commerce technology permits commercial transactions to cross cultural and national boundaries far more conveniently and effectively as compared to traditional commerce. As a result, the potential market size for e-commerce merchants is roughly equal to the size of world’s online population.

Universal Standards – One strikingly unusual feature of e-commerce technologies is that the technical standards of the Internet and therefore the technical standards for conducting e-commerce are universal standards i.e. they are shared by all the nations around the world.

Interactivity – Unlike any of the commercial technologies of the twentieth century, with the possible exception of the telephone, e-commerce technologies are interactive, meaning they allow for two-way communication between merchants and consumer.

Information Density and Richness – The Internet vastly increase information density. It is the total amount and quality of information available to all market participants, consumers and merchants. E-commerce technologies reduce information collection, storage, communication and processing costs. At the same time, these technologies increase greatly the accuracy and timeliness of information, making information more useful and important than ever. As a result, information becomes plentiful, cheaper and of higher quality. Information richness refers to the complexity and content of a message.

Personalization – E-commerce technologies permit personalization. Merchants can target their marketing messages to specific individuals by adjusting the message to a person’s name, interests and past purchases. The technology also permits customization. Merchants can change the product or service based on user’s preferences or prior behavior.

E-commerce technologies make it possible for merchants to know much more about consumers and use this information more effectively than ever before. Online merchants can use this information to develop new information asymmetries, enhance their ability to brand products, charge premium prices for high quality service and segment the market into an endless number of subgroups, each receiving a different price.

Importance of Branding for E-Commerce Businesses

E-commerce businesses are becoming a reliable way to buy products online. Branding plays a direct role in improving chances of e-commerce business success. An increasing number of global customers are switching to e-commerce sites to purchase everything from groceries to apparel, and electronics to lifestyle products. The e-commerce industry has completely transformed the way in which consumers around the world access products and services. It has suddenly brought a world of options to the fingertips of end users. The future seems bright for the e-commerce industry, with major players branching out into newer product categories frequently (thus setting the standards for smaller brands).

For e-commerce businesses, things are going well enough, but the competition is also fierce. New e-commerce brands are launching every day and persistently trying to get a foothold online. When it comes to branding, e-commerce companies are leaving no stone unturned. In this scenario, it is vital that you build and implement a high quality branding strategy for your e-commerce business.

Branding Strategies For E-Commerce Businesses

By having a result-oriented, effective branding plan for your e-commerce business, you can stand out amongst your competitors. To achieve that, you must determine what makes your e-commerce business a unique player in the industry. Are you offering high quality products at the best available rates? Do you organize regular discounts and offers for your customers? Are you adding new product categories to meet more customer demands? What are the factors that would convince customers to choose your brand against others? E-commerce business owners must strive to highlight the unique selling points of their brand. Only then can an e-commerce brand be boldly promoted to larger audiences.

As an e-commerce brand, you have to be at the forefront when it comes to attracting product vendors as well as consumers to your e-store. Vendors would be interested in using your marketplace, if it has a strong brand that keeps providing value to customers. The number of sellers and customers you bring in to your network depends on the strength of your e-commerce brand, and how well it delivers on its promises. If you are intelligent in your branding, and consistent in your service quality, your e-commerce brand can achieve considerable success.

E-commerce branding, like all branding, is influencing the perception of your brand and its services, in the eyes of the customer. Effective e-commerce branding will make marketing easier, retain more customers, drive up loyalty, and create better potential value for steady, long-term success.

The way you must approach an e-commerce branding strategy is by highlighting some key points. With branding, you must uphold your business’s core mission, the problems you aim to solve for your customers, standards that it adheres to, and proof of the quality of services you provide. What are the factors involved in business branding and their importance?

E-Commerce Branding – Methods and Importance

1. Your Brand Image – A stellar, uniquely identifiable brand image helps customers attach value to your e-commerce brand’s personality. This includes various things such as logos, banners, taglines, marketing captions, social content etc., which should always represent your brand the best. This is quite important if you want to create value for potential customers and convert them into loyal customers. A good brand image goes a long way in retaining customers, by continually generating interest for your e-commerce brand’s offerings.

2. Customer Satisfaction – Customers are everything, when it comes to e-commerce or any other type of business. You can actually enhance customer experiences and drive up satisfaction (and loyalties). This is a big part of establishing your e-commerce brand. Put your best foot forward while marketing, deliver on your promises you make, and provide unmatched service and support to enhance your brand’s potential value. Remember that satisfied existing customers can and will bring in newer customers to your e-commerce business. Maintain your integrity and keep reinventing to bolster your brand’s chances of business success.

3. Find Your Unique Selling Proposition – As an e-commerce business owner you must determine the USP of your brand. This will help you brand and promote it better to larger groups of potential customers. Think about what sets you apart from dozens of competitors vying for true e-commerce glory. Is it your service quality or support? Is it the trust of your customers and your track record? Do you provide innovative offers, discounts and promotions on special occasions? Do you house the widest variety of rare products? You must determine why customers would choose your e-commerce site. What extra value can you offer to your potential customers that convince them to use your platform again and again? Find your USP and use it to strengthen your brand.

4. Utilize All Channels – Technological advances in the past decade demand that your e-commerce business maximizes its presence on all social, web-based and mobile platforms. More and more potential customers buy and sell through handheld devices, and almost all of them are on social websites. All your competitors are doing it, and so should you. It will help you make your brand easily accessible to larger audiences, which in turn will bring more conversions and significantly better revenues. Social and mobile should be the front and center of your branding strategy.

E-commerce sites can benefit from the above mentioned branding strategies. By using the concepts provide here, you can establish your e-commerce brand and take your business to the next level.

Ecommerce and the Motivation to Start

Ecommerce is the hinge that allows the online business door to swing wide open. This is the industry of cyber business. It goes beyond simply saying, “Look at me world, I have an idea. Doesn’t anyone care?” Ecommerce allows you to take your idea and connect it with consumers and your bank. It allows the free flow of commerce, your ideas, those who want to join you in what you are doing and a banking institution that can manage the electronic transfer of funds.

The overriding benefit of ecommerce is its low cost when compared to a brick and mortar storefront. However, an equally compelling benefit is the ability to appeal to a substantially larger consumer base.

Ecommerce can seem scary to those who have never dipped a toe into the waters of cyber sales. This can be likened to the apprehension some have felt over the use of a cell phone instead of a landline, a word processor instead a typewriter or a computer instead of an encyclopedia. These are not necessarily Luddites, but they do possess a fear over the use of something they don’t understand.

If you have an interest in ecommerce, but little interest in learning the skills to set up your online business there are online ecommerce solutions to help you get started. You can also use web builder technology to access many of the tools you will need to get started. These will typically be available with simple step-by-step instructions on the successful development of your ecommerce site.

One of the primary things you will need to know is that business transactions will typically be conducted electronically. What that means is you will not likely see cash or checks, but a simple notice (usually be email) that alerts you to deposits in a bank account or online financial institution such as PayPal.

Many larger online firms have further extended their sales potential by including Bill Me Later. This easy to use financial tool allows consumers to purchase something and defer payment in much the same way they might a credit card. The process for acceptance is simple and billing is handled by traditional mail, but can also be viewed via an online account by consumers.

Every day more tools are being made available to allow ecommerce to exist and thrive in an online environment.

What may seem ironic is even those who have attended college in the past, those who have encountered and conquered personal difficulties and those who have struggled through health difficulties may actually be the first to reject the idea of going into business online.

Yes, they have endured and conquered much, but they still view ecommerce as a hurdle that may be too much to manage.

The best suggestion I might make is to simply take the time to investigate some of the skills needed to conduct business online. Consider a few of the possibilities for an online business. Look through various online marketing ideas that others have used successfully. Pull each piece and view those fragments as puzzle pieces. When you have enough of them a bigger picture begins to emerge.

Ecommerce is possible and it isn’t something only those with great technical skills can use. It is for everyone. It may just be for you.