The Beginner’s Guide to eCommerce

As more and more purchases are made online, eCommerce is the focal point of almost every industry. In fact, it’s estimated that by 2021, there will be 2.1 billion digital buyers worldwide. How can this be? Well, let’s define ecommerce. It is simply the purchasing of a good and/or service via the internet. That means every time you have completed a transaction on a website, you’ve participated in ecommerce. 

eCommerce vs. Traditional Commerce 

Traditional commerce is when a good or service is bought or sold in a face-to-face setting. This transaction is usually made in a store or market. Over the course of the last few years, the number of customers buying products in traditional retail stores continues to decline as a large majority of consumers shift their shopping activities to various online platforms. Traditional retailers like Wal-Mart are valued at half the size of online giant Amazon. 

In contrast, ecommerce takes place in a virtual setting: the internet. More and more purchases are being made online. 91% of B2B buyers said they’ve purchased more online in the last year. eCommerce allows your customers to purchase your products or services no matter where they are in the world. It also allows your salespeople to spend less time processing transactions, and more time working directly with your customers.  

Breaking down ecommerce 

There are four traditional types of ecommerce business models. Each has its own benefits and challenges, but many businesses may operate in multiple categories. 

  • B2C – Business to Consumer 

B2C is the most common business model. It’s simply a business selling a good or service to the general public. For example, when you buy a product from Amazon, you are participating in B2C commerce. You, a consumer, purchased a good from a business. 

  • C2C – Consumer to Consumer 

This is a slightly less common, but still important model. During a C2C transaction, two members of the public complete a transaction with each other. Ever buy something from eBay or Facebook Marketplace? These platforms facilitate C2C ecommerce.  

  • C2B – Consumer to Business 

This is probably the least common model. In this model, a consumer provides a good or service to a business. For example, if you’ve ever answers a poll through a survey site, you are providing a C2B service. By providing feedback, you are providing a business with a service.  

  • B2B – Business to Business 

This term refers to any company that creates a product or service geared toward other businesses. As an example, Avionos is a B2B company.  We provide a consulting service to other companies aimed at improving their digital presence. 

How updating your ecommerce platform can improve your business 

Buyers want innovative, exciting ecommerce experiences. In fact, 99% of participants in a recent Avionos survey stated they expect suppliers to prioritize innovation across a range of ecommerce areas. Great ecommerce experiences are no longer optional, it’s what consumers expect.  

As you get started, keep this in mind: your customers are your competitive advantage. Ask them for frequent feedback and make note of where they experience roadblocks on their purchasing journey. Through this feedback, you will know how to add the most value for your target audiences, and then innovate in these areas. With this information, you can expect to: increase customer engagement, craft personalized customer experiences across devices, and boost efficiency.  

Where to go from here 

When assessing where to make improvements in 2019, innovation is every business’s best investment. In the face of fierce competition, ecommerce innovation will help businesses capture market share. Start developing your organization’s strategic plans for ecommerce development, aligning all company moves around achieving that objective. If you’re still unsure where to start, businesses like Avionos design and implement ecommerce solutions. 

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