eCommerce, popularly known as electronic commerce (also written as E-commerce) is a business module that lets people and firms sell items and goods over the internet. eCommerce operates over all sections of the market which are mainly as given below:
- Business to business
- Business to consumer
- Consumer to consumer
- Consumer to business
- Administration on customer
- Customer to administration
Starting an eCommerce business: Introduction
The future of eCommerce is incredibly bright. As per Statista, “Online shopping is one of the most popular online activities worldwide with global e-retail sales reaching 3.5 trillion U.S. dollars in 2019. With digital development exploding in the Asia Pacific region, it is no surprise that the fastest growing online retail market in India, followed by Spain and China. Digital retail development in these countries is strongly connected to the constantly improving online access, especially in mobile-first online communities that have long struggled with the traditional fixed broadband connections due to financial or infrastructure restrictions but enjoy the advantages of cheap mobile broadband connections”.
Therefore talking about the starting of an eCommerce, as the stats convey, there are a lot of scopes. As the market is multiplying its gross business day by day. The internet is becoming more and more reachable day by day, the expansion of eCommerce is too increasing with it.
Concept of eCommerce
As per Wikipedia, “The term was coined and first employed by Dr. Robert Jacobson, Principal Consultant to the California State Assembly’s Utilities & Commerce Committee, in the title and text of California’s Electronic Commerce Act, carried by the late Committee Chairwoman Gwen Moore (D-L.A.) and enacted in 1984. 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. E-commerce is in turn driven by the technological advances of the semiconductor industry and is the largest sector of the electronics industry”.
Now, that we have learned about the history of eCommerce let us learn the various concepts of it.
- Pure eCommerce: Selling directly to a customer online where a third party is not involved is called pure eCommerce.
- Dropshipping eCommerce: Buying and selling from a third party to a fourth party without maintaining any inventory is called dropshipping eCommerce.
- Online arbitrage: Selling online but not solely depending on it for profits is known as online arbitrage.
Definition of eCommerce by authors
eCommerce has been defined by many authors in different ways. Let us quote some of them.
As per World Trade Organisation, “e-commerce is the production, distribution, marketing, sales or delivery of goods and services by electronic means.”
The Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), defines e-commerce as commercial transactions, involving both organizations and individuals, that are based upon the processing and transmission of digitized data, including text, sound, and visuals images, and that is carried out over open networks (like, the internet) or closed networks (like, AOL or Mintel) that have gateway onto an open network.”
According to ROLF T. WIGAND, “Broadly speaking, electronic commerce includes any form of economic activity conducted via electronic connections. The bandwidth of electronic commerce spans from electronic markets to electronic hierarchies and also incorporates electronically supported entrepreneurial networks and cooperative arrangements (electronic networks). The market coordination mechanism is their common characteristic. Services within the tourism, finance, or insurance industries, but also product distribution and customer services, are typical fields of application”.
Types of eCommerce with diagram
It refers to the electronic exchange of goods and or services and or information between businesses rather than businesses and customers. It is a wholesale form of eCommerce.
As per Statista,
- “Revenue in the eCommerce market is projected to reach US$2,723,991m in 2021.
- Revenue is expected to show an annual growth rate (CAGR 2021-2025) of 6.29%, resulting in a projected market volume of US$3,477,296m by 2025”.
It is a retail form of eCommerce. Here a customer buys directly from the retailer through the internet. The most common example of the B2C market is Amazon. It dominates the market in this category.
This is a module in which customers exchange information, services, and or goods with each other on a platform provided by a third party. For example, Facebook is the largest social media platform in the world providing a C2C interface.
This is a model of business in which consumers upload their products and services for businesses to bid and buy.
The Business to Administration eCommerce refers to the transactions conducted in the form of services, products, or information between companies and governmental bodies. This model of business has grown as recent investments have brought money in to promote e-transactions in governments.
It refers to the business model that conducts business between consumers and e-transacting governments. For example, paying taxes to the government via an online portal is a form of Consumer to Administration eCommerce module.
Mobile eCommerce (M-eCommerce)
It refers to transactions happening on mobile such as mobile banking, mobile shopping, etc.
Features of eCommerce website
When it comes to eCommerce websites it’s all about features, design, and functionality.
What features are most important?
Let us list some most important features.
- Content management capabilities: The content present on the eCommerce website must be managed in way customers love it. This can be done only after deep market research that squeals the interests of the customers.
- Promotion and discount code tools: The merchants on the platform ought to have these tools in order to attract customers to their portal.
- An easy-to-use checkout. The platform should consist of easy-to-use checkout options.
- Search Engine Optimized code and layout: Search Engine Optimization can breed great results. Furthermore, the layout should be attractive enough to break SEO barriers when it comes to market capture.
- Report tools and custom report features: A good feedback system makes a good firm. Therefore, report tools and custom report features allow the customers to report against fraud or mishappenings during their course of shopping.
- An integrated blog section: An integrated blog section educates customers about the market and brings valuable traffic to the site.
- E-mail marketing features or integration: E-mail marketing features allow the vendors to market their products with one of the most traditional forms of electronic marketing.
- Multiple payment options: An ideal eCommerce website should consist of multiple payment options to make the transactions a popular page on SERPs.
- The ability to scale and add new features: The eCommerce website built should have the ability to scale and a flexible user interface.
Benefits of eCommerce
Having discussed so many important topics, let us now discuss some benefits of eCommerce.
- Globalization: It allows the vendors to list the available products for people to buy anywhere in the world.
- Coverage: There are millions of potential buyers searching for products at a given time. They will fall into your basket if you have the right arrangements (i.e. SEO) for them.
- Accessibility: The products made available through e-kart are accessible 24*7*365. This covers a huge marginal profit of “time to sell privilege” over other retailers.
- Reduced costs: A lot of time, space, and documentation part is skipped in the eCommerce scenario. Thus saving a lot of paper and labor. Henceforth saving a lot of money for a seller.
- Communications: The internet gives business owners the opportunity to find consumer behavior, prices worldwide, etc. This provides vendors a chance to find out the exact route to success.
How to excel in the eCommerce business in 2021?: A brief guide
Let us now discuss some ways to excel in the eCommerce business in 2021. In 2021 and for years to come eCommerce is set to complete its expected trajectory which we discussed at the beginning of this article. There can be various methods to keep the steady growth maintained. Let us discuss some of them.
Cracked codes to excel in eCommerce business
The cracked codes are explained below step by step. Please pay a closer look as this will educate you to move towards eCommerce.
Firstly: Never rush to open your eCommerce business
One of the most usual mistakes eCommerce entrepreneurs do is rushing towards opening a website and hence the store. One gets only one chance to open his or her website, and he or she can not ruin it up. While it is common to buy a domain and print a ‘coming soon’ message on it. It is an ugly business plan if you reveal your whole planning until you have a good amount of work done in the field (i.e SEO, content marketing, paid advertisements, etc).
Secondly: Always put your focus on the customer
It is no secret that in the eCommerce business, customers can’t have a tangible feel or look for their product. This problem is the default for everyone, and no one can skip this. The problem persists if you do not fill up the gap with proper easy deliverables like free shipping, no-cost EMI, etc.
Thirdly: Test everything from A to z before launch
Do not forget to test your website and related content before the launch of your campaign. Make sure nothing important is missing as per requirements.
Fourthly: Get your eCommerce business “social”
It’s a crazy idea not to get involved in social media marketing campaigns. Social media is the heart of your business. It gives you insights into user behavior and a glance at consumers’ lives. This will obviously tell you what to sell and what not to and what time.
Fifthly: Integrate Social media into the Website
Open the funnel of conversation into the website by adding social media channels into it. A share, like, comment or review can help you conversate with the common consumer. This might serve you a lot of business insights on the table of benefits.
Sixthly: Go mobile
As per Statista, “In 2020, 83 percent of adults in the United States accessed the internet through their mobile phone. This figure is projected to grow to 86.7 percent in 2023”.
“This statistic shows the number of smartphone users in the U.S. from 2018 to 2024. By 2020, the number of smartphone users in the United States is estimated to reach 275.66 million.” [Source]
With these figures in mind, no one can skip the importance of mobile internet. Else, he will be deemed insignificant with time.
Seventhly: Go pro with an advanced SEO approach
With increasing congestion in the eCommerce market if you are not done with the SEO part you will lag behind. Your SEO approach should be advanced in order to cope with the rising stretch of the market.
Conclusion: Considering every scenario of the eCommerce business
There is a lot to consider when the question comes, “what is eCommerce business?”. But still, there are scenarios we have discussed so far. But starting and excelling in eCommerce is not that easy. You have to strategize every part of it.
Considering every situation we have created a new web app called Renown Genius. This app helps you easily dropship with a lot of automation in the business process.
With the hope that this discussion helped you out, let us bring our discussion to an end.